First, read out the three companies we're profiling this year as part of our annual partnership with the Harvest Group: Lawn & Pest Solutions, Custom Landscaping and Lawn Care, and Hawkins Landscaping. They all face challenges similar to the ones your company may also face. Plus, if you're planning on attending NALP's upcoming Workforce Summit, read up on what to do when you feel you've used up every resource or you want to address a lack of diversity in your employees. Beyond that, there's also stories on creating a compelling company handbook and ways to keep your crews safer than ever.
COLUMBUS – The Horticultural Research Institute and the AmericanHort foundation, in conjunction with the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, has named Ohio State University graduate student Coralie Farinas as its 2019-2020 Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship recipient.
The funds will help Farinas continue her mission to contribute to plant disease solutions for ornamental plants. As a green industry student, Farinas holds undergraduate degrees in both horticulture science and plant biology. She is currently working on her graduate degree studying Phlox and powdery mildew with ultimate goals to provide the industry quick tools to help screen resistant lines of ornamentals susceptible to powdery mildew.
"The sum of my experiences not only proves my motivation to contribute to the advancement of the horticultural industry but offered formative experiences that deepened my commitment," Farinas said.
Farinas has either interned or volunteered with the American Phytopathological Society, Plant Pathology Graduate Student Association, National Institute of Agronomic Research and the AmericanHort Scholar program, among others. She hopes to have a career as a plant pathologist upon graduation.
For nearly 10 years, the Bryan A. Champion Scholarship Fund has been supporting the next generation of horticultural students. Bryan A. Champion was a fifth-generation nurseryman with passion for the nursery and landscape industry. As president of Herman Losely & Son, in Perry, Ohio, Champion passed away in 2011 at the age of 47, and his peers swiftly established the fund in his honor.
KENT, Ohio – The Davey Tree Expert Company announced Dash Schenck, Kevin Marks and Aaron Garver all received promotions in their respective markets.
Schenck will now be the district manager in the Portland, Oregon, Residential/Commercial (R/C) services office. He joined Davey as a groundman in the San Francisco R/C office in 2009. In 2010, he worked as a groundman at both the Menlo Park and San Francisco offices before being promoted to plant health care technician the same year. In 2013, he was promoted to trimmer at the East Bay R/C office and in 2014 was promoted to sales arborist. In 2017 he was promoted to assistant district manager of the East Bay office and in 2018 transferred to the Portland, Oregon, R/C office as assistant district manager.
“Dash brings a wide variety of technical, leadership and business-savvy experience to the Portland team,” said Jason Evans, operations manager, Western operating group. “He has a proven track record of high-quality customer service, and does a fantastic job engaging with Davey’s clients.”
Meanwhile, Marks is now the market manager, South Central operating group, Residential/Commercial (R/C) services. In his new role, Marks will continue to report to Andy Ferguson, vice president, Western R/C operations, and will be responsible for Davey’s Colorado and Nebraska offices. Marks started his career with Davey as a plant health care technician in 1995 with the acquisition of Wilhelm Tree & Lawn Care in Denver. In 1998 he was promoted to sales and service coordinator at the East Denver R/C office. Marks was promoted to sales arborist in the Boulder R/C office in 2005 and then assistant district manager in 2012. Marks was named district manager of the North Denver R/C office in 2015.
“Kevin encourages himself and his team to perform at the highest level of safety and professionalism every day,” said Jed Day, vice president and general manager, Western operations U.S. R/C services. “With 25 years of excellence at Davey, he is a respected leader that engages with clients to exceed their needs. I look forward to the continued growth he will bring to Davey’s Western offices and the success he will have with our clients.”
Garver is now the district manager of the South Baltimore Residential/Commercial (R/C) office. Garver started at Davey in 2005 as a tree trimmer in Davey’s South Baltimore R/C office. In his 15-year career with Davey, Garver has held several client service and sales related positions, including tree care foreman, sales and service technician and sales arborist.
“Aaron’s experiences working in numerous management roles while building strong client relationships in the Baltimore area will guide him as he takes over the reins of a growing office,” said Chris Klimas, operations manager. “Clients can expect nothing but the best from Aaron and his team of experts in Baltimore.”
LAYTONSVILLE, Md. – Ruppert Landscape has expanded with a new location in the eastern region of Richmond, Virginia. This branch joins five existing landscape management branches in Virginia, located in Gainesville, Alexandria, Fredericksburg, northern and southern Richmond, and will serve existing customers as well as growth between Richmond and Williamsburg.
“One of our goals has always been to provide our customers and employees with a small company feel,” said Kevin Hazelgrove, region manager. “As the market and the company have grown rapidly in recent years, this can be increasingly difficult. We believe that the addition of this new location will help us meet this goal and provide better service to our customers.”
The Richmond East branch will be led by David Hensel, who has recently been promoted to branch manager.
Hensel began his career at age thirteen working at a large retail garden center in Richmond. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a degree in horticulture and landscape contracting and began working at a high-end residential landscape company in Sterling, Virginia, overseeing all facets of landscape management operations.
He joined Ruppert in early 2017 as an area manager in Richmond, where he took on the management of the branch’s second-largest portfolio and led the team in sales in 2018 and 2019. Additionally, in 2018, he was recognized with the company’s Branch Impact Award for his dedication and contributions to the team. He was promoted to associate branch manager in July of 2019, where he trained with leadership in preparation for the next opportunity to come in the Richmond market. He is a Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association certified horticulturist, landscape industry certified technician and an Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute certified hardscape installer.
“Dave’s competitive spirit, strong leadership and recruiting skills, and industry and market knowledge made him a clear choice for this position,” Hazelgrove said. “I have every confidence in his ability to lead and grow this promising new team.”
As branch manager, Hensel will be responsible for the overall welfare of the branch, including the safety and development of his team, strategic planning and budgeting, training and day-to-day operations.
The two-day summit brings together workforce strategists from a variety of industries, with recruiting experts and industry companies to brainstorm and share solutions. The keynote speaker, Eric Chester, is a renowned workforce development authority and author of the soon-to-be-released "Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Employees in the Worst Labor Market Ever." A former landscape professional, he’ll share his findings on where today’s most innovative companies are finding seasonal and entry level employees.
The summit also features panels and roundtables on the future workforce, diversity and inclusion, success stories from landscape contractors and other industries, and recruiting tips for Gen Z and Millennials.
“The Workforce Summit has quickly become one our most impactful events because we are discussing innovative solutions to the workforce shortage,” said Britt Wood, NALP CEO. “Our members, through the Industry Growth Initiative and our Workforce Council, have led the way in attracting new workers and moving the needle for the entire industry.”
Last year’s summit sold out, but early registration can be found here. The cost is $399 for NALP members and $599 for non-members. The event is sponsored at the Platinum level by Caterpillar and by the Industry Growth Initiative.