Ruppert Landscape promotes new COO, region manager

Fred Key has been named chief operating officer, while Dave Sharry will take on the position of region manager.

Ruppert Landscape recently promoted Fred Key to the position of chief operating officer in the company’s landscape management division. This position has been newly created to help support the division’s current scale and future growth.

“Fred’s tenacious leadership style has helped drive the division’s success over the years and will undoubtedly continue to do so from this new position of expanded influence,” says Tom Barry, president of the company’s landscape management division.

Key has over 30 years of industry experience and has been with Ruppert for 21 years serving in a variety of positions including crewman, foreman, area manager, controller, landscape construction production manager, division administrator, branch manager, region manager and region vice president. Key holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Salisbury State University and is a Certified Landscape Professional. In 2009, he received one of the company’s top honors, the Clyde Vadner Merit Award, which is presented to the individual who has demonstrated consistent hard work and dedication leading to exceptional contributions to the organization. In 2019, Fred graduated from Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management (OPM) program, completing a significant multi-year investment in his management education.

In his new role, Key will continue to oversee the Northern Virginia, North Carolina and Atlanta regions and will now also oversee the Central Virginia region, working closely with the region managers to influence operational decisions to help better serve our customers and team members. In addition, he will now be working with the company’s business development team to help support division-wide sales efforts.

Additionally, Ruppert Landscape recently promoted Dave Sharry to the position of region manager in the company’s landscape management division. In this capacity, he will oversee landscape management operations in the company’s Central Virginia region, which includes the Fredericksburg and Richmond North, South and East locations.

Sharry has been with the company for over 11 years, has over 30 years of landscape industry experience and is a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve veteran. In his first year at Ruppert, he was recognized with the company’s Branch Impact Award for his outstanding dedication and contributions to the organization. In 2018, the original Richmond branch split into North and South locations to accommodate growth in the region, and as the newly appointed Richmond South branch manager, he played an integral role in supporting a smooth and profitable transition.

“The Richmond South branch’s success can be largely attributed to Dave’s strong customer relationships and military-influenced leadership style,” Key says. “He sets high expectations while still making time to help each individual team member and support neighboring branches. We feel confident that he will continue to support and grow the Richmond and Fredericksburg teams in this new capacity.”

In his stead, Rob Groves has been appointed branch manager in Richmond South. In this role, he will be responsible for the overall welfare of the branch, including the safety and development of his team, strategic planning and budgeting, training, customer service, and day-to-day operations.

Groves has been with the company for over 15 years and holds a degree in ornamental horticulture from Pennsylvania College of Technology. He began his career at Ruppert as an enhancement field manager in the Gainesville branch, worked his way up to area manager, associate branch manager, and became branch manager in Richmond North in 2018. He led the branch until last year when he explored other opportunities within the company, supporting division IT projects and irrigation operations in the region, but embraced the opportunity to return to the branch manager role.

“With Rob’s extensive industry and leadership experience, we are assured that he will continue to drive success and growth for our branch, while upholding our company's commitment to providing exceptional service to our clients," Key says.