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Faces of the Industry: Angela Howes

Angela Howes got into the landscape industry by pure chance. An associate of hers met Craig Ruppert installing a basketball hoop at his house and Ruppert offered him a job in landscaping. Not long afterward, her associate called her to interview for an administrative position.

Since then, Howes has spent 17 years with Ruppert Landscape. She is now the branch manager for the North Carolina landscape construction branch. During her time with Ruppert, Howes has held other positions such purchaser, business developer and operations manager.

She says there was no single point where she realized she could make a career out of landscaping, but she’s never considered anything outside of it. Some of her mentors over the years include the first manager she reported to, Karen Key and Bob Jones, president of the landscape construction division at Ruppert.

“He’s a constant,” Howes says. “He has always pushed me and has always been my biggest cheerleader and is the one that has offered every opportunity I have had for growth here.”

Howes says her favorite part about working in the industry is the people.

“The relationships that are formed with the team here at Ruppert, our clients and our vendors,” she says. “You meet a lot of interesting people from tons of different backgrounds that are all coming together for a common goal.”

She says one of her biggest challenges was learning the industry as she had no background in it.

“Very early on, I was a purchaser – and that meant learning the Latin names of plants, learning the plants themselves and then continuing to learn about hardscapes and reading plans and grades – it’s been a constant learning experience,” she says.

Howes also overcame the challenge of turning around the North Carolina branch when she first became a branch manager. While at first, the branch was struggling, Howes was able to get the staff back on track by showing them “the Ruppert way.”

She was awarded one of Ruppert’s top honors, the Clyde Vadner Merit Award, in 2018 for her efforts at the North Carolina branch. The Clyde Vadner Merit Award is given to an employee who has contributed continuous, consistent, long-term hard work, dedication and job skill that has helped to shape the company.

Howes says she wishes the general public knew that landscaping is a great place to work.

“It’s not all about the physical work, it’s about the beautiful spaces you help create,” she says.

She encourages other women to consider entering the industry and notes that there is plenty of opportunity as long as you’re not afraid to work hard.

In five years, Howes isn’t sure where she’ll be, but she says she hopes she’ll be climbing the ladder.

“Into what – I don’t know!” she says.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.

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