Faces of the Industry: Brian McGrady - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Faces of the Industry: Brian McGrady

Brian McGrady served in the Marine Corps for 20 years before retiring at the rank of gunnery sergeant. A fellow Marine introduced him to the landscape industry, and he has been in the industry for roughly five years now.

“We have always had similar goals and values,” McGrady says. “He knew that this would be a good fit for me.”

He says it was a pleasant surprise discovering the career opportunities in the landscape industry.

“I did not realize that the business side of landscaping is like my past careers,” McGrady says. “I felt prepared and confident in my abilities, thanks to my military and logistics background. I would say that the transition was seamless.”

He says his military background instilled in him leadership traits and principles that have helped him in all phases of life. McGrady served as a supply logistics manager for 14 years and a recruiter for six years.

“I am flexible to ever-changing environments,” McGrady says. “Landscaping is definitely ever-changing.”

He encourages other veterans looking for a career that aligns core values with structure to consider the landscaping industry. McGrady admits that learning a new career can be intimidating and the hardest part for him was learning the horticultural portion of the industry.

“I was accustomed to being the subject matter expert on most matters and starting over was a challenge for me,” he says. “Initially, it was mentally challenging, but it pushed me to outwork everyone else.”

Also, coming from Florida and most of his military service being in warm weather, adapting to the wintry weather in Ohio was an adjustment for him.

McGrady joined Yard Solutions, based in Groveport, Ohio, four months ago as a branch manager, where he serves as the bridge between sales and operations. He conducts sales pricing reviews with the account managers and supervises the scheduling, execution, and invoicing of all jobs after they are sold. On the operations side, he is responsible for safety, strategy, training, efficiency, and evaluation of all processes within the branch.

“My favorite thing about working at Yard Solutions is the close-knit team/family environment,” he says. “In just a brief time, I feel that I know the entire staff and they all know me.”

He says his current COO has been a tremendous help and continues to show the leadership he aspires to emulate. In the next five years, McGrady sees himself helping his company expand their operations and grow by 50%.

“This industry provides me with the instant gratification that I need when I can see the fruits of my labor,” McGrady says. “When I drive around town, and I see a project that our company worked on, I get a sense of pride, and I may just say, ‘We did that project.’”

Over his time in the industry, McGrady has learned there will always be a need for landscaping. He says while the public thinks it is just cutting grass and throwing mulch, this field is much more.

“There are many careers in the landscaping industry,” McGrady says. “With technologies such as AI mapping, RFID, and GPS tracking, the processes are becoming more efficient, and the future is bright.”

This article was published in the March/April issue of the magazine. To read more stories from The Edge magazine, click here to subscribe to the digital edition.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.