Faces of the Industry: Jason Chang - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Faces of the Industry: Jason Chang

After serving in the Army for four years, Jason Chang was looking for a refreshing career he was passionate about. He had worked for local landscapers when he was a teenager, and Green Lawn Fertilizing was right down the road from one of his previous employers. Chang says it was the fact that the business was located in his hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania, that first attracted to him the business as well as their dedication to quality service, core values and standards.

“It’s really rewarding to see how our efforts improve the communities we live in and see our customers happy that we help them achieve their dream lawns and landscapes,” Chang says.

Chang says he’s always enjoyed the beauty of nature and landscapes.

“It’s amazing to have a career where you can visually see the positive difference you make,” Chang says. “That brings me a lot of joy.”

He says if he could talk to his younger self, he would have started working in the industry sooner. He wishes the general public also knew that landscaping is a viable and excellent career path.

“If there was one thing I would change in the industry, it would be more outreach to schools to show that landscaping is an excellent career choice and landscaping is a unique and amazing industry to work in,” Chang says.

Chang’s military background as a petroleum supply specialist helped him understand the fundamentals of scheduling, routing, and the logistics of lawn care. He says it’s been a thrilling experience working for the company.

“Each season is different,” Chang says. “It’s been full of learning. Then, most importantly, working with my co-workers, our culture and everything. It feels like we’re part of a family and it’s awesome.”

Chang says one major thing he’s learned while working for the business is to always take their promises seriously and deliver on them as their commitment to their customers and their landscapes is what sets them apart.

Over his four years with Green Lawn Fertilizing, Chang has earned two promotions. He started as a residential outside sales rep, going door to door.

He says he didn’t have any sales experience prior. Within a year, he was promoted to market sales lead, where he was responsible for training other new sales reps because he had been so successful in his first year. He now handles outbound calls for their branch inside sales team.

In his current position, he contacts marketing leads, previous customers or upsell clients. He educates their customers on the benefits of their programs and finds the service that fits their needs.

“You have to show care,” Chang says. “For example, if I see a customer that just signed up for lawn care, and they have a beautiful swimming pool or backyard play area and they’re right next to a forest, I say, ‘Mrs. Smith, it looks like you guys have a swimming pool or you guys enjoy barbecuing. We’d love to protect you and your family from mosquitoes this season. We can actually do that with your lawn care program.’ A lot of times, people love the fact that I consider their needs and that’s the difference about us. We always cater to our customers’ needs.”

He says his biggest challenge has been educating the average consumer that chemical products can be applied safely to their landscapes.

Chang has also been selected to go through Green Lawn’s leadership program. He says it was a mixture of both the company encouraging him to pursue the leadership program and his own personal interest in progressing.

“My first year, I wanted to apply, but then they recommended, ‘Hey, don’t be afraid to apply your first year,’ and that’s why I love my company,” Chang says. “They see the potential. That’s why our company’s diverse because we’re able to just bring in the best talent from different areas and talent pools, so that’s the incredible thing about working for my company.”

To be accepted into the program, Chang had to answer a number of essay questions like, “Why do you want to grow in our company?” and “What do you think leadership is all about?”

Chang says he’s had many mentors in the industry, but John Guth, Henry Holst, Patrick Khosrowabadi and Terry Williams are some of the major ones.

“They have mentored me and taught me not only about lawn care but also about life,” Chang says. “I appreciate their leadership and they helped me improve and learn more every day in this industry.”

In the next five years, Chang sees himself as a market sales director.

“With the sales experience and knowledge my mentors provide me with I’ll be able to do what they did for me for the next generation of landscaping professionals,” Chang says.

He says he appreciates how Green Lawn provides clarity and communicates what he needs to do to get to the next level and that growth is always an option.

This article was published in the May/June 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.