Faces of the Industry Archives - National Association of Landscape Professionals

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Faces of the Industry

Faces of the Industry: Ellie and Juan Lamonaca

Ellie and Juan Lamonaca, owners of Conserva Irrigation of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, never thought they’d get into the irrigation industry at first. They had always wanted to be entrepreneurs and were keeping their eyes and ears open for different franchising opportunities. “We always thought of the green industry as a recession-proof business,” he says. “We […]

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Faces of the Industry: Olivia Espinoza

Olivia Espinoza got into the landscape industry as a groundskeeper for an apartment complex, taking care of flower containers and beds. “I enjoyed it so much I decided to take horticulture classes to learn more about plants,” she says. She spent two seasons working as a groundskeeper and now works for Kujawa Enterprises, Inc., based […]

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Faces of the Industry: Alexander Manueles

Alexander Manueles, president of White Gator Lawn and Landscaping, based in Slidell, Louisiana, started working when he was 19 years old and has now spent six years in the industry. He says he had always wanted to own his own company. “That has always been something that ever since I was younger I always knew […]

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Faces of the Industry: Gabriel Marquez Jr.

Gabriel Marquez Jr. has been in the industry ever since he was a child. His father was born in El Salvador and came to the U.S. as a teenager. He started Gabriel’s Landscaping, Inc. in 1984. Now, Marquez is the president of Gabriel’s Companies, Inc., based in Palatine, Illinois. “I realized it was more than […]

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Faces of the Industry: Antonio Zeppa

Antonio Zeppa always wanted to run his own company, but he didn’t know mowing his neighbors’ lawns would turn into a career in landscaping. In high school and college, Zeppa would mow grass part-time along with his brother, Andre. After earning their degrees in business and geoscience, respectively, the brothers started Zeppa’s Landscaping Services, full-service […]

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Caitlin Clineff

Faces of the Industry: Caitlin Clineff

Thanks to her grandparents giving her small plant cuttings and seed packets, Caitlin Clineff grew up gardening a good bit. In high school, she was very involved with 4-H and the National Junior Horticultural Association. “That got me interested in looking into a career in horticulture, so I majored in horticultural science at NC State,” […]

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Faces of the Industry: Kevin Shackleford

Kevin Shackleford, CEO of Shackleford Landscape Group, based in Bear, Delaware, first started mowing lawns when he was 11 years old so he could earn enough money to buy a Microsoft Zune. While he didn’t make enough cutting lawns, he did finally earn enough money from shoveling snow to buy his MP3 player. After that, […]

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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. […]

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Faces of the Industry: Kristy Mathews

Kristy Mathews, owner of K&B Lawn and Landscaping based in Jacksonville, Florida, has only been working in the landscape industry for less than a year. She started her business in April 2020. Thanks to contactless payments and their work being done outside, Mathews says the pandemic has not caused any issues for the business. “Everybody’s […]

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Faces of the Industry: Karen Wilkinson

Karen Wilkinson says entering the landscape industry was the greatest leap of faith she could have made for her career. She says when she was presented with the opportunity to become a leader, she was very hesitant and frankly, scared. “I found a passion and a great sense fulfillment that makes each day unique,” she […]

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