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The View 10 17 2010


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The View 10 17 2010

  1. 1. 1 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 Change of Season 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 From the Desk of John Wernis Fall is my favorite time of the year. I anxiously await the leaves on trees turning to vibrant colors and the smell of burning leaves in the air. Making the annual trip to the cider mill to eat donuts (well maybe not this year for Sam and I) and drink fresh cider while picking apples with my family, celebrating Thanksgiving, and the brisk weather that brings out happy anniversary Shawn Baker-12/01/2008 Sam LaGrasso-12/19/1997 John Wernis-12/19/1997 Peter Wernis-12/22/1997 Ismael Bravo Aceves-11/17/2008 Juan Gomez Covarrubis-12/19/2008 Luis Manriquez-12/22/2008 Franciso Cejuda-12/01/2008 Martin Ojeda-12/07/2005 Matthew Terrel-10/5/2009 Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care Now I will tell you what I mostly enjoy about business in the fall. It is fast paced, full of transition, hustle, and dedication to finish the year as successfully as possible. Let’s start with transition. We are now shifting gears into the fall season so we will be set up to provide our entire customer base with leaf removal between November 1st and Thanksgiving. At the same time our account management, project management, and mechanical teams are working on solidifying our snow service contracts, operations, and equipment for this fall and the coming winter. All while continuing to service our clientele for the remainder of this growing season. Fall transition keeps us as busy as ever. (continued) warmer attire. There is just something to be said about the fall season. These are the times that my family and I enjoy in our personal life. Oh, I forgot to mention mine, my son’s, and Nina’s November birthdays. For those of you that don’t know, Sam was fortunate enough to have his first born daughter on my birthday and I am looking forward to sharing it with her forever. Sam, make sure you get me something cool from Nina for my birthday…maybe a new sports car or even a tropical winter vacation…
  2. 2. 2 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 Proud Members of: 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 Moonlight Hayrides-Stony Creek Metro-park near Rochester/Washington Township is hosting, "Moonlight Hay- rides" on Fridays, October 1, 8, and 15 between 7 pm and 9:30 pm at the Nature Center. Enjoy the beauty of the fall season with a nature-themed wagon ride through the woods and a bonfire with cider, donuts and marshmallow roasting plus live music. Fee: $6 per person. Preregistration required. For more information, please call the Nature Center at (586) 781-9113. Farmers Market-The Downtown Rochester Farmers' Market is open Saturday, 8:00am to 1:00pm during the regular season. Located at the corner of E. Third and Water Street. We are proud to feature fresh produce, flowers, handmade goods and other products exclusive to Michigan. A Master Gardener is also available each Saturday to answer home gardening questions in case you have not quite developed that green thumb yet. Closing Day for the 2010 Season is Saturday, October 30. Kids can Trick-or-Treat at the market from 10:00am - noon that day. For more information contact (248) 656-0060. Westview Orchards- Celebrate their all harvest with Fall Family Fun Weekend Festivals from Labor Day through Halloween. All day fun for one admission price at three petting barns, playground, wagon rides, 6-acre corn maze, straw mountain, "Black Holes", indoor maze, and more. Apple Shoot Slide, 40ft. of fun and free courtesy wagon shuttles from parking lot. For more information contact (866) 986-4386. Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care Change of Seasons... Now we get into the hustle. There is no doubt that a lot is going on every minute of every day this time of year. We have to make sure that all of our crews working in the field are working responsibly, efficiently, and are providing our clientele with unparalleled service. Our operational set up needs to be bulletproof with proper scheduling and maintenance of our equipment. Fall cleanup season gives us a target of three weeks to accommodate leaf cleanup - with a goal of being complete by Thanksgiving Day. I forgot to mention, snow service begins while fall cleanup is taking place. Yes folks, we cannot miss a beat this time of year so put on your work boots. Dedication puts it all together. There is a reason United Lawnscape, Inc. is becoming a driving force in the green industry. It is because of the dedication of each and every member of the “United Team”. We have thirteen years under our belts successfully completing what seems to be an impossibly tough schedule. Each and every fall season we make sure we’re prepared to provide our customers with the unparalleled service they deserve. I am confident in saying our team will meet our target goals once again. Thanks to all of you whose hustle and dedication makes every year’s fall transition such an action packed accomplishment. I cannot wait to work with all of you and put it all together once again! Fun Things To Do With Your Family This Fall!!
  3. 3. 3 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 Earning the Deal Persistence, professionalism and keeping your promise are the three necessary components to “earning the deal”. Today, more than ever, if we don’t take care of our customers, someone else will. So the deal that I’m speaking of starts when you pick up the phone, and if we do our job effectively will only end when we allow it to. 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 From the Desk of Sam La Grasso Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care Think about the excitement, happiness or enthusiasm that you’ve felt when you’ve signed a deal. It is imperative that the very individual that afforded you the opportunity to work for them is as happy today as you were on that day when they selected you over all the others. So many people in sales, in any industry, do not understand the importance of continually supporting their sale. Communication is the key to any relationship; make sure its there. You may think you’re doing a good job, but make sure the customer feels the same way. The way the customer perceives the relationship, your attention to detail, and the level of service you offer is the only opinion that matters. As we enter that time of year again, when we will be picking up the phones and asking our existing and potential customers for new and/or more opportunities, take a minute to make sure you have done everything you’ve promised. As you move forward, make it a point to confirm that you are providing all that is expected. No matter how polished of an organization we run, we must always make sure our ears are tuned to the customers wants and needs with every opportunity that we are given. When you think you’re doing the best you can, remember there is always room for some improvement. If we recognize this in all the aspects of our lives, then everyday will be a better day. On a different note, I again want to thank all of the employees of United Lawnscape for your hard work. It has been influential in the appointment of the “30 in their Thirties” award presented to me by dbusiness. This award is not representative of my accomplishments alone, but of the success that both John and I, together with the entire United Lawnscape team, have attained and continue to strive for each day. I look forward to our future, fueled by teamwork and innovation. Sam LaGrasso,33.President, United Lawnscape Inc., Washington Township. Revenue:$15.0 million, Employees:250. Sometimes it’s better to join forces with a fervent competitor rather than continue to fight for market share.During high school,Salvatore“Sam”LaGrasso and John Wernis were running competing landscape firms.But after graduating in 1997,the pair decided to pool their talents.“We were big competitors,but I thought we could grow faster if we worked together,”says LaGrasso, president of United Lawnscape Washington Township.“A partnership is like a marriage.The more you put into it,the better shot you have of success.” Expanding quickly into landscape construction,while preserving a maintenance division,LaGrasso says the company began to take on larger clients like Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Michigan,and various municipalities. “Our goal is to keep focusing on Michigan, but to continue to grow outside the state.” —R.J.King
  4. 4. 4 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 Change of Seasons 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 Kirsten Franklin Old Man Winter doesn’t want to give up his frigid hold just yet, but his hold will mostly be in the middle of the country. According to the 2010 Farmer’s Almanac, this winter will see more days of shivery conditions: a winter during which temperatures will average below normal for about three-quarters of the nation. The coldest temperatures will be over the northern Great Lakes and Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Snow/Rain/Ice Near normal amounts of precipi- tation are expected. Blizzards Significant snowfalls are forecast, with major snowfall to occur in mid-Febuary. Frigid 2010 Forecast: How cold will this winter be? Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care Having worked for United Lawnscape for almost nine years, my life revolves around the seasons. Everyone experiences this to some degree – the kids starting back to school in the fall, the holiday season, summer vacations – but when you work for a landscape company in Michigan everything is dictated by the season! People often say to me during the summer months “This must be a busy time for you” but actually for those of us in the grounds maintenance administration department October and November are probably the busiest months of the year. The reason is that we are completing the work included in the summer service contracts at the same time that we are preparing for snow removal. There is a relatively short period of time for us to make the transition as compared to the spring when we are preparing for grounds maintenance services. We have to be ready for the first snowfall no matter when it happens. There’s not much of a safety concern when preparing for the first lawn cut but snow and ice are another story! The temperatures that we experience in October will also dictate the speed in which we need to prepare snow bids for our customers. When it’s 70 to 80 degrees outside customers are naturally not thinking as urgently about snow. However, when we get 40 to 50 degree weather, our phones start ringing! This is great for us because we are more than happy to put the snow bids together and get started with the scheduling process. The more prepared we are, the more smoothly things go when the snow starts to fly! When the weather is warm for a while then it suddenly turns cold and starts to snow, it gets difficult for us to properly schedule services. Contracts flood in all at once, the snow routes constantly change, and all of us, staff and clients alike, start to get very stressed out! So, in the interest of keeping the grounds maintenance administrative staff sane and happy, lets all start planning for snow now…..but pray that we don’t get any for a few months!
  5. 5. 5 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 Bonnie Hagle Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care This summer’s high temperatures and high humidity proved to be too much for our pre-emergent herbicide applications. This has been a banner year for crabgrass all over the state according to a Michigan State University recently published Landscape Alert. The combination of high air temperatures and rainfall throughout the summer has resulted in what appears to be a never-ending period of crabgrass germination. In addition, the conditions are perfect for massive grub infestation and the grubs are currently feeding on turf throughout our areas. Whenever United Lawnscape personnel are inspecting properties we need to check grub and crabgrass infestation. It is not too late in the season to treat these problems. An additional application of post-emergent herbicide to treat the crabgrass can be applied up until the first frost. Also if a property did not receive a preventative grub control application in June or July, grub control insecticide can still be applied through the end of October. We need to explain to our customers that these problems are a result of the weather conditions that we experienced this summer, they are correctable problems, and they are problems that are not unique to their properties. If we continue to be vigilant in our turfgrass management programs and education our customers, we will see healthier turf conditions in the spring. Maintain now...healthy conditions later Sharon Sharples October 16th is National Bosses Day. Here at United Lawnscape the staff takes this day very seriously. We like to show our bosses how much we appreciate all they do to keep us in business and for letting us come to work everyday. Everyone signs up for a dish to pass, a salad, drinks or an appetizer to bring. We put it all together for a lunch where we mingle, relax, and chat with co-workers that maybe we have not been able to talk to in a while. We all come together and realize that we are all in the same boat with the with the same size oar and we just need a little help once in a while to maneuver the boat to more pleasant waters. So, I thought I would share a favorite recipe of our bosses, Sam and John. Sloppy Joes: 2lbs of Ground Burger, 1sm Onion, 1 bottle of Chili Sauce, 1 16 oz Ketchup and 1 can of Chicken Gumbo Soup. Brown burger and onion. Drain grease. Add all ingredients in crock pot or large sauce pan. Simmer 1.5 hours. Serve on buns. Enjoy!! Bosses Day!
  6. 6. 6 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 Chicago Expansion 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 Patrick Adams Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care The Spring of 2010 was the beginning of the newest expansion for United Lawnscape Inc. Ownership approached me in early spring in regarding a very large opportunity in Chicago, Illinois. After multiple meetings, I was selected to be the director of operations. United has always focused on sales, rapid growth, efficiencies and ultimately expanding the company and achieving high personal goals for the employees. I never thought such an opportunity would arise within a few years for the company in a great city like Chicago. With the expansion underway, United had a two week period to establish itself in a new market. This included procuring staff, securing equipment, and establishing an office, then beginning operations on new sites with a client in a different market. This has proven to be a challenging, yet rewarding, learning experience. Starting as a smaller company in a larger market requires you not only to perform and service the customers, but to sell yourself and the company to all relationships that you have to develop and maintain to operate the business. This is the area I personally feel I have gained the most experience this year. I began recruiting and researching new vendors, equipment, products and now understand a new pricing and value for my products. After establishing relationships with companies, we have become fully operational and are competing with our established competition in a different market. Now that our first season is almost complete, we are extremely focused on exposing our services and management team to the Chicago area to gain a large market share and rapidly grow the company to be leader in the industry. A New City woth New Opportunity! CDOT's Streetscape and Urban Design Program improves neighborhood commercial districts through projects that provide infrastructure upgrades, aesthetic improvements and design elements that reflect and celebrate the community. Improvements typically include new sidewalks,curbs and gutters, street resurfacing,decorative lighting,trash receptacles, benches,trees with tree grates and planters.They may also include other amenities such as decorative paving and neighbor- hood identifiers. The enhancements are designed to increasethe safety and improve the overall appearance of neigh- borhoods throughout Chicago. More than 25 Streetscapes have been designed across Chicago.
  7. 7. 7 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 62170 Van Dyke.Washington.MI.48094 Jill Webber Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care Divine Inspiration The following is an excerpt from Wisdom Hunters, an online devotional written by Boyd Bailey that hits my email every morning. They offer biblical perspectives on leadership, work, personal growth, change, and many other topics. This one arrived just this week; I found it interesting and applicable in keeping my focus where it belongs, so I thought I’d share it. “…when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 5:19 God gives multiple gifts over the course of lifetime. Wealth, relationships, enjoyment of possessions, contentment in life and fulfilling careers are significant gifts of God. No one can out give God, because generosity is one of His passions and He has unlimited capacity. Not only does He give the ability to enjoy His blessings. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). Access to ,money and possessions without the ability to enjoy them is meaningless. If wealth has you trapped in a perpetual maze of worry, then look to the gift giver. He did not give you possessions to obsess over. Fixation on money marginalizes faith. If you are unable to relax and enjoy money, God, and friends then money may be your master. We cannot enjoy what we cling to all for ourselves. When money steals our peace of mind it may have become an idol. It soon replace Christ as our number one loyalty for attention and worship. Keep money in its proper place or it will wear you out. It wil wear you out in worry and it will wear you out in trying to amass more. “Do not wear yourself out to get rich;have the wisdom to show restraint” (Proverbs 23:7) Our work is another gift from God and our ability to enjoy it is from Him. Even if we do not have to work, we need to work. Our Creator designed us for work. If you have no joy in your career and see no relief on the horizon, then make a move. God does not expect you to be miserable in your work. Toil for the Lord and you will never lack purpose. It is not so much the quantity of your wages as it is the quality of your work environment. It is a gift from God when you are privileged to work alongside people who value excellence, teamwork, innovation, results, faith and family. Recognize often this gift from God and thank Him. Are you “salt and light” for Christ at your work? Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth...You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13a)
  8. 8. 8 The View Quarterly Fall 2010 6135 Shirley Street Naples FL 34109 United Lawnscape of Florida Kevin Eckhardt This year has been one for the records. Florida had their first freeze in five decades to start the year and the summer has brought us an abundance of rain. Going into our fall season we have concentrated on trimming and weeds. With the high humidity and the excessive rain we have had to battle against mother nature the entire season. With the weather starting to turn in our favor we have been able to detail our communities to show our underlying commitment to our service. The Florida team is busy at work. We are gearing up for a huge season. Bonnie Large Enough To Trust, Small Enough To Care has been busy marketing us with letters to H.O.A.’s. Brian and I have been bidding properties and busy with site evaluations. This has brought us the where we are today with finding enhancements at all our properties and continuing to be one step ahead of our competitors. As our seasons toll into one another, we are constantly seeing our employees rise to their potential. They have learned from Brian and I through our weekly meetings and have taught their crews what is expected of them. We are proud to say we lead by example and look forward to the next challenges that arise. If you don’t ask for work you will let an opportunity pass you by.