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The View June 2009


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The View June 2009

  1. 1. UNITED LAWNSCAPE, INC. Large Enough to Trust….Small Enough to Care! THE VIEW Volume 4 Issue 3 June 1, 2009 From the desk of John Wernis bringing in new work constantly. Staying One Down focused on our customer service and keep- ing an “urgency” mindset will keep us “You have to seize the & ahead, with a constant stream of new busi- opportunity if it is Six To Go ness. Our operational departments will presented to you.” have to keep a constant focus on detail to ensure quality workmanship and high - Clive Davis efficiency levels for all of our crews. The office and mechanical staff will have to It seems like time is flying by this spring. keep up with the demands of our crews’ We are already two months into the grow- daily activity. To make it short and simple, ing season and in the midst of the spring we all have huge obligations to fulfill over rush that is keeping us very busy. I guess the course of the next six months. Our time flies when you’re having fun. I feel success will depend on the efforts put forth. like we have had a very successful spring as we have been faced with economic challenges and operational changes. We all need to feel fortunate for where we These challenges and changes have made are today. Our hard work and dedication to our focus so much clearer as we move into our organization has put us in this position. the future. Let’s make sure the next six months are as Work performed by United Lawnscape successful as the last two. The success of the remaining six months of ARTICLES OF INTEREST the growing season will be dictated by our eagerness to keep every facet of our From the Desk of John Wernis 1 organization firing. Our sales departments need to make sure they are on their game From the Desk of Sam LaGrasso 2 Meet Our New Team Member 2 Birthdays & Anniversaries of Employment Tips for Your Landscape 3 Happy Birthday to … Thank you for your dedication... Moving Forward in the Season 3 Life Can Throw You Curveballs 3 Jim Carabelli—June 7th Colleen Laidlaw—2 years Focus on the Community 4 From the Desk of Kevin Eckhardt 4
  2. 2. PAGE 2 THE VIEW From the desk of Sam LaGrasso gether, make great decisions together, make our customers feel that United The Drive and have a passion greater than mone- Lawnscape is the best every day. For tary gain together will be there when the those driven to compete…let’s go! to Compete smoke clears. “When people talk about successful retailers and those that are not so Today’s busi- We cannot assume that any of our com- successful, the customer determines ness climate is petition is not capable. John & I were at the end of the day who is successful as competitive start-ups out of high school and I guaran- and for what reason.” as ever. As the market continues to tee no one was concerned with us at the - Gerry Harvey shrink, the level of competition has contin- time. ued to increase. Our competition consists not only of the same existing contractors, We need to make sure that we all con- but also the multitude of unemployed peo- tinue to compete like it was our first deal. ple that have forged start-up companies in We need to continue to service our clients the current economic environment. If the like they are our only client. And we need market has substantially less work avail- to understand that if we don’t do both of able and the same, or more, companies these better than ever, someone else will. competing for less work, its only a matter of time before it becomes “too hot in the For me, my drive to compete is stronger kitchen” for many companies in our indus- than ever. I am driven by the challenges try. around us, and while I recognize the dan- “You can’t over estimate to plan and gers of today’s economic climate, I am prepare. In most of the mistakes I have So then it is these times that will prove comfortable with the experience we have made there has been this common thread of that those with an absolute “drive to com- together. We will be a much better com- inadequate planning before hand. You can’t pany when things turn around. Let’s con- over prepare in business.” pete” will be the survivors. The compa- nies that adjust together, sacrifice to- tinue to drive forward by continuing to be - Chris Corrigan the best in our business. Let’s continue to By Mary Tarnowsky Meet Our New Team Member Hi, my name is Mary Tarnowsky and I’m one of the newest members of the United Lawnscape team. I was brought into the company last July and I have enjoyed every day. Before my employment with United Lawn- scape, I worked in the retail business for 10 years. All I ever knew was running around all day on my feet and helping customers. When I was approached with the job opportunity to become a receptionist, I didn’t know what to think about sitting at a desk all day and answering the phone. How hard could that be? Well, let me tell you, it isn’t as easy as you think. My first week here was so overwhelming, but fun at the same time. The staff was so helpful and made me feel very welcomed. I had to learn very quickly what each staff member was responsible for and who was in charge of what. With so many employees it was, and still is, a challenge. The one thing I have learned so far with the United team is that everyone takes pride and strives for satisfaction in their job, and it truly shows. I would like the opportunity to thank Sam and John for giving me the chance to be part of this wonderful company. I truly enjoy coming to work every day. Visit us on the web at
  3. 3. VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3 PAGE 3 Tips for Caring for Your Landscape Soil and water play such an important role in plant growth. Paying attention to these two factors can greatly extend and enhance the life of your landscape. To give your plants a great start, use compost or peat to amend and enrich your soil. Compost improves soil structure, retains water, aerates soil, slowly releases nutrients to the soil, supports beneficial microorganisms and earthworms, and suppresses some soilborne diseases. When top-dressing landscape beds use natural mulches such as finely-shredded bark, cocoa shells, and pine needles. These types of mulches reduce weeds, moderate soil temperatures, help retain moisture in the soil, and help renew soils as the mulches slowly release their nutrients. It is equally important to select the right plant for the right place. Take time to learn about plants and their natural environments. Select plants that are specifically suited to your geographical area and the location they’ll be planted on the property. Think about factors such as sun or shade conditions, soil texture, exposure to wind and rain, and drainage. Consider landscaping with pest- resistant hardy or native plants which often require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. To sustain healthy plants, provide nutrients and water. Nutrients are gradually depleted from the soil system and need to be periodically replaced. Lack of adequate water will likely stress plants. You may want to conduct a soil nutrient test every 2 - 3 years and use the results when selecting any fertilizers or soil amendments. Conduct an “organic matter” test, as well as the test for pH and nutrients. Always be careful not to over-apply fertilizers, which can burn and damage plants or create undesirable plant growth. Slow- release fertilizers are recommended. They gradually release nutrients over the growing season, save time, and help protect water quality. By Jeremy Harman Moving Forward in the Season June already! I can’t believe how quickly the time goes. It seems like yesterday we were planning for the 2009 season. It’s now in full swing. We see our crews out every day, whether they are mowing the turf, installing mulch and annuals, or implementing a new landscape. It’s nice to be busy when all you hear in the news is doom and gloom. It is truly a testament to all of the all of the employees at United Lawnscape. That said, it’s easy to be busy in the spring of the season, the grass is growing, trees are budding and everybody is thinking spring. The difficult task is to stay on track as things slow down. We should always look for ways to improve our level of service. In this market we can’t afford to be complacent. From a sales standpoint, that means making the extra phone call, following up more frequently, and going the extra mile to insure that we stay busy for the remainder of this year and into the future. We need to constantly challenge ourselves to improve our level of service for our clients. They are, after all, the reason we’re here. By challenging ourselves to improve, we can only go in one direction. Let’s keep up the good work moving forward through the season. By Marie Montella Life Can Throw You Curveballs Life is funny! Just when you think you have it all figured out and you know exactly what direction you are head- ing...bam! Surprise!! I was having one of those week’s when everything was going exactly like I wanted it to go for so long. I should have basked in it for a while because just a few weeks later, I felt like I was right back to square one. I was exhausted and just wanted take the day to cry or scream or ask, “Why?” So I threw a pity party for my- self and went to bed, totally exhausted from the events of the day. Everyone around me could see how down I was on myself and gave me words of encouragement. I heard, “This happens,” and “Do you think you’re the only one this happens to in business?” But its challenging...I am going on two years with my own business and I long to turn that corner for good. So, I pick myself up, dust myself off and go back to the drawing board; moving forward. At the end of the day, I am sure of one thing. I am doing all that I can to make this a successful business. And when it is all said and done, I realize that I am not in charge of my life, only God is, and all I can do is work hard and give it my all. If it is his will, then it will his time. Wishing everyone the extra strength to keep going when the going gets tough, and a safe and enjoyable June!
  4. 4. PAGE 4 THE VIEW Focus on Our Community As a company and as individuals, through membership, financial support and volunteering, United Lawnscape makes it a priority to give back to our community and those charitable organizations that have touched our lives in some way. The employees at United Lawnscape are involved in a variety of community events and charitable organizations and would like to share some information about their efforts. Over the next few months, we will feature how people are getting involved to make our world a better place. In their off time, our employees can be found volunteering as coaches, working local food banks, participating in Relay for Life, supporting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, the Humane Society, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-day, the Alzheimer’s Association, and acting as members of the Goodfellows, the Italian American Delegates, and the Knights of Columbus, to name a few. This month some of our employees will be in East China Township participating in one of the many American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events on June 20-21. For those of you who are unfamiliar with these events, Relay for Life is a 24-hour event that takes place at sports fields, schools , parks and fairgrounds all over the world. Teams of people from all walks of life come together to have fun while raising much-needed funds to fight cancer and raise awareness of cancer prevention and treatment. Most people don’t realize that you don’t have to be on a team to support the event. A typical Relay for Life has so much going on throughout the 24 hours, such as children’s games, craft shows, bake sales, entertainment, the luminary ceremony and more. So please go online & look up the next Relay for Life in your area. Take your family for a walk around the track and provide some financial support for the teams that are there. You’ll probably even run into someone you know; so many have been touched by cancer in some way. Care givers, friends, families and survivors all Relay together; it’s 24 hours of laughter, tears, exercise and camaraderie. If you’d like infor- mation about Relay for Life or if you’d like to make a donation in honor or memory someone, email us at Also this month, Sam is actively soliciting support for the Italian American Delegates GOLF DAY. Sam’s been a member of this organization for a year. His goal is to actively participate and eventually earn a position on the board so that he may earn some influ- ence and in turn direct some of the donations to organizations that he feels are important. His passion is to give children that have the odds stacked against them an opportunity to reach the stars, the motivation to tackle anything that they dream and to understand that they can do anything they set their heart to. This organization supports cultural and educational programs and provides assistance to the disadvantaged, especially to those of Italian American heritage, children and senior citizens. Want to donate or learn more? Contact Sam or send donations to: Italian American Delegates, Inc., 15985 Canal Rd., Ste. 5, Clinton Township, MI 48038 UNITED LAWNSCAPE OF FLORIDA 6088 Lee Ann Lane Phone: 239-514-5003 Naples, FL 34109 Fax: 239-514-1007 From the Desk of Kevin Eckhardt Greetings from the south. Your growing season is well underway and I hope everything is off to a smooth start! We are working hard and enjoying the rain. The past month has been filled with meetings for new strategies to keep up with the growth from the rainy season. Bonnie, Brian and I constantly monitor the changes in the past years to identify where we are and how we need to improve. Our foreman have shown significant improvements since the beginning of the year. They are focusing on the details at our sites and we have been getting great feedback from our customers. In our last meeting, we all took a minute to remi- nisce about how we have gotten here, and what it will take to keep getting better. It’s just amazing to take a step back and look where we were three years ago. I am very proud of our team and excited for the second half of our year. We have been looking into a new office in Bonita Springs for this upcoming October. It is more centrally located and has more room for growth. We start two more new properties this month and I have been in meetings for an upcoming landscape in Fort Myers that scheduled to begin at the end of July. Congratulations to all the new babies on the way! Brian and Tina’s son Luke is now 8 months old! He has grown so much and is such a happy baby!