He was a laborer who asked for an opportunity and got it. Today, thirteen years later, Luis Garcia oversees mow crews for a nationally ranked, $18-million company called ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design based in Venice, FL.
Despite pleas from his parents to stay in El Salvador and finish high school, Garcia was determined to start a new life in the U.S. He worked odd jobs in Texas but moved to Florida because of “freezing cold” winters. That’s when he heard ArtisTree was hiring.
“I started out on a shrub crew and didn’t speak any English,” said Garcia, who spent his first three years at ArtisTree trimming allamanda, viburnum and everything in between. Finally, on one hot summer day, he took a deep breath and asked for “an opportunity” to do more.
Before he knew it, Garcia was assisting account executives with shrub schedules, crew training and implementing best practices. His ability to speak English and Spanish was a big plus, and his dedication to working long hours and enthusiasm for the job earned respect from customers and employees alike.
It wasn’t a surprise when Garcia’s responsibilities grew to implementing new mow-crew procedures created by company management to save time and money. He followed crews, studied the number of hours they worked and presented back to management a winning, efficient operation. Any time staff asked if weather or labor issues would slow things down, he’d say, “Trust me to do this.” And they did.
Today Garcia wakes up to his job as Production Supervisor with excitement and the anticipation of spending time with a different mow crew every day – either during their lunch break or working alongside them training and helping where he can. “I’m managing time, problems, equipment, labor – everything,” he says. “I try to do the best I can to get the job done, and I tell our crews to do the same. Get the job done, go home and enjoy your families, and I’ll see you Monday. It’s communicating with each other that’s most important.”
Garcia credits his work ethic to his parents, who “got up every day their whole lives, dressed for work and went in so we could have a good life.”
He credits his pride for working at ArtisTree to it being a “real company.”
“It’s a serious company, a professional company. I get to go home to my son who’s in kindergarten and then go back to a company that’s taken care of me for 13 years. This is my job and I take it very seriously.”