The first thing Doug Delano says about how he ended up here might surprise you.
“I hated mowing grass,” he says.
Luckily, he grew up surrounded by gardeners, or you might not even be reading this story.
His dad grew fragrant roses and snappy stalks of asparagus. His mom nourished vegetable gardens and both grandmothers loved plunging their fingers into the soil.
It was in his blood. So after considering a career as a pastor, majoring in philosophy, teaching high school math and coaching football, Doug gave in to his calling.
“I wanted to be a landscaper,” he says.
Now he’s co-owner of Level Green Landscaping. But he started at the bottom, as most landscapers do, working as a laborer and truck driver at Ruppert Landscape.
“I went from a job that needed a college degree to one where all you needed was to be robust enough to dig holes all day,” he says.
But not for long. He took classes in horticulture and landscape design, and after a few months moved up to assistant supervisor.
Soon he was a supervisor on the construction side, then a project manager, overseeing several crews. After five years in construction he was promoted to area manager on the maintenance side. Then he worked in sales and was a branch manager.
He loved the journey. But when Ruppert was bought by a large national company, the thrill was gone.