Sometimes the path to your perfect place isn’t straight, like the crisp edge of a newly laid patio, but curving, like a meandering garden path.
Jenna Visco thought she wanted to be a chemist. Then she was pretty sure she wanted to be a landscape designer.
Nope and nope.
This lover of people and plants needed a niche where she could walk a property and imagine the improvements, nurture employees, and navigate fast-paced work days to keep her on her toes.
Jenna made her way to branch manager for Level Green Landscaping.
The Path to Perfection
Jenna started at Level Green in the summer of 2019 as account manager and was soon promoted to branch manager of the Virginia branch.
She started college as a chemistry and biology major but soon realized it wasn’t for her. Turns out mixing white solids wasn’t exactly thrilling.
She had great memories of her high school job at a nursery, a mix of plants and people that fed her soul: “I loved going to work.”
So she headed to Pennsylvania State University and majored in landscape construction with a concentration in design/build.
But when she settled into her new job as a landscape designer, she hated it.
“I got into the industry because I love people and plants, and realized that job has very little to do with people or plants,” she says. “It’s mostly sitting at a desk, working by yourself.”
Once she switched to a job as a landscaping company area manager, everything clicked.
“Oh my gosh, I could walk properties with customers and they trusted me to pick cool plants that would work great for them. I loved it.”
She’s a People Person
Her job as branch manager involves budgets and scheduling, plants and equipment.
“But the number one thing is taking care of my people,” Jenna says. “Making sure they have everything they need to do their jobs.”
After handling some administrative work in the morning she’s out in the field, checking on jobs, evaluating safety, seeing if the work is on time, if everybody has what they need.
“People don’t always ask for the things they need,” she says. “I might see somebody working with a rounded shovel when what they really need is a spade.”
She’s on it.
“I love walking the job with the operations manager, looking to see if there are possible enhancements to suggest that would make the property even better.
“The perception is that we just maintain a property,” she says. “But my goal is to improve it. A customer should be able to see improvement. Maybe it’s an enhancement. Or we fix a drainage issue or a safety issue.
“When we take pictures at the beginning of a job and again a year later, those pictures should show that we really made a difference.”
“There’s Always a Next Thing to Do”
The fast-paced nature of her job suits her perfectly, Jenna says.
“I get bored really quickly,” Jenna says. She laughs. “It kind of drives my husband crazy.
“This job is so dynamic and fast paced — there’s always a next thing to do.”
She didn’t love working as a designer, but she appreciates how those skills help her now.
“Working as a designer grounded me in things like form, balance, and repetition,” she says.
“It doesn’t look good on a commercial property to have a hodge-podge of plants. You want plants to repeat throughout the property.”
Cooking, Crafting, and Creating
Jenna and her husband, David, just bought their first house, a brand-new home that’s keeping them busy buying blinds and hooking up appliances.
“There’s more to this than I thought,” she says.
The new homeowner is happy to have her own craft room, stocked with supplies for paper crafts, painting, and flower arranging.
She’s been taking online floral design classes and loves it. She even enjoys the prickly task of stripping the thorns off rose stems. “It’s extremely therapeutic.” She makes her own greeting cards.
Unpacking all those boxes included unloading her hefty collection of cookbooks.
Jenna loves one by Molly Yeh, who stars in the Food Network show, “Girl Meets Farm.”
The first meal she cooked in her new kitchen was Yeh’s adult spaghettios, a savory version of the childhood favorite with a grown-up twist: cumin, harissa, and crumbled feta cheese on top.
No need for pizza delivery. Jenna makes homemade pizza once a week, including the crust.
“I Love Seeing People Grow”
“What makes me happy at the end of the day is running a successful branch so people can buy houses and have a comfortable personal life,” Jenna says.“I love seeing people grow with the company, grow their skills, and get promoted.”
Sure, her job as branch manager involves everything from budgets and estimates to getting a crew member the right shovel, but it’s more personal than that for her.
“If I helped an employee troubleshoot a customer issue, or somebody trusted me to tell me how things are going in their personal life, that feels good,” Jenna says. “I love hearing my employees laugh or tell a funny story. Knowing they’re going home at the end of the day safe and happy and with a good attitude makes me feel like I’m being a good boss.”
Want to Join the Team?
Jenna is just one of the dedicated team members we have here at Level Green Landscaping. And we’re always looking for hard-working, talented people to join our team.
Are you ready to work for a company where somebody is always looking out for you?