She sketched lush parklike landscapes, filled with trees and fountains.
Her mom saw it as a clue to a future profession, but Emilie wasn’t sure.
She decided to be a special education teacher, taking early childhood education classes at Brigham Young University-Idaho.
“But I didn’t love it,” Emilie says. “I really struggled through the classes.”
Then one day, inspired by a friend who was taking a landscape design class, Emilie decided to design an outdoor learning area for special needs kids for a class project.
Bam. It energized her.
“I suddenly thought, ‘Wow — I’m in the wrong major.’”
Moms know things.
Learning The Landscape
Emilie loved her new horticulture major, managing her department’s plant shop and spending one summer in charge of the on-campus orchard, farm and greenhouses, doing the work of three people.
After graduation she was hired as a management trainee at Level Green Landscaping, learning on the job to be an account manager.
The training program is set up much like Level Green internships, giving employees a great, well-rounded look at the entire operation.
Five months later, she was promoted to account manager.
“My favorite part is that I get to do a little of everything,” Emilie says. “I can go out to sites and do quality inspections. I can help crews plant flowers, mow and pull weeds. But I don’t have to do that all the time. I get to meet so many people from different walks of life.”
She used to be shy, she says, but now interacting with customers is one of her favorite parts of the day.
“When a client calls me with a problem and I find a way to make things better,” she says, “it makes me super happy.”
Anything Amiss? She’s On It
“When I walk a property I try to look at everything,” Emilie says. “Of course I’m looking for weeds, and making sure the landscaping looks good, but I notice other things, too.”
The other day she noticed a pipe dripping from the side of a client’s building, and sent an email right away to the property manager.
Another day, on site at a big shopping center, she saw a sidewalk brick was loose and another one was missing. Another quick email.
“Our crews do the same thing,” she says. “One of our crews was mowing at an apartment complex and noticed a sinkhole by the parking lot drain. They went into the leasing office to report it. The office staff was so grateful. They said not every landscaping company would do that.”
Just Being Herself
Emilie’s eye for detail is a gift for customers, says David Keffer, Level Green branch manager and Emilie’s supervisor.
“When she does a job inspection she’ll come back with pages of things we can do, from a sign that needs replacing to a shrub that should be pruned a different way,” Keffer says. “At the end of the day, all of that really benefits the customer.”
Part of Emilie’s success at being an account manager is just being herself, he says.
“Emilie’s a very genuine person, and that comes through to customers,” Keffer says. “She has a great temperament and a lot of enthusiasm.”
Emilie The Explorer
Growing up in suburban Denver, Colorado, Emilie always volunteered for the outdoor chores, mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.
“I always loved being outside,” she says. “It gave me time to think and be by myself.”
She’s still happiest in the fresh air.
“I love exploring outside,” she says. “If I can be in the water, I’m happy — swimming, boating, on a jet ski.”
She loves exploring the many wildlife sanctuaries, state parks and wetlands around her.
Just like when she was a kid, nature restores her.
“I call it my ‘get away from the world’ time,” she says.
“A Home Away From Home”
Emilie is a long way from her family and friends in Colorado, moving halfway across the country for her new life at Level Green.
But she doesn’t feel alone, thanks to her tight-knit team of co-workers who quickly became friends. She brings in batches of home-baked cookies and muffins. They get together outside work. They laugh a lot.
When Emilie talked to students at college career fairs the other day, she had some good advice.
“I told them I wouldn’t work for a company if I didn’t feel like they cared about me,” she says.
“It’s great to have a home away from home.”
Want To Join The Team?
Emilie 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 strong, growing company that treats you like family?