There’s a scenario in which Jennifer Ruggeri can use a lot of her skills at once and it goes like this:
She skydives from an airplane into a kayak on a chilly stream and journeys down the river until she comes upon a group of adventurers — hungry, cold and wet from falling into the water.
Jennifer quickly assembles a tasty charcuterie board of meats, nuts, and cheeses.
Then she knits warm sweaters for everybody to ward off the chill and uses sign language to communicate, as the adventurers are all hearing impaired.
Then Jennifer, business development manager, expertly pitches the impressive landscaping services of Level Green and lands a soon-to-be loyal and happy customer.
Then they all go play 9 holes of golf.
It could happen, right?
OK, for Real Now
Jennifer went to college with plans for a career in sports broadcasting, but her first job out of school was working for an IT staffing company where her brother was president, using her marketing and TV and radio production skills to produce marketing videos for the company.
The job evolved into a sales position, and Jennifer soon worked selling software and hardware to several government agencies before moving to a sales job for facility maintenance and janitorial services.
After her son, Michael, was born seven years ago, “my outlook on a lot of things changed,” she says.
“I had been in a suit and tie world for a long time,” Jennifer says. “I wanted to work in a more family-oriented business. Suddenly, the culture of a company was important, and especially how they treat working mothers.”
She loved the family atmosphere at Level Green, and came on board in September 2019.
“Meeting the team here was what sold me,” she says. “It really feels like a family.”
Creating Lasting Relationships
It takes a lot of different people working together to improve a commercial property’s landscaping, but Jennifer has a soft spot for business development.
“We’re the first step to creating a lasting relationship with the client,” she says. “That’s super exciting to me. It’s awesome to be part of that step.”
She has a lot of tools to help show potential customers how Level Green can transform their properties and make their jobs easier, from videos and blog articles to customer testimonials and a robust social media presence.
She can share impressive statistics, like the fact that Level Green’s customer retention rate is 91 percent.
But what it really boils down to is that personal contact.
“I want to get to know you, see how you react to things, walk your property with you and get a sense of your pain points,” she says. “You don’t get that from every landscaping company.
“What’s important to the customer? What do they like about their landscaping and how do they want to improve it? We’re actively looking to improve properties, not just maintain them.”
Magical Moments with Michael
Jennifer and her son, Michael, 7, are adventurers who love hiking, exploring museums, and enjoying the beach.
Michael sometimes attends community service events with his mom, like the time they pitched in on a massive watershed clean-up day to spruce up Glen Echo Park.
Jennifer knows sign language, and when Michael saw that his mom was one of the only people who could communicate with a deaf man they regularly see at a local restaurant, he decided he wants to learn sign language, too.
Jennifer has gone skydiving and hang gliding, loves stand-up paddle boards and kayaks, and knows her way around a golf course.
But a long Covid winter brought out her cozier side. She taught herself how to knit and crafted scarves, hats, and throw blankets for Christmas gifts.
“It’s nice to give things from the heart,” she says.
She perfected the art of building a charcuterie board and now her family requests the trays of goodies at every gathering.
The Thrill of the Sale
Skydiving was cool, but these days, Jennifer gets a pretty big thrill from work.
The other day she was walking a property with a prospective client who told Jennifer she wanted their property to look like Park Potomac, a high-end, mixed-use urban community with meticulous landscaping and premium plants.
“That really made me smile,” Jennifer recalls. “I said, ‘We do the landscaping at Park Potomac.’”
“It’s so great to be noticed that way,” she says. “That’s what keeps our crews running, that’s what keeps our account managers motivated. I love knowing that I can trust my team to improve their property.
“It’s exciting to me to make new company connections and relationships that we didn’t have before,” Jennifer says. “That’s what will get us to the goals we have 10 years down the road.”
Want to Join the Team?
Jennifer 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 that feels like family?