Backstory: Donna “DJ” Wood

November 7, 2014 -  By

Donna “DJ” Wood

President/CEO of Tierra Madre Landscape Services

Education:

-Bourgade Catholic High School, Phoenix, Class of 1975 (GED)
“I went school to be a dental technician. After a few months I realized I didn’t want to spend my life with my fingers in other people’s mouths.”

-Desert Landscape School, Desert Botanical Garden, Class of 2008

Work experience:

1977-1980: Receptionist, Production Manager, Meyer & Lundahl, Phoenix

1980-1983: General Manager, B&C Cabinets, Reno, Nev.
“I worked in commercial construction for many years. … I took a job as a receptionist and through on-the-job training I worked my way up.”

1983-1986: Project/Service Manager, Sierra Elevator, Reno, Nev.

1986-1993: Project Manager, GCI Construciton, Phoenix

1993-1999: Director of Facilities & Energy, PetSmart
“I helped set up construction, land acquisition and property management. It was crazy. We went from 35 to 500 stores in six years. I was really burned out and basically quit. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.”

1995-present: President/CEO, Tierra Madre Landscape Services
“My ex-husband, who’s an amazing horticulturist, wanted to start his own business. As it grew, it became evident he was better off in the field and I got involved with the business side. When we divorced, we decided if the business was going to continue, I was the one who would run it. He was into plants, not lawyers and banks.”

Words of wisdom“What I like to say to our employees is ‘I can’t guarantee that you’re going to have fun, but I’d like to contribute to you going home and feeling proud about what you’ve accomplished.’ When people feel good about their work they take that home, and it affects their lives.” “Embrace co-opetition. There’s enough work out there for everybody. I have no problem sharing my knowledge or information. When we do that, we make our whole industry better.”

 

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About the Author:

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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