Backstory: Darren Gruner

May 15, 2018 -  By

Darren Gruner

Principal
Totalscape Design
Pompano Beach, Fla.

Host
Turf’s Up Radio
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Education

Cherry Hill High School West
Cherry Hill, N.J.
Class of 1982

Burlington County Community College
Mount Laurel, N.J.
1993-1995

“I took pre-med in college, paying my own way through school with the money I was making doing what I truly loved: landscaping. I soon realized that I would be happier staying true to who I am, and that I should follow my own dream, not the dream my parents had for me.”

Work Experience

1977-2016
Kentucky Blue
Principal
Lindenwold, N.J.

“I taught myself to be better in business throughout the years.”

1990-1993
Dolcis Shoes
Assistant Manager
Manager
N.J., Pa., and Del.

“I lived in the Northeast, and as a result, Kentucky Blue was seasonal, so I had to take on other work during the off-season. I learned a lot about how to manage a business, manage people and how to deal with all kinds of different customers.”

2010-present
Turf’s Up Radio
Host
West Palm Beach. Fla.

“I want to make sure that our station touches everybody who loves the outdoors, no matter what it is, and I wanted to be able to talk in layman’s terms.”

2012-present
TotalScape Design
Principal
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“When you look out your back window, I want that to be a picture of your dream. I want to create a path for you to walk through that picture and be in that picture.”

Did you know?


(With daughter Jessica, 23, and son Michael, 18): “Jessica ‘The Juice’ will graduate in a year with her bachelor’s degree in education—she wants to teach early childhood development. She’s a great role model, and I’m so proud of her. Michael is graduating high school this year and has accepted a football scholarship to Ursinus College. He’s got
a great head on his shoulders.”


“I love being on the water, being outside and enjoying warm weather. That’s why I moved to South Florida.”


“As the host of Turf’s Up Radio, I got to interview pro golfer Guy Burrows, Shannon Easter, director of golf maintenance at Broken Sound Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., and Russ Britton, CEO of Mirimichi Green at the PGA Allianz Championship last season.”

Words of Wisdom

“I keep the phrase ‘I can’t’ out of my vocabulary.”

“Even when I was a kid, I helped my competitors. I always shared my industry knowledge, and I knew that while I was teaching other people, it would help me to be better in my own business and I loved that. It’s a big reason why I started Turf’s Up Radio.”

“Don’t let others define who you are.”

“Strive to be a leader in your industry.”

“Be focused and driven and never give up.”

Photos: Darren Gruner

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About the Author:

Abby Hart is the managing editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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