Backstory: David Hartzell

December 9, 2014 -  By

David Hartzell, CIC, CLIA

DavidHartzell

General manager and director of client services, NJ Best Lawn, Irrigation & Fence
Lakewood, N.J.

 

Education

Piscataway High
Piscataway, N.J.
Class of 1981

“I had three paper routes at the same time when I was in 6th grade. I very quickly realized that the harder I worked, the more money I made.”

Rutgers
New Brunswick, N.J.
1981-1983

Work experience

1980-1986

Manager, Park Landscaping
Piscataway, N.J.

“I started working for Stan’s Lawn Service in my hometown, which grew into Park Landscaping, a multimillion dollar company, when I was 14. Our first big account was cutting a 10-acre site with push mowers; it took two of us the entire week, and every Monday we would start over.”

1989-1996

Owner, Crystal Irrigation
Plainsboro, N.J.

“The best and worst parts of being an owner are the same to me—being 100 percent accountable for the end result of how the business is run and performs … Ultimate responsibility can be both a great joy and a hard burden.”

1996–1998

Irrigation Manager, Twin Industries
Staten Island, N.Y.

1998-2001

Irrigation Manager, All-Pro Landscaping
Hainesport, N.J.

2001-2004

General Manager, Cloudburst Lawn Sprinklers
Claymont, Del.

2004-2006

Asst VP, Irrigation Manager, Live Oak Landscape Contractors
Piscataway, N.J.

2008-2011

General Manager, NJ Landscape Concepts
Williamstown, N.J.

2012-Present

General manager, director of client services, NJ Best Lawn, Irrigation & Fence
Lakewood, N.J.

“I interviewed with the owner 10 years ago, but felt the company was too small and would not satisfy my personal goals at the time. We stumbled across each other again when I was consulting, and at the time I really missed seeing something you are truly accountable for grow.”

 

Words of wisdom

“Quality is always more important than quantity.”

“Hire slow—fire fast … I can not say that strongly enough. I have seen one bad employee destroy entire companies that were built up over years of hard work.”

“Trust, but verify. Give your staff the authority to do whatever is necessary, and hold them accountable through proper systems.”

Marisa Palmieri

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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