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Backstory: Robert Clinkenbeard

January 9, 2015 -  By

Robert Clinkenbeard


Co-0wner, Integrated Landscape Management
Tempe, Ariz.


Forrester High School and Currie High School
Edinburgh, Scotland
Class of 1988

“My dad used to be a Presbyterian minister. He had older ladies in his congregations who needed help in their gardens, so I used to do that to make some extra money. That’s what initially got me into landscaping.”

Scottish Agricultural College, formerly West of Scotland Agricultural College
Auchincruive, Ayr, Scotland
Class of 1992

“I got my college degree in physical education and horticulture. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pursue sports.”

Work experience


Retail garden center worker and nurseryman
Riccarton Nurseries
Edinburgh, Scotland

”Just after I graduated high school I went to work there to get some experience.”


Senior client manager
West Lothian Council
Linlithgow, Scotland

“I’d look after the quality of the grounds and do upgrades. I was basically a point of contact person for the members of the public to deal with any landscape issues.”


Grounds manager/landscape contracts manager
East Kilbride Development Corp./South Lanarkshire Council
East Kilbride/Hamilton, Scotland

“At that point, I got fed up with the red tape and politics. It was a lot of cost cutting. I just wanted to have a change. That’s when I decided to move to the U.S. in May of 1999.”

“I was in charge of roughly 300 parks employees and sports fields, sports facilities, cemeteries, woodlands and a lot urban trees, as well.”


Account manager
Environmental Care
(now ValleyCrest)

“Great people. Great company. I learned a lot from them.” He also met his current business partner, John Garigen, there.


Integrated Landscape Management
Tempe, Ariz.

“John left (ValleyCrest) in 2001 to start working full-time, with me working nights and weekends. Our first job was a car dealership. We were operating out of a small storage locker with one truck. We just slowly started getting more jobs. I came over Jan. 1, 2002.”

Words of wisdom

“Take care of your clients. They’re the ones who pay your bills.”

“Make sure you take care of your employees, in terms of paying them well, benefits and regular company events. They’re one of your biggest assets.”

“Don’t necessarily limit yourself to hiring people with landscape or horticulture experience or qualifications.”

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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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