Consultant Vander Kooi dies

March 16, 2016 -  By
Charles Vander Kooi

Charles Vander Kooi, speaking at Hardscape North America in 2015, was a regular presenter at state and national events.

Construction and landscape industry consultant Charles Vander Kooi died earlier this month of a heart attack while on a business trip. He was 68.

(Update 4/12/16): A memorial service for Vander Kooi will be held at 1 p.m., April 25, at the Evergreen Memorial, 266 North Turkey Creek Rd., Evergreen, Colo., 80439, according to the HardScape Magazine Facebook page.

Vander Kooi, a former construction estimator and executive, was principal of Vander Kooi & Associates, based in Littleton, Colo. He is known for being a speaker, author and founder of HardScape magazine.

He’s survived by his wife, Hazel, and two daughters. Services and memorial details are not yet available.

Over several decades of consulting, Vander Kooi presented more than 2,000 seminars to construction and landscape professionals and worked with more than 1,500 companies to improve their estimating/bidding systems, according to his website. He was a regular presenter at state association meetings and national events, such as Hardscape North America. One of his hallmarks was teaching the multiple overhead recovery system for budgeting.

His former colleague and one-time client Jerry Gaeta called him a forerunner of consultants in the landscape and construction industries.

“I look at Charles Vander Kooi as my mentor and a very close friend,” he said. “He’s done a lot to help a lot of people, he was a very generous man who loved his family and loved the landscape and construction industries.”

Mark Borst, president of Borst Landscape & Design in Allendale, N.J., was a client of Vander Kooi’s and has been a part-time associate at Vander Kooi & Associates for a decade.

“For me, personally, I would not be where I am today without the knowledge Charles Vander Kooi shared with me,” he said. “He’s the one who helped me understand business and build the financial structure within my company.”

Industry members also knew Vander Kooi for his energetic and passionate speaking style, Gaeta said.

“He never stood behind a podium and he always teased the front row and picked out a ‘Billy Bob,’ he said. “If your name was Billy you were toast.”

Photo: ICPI

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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