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Over 200 joined the Field Trip to take a tour of R.P. Marzilli's campus. (Photo: LM Staff)

More than 200 attendees joined the Field Trip for a tour of R.P. Marzilli’s campus in Medway, Mass. (Photo: LM Staff)

The goal to create a strong company culture is something most companies strive for, but accomplishing that is easier said than done.

It’s safe to say with a group full of passionate team members and a projected $59 million in sales in 2022 NALP Field Trip host, R.P. Marzilli has cracked the code. R.P. Marzilli, led by Bob Marzilli and his wife Christine, came in at No. 45 on the 2022 LM150 list with more than $54 million in sales and 39 percent revenue growth.

Although his title is president, Bob Marzilli believes in taking a step back to allow leaders to lead. He feels making this change allowed the business to improve by focusing more on a cultural fit rather than a candidate’s experience during the company’s strong hiring process.

More than 200 guests visited R.P. Marzilli on June 23-24 in Medway, Mass. Hosted by Frank Mariani, CEO of Mariani Landscape and Marty Grunder, CEO of Grunder Landscaping Co. and The Grow Group, guests received an up-close look at the company’s operations.

Marty Grunder, Bill Greco, David Clemons, Brian Cormier, Bob Marzilli and Frank Mariani share key's to success during a recap of the tour. (LM Staff)

Marty Grunder, Bill Greco, David Clemons, Brian Cormier, Bob Marzilli and Frank Mariani share the keys to R.P. Marzilli’s success during a recap of the site visit. (LM Staff)

Throughout the tour, visitors noticed the genuine enjoyment R.P. Marzilli employees seemed to have for their job. During a recap of the site visit, Grunder echoed what many were saying was one of the standouts of the tour: “I was so impressed with the attitudes; everyone feels appreciated. You can’t fake that.”

An impressive operation

Positive attitudes greeted attendees as they met the many faces that helped grow the business. The company implemented a range of ideas to ensure that morale stays high and a strong company culture remains present.

Marzilli said the team always looks to improve the company’s culture with new ideas such as the recent addition of a company newsletter. The newsletter features an employee of the month, showcasing the important work of the highlighted team member.

Rusty Thompson and Chuck Baldwin of The Master's Lawn Care joined the trip to learn about what possible service changes they could implement at their business based on R.P. Marzilli business model. (Photo: LM Staff)

Rusty Thompson and Chuck Baldwin of The Master’s Lawn Care said they joined the trip to learn about what possible service changes they could implement at their business based on what they saw at R.P. Marzilli. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company’s new facility features areas for employees to enjoy including a garden area where team members can grow their own plants throughout the year.

Tour goer Rusty Thompson, president of The Master’s Lawn Care, was impressed by Marzilli’s commitment to invest in their team.

“We were looking out at that food plot, the bocce ball court, the picnic area, the weightlifting area in the back – all of that costs a ton of money,” Thompson said. “(Bob Marzilli is) investing in his team in a way that I don’t think a lot of people do. It’s impressive.”

A client-first approach

In addition to putting a strong emphasis on company culture and ensuring team members remain passionate about their work, R.P. Marzilli also focuses on the needs of the customer.

Team members presented different phases of projects and how the company’s streamlined operations have proven successful. However, there are still instances of a project not going according to plan. At that moment, Marzilli shared one of his mantras with the group.

“They never remember how you start, they remember how you finish,” Marzilli said.

Lisa Fiore (vest, center) and members of the LandscapeHub team were in attendance for the Field Trip looking for new ideas that could be used at their business. (Photo: LM Staff)

Lisa Fiore (in a vest, center) and members of the LandscapeHub team were in attendance for the Field Trip to look for new ideas. (Photo: LM Staff)

He continued to explain how certain jobs will always have their challenges. Whether dealing with an unsatisfied client, complications with due dates or battling the current supply chain and staff shortage issues, the goal will always be to complete the job with a happy customer.

Attendee Lisa Fiore, CEO of LandscapeHub, took note of this level of professionalism and care.

“This idea of ‘just say yes and we’ll figure it out’ was something that was consistent from everyone we talked to,” Fiore said. “It was very impressive that it was just in their DNA. It was very much a part of their culture, customer-centric, and that cultural alignment allows for that to be a winning, successful formula.”

The “just say yes” approach is a winning formula at Marzilli, represented by the company’s strong revenue. It’s not an approach of just “say yes and wing it,” said the company’s Vice President of Operations, Rick Wing. The company gives its employees a road map to success.

Wing said the company never missed a deadline, although it’s been close. That, he said, is due to employees knowing the company’s road map by heart and the strong relationships the team developed at every level, internal and external.

“Our whole business is built on relationships,” Wing said, “If you want to be here you have to be involved.”

Don Winsett, vice president of national business development at The Davey Tree Expert Co., said he noticed how the company turns both long-term and short-term employees into great leaders.

“I really like how they have infused youth into their management team,” Winsett explained. “It shows me how they’re working to build the future leaders of the company.”

Marzilli learned along the way that giving others within the company the opportunity to lead will benefit not only the owner but the company overall.

A final thank you

At the conclusion of the tour, Bob Marzilli stopped to offer thanks to all those in attendance. (Photo: LM Staff)

After the tour, Bob Marzilli stopped to offer thanks to all those in attendance. (Photo: LM Staff)

Following the tour, a roundtable session with Grunder, Mariani, Marzilli and a few members of the company shared some takeaways with tourgoers. Marzilli thanked all the attendees and offered one last key piece of advice.

He shared how his focus centers around company culture and valuing the key role his team plays in the company’s success. He stressed to attendees to always thank their team and acknowledge those who play a big role in the success of the business.

“I could not have done it alone. I could not have done it without the people who work for me,” Marzilli said. “The most important thing I can tell you is to acknowledge your people. Let’s celebrate the people working for us.”

He closed the day with a final thank you, mentioning how humbling the experience has been. As Marty Grunder said about R.P. Marzilli’s culture, “You can’t fake that.”

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