Richard Sperber chats about his new company

May 16, 2019 -  By
Richard Sperber

Richard Sperber

Richard Sperber, former chairman and CEO of ValleyCrest Cos., launched a new company, Sperber Landscape Cos. (SLC).

After sitting on the sidelines for a few years, as Sperber puts it, he decided it was time to get back in business. “I’m highly passionate about the business, and I would constantly get employees and clients calling me, saying ‘Let’s get back in business. We want to hire you,’” he said. “My dad built an amazing business, and we’d like to write the end of that business, not somebody else. Let’s have some fun and build another great business.”

Sperber’s father, Burt Sperber, founded Valley-Crest Cos. It remained family owned for 65 years until the Sperber family sold the company in 2014. After the ValleyCrest transaction, Richard had a five-year noncompete agreement. In retirement, he says he worked on the design/architecture side of projects.

The new company, headquartered in Calabasas, Calif., is looking to build a national footprint. Sperber said he’s on the lookout for great businesses to partner with, either through joint ventures or acquisitions. So far, SLC acquired Kujawa Enterprises and two more acquisitions are pending, according to Sperber.

Setting new standards at SLC is a priority for Sperber. “I see in the industry today; it’s not about doing the right thing. It’s about doing the right thing for the bottom line, not your clients and not for your employees. You can’t run a great landscape business like that,” he said. “You’ve got to think long term and think what the right thing is to do for the people, the clients.”

So far, the company’s brought on 300-400 field staff and more than 50 office staff. Some of Sperber’s former team members have come to work at SLC. “Our family has worked in the business for close to 70 years, and we have lots of loyal employees all around the country,” he said. “All those years of doing the right thing is helping today.”

Sperber said SLC is getting projects based on word of mouth. However, Sperber says he is being selective about which jobs SLC takes on.

Primarily providing maintenance services, SLC will also provide design and installation services for select commercial projects. One of SLC’s current projects includes the exterior site work for the complete redesign of Hawaii’s Mauna Lani Resort, scheduled to reopen in late 2019.

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Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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