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Ruppert Landscape’s CEO racks up the miles and social media buzz

January 11, 2023 -  By
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The cardboard cutout of Ruppert Landscape CEO Craig Ruppert at the company's Nashville branch. (Photo: Ruppert Landscape)

The cardboard cutout of Ruppert Landscape CEO Craig Ruppert at the company’s Nashville branch. (Photo: Ruppert Landscape)

During the summer, a new hashtag took over social media: #CardboardCraig. This creative stunt, orchestrated by Ruppert Landscape’s human resources and public relations team, sent a cardboard cutout of Ruppert Landscape CEO Craig Ruppert to branches and locations across the country and shared Ruppert’s travel exploits on its social media accounts.

Cardboard Craig even visited Landscape Management’s headquarters in Downtown Cleveland with a photo op at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and a Cleveland sign with the city’s skyline in the background.

A fun idea

Camily Vernier, marketing communications manager for Ruppert Landscape, says the inspiration came from Ruppert Nurseries, the sister company to the landscape operations. The nursery uses a life-size cutout of Nick Graves, farm operations manager, as a reference point when showcasing large-caliper trees.

“Members of our human resources and public relations team originally borrowed that concept and created a life-sized cutout of Craig for a photo booth at our company picnic,” Vernier says. “Once the event was over, we thought, why not have a little fun with it? That’s when we decided to send Craig on the road to visit our various branch locations.”

Vernier points out that the real Craig Ruppert visits branches as often as he can.

“But with almost 30 locations and growing, he simply can’t be everywhere at once,” she says. “We figured we could bring some smiles to our teams with his stand-in and see what kind of adventures he gets up to along the way.”

(Photo: LM Staff)

Cardboard Craig and LM Editor Christina Herrick outside of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland. (Photo: LM Staff)

Vying for a visit

The naturally humble Ruppert was a bit surprised by his cardboard counterpart.

Cardboard Craig visited the Appalachian Trail on a trip to visit a Ruppert branch. (Photo: Ruppert Landscape)

Cardboard Craig visited the Appalachian Trail on a trip to visit a Ruppert branch. (Photo: Ruppert Landscape)

“I think he is amused overall and just glad to know that people are happy to see him, even in cardboard form,” Vernier says.

So far, Cardboard Craig visited 10 of the company’s branches — the farthest being Lilburn, Ga. Vernier says she hopes Cardboard Craig can make it to the company’s Houston branch soon too. Other notable photo ops include the cockpit of a Southwest flight to Ruppert’s Raleigh, N.C., branch; the Blue Ridge Parkway; the Appalachian Trail; and the Atlantic Ocean after a visit to Ruppert’s Delmarva, Del., branch.

“Our teams are getting a kick out of it and are all vying for a visit from Cardboard Craig,” she says. “I think it brings an element of fun to our busy day-to-day and reminds us that Ruppert Landscape really is one big family, and as our CEO and founder, Craig is sort of like a father figure to us all.”

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Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at cherrick@northcoastmedia.net.

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