Seth’s Cut: Know the Lingo, Amigo

January 25, 2023 -  By
Jones braved the elements for this selfie with GreenShade Trees’ Justin Lingo (center) and Tyler Entz (right). (Photo: LM Staff)

Jones braved the elements for this selfie with GreenShade Trees’ Justin Lingo (center) and Tyler Entz (right). (Photo: LM Staff)

2022 ended on a bitterly-cold note, with a crippling winter storm roaring through much of the country during the holidays. Because I’m known for my great timing, I scheduled a visit with a design/build, landscape and irrigation company in Oklahoma City on the same morning the area was expected to get high winds with wind chills in the minus 20s. 

The day before my trip, as the forecast worsened, I reached out to Justin Lingo, president of GreenShade Trees, and gave him an out. I still planned on driving to Oklahoma City as scheduled, but based on the forecast, if he wanted to postpone our meeting to a later date, I understood.

The next morning, I made the walk from my hotel to Myriad Botanical Gardens. I did my best to button up, but the minus-20 wind chill gets pretty cold after 200 yards. I dove into open storefronts to quickly warm up before getting back out in the wind.

My seven-minute walk felt like an eternity, but I finally walked into the botanical garden and was greeted by Lingo and Tyler Entz, project director. As we walked from the reception area into the greenhouse, Entz excitedly announced, “I’ve never felt it this cool in here before!” 

The weather outside was so frigid that the greenhouse had cooled to the mid-60s. This was such a strange feeling, Entz told me, because while GreenShade was renovating the building, they instituted a 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. work schedule to beat the Oklahoma City heat. 

“We had a guy drop a few pounds working on this project,” he laughed. “We’d see him and say, ‘Man, you’re looking good!’”

Looking to 2023

It was a treat to get a tour of the botanical garden, as well as of Lower Scissortail Park, from the guys at GreenShade. They’re clearly passionate and happy with their work and their success. My story on Lingo and Entz — a former football player and coach duo who are now successful landscapers — and how GreenShade achieved 125-percent growth from 2021 to 2022 can be read here. 

In this issue, we also profile Lawns of Dallas, which achieved 25 percent growth over the year, and C. Caramanico & Sons in Upland, Pa., which achieved 52 percent growth from 2020 to 2021. I’m hopeful you’ll find parts of these stories useful for your own business and use their insights to add percentage points to your growth in 2023.

The guys gave me a ride back to my hotel (thank goodness), but before dropping me off, they drove me around their massive Lower Scissortail Park project to show me that handiwork and discuss the various challenges. It was my bright idea to briefly jump out of the truck and get a selfie of the three of us with the OKC skyline as our backdrop. Without hesitation, they jumped out of the truck, and now I had my souvenir from a memorable trip to OKC for LM.

It’s the people

A few weeks later, I got on a call with David Amigo, president of G&G Landscape Solutions in Charlotte, N.C. That conversation evolved from a get-to-know-you to a 5 Questions interview. Amigo has been in the industry for five years now, and coming from a different industry, he’s made some observations about our industry. One comment he made that really stood out was when he told me, “I didn’t buy the business because of the people in the industry, but I love the business because of the people in the industry.”

Whether it’s hanging out with Lingo and Entz in Oklahoma City on a memorably frigid day or getting to know a guy like Amigo after a few emails and a phone call, I have to agree. The projects are cool, but the people are cooler. 

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Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at

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