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She’s a boss: Women in landscaping

April 21, 2021 -  By

Started from the bottom, now she’s here

April Rose.

April Rose, operations manager for Ruppert Landscape. (Photo courtesy of April Rose)

When Rose started working as an intern at Ruppert Landscape in May 2008 during her last semester of college, she was dubbed, “Questions McGee.”

“I was always asking, why does this work, how does this happen, where does this go, what’s it for?” she says. “That’s the easiest way to learn, by taking advantage of the knowledge of those that came before you. When you focus on learning new things every day and teaching as much to others as you can, people will notice your diligence and goal of self-empowerment, which will help take your career wherever you want it to go.”

Rose’s journey in the landscaping industry began in college, when she pursued a degree in landscape contracting at SUNY Cobleskill in New York.

“During my internship, I did a full rotation of doing field installation and several admin positions, just learning every aspect of the business I could during those six months or so,” she says. “I really liked the field operations of it, building the job, seeing the ultimate end result: a wonderful landscape people can take advantage of.”

After her six months as an intern at Ruppert, she decided to stay on full time as an estimator. She was promoted to senior estimator in 2010, and after a total of six years in estimating, she took the leap into the production side of the business in February 2015.

Then, an opportunity arrived that she couldn’t pass up: Operations manager roles became available in Ruppert’s North Carolina and Texas offices. She interviewed for both those positions and ultimately took her talents to the job in Texas, which she has been doing for about two years.

“Transitioning into the operations manager position, it’s the line between managing a larger group of people at Ruppert,” she says. “My current focus is always looking for new ways to develop myself. It’s about managing people, figuring out what motivates them and working hard to develop those people on my team to help them succeed and meet their goals.”

April Rose achieved the Clyde Vadner Merit Award in February 2020, Ruppert Landscape’s top honor. (Photo courtesy of Ruppert Landscape)

April Rose achieved the Clyde Vadner Merit Award in February 2020, Ruppert Landscape’s top honor. (Photo courtesy of Ruppert Landscape)

Rose’s transition into the operations position proved to be a successful one, as in February 2020, she received the Clyde Vadner Merit Award, Ruppert’s top honor that’s given yearly to the individual who has demonstrated consistent hard work and dedication, leading to exceptional contributions to the organization

While Rose says she would like to rub elbows with more female peers, the advice she would give to up-and-coming women in landscaping is the same she would give to anyone.

“Be open minded,” she says. “I see a lot of people coming into the industry looking immediately for the flashy title, the big office right away. Get in the field, get your hands dirty, interact with the customers, interact with as many people as you can on a project and see the project get built firsthand. Take full advantage of any interaction you have with someone who ha experience. Ask a lot of questions and retain as much information as you can.”

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor. She can be reached at swebb@northcoastmedia.net.

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