Silver linings at Cherrylake


Cherrylake sees silver linings on the horizon as it expects its maintenance and construction sectors to keep pushing forward, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The central Florida company, which ranked at No. 127 on the 2019 LM150 list, is comprised of an 1,800-acre tree farm, a landscape and irrigation construction division and a landscape maintenance division.

“We’re very fortunate to be considered an essential business in Florida,” says Chloe Gentry, director of organizational development and marketing at Cherrylake. “Our first priority is to make sure our employees and our community stay healthy and safe. Our second priority is to make sure we keep operations and revenue flowing so that we can keep people employed.”

To keep employees safe, the company follows CDC guidelines of keeping people 6 feet apart, sanitizing vehicles and equipment, decreasing the number of employees riding in each vehicle and staggering start, finish and lunch times so that 200-plus employees aren’t all amassing at once.

As far as its clients go, Gentry says the company has received support from them to keep operations up and running.

“Our clients are calling us to say, “We just want to make sure you understand you’re an essential business so you need to show up,’” Gentry says. “We’re obviously fully staffed and still operating so we’re very happy to see that our clients see this as an opportunity to get a lot of work done on these construction projects, and they want to push forward and keep building. It’s been very positive.”

While the company is concerned it won’t receive its 20 H-2B workers this season, Gentry is optimistic that the current market conditions will allow for Cherrylake to fill some of those spots.

“The silver lining on this is that unemployment is high right now, so we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to recruit some strong workers who will become part of our year-round team,” she says.

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former 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.

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