Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

AUG 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Page 35 of 71

Above Over the course of one year, BrightView Landscape Development, the construction division of BrightView Land- scapes, LLC, installed all of the horizontal hardscapes at the new Four Seasons, Orlando, which sits on 36 acres within the Walt Disney World Resort property. Ron Claassen, the Orlando branch manager for BrightView, says that his company had been hearing speculation about the project for a long time, underlining the importance that industry network- ing plays in a company's success. Once the bidding started, it took about a year to get their's within the desired budget and finally secure the contract. D Did you hear the one about the Canadian math teacher who moved to Florida and be - came a branch manager for the largest land- scaping company in the U.S.? I don't have a punch line for that because it is a true story – one that resonates with the opportunities this industry presents, the rewards that can be gained by taking risks and working with top-skilled people, and the importance of, no matter how big your employer might be, cultivating good work - ing relationships with other companies. The person in question is Ron Claassen, who taught math in Calgary, Alberta, for 15 years; some of them as the head of a depart - ment of 18 teachers. Even though educa- tion was his initial chosen field, as the son of a construction company owner he had some experience directly related to his sec - ond calling. Claassen was also the brother of a Valley - Crest staffer residing over 2,000 air miles away. But that distance did not prevent Claassen from considering big moves in ca - reer and locale when a prospect to do so was presented. To help seal the deal, he received a "healthy push" from his wife, and they and their three children relocated to Orlando. "Probably not the typical route, but I had an opportunity and I think the back- ground that I had growing up really helped me adapt to landscape construction," Claas - sen says. He started in project management for Val - leyCrest, but in time found that his experi- ence with numbers might better serve the company in another role. "It wasn't long after I got here that they saw I might be a good fit for estimating," Claassen remembers. Eventually he became the overseer of about 10 people who did all the esti - 36 LC DBM An Extensive Installation Shows Value of Collaboration (Even if You're BrightView) by Mike Dahl, LC/DBM The BIG FINISH

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