Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JUN 2018

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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26 LC DBM women into their workforce, rather the students are assigned a mentor and offered the chance to learn and develop new skills. The interns are encouraged to expand their horizons and learn as much as they can about the business of creating and caring for landscapes. New hires get mentors too, just like interns. "We don't want some - one getting lost in the system," says Schwantz. He explains that they want employees to find what niche of the landscape industry they are happiest in. Acres Group employ - ees could work in general landscape maintenance or move into one of the seven irrigation crews. There are also five tree crews, the design and build branch of the business, equip - ment maintenance, plus 600 acres of nursery area where they grow shade, evergreen, and ornamental trees, along with a great variety of shrubs and perennials. The nursery offers an abundant variety of job re - sponsibilities. As one of the largest independent landscape contractor in the state of Illinois, Acres Group employs around 815 people. Approximately 700 work in the field, 15 maintain the equipment, and 110 are salaried staff, including production manag - ers, account managers, human re- source professionals, accountants and office staff. Unlike many other northern land - scape companies, this number of em- ployees does not lessen significantly in winter. When the snow flies, Acres Group shifts focus to snow removal for their clients. Acres currently ranks in the top 10 snow removal companies in the United States. The company has three facilities in Wauconda, plus operations in Plainfield, and Roselle. Schwantz also owns and operates two nurs - eries, located in McHenry County and Lake County, Illinois, consisting of over 600 acres currently planted with trees and shrubs. Family Business Jim and his wife Barb have four children. Barb is not an official em - ployee, but Jim says she is "invalu- able" for the maintenance of com- pany mobile devices. Two sons have joined their dad in the business, al - though they do not report directly to him. Michael (age 29) is an Account Manager, and Jonathan (age 25) is a Production Manager, and runs crews in the field. Jim is pleased that the boys are stepping into the family business, hoping to positively impact the green industry for generations to come. As for more about his family, Jim proudly shares that he's a grand - father. When asked if he would change anything about the past 35 years of business, he replied, "Business things, maybe yes. But at age 58 I still love what I do. I wouldn't want to change that." LC DBM Above Seven active irrigation crews provide comprehensive irrigation services including initial installation, annual start up, repairs, winterization, and fountain services for homeowner associations and commercial properties. Below The Acres Group maintains the 982-acre Abra- ham Lincoln National Cemetery, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration. Work includes mowing, maintaining the Memorial Walkway, tree care, and snow removal in winter.

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