Funds Ranged from $2,500 to $15,000.
Six landscape and tree care businesses were among the deserving recipients of funds in this year’s Jobber Grants Program. Jobber, a provider of home service operations management software, awarded a total of $150,000 through their Grants Program. Twenty-five entrepreneurs were selected from thousands of applications to help grow and amplify the community impact of their home service businesses.
Recipients from this year’s program fit into four categories: home service heroes who keep our homes and offices safe and running; career builders who help hardworking people build meaningful careers; smooth operators who strive for high standards in every area of their businesses; and community caretakers who give back to the communities where they live and work. Individuals were selected based on written submissions, followed by interviews with a Jobber judging panel.
Shaylyn and Timothy Bliss
Shaylyn and Timothy Bliss, new entrepreneurs and founders of Home Roots Lawn Care in San Marcos, TX, received a $10,000 Jobber Grant. Home Roots Lawn Care took shape in the middle of the pandemic while Shaylyn was pregnant and Timothy was mowing lawns in between shifts as a firefighter, working roughly 150 hours per week. Home Roots Lawn Care provides services including mowing, weed treatments, bush trimming, and regular property maintenance. They also provide the installation of retaining walls, edging and flower beds, plant installs, new build installs, sod installs, tree trimming & removal, light installation, and more. Home Roots Lawn Care recently donated a significant amount of resources and time toward cleaning up low-income properties as part of a city-wide event, which they plan to participate in annually. Shaylyn and Timothy intentionally purchase supplies and equipment from local small businesses and employ many individuals who struggled to find work during the pandemic.
Don & Stefanie Menzie
Don Menzie started Tree Wizard out of Oklahoma 25 years ago with a truck and a chainsaw. When Stefanie became an owner, the business began to really take off and has continued to grow ever since. Providing their local community with services including tree pruning, plant health care, consultation, tree removal, and stump grinding, Tree Wizard was awarded a 2022 Community Caretakers Grant from Jobber. The duo plans to use some of the Grant funds to help integrate more electric equipment in the hopes of eventually having an all-electric tree crew. A portion of the money will also go toward a “tree giveaway” in which they will be providing 500 trees free of charge. All trees will be arborist-selected varieties, suitable for the area, and climate change hardy. The Menzies will consult with the new tree owners about where to plant the trees to avoid future issues, as well as explain tree care. The remainder of the Grant money will go toward bringing Tree Wizard staff members to a climbing competition to volunteer and/or compete in order to encourage their professional development.
Michael Kenins and James May
With years of experience between them and a drive for change in professionalism, safety, science and employment practices, Michael Kenins and James May worked tirelessly (with the support of friends and family) to launch their own business, Vista Tree Management Inc. From quitting their jobs, creating business and marketing plans, and incorporating and procuring the necessary equipment, Michael and James built their business from the ground up. Vista Tree Management now provides the following services: tree/shrub pruning and removal, hedge trimming, airspading, fertilization, soil management, tree planting, stump grinding, arborist reports, consulting, storm damage/hazard response, and integrated pest management. Kenins and May intend to use the “Career Builders” Grant funds to “up” their marketing game by wrapping all company vehicles in bright, colorful logos. The hope is that bringing greater brand awareness to the surrounding community will further their overall vision.
Nathan Fournier of HomeHarvest™ Central MA received a “Smooth Operator” Grant from Jobber. After studying regenerative agriculture and permaculture design for many years, Fournier was given the opportunity to live and work as an apprentice on a farm in New Zealand (the Koanga Institute) in 2019. Nathan’s first-hand experience showed him that people could work together to create dynamic, abundant, and regenerative ecosystems that meet all basic needs, while simultaneously creating a positive impact on the local ecology. He took that knowledge and created a business teaching homeowners how to grow an abundance of nutrient-dense, organic food in their own backyards, while still supporting local pollinators, wildlife, and soil health. HomeHarvest Central MA offers ecological landscape design services, as well as installation of raised garden beds, backyard orchards, native flower gardens, rain gardens, excavation/water management, and hardscaping. They also offer construction of pergolas, arbors, and chicken coops. With the Grant money, Fournier will focus on digital and physical advertising. He would like to teach the importance of converting grass lawns into abundant ecosystems packed with food, medicine, and native plants.
Nick Robert Kilburg
Another recipient of the “Smooth Operator” award is Nick Robert Kilburg, who will be self funding his brand new landscaping business with the help of the Jobber Grant funds. The opportunity to combine ecology, home ownership, and quality of life in increasingly fragmented landscapes has always interested him and drove him to break into the landscape industry. The yet-to-be-named company will provide landscape design and installation services, ecological restoration, and land improvement services. Kilburg plans to use the funding to finish up licensing and registration, creating the LLC., developing the website, and purchasing a few remaining tools necessary for the business to run efficiently.
Esteban Rodriguez of Esteban Land Design Inc. rounds out the landscape and tree care business professionals awarded the 2022 “Smooth Operator” Jobber Grant. Esteban is a third generation landscape professional with 37 years of experience. Esteban Land Design Inc. provides both Landscape Design and Landscape Installation services. They build landscapes from the ground up, remodel existing yards, and install and repair irrigation systems. The Jobber Grant funds will be used by Rodriguez to procure online marketing consultation, landscape design software/computer upgrades, branded t-shirts for employees, and portable yard signs to help further expand the business. Beyond the creation of environmentally sound yards with respect to consumption of water, land conservation, and soil preservation, Esteban Land Design Inc.’s goal is to provide an exceptional experience for each client. They also offer discounts for military, first responders, healthcare providers, teachers, handicapped citizens, and senior citizens to give back to the Phoenix Metro community.
Kate Snyder of Full Swing Land & Tree Care in Lake Clear, NY, is a 2022 Jobber Grant recipient in the Home Service Heroes category. Snyder holds degrees in Forestry, Arboriculture, and Landscape Management and has grown her business over the last seven months, mostly through word of mouth and positive referrals. In an area where it is difficult to do tree work exclusively all year round, Kate added landscaping services to diversify what is offered to clients. Full Swing Land & Tree Care now provides tree removal services, pruning, planting, lawn care, seasonal clean up, and preparation. With the Grant money, Snyder hopes to purchase an aluminum dump truck since the road salt could destroy a steel one during the winter months. With the dump insert, Snyder hopes to take business to the next level, allowing the opportunity to rent a chipper and haul debris off-site. Kate believes it’s satisfying to take an overgrown property and transform it into something usable and it’s that drive that will help take her business to the next level.
Click here for a Turf Magazine article on the 2021 Jobber Grant recipients.