Employee Spotlight: Gabino DeLaCruz

Gabino DeLaCruz has been a dedicated part of the Terracare Associates team at the Milpitas branch in California since 2012. He works as a crew leader overseeing maintenance work for the City of Livermore. His main responsibilities include directing his crew, training new workers on the City of Livermore contract, and knowing all work sites and maintenance requirements for the City of Livermore. Above all, Gabino values the safety of his crew and the citizens of Livermore. He always thoroughly inspects sites before beginning work and makes sure to implement proper traffic control to ensure the safety of his crew and those who pass by.

“Gabino knows all of the work limits and requirements for the City of Livermore and always follows them. I can count on him to get the job done well and to keep his crew safe no matter how difficult the conditions,” said Sam Galvez, Operations Supervisor for the City of Livermore.

The City of Livermore has field inspectors who monitor maintenance activities of the crew performing work. Gabino works closely with the inspectors and when their priorities change he makes adjustments to maintenance services being performed to meet the inspector’s needs. He takes pride in maintaining a beautiful landscape that the citizens of Livermore can enjoy. Thank you for all of your hard word Gabino!

Employee Spotlight: Jose Quinterro

Jose Quinterro has been working at the Sacramento branch of Terracare Associates since 2004. He followed in the footsteps of his brother Francisco, who is now an account manager for the City of Brentwood. Jose has worked his way through the ranks at TCA. He started as a maintenance worker before receiving his irrigation license and moving on to tech work, which he has continued to do for the past six years. Jose takes pride in what he does and works very well with his fellow employees and management.

“When Jose is asked to do extra work on top of his already busy schedule, he gets it done with no complaints. His customers value his hard work because their job sites are always well-maintained and properly irrigated,” said Steve Thinger, Account Manager at the Sacramento branch.

Jose is happy when he sees healthy sod, beautiful color beds and green shrubs. He loves learning as much as possible about the industry and is always looking for a way to improve and learn new skills. Jose is a valuable asset to TCA and we are grateful for his hard work keeping things green in the Sacramento area.

Employee Spotlight: Lupe Saldana

LupeLupe Saldana is the type of employee you can always count on. He is a field supervisor at Terracare’s Martinez branch in California and he has been with the company since 1995. He does a variety of work for the City of Brentwood and the City of Oakley, ranging from street repairs to park maintenance.

“Lupe is always responsible, respectful and ready to work. He goes above and beyond what is asked of him,” said Francisco Quintero, account manager at the Martinez branch.

Lupe and his team’s hard work shows in the properties they maintain. In 2015 the City of Brentwood won an Award of Excellence from the National Association of Landscape Professionals for commercial landscape management.
“Doing good quality work and doing it right the first time is the most important thing. Our goal is to make the customer happy and to make sure people enjoy our work,” said Lupe.
Thank you, Lupe, for more than 20 years and counting of excellent service.

Employee Spotlight: Enrique Duran

Enrique Duran is the kind of employee everyone wishes they had. He started with Blue Skies Landscape in San Diego in 1978, now part of Terracare Associates, as a team member of one of the first crews in the branch.  After almost 40 years of working with the same company, his dedication has made him into a true industry expert continually leading improvements. He began his career with the company as a gardener, but he had a love for landscaping and a desire to learn as much as possible about the industry so he could advance within the company. Over the years he earned his Qualified Applicator Certificate and his California Landscape Certificate. As the business grew, Enrique was promoted to foreman before becoming the head supervisor overseeing San Diego South’s operations. His current responsibilities include guiding, educating and leading the crews in the field and serving as the main point of contact for clients.

“Enrique is one of the main reasons our team has such a great reputation in San Diego. He always takes care of customers, is very responsive and has excellent knowledge in the field,” said Matt Ziskin, San Diego South Branch Manager for Terracare.

Enrique prides himself on nurturing good relationships with his clients and the workers he oversees in the field. He believes that communication is the key to maintaining these relationships.

“I always get to know my clients in a professional manner. I am reliable and attentive to their needs, because our customers are very important, and I provide them with advice based on my years of experience. I take pride in what we do every day, I make sure to always be on time, safe, informative, easy to approach and to be a problem solver,” said Enrique.

He knows that he owes his success to the teams he works with on each project. When it comes to fellow employees, he believes that communication, trust and training are the foundation of successful field crews. He forms relationships based on mutual respect and trust and in doing so, instills high standards of workmanship at every property.

“Enrique’s experience and work ethic make him a great team member and leader. He always goes above and beyond and he never does anything halfway. Nobody works harder than he does,” said Matt Ziskin.

Terracare Associates is proud to have Enrique representing us in San Diego South operations.

Team Spotlight: Giving Thanks to Tino Alba

 

This is our second feature in the Team Terracare Employee Spotlight series. This series highlights our hardworking and dedicated team members.

 

In this edition of our Spotlight series, we’re showcasing Tino Alba, a Senior Account Manager based in our Dallas / Fort Worth branch.

 

20161020_112654It started with a good old baseball game.   Bruce Verdick, Vice President of Texas operation first met Tino Alba playing in a men’s softball league back in the early 90s. Over many games and social events associated with the league, Bruce and Tino became friends, and eventually, Tino joined Bruce’s team in 1992. Over the years, they’ve developed a deep friendship and have continued to work together ever since.

 

Bruce describes Tino as, “an old school, honest guy who is a natural born leader, customer centric and extremely reliable. Through his hard work and dedication, Tino creates deep respect from his field crews and colleagues. He sets and maintains high standards, for both himself and the team which drive outstanding and consistent results for our client’s year round.”

 

Tino is a Senior Account Manager leading one of Terracare Associates’ largest accounts, the City of Grapevine. Tino has been essential in creating a strong, trusting public-private partnership with the historic city and tourist destination. Each year, the city welcomes more than 20 million visitors and is home to more than 50,000 citizens. The city boasts more than 22 miles of paved and natural trails, an 8,000-acre recreation lake, Lake Grapevine, 48 parks, a botanical garden, and many more attractions. Presenting a clean, well-kept and beautiful landscape is a high priority for the City of Grapevine – and Tino and his team are eager to deliver, taking pride in high-quality work. Regularly, Tino meets with the City of Grapevine to discuss current and future projects, regular maintenance and to troubleshoot any problems that might occur. He works with his crews to ensure the teams are delivering top-notch service and results to keep the City of Grapevine and other clients looking pristine.

 

The City of Grapevine recently received the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Landscape Professionals.  This prestigious national recognition for superior landscape maintenance services is given to a few hundred properties across the country each year.

 

We give our thanks to Tino Alba and his crews for a job well done.

 

Interested in joining Tino and our stellar team in the Greater Dallas / Ft. Worth area? We’re hiring! http://myterracare.com/careers/

Team Spotlight: Chris Prowse

Welcome to our first Team Terracare Employee Spotlight feature series. In this series we will showcase our amazing team members and highlight their work, achievements and what get’s them excited to come to work every day.

 

Last month, TCA won the NALP Award of Excellence for the City of Carlsbad.  One of many outstanding team members working on this property is Chris Prowse.  We kick off the Spotlight series featuring Chris.

 

Baseball diamonds are the center pieces of many city parks.  As a part-time team member from San Diego, California branch, Chris Prowse takes ownership in his work and helps maintain all of the baseball fields and diamonds for the City of Carlsbad parks system. Baseball diamonds are a specialty of Carlsbad Park’s upkeep. As a crew member, he maintains all the city’s baseballs fields by cutting the grass, grading the infield dirt so water runs off instead of forming puddles, raking and dragging the infield after use to keep it level, safe and playable.

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Chris is a part-time employee. He uses this job as his retirement project, a way of spending time outdoors and staying active. His goal is to train others to learn his trade since there is a skill and a method around the upkeep of baseball fields. 

 

We asked Chris’ manager, Amanda Haas, about him. Here is what she had to say: “Chris is a team player and extremely knowledgeable. He is easy to work with and is thorough in his work. It’s a pleasure having him on the crew.”

 

Want to work with Chris? We’re hiring in San Diego.

Snow season is coming, we’re preparing

At Terracare Associates, we like to prepare. As fall weather settles in and gives way to cooler temperatures, we are preparing our company, teams and equipment to handle colder, nastier weather conditions including freezing rain, blizzards and ice storms in the communities we operate in. Preparation now is essential; it allows us to perform timely, accurate and thorough work when winter conditions and weather hits quickly. Here is what we are currently doing to prepare our teams and clients for the upcoming winter season:

 

  • Hiring Staff. These team members are essential to keeping the communities we operate in safe and their roads clear. Staff is typically on-call from October through mid-May. While you stay warm at home, these dedicated team members are in trucks, on ATVs, even out shoveling so the community has access to as safe of conditions as possible. (Looking for extra work? Check out our careers page and apply!)
  • Training. Training is an on-going process at Terracare Associates. Once staff is hired on, we do conduct an “All Staff” orientation in early October which includes video training, necessary paperwork, equipment training and a driving test with a snow plow. Depending on our contracts with clients, we create curriculum and training around individual routes so our drivers are familiar with the routes before they are deployed to these routes during bad weather conditions.
  • Setting expectations. Our managers have thorough discussions with property managers and owners, and municipality staff to clarify the expectations of service delivery expected for each snow event. We work with property managers to plan and prepare for a variety of conditions and weather including managing tree and property damage from early season storms, huge storms that may disable an area for a while and more.
  • Preparing vehicles. Currently, our full-time personnel have started the process of changing over our vehicles from summer work to the winter outfitting of snow plows and sanders. They are running through safety and equipment checklists that include examining and checking tires and conducting preventive maintenance.
  • De-icing materials. Our team is in the process of gathering, cataloging and preparing materials to combat snowy and icy conditions on the roads. We’ve placed orders on ice melt material orders for most of our municipal contracts and will soon be ordering those same materials for the properties we currently partner with and serve.

 

If you have not made arrangements for snow removal this season, give us a call or send us a request for proposal and a manager will be in touch to address your needs.

Drive safely and stay warm.

We’re in the winner’s circle!

Terracare Associates captures four prestigious National Awards of Excellence for Landscape Maintenance Services

 

Our Terracare team is proud to announce we’ve won four 2016 Awards of Excellence by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). This tribute recognizes us for outstanding landscape maintenance services honoring the following properties: Ceronix, Inc. and The City of Carlsbad, in California and The City of Grapevine, and CVS Health Tower, in Texas.  We have built a strong partnership with our clients and are thrilled to share this award with each of them. Our crew teams work diligently each day to bring out the best in every property. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors!

 

Here is our nationally recognized work for 2016:

Ceronix, Inc.; Auburn California

We’ve become the partner service provider that can handle Ceronix’s complex landscaping for their corporate headquarters. Our team helps manage the 21-acre property that doubles as a licensed wildlife sanctuary. Our work has included managing and maintaining ongoing maintenance landscaping, enhancement landscape projects, and irrigation systems.

 

The City of Carlsbad; Carlsbad, California

We’ve built a strong private public partnership with the city to meet the city’s high expectations for landscape maintenance and enhancements for their park system. We manage and maintain almost 940,000 square feet of turf, including 5 synthetic and 10 natural athletic fields, dog parks, basketball courts, recreational picnic areas, play structures, skates parks, a pool complex and a wide array of landscaping.

 

The City of Grapevine; Grapevine, Texas

This historical tourist destination is home to more than 50,000 residents and welcomes more than 20 million visitors annually. With so many people living and visiting, the City of Grapevine turned to us to help maintain their beautiful landscapes and functioning infrastructure throughout the 24/7/365, especially during harsh weather like floods and droughts.

 

CVS Health Tower; Irving, Texas

The client’s goal was to make the challenging landscape around the existing building more sustainable, water conscious and employee-friendly to create a campus park-like setting. They looked to us to bring the expertise, knowledge, experience and manpower to help plan, budget and execute this project seamlessly and to continue the maintenance associated with the building and the landscaping.

 

NALP strives to recognize professionalism and enhance public perceptions of our industry and its professionals through its awards programs. Our Awards of Excellence showcases superior projects in the areas landscape, lawn care, and interior maintenance, design/build as well as installation, container plantings, and erosion control.

 

How to Find the Best Commercial Landscape Contractor for You

 

The pressure to control costs, while maintaining the value and beauty of your property, is a constant balancing act for many commercial property managers. Maintaining the outside areas of your commercial property is much like maintaining curb appeal for your home. In a recent survey of Society of Real Estate Appraisers, 95 percent of the respondents said professional landscape maintenance adds dollar value and can improve attraction to tenants. The property’s overall landscape, well maintained turf areas, floral beds and trees are the first things a potential tenant will see when evaluating property options. Is your property making an impression?

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Think about this when you prepare your annual budgets or when you are vetting bids; your landscape should be a priority, not an afterthought. Consideration should be taken for a variety of landscape projects; curb appeal is important to attract tenants, while water-conservation efforts can reduce costs and meet mandated reductions. Significant landscape projects may be needed, so carefully review projects like turf conversion, enhancement projects, or irrigation repairs before you select your landscape contractor. As a property manager, where do you start in determining what landscape services you need, and what is important?

 

What a Commercial Landscaping Company Can do for Your Property

Commercial landscaping refers to the management and healthcare of the plants, flowers, turf mowing, trees and shrubs. It also includes necessary maintenance services such as irrigation inspection, storm management, plant health care and water conservation improvements. Because of the inherent differences between residential and commercial property, it is often recommended to seek a contractor that specializes in commercial and public landscape services. As a property manager, having a basic understanding of landscaping services may be critically important when you develop your annual budget. It is also very important when you compare landscapers, as not all provide the same breadth and depth of services.

 

Key Questions to Ask your Current or Potential Landscape Provider

We have developed a qualifier form to help to evaluate and select a landscape contractor. A sampling of questions are:

  • What size property can the landscape provider or contractor adequately service?
  • How long has the company been in business?
  • Does the contractor have the required liability insurance?
  • Are they licensed to apply pesticides and work irrigation systems?

 

Knowing what you want in a landscape contractor is essential, properly forecasting and budgeting for your needs is the key to a beautifully well-kept property. Terracare Associates – TCA offers a free service to help you assess your property for landscape services and get what you need.

 

Contact us for more information about how we can provide the kind of landscape maintenance services your property deserves.

Working Together to Keep our Roads Safe

 

Safety on the roads starts with you. Road maintenance companies go to great lengths to make sure the road is safe for you during construction. Car and truck construction crashes are often times caused by auto drivers not paying attention or are too impatient to slow down. Sharing the road with large vehicles can be dangerous if you are not aware of their limitations. Many trucks are GPS tracked requiring truck and plow drivers to stay within in the speed limit, and possibly slower during inclement weather. As a company, Terracare Associates spends a lot of time and resources educating employees on how to work safer to prevent on the job accidents and to keep the public safe. Every new team member is given full safety training so they are up to “speed” on keeping safe on the roads (no pun intended).

 

Keeping employees and the public safe on roadways can be challenging because the worksite includes drivers that don’t see the inherent risks. Here are a few guidelines for you to follow when driving around work zones or near trucks on the road:

  1. Mind the Gap – How close should you follow behind that truck? Some signs advise to stay back 200 feet to prevent damage. If you ride too close, the driver can’t see you in rearview mirrors and hence doesn’t know you are there. A good rule to follow is keep one dashed lane marker between you and the truck for every 10 mph you are driving. This distance will allow the driver to see you and will reduce damage to your vehicle by road debris. Don’t pass trucks during inclement weather, patience pays off and reduces accidents. This is especially important when following a snow plow.
  2. Mirror, Mirror – If you can’t see a drivers mirrors, he likely can’t see you. Always position your vehicle so you can see one or both side mirrors and avoid blind spots when possible.
  3. Mobile Disasters – Trucks entering and exiting works zones can create unexpected changes in traffic patterns. Taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds to check your phone can spell disaster. Put the phone away or pullover to take care of business when it can’t wait.
  4. Marked for Success – Work zones are marked to protect you and the road construction project. When you cross a work zone you put your passengers and the workers in danger and a position where damage could happen to your vehicle. Fresh tar, asphalt or paint can damage your paint job or cause your tires to wear prematurely. Pay attention to signs and seek alternate routes when possible.

 

Safety is most readily achieved when everyone on the job understands the rules for a safe work zone. Terracare believes safety is for your family. Learn more by watching our safety video or reading about our Safety Rodeo.