You were a horticulture enthusiast before you entered the landscaping profession. How did that start?
It began for me as a child, as I experienced seeing my parents growing vegetables in our garden. I would help them with the planting and the tending. We would often go to the markets and buy all the tomatoes and chiles that we’d plant, and I remember how my uncles would also grow them in their pots in their yards. As I got older, I bought my own house and set about beautifying my own space. I like getting my hands in the dirt, and I wanted to include different varieties of plants, shrubs, and trees in my design. I’ve grown different fruits and vegetables in the past years. When I wanted to get more information on what families of plants grew better together and what designs worked best for the areas I had, I started taking horticulture classes to be better informed. This helped me understand why some planting traditions of crops were done with the best practices. I enjoy helping and educating others. It’s something I love most about my work in the green industry.
The Sales department at Diaz Group has been growing. As a more seasoned team member, what advice do you give to the newer recruits?
Ask a lot of questions. Don’t be shy when things don’t make sense. Speak up and ask about whatever you don’t understand. In the beginning, many people don’t speak up even though they might not understand what they are being told to do or how to do it. Then as time goes by, things don’t get done correctly. We can avoid that by encouraging our new hires in any department to speak up in the beginning and ask any questions. Look for help when you feel stuck and strive to do things correctly, even if it takes you longer to understand how the process is done.
Technology is taking an increasingly stronger hold of landscaping and snow removal, two industries that had seemed resistant to the tech revolution for some time. What does this mean for the people who work in these trades?
It means that they need to be up to date with the new information and open to new ways of doing things. We need to be on it to show our employees how to use all this technology to our greatest advantage. It’s there to help us, and we have to show them how to use it and become proficient with it. I think that adapting to everyone helps us grow, which comes with training and being supportive. If we assist our people, we also help keep them interested in learning to help them help themselves and help us. It’s part of our DNA at Diaz Group to be students always. That’s why we need to encourage everyone to have a learning and growing state of mind at every level of the company.