Ruppert Landscape Honors Employees at First Ever Virtual Awards Ceremony

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Ruppert Landscape employees were honored recently as the company presented its annual awards at the conclusion of its first ever virtual Management Development Days (MDD) conference.

Typically, MDD is a two-day training event where managers from across the company come together to learn from one another and celebrate accomplishments. With the challenges presented by the pandemic, and keeping employees’ health and safety top of mind, company leadership decided to opt for a virtual program this year, which was presented to over 500 employees on February 19th. The program featured 2020 highlights from company leadership, a look at the next five-year plan, a Q&A with CEO Craig Ruppert and more, culminating in the annual awards ceremony.

“While we missed seeing everyone in person, we have enjoyed reimagining this event in a fun new format and were grateful for the opportunity to connect with our team members virtually,” said company president, Phil Key. “Perhaps the most rewarding part of the program was when we recognized stand-out employees throughout the company whose remarkable talent and contributions have benefited our customers and our employees. We are grateful for their service and truly proud of their achievements, especially during a year which put many obstacles in our path. This year’s MDD theme was ‘Adapt and Overcome,’ and these individuals did just that.”

Clyde Vadner Merit Award

This award recognizes the individual who has contributed continuous, consistent, long-term hard work, dedication and job skill that has helped to shape the company. This award is named in memory of Clyde Vadner, who early on in the company’s history played an integral role in developing the training program which has helped develop the many leaders who make up the organization today. This year’s recipient is Michael Vispi, branch manager in the Lilburn, Georgia landscape management branch, who has been with Ruppert for over 17 years.

“One of the things that makes Michael stand out is that he’s constantly learning, knows where his challenges are and is always working to improve,” said Steve Faber, region manager in the company’s landscape management division. “His innate ability to connect with people makes him adept at bringing in new talent and developing his team, and he has greatly contributed to the branch’s outstanding contract renewal rate and highest-ever profitability in 2020. We are extremely grateful for his contributions and we look forward to many more years of his leadership.”

Achievement Award

This award recognizes the employee who has made a significant contribution in 2020 through outstanding job execution and high-quality results. This year’s recipient is Paul Pestun, director of business development in the landscape construction division, who has been with Ruppert for over eight years.

“Paul is very tuned in to the needs and concerns of our customers, resulting in long-term relationships, repeat business and establishing ourselves in many new markets,” said Bob Jones, president of the landscape construction division. “His efforts helped the national construction branch set division records with large-scale projects in cities like Dallas, Austin, Oklahoma City, and Lexington, KY. His proficiency has allowed us to build an impressive backlog of work, putting us in a position to have a successful year right out of the gate. We are proud of all he’s accomplished and are excited to see what the future has in store for him.”

Distinction Award

This award is presented in appreciation for exemplary dedication and devotion to the principles and ideals of our company. This year, the Distinction Award was collectively presented to team members of the accounting and payroll department.

“As our company has continued to grow, this team has evolved, expanded and reinvented itself,” said Key. “Throughout all the challenges of this past year, the accounting team, much like many of our teams in the field, didn’t have the luxury of working remotely. Their tasks required interaction and moving paperwork around, so they got creative and staggered their shifts to ensure that the team could continue to operate safely. This team works cohesively to solve problems, responds to their customers, and helps our organization continue to meet our ever-expanding business demands and we look forward to their continued influence in making our company stronger and more efficient.”

Back Row (pictured left to right): Miriam Brittle, Keisha Davillier, Lily Novakova, Lauren Dixon, Martin Penchev, Amanda Timmins
Front Row (pictured left to right): Michelle Miller, Edelmira Hernandez, Tina Holt, Jennifer Saah, Darren Woods, Hunter Thompson, Taylor Benoit, Jibran Misbah
Not Pictured: Victoria Attwood, Ashley Heller, Faith Holloway, Angie Magnanelli

Branch Impact Awards

These awards are given to the employee whose outstanding dedication and contributions have made a positive impact on their individual branch. This year, there were 27 recipients:

  • Tony Aliquo (production manager), a four-year employee, received the honor for the Maryland landscape construction branch.
  • Erick Arias (assistant project manager), a five-year employee, received the honor for the North Carolina landscape construction branch.
  • Joe Beretz III (maintenance operations manager), a 12-year employee, received the honor for the Texas landscape construction branch.
  • David (Ross) Bretches (enhancement manager), a six-year employee, received the honor for the Richmond South, VA landscape management branch.
  • Marvin Clermont (assistant branch manager), a five-year employee, received the honor for the Georgia landscape construction branch.
  • Antoine Cooper (area manager), a five-year employee, received the honor for the Washington, DC landscape management branch.
  • Wendy De La O (project manager), a five-year employee, received the honor for the Virginia landscape construction branch.
  • Walter Dudovicz (area manager), a one-year employee, received the honor for the Fredericksburg, VA landscape management branch.
  • Isabel Flores (branch administrator), a four-year employee, received the honor for the White Marsh, MD landscape management branch.
  • John Gregory (field manager), an eight-year employee, received the honor for the Laytonsville, MD landscape management branch.
  • Art Haggan (field manager), a four-year employee, received the honor for the Mableton, GA landscape management branch.
  • Haley Jacobson (branch administrative assistant), a one-year employee, received the honor for the Alexandria, VA landscape management branch.
  • Tyler Johnson (area manager), a one-year employee, received the honor for the Raleigh, NC landscape management branch.
  • José Javier Macias (field manager), a two-year employee, received the honor for the Camp Hill, PA landscape management branch.
  • Jamie Martin (branch administrator), a one-year employee, received the honor for the Richmond East, VA landscape management branch.
  • Robert Micklis (area manager), a four-year employee, received the honor for the Charlotte, NC landscape management branch.
  • Chris Moyer (branch administrator), a three-year employee, received the honor for the King of Prussia, PA landscape management branch.
  • William (Billy) Nichols (field manager), a five-year employee, received the honor for the West Grove, PA landscape management branch.
  • Josh Nuckols (area manager), a four-year employee, received the honor for the Richmond North, VA landscape management branch.
  • Rad Petkov (IT help desk lead), a one-year employee, received the honor for the corporate office.
  • Jared Rothman (business developer), a five-year employee, received the honor for the Forestville, MD landscape management branch.
  • Donavon Stout (business developer), an 18-year employee, received the honor for the Toughkenamon, PA landscape management branch.
  • Daniel Stutts (area manager), a seven-year employee, received the honor for the Lilburn, GA landscape management branch.
  • Dave Wakeling (area manager), a 17-year employee, received the honor for the Delmarva, DE landscape management branch.
  • Tyler Wertz (area manager), a four-year employee, received the honor for the Baltimore, MD landscape management branch.
  • Jeff Williams (shop manager), a six-year employee, received the honor for the Gainesville, VA landscape management branch.
  • Payton Zudal (branch administrator), a four-year employee, received the honor for the Frederick, MD landscape management branch.

Ruppert Landscape, a family and employee-owned business, has been an industry-leading provider of commercial landscape construction and management services for nearly 50 years. Headquartered in Laytonsville, Maryland, the company employs over 1700 people and serves customers from 27 branches in eight primary markets: Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C., Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Houston. The company has a long-standing tradition of growing its team and giving back to the community. Learn more at www.ruppertlandscape.com.