By Craig Ruppert, CEO
This year has brought new and exciting growth to our company—all part of Ruppert’s evolution and desire to provide opportunity for our team. Another piece of our continued progress and growth lies in this news. I’m happy to announce that as of June 1st, Phil Key has assumed the role of CEO of Ruppert Landscape. This is a title that more clearly defines the role he already fulfills and is just another stage of our leadership succession plan. My new title will be Executive Chairman.
The foundation for this announcement began nearly 10 years ago when Phil was promoted to president. As we began succession planning for the company—building bench strength at all levels—many people within our leadership team worked closely with Phil as he strengthened his skills and knowledge in preparation for this next step. Phil worked equally as hard, honing his communication skills, and expanding his capacity to provide strategic vision. He built on the fundamentals he learned from our internal management training programs, expanding his education to include Harvard Business School’s executive leadership program, and joining CEO forums and boards to learn and apply their successful practices in our organization. When Phil and I have talked over the years, he always credits his growth and development to the bright and diverse team we have here at Ruppert who have continuously challenged him to look at things in a new light and have enabled him to grow in ways he never expected.
As most of you know, we talk frequently about delegation and empowerment in our organization. As Phil steps into the role of CEO, I’ll be challenging myself to continue to live this value—delegating more of the day-to-day responsibilities and allowing Phil and his team to continue to grow and evolve in their roles. In addition to leading the board of directors, I’ll remain focused on a few important areas:
- Helping to maintain our people-focused culture—I’ll be visiting branches and training sessions to share and reinforce our values.
- Evaluating and integrating acquisitions
- Guiding strategy to ensure that our company continues to grow and achieve our long-term goals.
I’ll also have more time available to manage the Ruppert family office (an entity we are calling Ruppert Grows) and spend more time with my eleven grandchildren.
I am extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team and I’m grateful that Ruppert Landscape has grown to be recognized as a leader in our industry. What we’ve achieved to this point has everything to do with our employee-focused culture and the values by which we operate. If we keep those values and our team at the core of every decision we make, our customers and community will be well-served and we will continue to provide opportunity for many. Phil’s promotion to CEO supports that direction. He has been instrumental in helping us create and live our culture and values for the past 24 years and I am confident that his leadership will continue to nurture and perpetuate our culture and our team will thrive.