“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” — James Cash Penney, founder, JC Penney

Can you believe that it is 2017? The end of a year always has me excited for a fresh year with new goals, exciting projects, and growth. Plus of course, looking back at the past year for takeaways, smiles, and memories.

This year at Swazy we decided to do something we’ve never done before, and invite you, our clients and friends to take a look back at a few of our favorite growth moments of 2016 to celebrate the year we’ve had.

While I am at it let me introduce myself, my name is Jodi and I started working at Swazy & Alexander in August. I am Swazy’s link to all things Online Marketing, Social Media & Website oriented. I get to do what I love every day and share it with all of you!

I actually grew up right down the street. If you had asked me over 15 years ago when I graduated from Emerson College in Boston and was living and working in Los Angeles if I thought I would ever end up in the very town I grew up in I would have answered with a resounding, No! But after much exploration and living everywhere from Boston to Boulder to LA I knew there was no place better to bring up my two boys. So here I sit every day in Newburyport typing away on my MacBook about anything and everything that makes Swazy & Alexander Landscaping what it is. My go-to “growth” moment of the year was easy to pinpoint. I joined this team and became a part of something I truly believe in and can be excited about on a daily basis. There is nothing better that enjoying coming to work every day!

So, enough about me let’s talk about what the rest of the team recounted as their standout moments of Growth this year.

It wasn’t hard to guess what our resident joker and Landscape Construction Manager, Jason Rowe’s, biggest growth moment was this year… Just take a look at that photo! Jason and his wife Amanda had a baby girl, Jillian, on April 2nd.

Derek Conrad, our 13 year Army/National Guard veteran, ‘take no prisoners’ Operations & Property Care Division Manager easily listed his shining moments for 2016 as his marriage to his beautiful wife, Thora and being the driving force that brought our Property Care Division to an astounding double-digit growth for the second year in a row!

Our Office Manager Patti Bowen somehow managed to flip three houses in 2016 while continuing to be the “Den Mother” and all around go-to lady at Swazy. Seriously, that is no small accomplishment!

Andrea Imlach is our newest addition to the Operations Crew. Andrea joined us a few months ago when she made the hard decision to walk away from a big corporate job to come aboard at Swazy and streamline our Human Resources department. Joining Swazy has allowed Andrea to seriously cut her commute time so she can spend more time with her awesome family! I’d be remiss not to point out that with the addition of Andrea the Male to Female ratio is drastically evening out here in the office, look out guys!!

Swazy & Alexander Landscaping ensured its reputation as a true ‘full-service’ landscape company this year with the renaming of our Fertilization Division to Green Sphere and becoming the exclusive applicators of BeeSafe Organic Lawn Care products. Shawn Roberts, our Fertilization Division Manager, says without a doubt being a part of the ‘birth’ of Green Sphere was his biggest accomplishment this year. From the design of the logo (which I have to say is by far one of the coolest logos I have ever seen) to the division’s launch this past Spring, Shawn is extremely proud to have been a part of it and can’t wait to keep the momentum of growth going this spring.

No small business grows with the force of ours without someone leading the charge and lets be honest being a business owner can sometimes be a thankless and overwhelming undertaking but those labels certainly do not apply when it comes to Chris. Chris is the type of business owner that comes along all too rarely. He genuinely puts people first.

Last week at our Friday Management meeting we did a bit of a year-end wrap-up and Chris closed the meeting by saying his #1 priority for this company, it’s employees and his family was simply to create an organization where people were happy. When I asked him what his moment of growth was this year he stated, “My growth this year was truly transitioning from a worker/manager to a business owner and by doing so having the time to steer our ship in a direction which most benefits our clients and employees.”

Now it is one thing to say this and it is another thing entirely to back it up with action. Chris doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. Chris spent a huge amount of time, effort, and money to institute a business philosophy known as Open-Book Management over the second half of this year.

For those who don’t know, and I’ll be honest I had no idea myself what the term meant, Open Book Management is a business philosophy that in very simple terms, empowers all our employees to have a tangible stake in how the company performs over the year. The finances of the company are “open” to employees and essentially the better we perform as a company financially the better the compensation to the employee. We will talk more about this philosophy in the year to come but it a huge benefit to working at Swazy & Alexander and the year to come will certainly be an exciting one!

So there you have it! A little bit about us and who we are as people and as a company. We wish you all the healthiest and happiest of New Years and make sure you subscribe to our blog I guarantee great information about all things landscaping, exciting news about our growth and a bit of sarcastic humor from little ole’ me.

“Nothing is more satisfying than personal growth. Knowing we are better today than yesterday.”-Daniel Lewis