Eight industry contributors were recently inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame.
Andy Bowden, principal of Land Concern; Tom Donnelly, president of BrightView Landscape Development; Rose Epperson, arborist at West Coast Arborists, Inc.; Steve Hazzard, founder of Organic Control, Inc.; David House, retiring president of Village Nurseries; Thomas House, past president and CEO of Village Nurseries; Stephanie Landregan, director of UCLA Landscape Architecture Extension; and Rob Starr, Toro Water Management team member, were inducted for 2019.
Principal, Land Concern
Andy Bowden started his career in the Green Industry in 1970 when, as a senior in high school in San Diego, he got his very first job as a draftsman working for Fred Akers at Blue Pacific Landscape, a small design/build landscape construction / retail nursery in Ocean Beach, California. It was there that he first became acquainted with plant material and with the retail side of the nursery business. This matched his love for the outdoor environment and his desire to create beautiful landscapes.
Bowden graduated from Cal Poly Pomona in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture. While still a senior at Cal Poly, he started working for a recently created small start-up landscape architectural firm, Robert M. Sawyer and Associates in Costa Mesa. And this is really where his career took hold and got started. Under the tutelage of Rob Sawyer and Mike Imlay, Bowden joined their newly found firm and worked his way up the ‘corporate ladder’, eventually becoming project manager, associate, and senior associate. He became a licensed landscape architect in 1979. In 1980, the firm moved from Costa Mesa to Santa Ana and changed its name to Land Concern. Land Concern became known for its innovative and creative designs and is respected for its many award-winning projects in model home design and community development. Bowden was named a principal of the firm in 2000, a position that he still holds today.
Bowden has been very active in a number of organizations benefiting landscape architecture and the Green Industry as a whole. A member of the American Society of Landscape Architects since 1981, he has served as a two-time president of the Southern California Chapter, and also as its trustee for two consecutive terms. He, along with Baxter Miller was the co-chair of the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, and he recently presented at one of the education sessions at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
He was appointed by Governor’s Schwarzenegger and Brown to the Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC), having been elected as chair three different times. At the end of his current term in June, he will have been on the Committee for 12 years, making him the longest-serving appointee in the more than 20-year history since the LATC was first created.
He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the California Landscape Architectural Student Scholarship Fund (CLASS Fund) for more than 25 years, and along with Marty McPhee of Park West Landscape, has served as the co-chair of the annual CLASS Fund Golf Tournament, which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships for California students in landscape architecture, irrigation science, and ornamental horticulture.
Bowden also serves on the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program Guidance Committee, and is one of the two ASLA representatives to this group. He has served on the committee since 2009, and has been the chair since 2013.
In 2018 he was elevated to Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects.
President, BrightView Landscape Development
Tom Donnelly is responsible for an extensive branch network that, while national in scale, is capable of delivering an array of integrated landscape development services at the local level. Additionally, he is responsible for the division’s pre-development services, design-build, and BrightView Design Group, the company’s landscape architecture practice. Since joining legacy ValleyCrest in 1980, his astute understanding of landscape construction, site development, team building and corporate leadership has proven instrumental in the company’s success. Donnelly is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). He sits on the board of directors of the ACE Mentor program, is the VP of Development at the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), and is a governor on the ULI Foundation Governors Board. He is a member of the Board of Advisors at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s School of Landscape Architecture. Donnelly is a licensed landscape contractor in 12 states and received a bachelor of science in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Arborist, West Coast Arborists
Rose Epperson is a certified arborist with more than 35 years’ experience in tree care and is a principal in the Anaheim-based West Coast Arborists. She is also a prominent figure in arborist industry organizations.
“Rose cares deeply about trees and has invested deeply of her time and herself into the arborists’ profession,” said Lisa Kessler, interim dean of the Huntley College of Agriculture. “We salute her passion and are proud to honor for her contributions.”
Epperson created Epicenter Management in an effort to bring tree care industry associations together. The company manages the Western Chapter International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), the Society of Commercial Arboriculture, the Professional Tree Care Association of San Diego, and the Street Tree Seminar.
She also is the current executive director and a past president of the Western Chapter ISA. Epperson established the chapter’s John Britton Memorial Fund (The Britton Fund, Inc.) as a separate nonprofit organization to promote research and educational opportunities that advance arboriculture in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii.
Epperson is a member of the California Urban Forest Council’s policy council and a past president and current board member of California ReLeaf, a nonprofit organization that aims to preserve and protect urban and community forests. She is also a member of the TREE Fund’s Heritage Oak Society.
Founder, Organic Control, Inc.
Hazzard started Organic Control Inc., in 1976 to provide beneficial insects to home gardeners who were looking for alternatives to chemical pesticides. At that time, people were just becoming aware of the harmful environmental impact caused by humans and making efforts to reverse the damage. Organic Control pioneered the effort to treat a multitude of garden issues in a safe and natural way. The company grew by selling beneficial insects through lawn and garden distributors throughout the country. In 2013, the company merged with Kellogg Garden Products, and today Hazzard serves as a consultant with Organic Control Inc.
In his current role with Organic Control, Hazzard serves in an advisory and educational capacity, and also performs these functions in garden centers throughout the country. He has been featured in many radio interviews and store visits, captivating audiences by illustrating the uniquely important role of beneficial insects in the garden. Hazzard keeps impeccable records of the company’s 40-year history, and adds much wisdom to the tricky business of selling live creatures to consumers.
Retiring president, Village Nurseries
Dave started his career with Village Nurseries at age 15 working summers and weekends to save money for his first car. He continued to work there both part and full-time while attending California University at Fullerton where he earned a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance. Although he never envisioned a career in the wholesale nursery business, he became the company’s first outside sales representative in 1987 and then as the company continued to grow was promoted to Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 1992.
He continued in that capacity until March of 2003 when he succeeded Tom House (his father) as president and CEO, following his untimely passing at the young age of 59 in late February of that year.
He continued in the leadership role of Village Nurseries helping grow the business and then navigated it through the Great Recession of 2007-2009 under difficult and conflicted ownership/partners. Through it all the company continued to grow to 900 acres with the acquisition of Miramar Nursery’s landscape Center and 175 acre growing grounds in 2013. Dave’s commitment to the greater good of the Company’s 900+ employees led him to prompt ownership to sell the Company to Tree Town USA, one of the Country’s largest wholesale growers. Subsequently, serving as President of Tree Town’s West Coast Division, Dave was instrumental in the negotiation of Tree Town’s purchase of Hines Growers and the sale of Village’s landscape center business to SiteOne, North America’s largest landscape supply company. He is retiring from Village Nurseries and the industry in 2Q, 2019.
His commitment to the industry through active financial and personal support of the programs of the CDFA, Nursery Growers Association (NGA) and CA Association of Nurseries and Garden Center (CANGC) highlighted the need for a political and organizational voice in Sacramento and Washington.
He is a member of CLCA, CLASS Fund, CANGC, NGA and ANLA.
Past president and CEO, Village Nurseries
Thomas House attended University of Southern California on an ROTC Scholarship and graduated with a degree in geology. After graduation, House served in the Navy Submarine Service, on the USS Catfish and the USS Sea Fox, from 1966 -70. He later received an MBA in Business from California State University at Fullerton.
It could be said that his first ventures into the nursery industry were as a summer employee at Blue Hills Nursery during high school. However, he didn’t return to the business until he 1979 when he became General Manger of Village Nurseries in Brea, CA. He later became president/CEO and Managing General Partner. House had the aspiration and vision to see the opportunities the industry had to offer and set out to grow the business. The first expansion occurred when the first of the company’s landscape centers opened in Brea. In 1985 the company continued to grow with the expansion of growing yards and a landscape center in Del Mar, CA.
With the acquisition of Miya Wholesale Nursery in 1989, the size of the company was doubled and landscape centers were opened in Buena Park, Huntington Beach and Orange, CA. In 1993 Village ventured into the Northern CA region with the establishment of growing grounds and a landscape center in Galt. The next year Village Nurseries began selling and marketing to the retail and big box store markets. In 1997 Village entered into a long-term lease agreement for 240 acres of growing grounds in Sacramento solidifying Village’s presence in the Northern California sales markets. In 2000 the company acquired a 200-acre parcel in Riverside county known as Steele Valley and also expanded market share by adding Lowe’s and Home Depot as customers. 2002 saw the acquisition of a 233 acre Pauma Valley property in Northern San Diego County. House’s business acumen and innovative approach was key to the company’s growth and diversification.
House joined the NGA in 1998 and became NGA Director in 1999. He then served as Vice President of the NGA in 2000-2001 and as President during 2002 until his passing in early 2003. During his tenure along with Robert Crudup he was instrumental in the passage of SB204, which provided for the state to appropriate $2M for the control and eradication of RIFA. He was also actively involved in lobbying for the federal government on H2A immigration reform and for additional funding for Glassy Winged Sharpshooter (GWSS) programs, which resulted in $5M of funding to compensate nurseries for complying with the regulations to control the spread of GWSS. House also started the NGA theft Committee to be headed by Terry Cook of Village Nurseries to deter and/or prosecute those involved in agricultural crimes.
House passed away in February 2003 while skiing, one of the activities he enjoyed most.
Director of UCLA Landscape Architecture Extension
Stephanie Landregan, FASLA, is the director for the Landscape Architecture Program and the Horticulture and Gardening Program at UCLA Extension. Her studios focus on collaboration with government agencies on providing solutions via community based design. Her areas of teaching include natural systems design, green infrastructure storm water design, community facilitation, water conservation design and installation.
Landregan is Governor Jerry Brown’s landscape architect appointee to the State Mining and Geology Board, presently serving as Vice Chair’ Stephanie was reappointed by the Governor to the State Mining and Geology Board, January 8, 2018 for a second 4-year term. She has served as a Planning Commissioner (2009-17), Historic Preservation Commissioner (2006-2009), and Design Review Board member (1996-2004), for the City of Glendale, California. In 2000, 2006, 2010 Landregan was appointed by three Speakers of the Assembly to serve on the State of California Landscape Architects Technical Committee (LATC) and served for 13 years. Stephanie was one of the founding board members of the Glendale Parks and Open Space Foundation (2010-2013) and has served on both national and international associations Executive Boards.
In 2014 Landregan was chosen as one of the first 40 women as an LA Biz Woman of Influence. In 2012, Landregan was nominated by the City of Glendale, and was selected for the Distinguished Leadership Award, Citizen Planner by the APA-Los Angeles area.
Landregan is a registered licensed landscape architect in the State of California, #4093 and also a LEED Accredited Professional BD+C.
Toro Water Management team member
Rob Starr has more than 37 years of experience in advanced engineering/manufacturing technology and operations management.
During his career, he has developed various intelligent weather-based controllers and other high-tech products for both the irrigation and electronics industries.
Prior to joining Toro, Starr was the VP/general manager of Aqua Conserve Inc., a manufacture of irrigation controllers and related ancillary products. And, with the Emerson Electric Company for 14 years serving in different capacities such as director of operations (Astec Power division) and director – Systems Integration Group (Emerson Process Management division).
As a representative of The Toro Company he is the host of the award-winning NBC News Radio show “the Water Zone.” Starr is a member of the board of directors for the Building Industry Association (BIA), and also serves as a member of the Green Living Counsel for the Community Association Institute (CAI) and a member of the NAHB Green Standards Committee for Water Efficiency. In addition, he is a board member of the Riverside Chambers of Commerce and also participates on the Strategic Advisory Board for California Baptist University – School of Engineering and El Camino Community College District’s Natural Sciences Advisory Panel.