Jul 3, 201702:24 PMBlog
Tending to others’ yards for 40 years
A much younger Neil Hedman opened his own landscaping company with a truck, walkie-talkies and two buddies in 1977 near Puyallup. The firm continues today, having grown to 30 employees with sophisticated computer-based design and on-the-ground services.
Neil Hedman was just out of Washington State University with a degree in Botany, when he decided in 1977 to pursue his dream of creating a sustainable landscaping business. He had been working for another yard work company, but wanted to do it his way. What it took was a truck, some walkie-talkies and a couple buddies.
There may be some extra fireworks this week in celebration of 40 years at Olympic Landscape and Irrigation Co., a family-owned firm that has expanded over the decades to include landscape design and construction, sprinkler and outdoor lighting, and backflow assembly testing.
Landing the first contract for landscaping at the new Tacoma Dome was an early success for the new business. Over the years through up-and-down economies and big technology changes, Hedman says he has learned a lot about how to run a successful business.
“Creating a great workplace culture is the best way to insure longevity, creativity, excitement and quality. For me, it’s a lot like being an excellent conductor,” notes Hedman. “You put together a great team who are excellent at their individual instruments, you know the piece you want played and have a good idea how to get there. Throw in a little fun and love into the mix, and you are sure to hit a high note.”