Meet the Native Land Design Team
Ben Collinsworth, CEO
Ben began his commercial landscaping career in 1999, but started mowing lawns in 1989 as a 13-year-old in the Dallas area. After founding Native Land Design in 2001, Ben has continued to be actively involved in the company's growth and development. Ben earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He has proven to be an active member of the landscape and professional communities with involvement in multiple organizations; including the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), Community Association Institute (CAI), National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), as well as sitting on several industry, business and educational boards. Ben and his wife Barbie recently had a section of the Texas A&M University Gardens named in their honor to help teach gardening to future generations. Ben and his wife currently live in the Cedar Park area with their three children.
Stan Johnson, President
With more than 30 years of landscape experience, Stan’s portfolio includes Las Colinas’ Williams Square, Flower Clock and Canal Walk. He has also received accolades for his work on The Arboretum, the Motorola campus and Michael Dell’s house in Austin. He and his wife currently live in Weimar.
Greg Yount, CTO
Greg joined Native in 2009 with over 13 years of commercial landscaping experience. High profile accounts he managed include The Hollows in Lake Travis and Simon Properties The Domain and Wolf Ranch. He lives in Austin with his wife and three children.
Michael Spell, Controller
Michael came to Native in 2008. He is responsible for the accounting and financial reporting for the company. Michael's previous experience includes accounting responsibilities for General Bandwidth and Dell. This CPA holds a degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Michael and his wife have two children.
Chris Rhodes, Director of Marketing and Business Development
Chris joined the Native team in 2017, bringing 17 years of experience in the industry. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Horticulture from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. With experience in landscape operations and business development, it allows him to help grow the business while understanding both the needs of the landscape and the customer. Chris lives in Georgetown with his wife Keri and two daughters.
Jennifer Smith, Administrative Assistant/Human Resources
In Jennifer’s administrative role at Native, she issues certificates of insurance, assists the company fleet and provides accounting reports to management and staff. She also serves as the company’s human resources manager.
Robbie Huang, Director of Operations
Robbie has been in the landscaping industry since 1998. His experience includes landscape design, construction management, maintenance and irrigation. Robbie comes to Native with a background in managing several high-profile homeowner’s associations, corporate campuses, high-end retail, private schools and private estates. Robbie earned a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University and spent 6 months at ITR in Rapperswil, Switzerland as part of an exchange program between Rutgers and ITR. He currently lives in Pflugerville with his wife and 2 children.
Matt Davis, Estimating/Design
Matt joined Native in 2014, bringing 4 years of commercial landscape experience. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Landscape Architecture. Matt’s experiences include working on large and small scale design projects, master plans, and construction documents for both the private and public sector projects.
Josiah Ball, Irrigation Manager
Josiah has a Bachelor's degree in Geology from Illinois State University and 8 years experience as an Environmental Geologist working around the country. During college he worked in landscaping and irrigation, and for the last 5 years he's returned his focus to this field of work. Josiah is married and has a dog.
Patti Lopez, Account Manager
Patricia likes to go by “Patti” and majored in Horticulture and Agronomy at Texas A&M University. Patti has worked in the landscape, golf, and nursery industry for over 7 years. She is originally from the Rio Grande Valley and enjoys gardening and dancing during her free time. Patti is involved in her community and lives in Jonestown with her husband and two dogs, Button and Ginger.
Jessica Cruz, Account Manager
Jessica graduated from Texas A&M University in 2017 with a Bachelors in Horticulture. During college, she worked in landscaping at the George W. Bush Presidential library. In her free time Jessica enjoys being out in nature with her dog Lucky.
Emily Pridgeon, Account Manager
Emily graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Horticulture and has been in the industry for almost 13 years. She has been a commercial landscape account manager for 7 years, and enjoys the variety that each work day brings. Emily is also a licensed irrigation technician and certified Grow Green landscape professional. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping and reading. Emily lives in Georgetown with her husband and several well-loved pets.
Everardo "Lalo" Gonzalez, Enhancement Manager
Everardo came form California in 2005, and with nearly 30 years of landscape experience, he really enjoys the enhancement process, where he can be a part of creating gorgeous landscapes.
Sandra Leija, Regional Manager
Sandra began working in the landscaping industry in 2001, and gained significant experience working for TruGreen LandCare. Sandra’s role at Native balances responsibilities in operations, sales and management. She has been instrumental in establishing our branch in Mission, while providing management oversight in the valley.
Jose Ventura, Director of Operations - South
With more than 20 years of commercial landscaping experience, Jose manager multiple crews in his current role at Native. He started his career a Crew Leader in 1990, then moved up to roles such as Area Manager and Production Manager for TruGreen Landcare. Jose currently lives in the Houston area with his wife and children.
Jose Udave, Director of Operations - North
Jose came to Native with 10 years of experience in the landscape industry. He started in 2005 as a laborer then moved up to roles such as Crew Leader, Area Manager and Operations Manager. He currently lives in Humble, TX with his wife and two kids.
Velter Mendoza, Account Manager
Velter worked in agriculture growing up in El Salvador. At age 18 he came to the US and began work in the landscaping industry and worked his way up from a laborer to Crew Leader to Account Manager. Velter’s current role fits his passion for serving others. Velter currently lives in Houston and enjoys serving his local church community.
Todd Wilson, Irrigation Manager - North
Todd brings 30 years of irrigation experience to Native. He started in 1985 as a foreman with Sugar Creek Homes. In 2010 Todd joined Native. He is a licensed irrigator and backflow prevention assembly tester. Todd lives in the Alief area of Houston with his wife, son and grandson.
Luis Cardona, Irrigation Manager - South
Luis studied at the University of Houston where he was recognized on an international level as an outstanding musician. He has turned his attention to the world of irrigation where he looks to bring his laser focus and drive to our Houston South branch.
Liliani Avila, Business Administrator
Liliani joined Native in June 2017. She has more than twelve years of administrative professional experience having held positions as a public accountant and administration manager for an oil and gas firm in Venezuela. Liliani is grateful for the opportunity to hold a role in administrative assistance for Native. Liliani lives in Katy with her husband and son.
Brett Burgin, Business Development
Brett is a Houstonian with over 15 years experience in business development. A graduate of Palm Beach State, he has extensive training and experience in helping potential customers uncover their needs and establishing an effective route to meet them. Growing up in a construction family, Brett not only has the ability identify and map solutions but also has the hands-on time to know how to get the job done. With many accomplishments under his belt in the business development arena, Brett offers a very unique skill set to help Native partner with customers to create long lasting relationships.
Jorge Morales, Director of Operations
Jorge is a United States Marine Corps veteran with 5 Years of administrative and personnel management experience and was a Marine Corps Marksmanship Instructor in state of Hawaii. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. He is a military trained professional with a keen attention to detail, whose top skills consist of strategic planning, process engineering, and complex decision making. Jorge enjoys spending time with his family outdoors and working out during his free time.
Jose Olivera, Account Manager
Jose joined Native in 2016 as a Crew Leader with 7 years of commercial and residential landscaping experience. Jose's previous experience includes running a commercial landscape bidding department, managing new landscape construction, and designing residential landscapes.