Employee Close-up: Jessica Cruz

Ben Collinsworth

 

Jessica Cruz never thought she would end up as a landscape professional.    Screen Shot 2018-10-16 at 3.39.47 PM

 

The Native Land Design account manager started as an urban planning major at Texas A&M University, which included a lot of similar classes that are part of the landscape architect degree. Things changed when she took a horticulture class as an elective with some friends who were landscape architecture majors. “The rest,” she says, “was history. I was hooked on plants.”

 

 

Today, Cruz works with customers to figure out their properties’ needs and how they can be accomplished through landscape maintenance and enhancement work. She also works with crews to make sure tasks are getting done, as well as to continually improve and maximize how they operate.

 

Cruz has been at Native for more than one year. “This was my first job out of college and when I interviewed with Ben and Robbie, they were both so welcoming and I just felt like this was the right place for me to learn and grow,” she says. “Over the past year, this has proven true time and time again.”

 

Working At Native Land Design

When it comes to favorite projects so far, Cruz loves the very first one she worked on at Native Land Design. She was still in Native’s manager-in-training program and the manager let her run the project with some supervision.

 

“It’s really like a family here,” Cruz explains. “Everyone has known each other forever in the office and are so welcoming to new people. Even when we work long hours, we’re all working toward the same goal and we always come together.”

 

Cruz also loves Texas. “I’m a native Texan, so I’m partial but the people in Texas are the friendliest you’ll find,” she says. “If you’re ever stranded here, you know someone is going to stop and help you. Austin is also a great city that always has something going on and tons of great coffee.”

 

So far, she’s learned a lot working in the landscape industry. Her biggest lesson so far has been time management. “As an account manager, you really do make your own schedule and have to prioritize things because you’re going to get emails all day from different people and your crews are going to call you and need you, too, so you have to be able to manage your time,” she shares, adding that her goals include getting more industry certifications. “Being able to communicate with different people in different ways is what I think the most important part of being a leader is because if you can’t communicate effectively with people, things are never going to get done.”

 

Passion for Plants

Cruz fondly remembers the first greenhouse class she took in college. “it’s where I really fell in love with plants,” she says.

 

In fact, if she didn’t work in the landscape industry, she says she’d probably work in a parks or recreation department where she interacts with people and help teach people about nature and the outdoors. “If I won the lottery, I would buy greenhouses and grow plants or open a coffee shop and sell plants in the coffee shop.”

 

When she’s not at work, Cruz loves playing with her dog outside or bringing him to work on Fridays when crews aren’t going out.

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Ultimately, it’s the reward of doing good work outside that defines Cruz’s passions. As she says, “I love getting to work with my clients and crews to accomplish tasks and working together to make our properties look good.”

 

Looking For a Career in Landscaping?

At Native Land Design, we believe in starting long-term careers where employees are respected and can grow. If you want to learn more about our available positions, contact us at 512-918-2270 or fill out our contact form onlinetoday.

 

 

 

 

If you want to learn more about our available positions, contact us at 512-918-2270 or fill out our contact form online today.

 

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Ben Collinsworth

About

Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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Karen Vaughn, Property Manager, Goodwin Management