Meet the Team: Tanner Jannsens, Landscape Construction Project Manager

Meet the Team: Tanner Jannsens, Landscape Construction Project Manager

Tanner Janssens started with Madrone in his early 20’s, and has grown his skill set over the years, and matured as a leader. He has a great attitude for getting things done and is one of the sweetest guys we know.

How long have you worked at Madrone?
6 years

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?
I like to build things and make things beautiful.

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?
I get to work with great people and I get to see some pretty amazing places on the central coast.

What is your favorite, and least favorite, plant and why?
Ceanothus is my favorite. I like how in the springtime you can look up in the hills and see the blue and white flowers.
I don’t know if I have a least favorite – oh wait, poison oak.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Hiking, hunting, biking. Salmon Creek is a favorite local hike. Out of the area, it’s Dinkey Wilderness.

Give us a fun fact about you!
I often find arrowheads when I’m out hiking, which can really annoy my friends who aren’t as lucky. Once I found an obsidian spearhead in the Dinkey Wilderness.

Meet the Team: Geoff Condon, Maintenance Account Manager

Meet the Team: Geoff Condon, Maintenance Account Manager

Geoff Condon’s work experience is extensive and includes working on the first recognized watershed in the United States by Congress, Honey Hollow Watershed located in Pennsylvania, soil remediation for Tosco Refinery located in Wilmington and a Christmas tree farm. He has five years working in a retail nursery, restoring a 220-acre watershed in Northern California that was clear-cut for lumber harvest, and working on the Dohney Ranch maintaining the lemon and avocado orchards. Geoff’s landscaping experience includes 18 years with GS Brothers, located in Southern California. There he installed and maintained landscapes for some of the largest developers in Southern California.

How long have you worked at Madrone?
7 years

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?
I love the freedom the company provides. I make my own schedule and am trusted to get the job done. The owner, Rick Mathews, has created a great team spirit working environment, and I appreciate the company culture. I also really love that I get to bring my dogs to work.

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?
I spend my time overseeing Madrone Landscapes’ client properties. This includes performing irrigation, pest control, maintaining healthy gardens and trees, refreshing annual floral colors, and performing property upgrades—among other things.

I would say my favorite part of this job is going to project sites and meeting clients and residents. I have made a few true friends through my work and really enjoy meeting so many people.

What is your favorite plant and why?
I enjoy all plants. The colors and structures really make the landscape come alive. A good landscape incorporates different forms, shapes colors, textures and sound. I appreciate annual color plantings for instant satisfaction

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
When I am not working on Madrone Landscapes projects, you can find me working on personal projects. I own rental properties and work around my house a lot. I enjoy time with family (including camping) and hope to see my 97-year-old mother—the inspiration for my passion and career—soon now that we have been both fully vaccinated.

Give us a fun fact about you!
I try to enjoy every day and make people smile. Just give me a chance and you will be laughing in the first five minutes.

Meet the Team: Rick Mathews, Owner & Founder

Meet the Team: Rick Mathews, Owner & Founder

Enjoying a lifetime of Jazz, Blues and R&B with Central Coast music lovers via public radio KCBX (above).

How long have you worked at Madrone? 
Many decades now. Maybe right after returning from the Torre de Cala Pi job, on Mallorca (see photo below). Talk about a stacked-stone project! Blisters!

What led you to start Madrone Landscapes? 
The discovery of native plants for landscape use, combined with emphasizing environmental stewardship and sustainability, inspired me to visualize a company that tries to heal the scars of development. We moved to SLO County for Cal Poly and the opportunities to start our lives and family in a beautiful region with the potential to make a living, but without the crowding, smog, commutes, etc. we had grown up with. I already had a pickup truck, so all I needed was a shovel and I was in business. What could go wrong?

 Lake Park Native Garden volunteer work crew

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone? 
The people of Madrone Landscapes continue to inspire me more than any other single thing. Through the considerable ups and downs that have come along, our team has thrived. We have persevered and lifted each other up amazingly well. Respect is a strong value with this group, and it shows through all of our company’s core values: Teamwork, Quality, Stewardship, Service, Innovation.

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?
At this stage of my working career, one of the most enjoyable aspects of work is to help guide what we’re doing, individually as well as systemically, and in the process help my co-workers learn and grow.

El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO)—donated landscape design/build for Atascadero Shelter

What is your favorite Madrone project and why?
I’m sorry to use the old cliche: That’s like asking which of your children is your favorite? So many of our projects have improved the situations beyond the sum total of materials installed. We help create environments that range from functionally enabling the use of property, to nurturing people’s souls. There is a lot to like throughout the hundreds of projects we’ve worked on.

What is your favorite plant and why?
This answer will periodically change, but for the moment, I’ll pick the entire genus of Arctostaphylos, or Manzanita. There are over 100 species of Manzanitas, from 3-inch high ground covers to 30 ft. tall trees. They all evoke Western North America, my home and favorite region on the planet.

Torre de Cala Pi is an iconic defense and observation tower on the southeastern coast of the island of Mallorca (built in 1663)

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Family, music (still a jazz host on KCBX after many years—Freedom Jazz Dance, Mondays 8pm–10pm, KCBX fm90, KCBX.org), hiking, reading, and yearning to enjoy gathering with friends, live music, and traveling soon.

Give us a fun fact about you!
I first volunteered at KCBX Public Radio (90.1 FM or KCBX.org) in the summer of 1977, and have continued hosting weekly shows and volunteering ever since.

Meet the Team: Jose Benitez

Meet the Team: Jose Benitez

Jose Benitez, a project manager especially skilled in landscape and hardscape, has been working with Madrone for just over five years now. We’ve enjoyed his mind, work ethic, and skill in our building aspect of design-build landscapes, and his talent and hard-working mindset have been evident since his first time working with us at 18.

Though he can’t put a finger on his favorite project yet, his favorite plant to work with is the beautiful Central Coast native Arbutus tree, well-known for its red bark and edible berries. Did you know we share our name with them? They can also be called madrones or madronas.

Sycamores, on the other hand, are “nasty” but “necessary” in his opinion—they really are a tricky tree to maintain with their sticky green buds and many secondary trunks.

When Jose has free time, he likes road trips, riding his bike, and playing soccer with his daughter!

We’re grateful to have him on our team, and we look forward to continuing to work alongside him.

Meet the Team: Christy Dufault

Meet the Team: Christy Dufault

It’s January! We’re thrilled to be highlighting Christy Dufault, who has been with Madrone for five years this month. Christy’s estimating efforts are vital to our design and construction teams. She brings her positivity to every interaction. Thanks for all your hard work, Christy!

Christy and her husband Justin during a trip to Norway.

How long have you worked at Madrone?

5 years!

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?

I get to work with a great group of people who are all dedicated to creating beautiful environments, and we have a lot of fun along the way!

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?

I’m fortunate that I get to live and work in such a beautiful area and as part of my job I get to visit all of these hidden gems around the county.

What is your favorite Madrone project and why?

My favorite projects are the ones that start with a blank slate. Seeing a site completely transform from bare ground to a lush green garden is so rewarding.

What is your favorite, or least favorite, plant and why?

I can’t say that I have a favorite plant – I like them all! As a plant procurer I come across a lot of cool and unusual plants and I’m always trying new things out in my own yard.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?

On the weekends, you’ll find me either working in my garden or (sadly, not as much these days) out at any one of the many great breweries or wineries we have here in SLO county.

Give us a fun fact about you!

I really love sharks. I did a shark cage dive once, a long time ago, and I will never forget the experience of being in the water and watching a shiver of sharks circle up from the ocean depths. I highly recommend it.

Meet the Team: Vanessa Queen

Meet the Team: Vanessa Queen

It’s a wonderful day to Meet the Team! For December, we are happy to spotlight Vanessa Queen, our Controller. Vanessa keeps our finances going smoothly. We appreciate you Vanessa!

1. How long have you worked at Madrone?

Over a year. I started at Madrone in August 2019.

2. What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?

The teamwork and values everyone at Madrone has/holds. From work ethic to environmental concern, everyone is all-around awesome.

3. What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on and why?

Any project where the client is enthusiastic and excited to work with us is great!

4. What is your favorite or least favorite plant, and why?

My favorite plant is agave or echevena succulents. My least favorite is shrubs – all shrubs. They get filled with spiders and then in the morning you can see all the webs.

5. What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?

I love refinishing furniture and being crafty. My husband will tell you that I always have at least one half-finished project in our garage — it’s currently a dining table and four chairs that I’m repainting and two benches we made form a headboard/footboard!

6. Give us a fun fact about you:

  • My husband and I only dated for six months before we got married and have been married for 15 years. We went to the same high school but didn’t really know each other.
  • I’ve never broken a bone.
  • I’m a pen clicker.