Meet the Team: Tommy Pritchett, Maintenance Crew Leader

Meet the Team: Tommy Pritchett, Maintenance Crew Leader

It’s a great day to meet the team! Today we catch up with Tommy Pritchett, who works hard every day leading his maintenance crew!

How long have you worked at Madrone?
2-1/2 years

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?
Working outside.

What do you enjoy most about your job/specialization?
All the different things I see on a daily basis.

What is your favorite, and least favorite, plant and why?
Chondropetlum is my least favorite – it’s hard to trim.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Riding motorcycles, fishing, and hunting.

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: 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.
Meet the Team: Jill Bleher

Meet the Team: Jill Bleher

For November we are highlighting landscape designer Jill Bleher, who has been with Madrone for nine glorious months. She says one of her favorite things about working at Madrone is the positive team energy. We feel the same way about you, Jill – we’re so glad you joined our team!

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?

What I enjoy most about working at Madrone is the positive team energy and the fact that every day I get to work on interesting projects.

I really appreciate being able to bounce ideas off of my teammates. The feedback I receive from my managers and peers helps me to delve deeper into my designs and develop my ideas. Sometimes you just need someone else to look at a design in progress and question you or offer their opinion in order to arrive at the best possible solution for a space. This creative collaboration is my favorite thing about working at Madrone.

What is your favorite project that you’ve worked on and why?

I have enjoyed so many things about so many different projects, but my favorite projects are those that integrate old with new. I like the challenge of tying together existing features – especially those with history – with new aspects of a design, knitting it all together into a cohesive design.

One such project is a backyard in SLO. The property slopes steeply down to a creek and my first view of the site was just a sea of nasturtiums and weeds beneath ancient Sycamore trees. Cleanup of the site revealed several stone and mortar walls that spoke of the history of the place. These walls are featured in the new landscape, along with a new wall built to match the same rustic style. The design also blends in contemporary features such as poured in place concrete pavers of varying sizes and cable railing on the upper wood deck.

Ultimately this project reminded me of the tale of the Secret Garden. Old can be made refreshed and revitalized with love and attention to detail! What sealed this job as a favorite for me was getting to know the owners through the process of design and installation, and seeing their joy as it developed. One vision that sticks with me is of the family’s young daughter sitting on a stepping stone, feeling the plants and looking quite happy.

 

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

As a designer I tend to picture plants in terms of colors and textures. I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite, but these are a few plants which I come back to again and again:  

1. Calylopus (Sundrops) is a plant I love for its bright yellow pop when in bloom. I especially like using it to brighten a rockscape or spill over a wall or container.

2. Euphorbia characias (Mediterranean Spurge) is one of my favorite plant species because of its unique forms and colors. It’s a great year-round background of filler plant that will pop out at you when it blooms. ‘Blackbird’ is an especially neat specimen for interesting foliage!

3. Agave ‘Blue Glow’ is in my top plants list for its beautiful symmetry and year-round interest. This is a great stand-alone feature plant or planted en masse for a striking landscape.

My least favorite plant would be Stipa tenuissima (Mexican Feather Grass), because although it is beautiful it spreads everywhere and is a pain to get rid of! Early in my design career I used it in a few landscapes only to be dismayed by how it took over everything else, so now I fervently steer clear of using it.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?

I’m an avid vegetable gardener and collector of interesting succulents. I also enjoy hiking and identifying our local native plants. Indoors you can usually find me doing something creative like knitting, baking, drawing or playing cello.

Give us a fun fact about you!

On sunny days you might see me walking around town with a lizard on my shoulder. Her name is Aurora and she’s a bearded dragon. My husband Alec and I have had her for about 5 years and love to take her places with us. It’s a great conversation starter.