Meet the Team: Tyler Ellison, Landscape Designer

Meet the Team: Tyler Ellison, Landscape Designer

Madrone extends a warm welcome to Tyler Ellison, who recently joined our landscape design team. With his functional and pragmatic approach, he fits right in! He is detailed yet practical in his designs, ensuring his fresh ideas are both buildable and unique. He loves meeting new friends, listening to their needs and experiences, and working alongside them to create a space they can enjoy and call their own. We look forward to tasting his homemade mac & cheese!

How did you end up at Madrone?
After finishing both the Landscape Architecture and MBA programs at Cal Poly SLO, I was looking to join a Central Coast landscape design company. I worked for around two years for a landscape architecture firm in San Luis Obispo. I have always been a designer and “maker” – so I jumped at the opportunity to work for a design/build company.

What is your favorite thing about working at Madrone?
My favorite thing about working for Madrone is people—both in and out of the office—and the diversity of opportunities it brings me as a young designer.

Sometimes I use Sketchup to help visualize design features and the feel of a space.

What do you enjoy most about your team/department?
I enjoy the unique strengths of each individual, and the various perspectives they lend to design and installation. Their feedback and crititique is a welcome challenge and completely necessary for any young creative.

What do you enjoy most about being a landscape designer?
I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their dreams for a space, and collaborating with them to design a space that is functional, unique, and beautiful.

I enjoy the sketching process starting out any new design.

I love the bold statement of a gold Bougainvillea, but also the softness of a variegated thyme along a path. I would consider Platinum Beauty Lomandra to be my favorite and most versatile landscape planting element. I unambiguously dislike Bradford Pear trees—massively overplanted, messy, susceptible to disease, and structurally weak, to name a few characteristics.

Photo of Platinum Beauty Lomandra from a favorite breakfast spot in Yountville, California.

What are some of your favorite hobbies outside of work?
Since my first art show in early 2020, I have continued to paint and sell art through an online portfolio, ellisondesigns.com. I love people, plants of all types, exploring new places, live jazz, brewing craft ginger beer, and developing a line of custom reclaimed wood furniture.

Give us a fun fact about you!
If landscape design doesn’t work out, you will find me opening a food truck that serves made-to-order macaroni and cheese and a variety of crunchy and savory toppings.

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: 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.