LA Contributors

I have always believed in the principle of “sticking to your core competencies”.  Over the years I’ve come to know people within the industry that are exceptionally good at what they do.  Following are some of those talented people.  I’ve asked them to contribute their knowledge and experience to insure each area of LandscapeAdvisor has the most up-to-date accurate information possible.

Dave Kennedy

Even after 29 years in the landscape industry Dave still runs his design/build and nursery businesses as an owner-operator.  As a hands-on professional he’s involved with every aspect of daily operations.  Needless to say the resulting outcome is a level of detail and workmanship not often seen on today’s construction projects.

Dave has a degree in Landscape Design & Ornamental Horticulture and has been a lifelong resident of Bergen County, NJ.  In addition to his design/ build business, Dave operates a plant nursery where he grows specific plants for his use and for a handful of other professionals in the trade.  He also owns & operates mid-size mechanical tree spades, which enable him to transplant trees and evergreens very efficiently.

Dave and I share many similar views and standards of the industry perhaps because, in part, we both come from “owner-operator” businesses.  Having said that, Dave’s experiences and perceptions are incredibly varied, creative and insightful.

Lester Szajna

Lester immigrated to the United States from Poland 16 years ago.  He brought with him the trade of stone masonry.  Although Lester’s skills include conventional masonry work, it’s his creative use of natural stone that distinguishes him in the field of landscape masonry.

After arriving in the US, Lester began working at a custom landscape masonry company.  Soon after his skills were recognized, he was promoted to supervisor and managed multiple projects and dozens of employees.  In 2005 Lester started his own company and maintains a hands-on approach with each of his projects.  He is highly respected in the trade and often involved in the consulting / designing phase.  Lester represents a level of craftsmanship that is becoming increasingly difficult to find and we’re fortunate to have his example and advice.

Barry Marson

Barry has been building custom swimming pools for over 25 years.  Except for the occasional renovation of an existing pool, all of his projects originate from a design process combining aesthetics with each site’s particular setting and topography.  A template approach for volume production is just not his style.

Barry is past president of the Metro New York/New Jersey Chapter of NSPI.  He also served as a Board Member to the Northeast Pool and Spa Association and a member of the NSPI Retailers Council.  Barry has been a leader of the NSPI Tech 2 Educational course and holds a Pool/Spa Operator certification from the National Swimming Pool Foundation.

Don’t tell Barry this because he gets enough accolades, but LandscapeAdvisor is privileged to have his advice and commentary.

Michael Hirsch

Michael is both a New Jersey and New York Certified Pesticide Applicator.  He is also certified by MAUGET for use with their Micro-Injection Technology.  Mike’s education includes the program at Rutger’s for Landscape and Turfgrass Management.

Nearly 20 years ago Michael began working with a large North Jersey tree service.  Within a short time he was managing their spray program, and 4 years later started his own company.  It wasn’t long before his focus turned towards diagnosing and treating disease and pest problems.  An ongoing working relationship with a wholesale nursery/grower for the past 13 seasons has exposed Michael to many of today’s ornamental plant species and their potential problems.  This experience has proved invaluable and has helped make Michael one of the most respected plant diagnosticians in the area.  In fact, he has traveled as far as Moscow, Russia to consult on landscape development projects.

Mike will advise on how to protect your landscape investment by maintaining healthier trees and shrubs in an economically efficient and environmentally sound manner.

Vinny Catoggio

Vinny has been in the irrigation business since 1972, and an active member of the NJ Irrigation Association since 1974. He has also been a registered NJ Irrigation Contractor since the organization’s inception in the mid 1980’s.  During the preliminary stages of the NJ licensing program for irrigation contractors Vinny worked as a trustee.

Vinny’s company provides irrigation design, installation and service for commercial & residential properties, as well as athletic fields.  After all these years Vinny remains an active owner/operator.  In addition to his technical skills and experience, he has a unique understanding of plant life.  It is this combination of knowledge that makes him truly an irrigation specialist.

Be Sociable, Share!