Giuseppe Baldi got his start in the landscape industry when he was just 12 years old. The account manager with Baldi Gardens Inc., Arlington, Texas, says his Boy Scout Troop needed a way to raise money to go to summer camp and Baldi’s father, Ricardo Baldi, founder and owner of Baldi Gardens, allowed the boys to work with him pulling weeds and doing other labor in order to earn that income. After turning 21, Baldi went to work for the business full-time and has been there ever since. Though he admits he never thought it would be his long-term plan, now Baldi says he can’t imagine doing anything else. The endless opportunities to learn and grow have kept Baldi engaged and passionate about the landscape industry.

What I love most about this industry is learning. I love to read and learn new things. In this industry there is no shortage of licenses or certifications to be earned, and I’ve racked up 10-plus at this point. The opportunity to learn motivated me to stick around and master my craft.

My business motto is “Train your replacement.” If you want to move ahead in a company and have a business that can run by itself — even if you take a month-long vacation — then you must always be focused on training your replacement. We try to get everyone in our organization to buy into this mentality, especially if they have aspirations to become crew leaders, account or project managers, estimators or something else in management.

My short-term goal right now is to grow the business to the point where my father can retire in the next five years or so. Beyond that, I would like to grow it to a point where it makes sense to open a second location, then a third, and so on.

The most challenging aspect of this business and industry is finding the right people. It’s about finding and keeping good employees and dealing with the mistakes that come from hiring the wrong people.

I have a pretty big sweet tooth. Apart from that, I love to take time off to rest and rejuvenate, and I would love to travel with my wife more often.

Having been born in Costa Rica, I’m very partial to tropical-style landscapes. That can be difficult depending on what part of the country you live in. My landscape at home looks a bit boring in the winter after everything has been cut back — but come spring and summer it looks like I’m living in a tropical paradise.