Outdoor Pride Landscape & Snow Management, a commercial snow removal and landscape management company, was recently recognized by Forbes as one of the top small companies in America. Forbes honored the Manchester, NH-based business as a “Forbes Small Giant,” one of only 25 companies nationwide to earn the distinction.

All Forbes Small Giant honorees “share a commitment to being the best at what they do, providing stellar service to customers, offering employees fulfilling, rewarding work and being vital members of their communities,” according to Forbes. Outdoor Pride was noted for its emphasis on “people, planet and profit” and for strengthening staff members’ connections to one another, which has resulted in the company increasing its annual employee retention rate from 45% up to 85%.landscape management

“It is a tremendous honor that Forbes recognized the steady growth of our business and our commitment to fostering an employee-centric environment,” said Mark Aquilino, president, Outdoor Pride Landscape & Snow Management. “As a purpose-driven company, we are constantly striving to exceed our clients’ expectations, which is reflected in our 92% customer retention rate. I truly believe our team-first culture, combined with our commitment to our clients, sets us apart as a leader within an extremely competitive industry.”

With 72 full-time employees and 250 seasonal employees, Outdoor Pride services all of southern and central New Hampshire and all of northern and eastern Massachusetts, providing comprehensive snow management, landscape installation and ground management services. During the past five years, Outdoor Pride tripled its revenue with total revenue exceeding $10 million in 2018. In the next three years, Outdoor Pride is aiming to sustain revenue growth, while also continuing to expand opportunities for employee growth and development.

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Photo: Outdoor Pride

The landscaping and snow removal industries are often not seen as long-term career options for entry-level employees, but Outdoor Pride has worked to turn the tables on that perception by investing in its employees. The company has increased employee benefits and is committed to promoting from within, both of which have resulted in significant increases in employee retention.

“Our goal is to create and grow sustainable and impactful relationships with our employees, our customers and with our community,” Aquilino continued. “It’s all about empowering employees to better serve our customers.”

In addition to continuing to expand Outdoor Pride’s business, the company is committed to serving the community. This past February, Outdoor Pride established the Aquilino Foundation to make a positive impact through a variety of nonprofit organizations. Aquilino established the fund with a $25,000 contribution and pledged to continue contributing to the fund each year. The Aquilino Foundation recently awarded its first grant award: a $10,000 grant to the Manchester Boys & Girls Club to support a literacy program aimed at engaging kids in reading during summer months.

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Photo: Outdoor Pride

With its commitment to people, planet, and profit, Outdoor Pride has implemented a variety of changes to increase sustainability and to reduce carbon emissions — all aimed at being responsible stewards of the environment. Outdoor Pride has begun using electric equipment, while also utilizing a brine solution for melting snow and ice rather than salt. In summer months, employees work four 10-hour days, rather than five eight-hour days in order to reduce drive time and emissions.

Husband and wife Michael and Dale Aquilino founded Outdoor Pride in 1988 as a full-service landscape company. Michael Aquilino began operations from his home’s garage with a truck and a single landscape trailer, minimal lawn mowing and plowing equipment, one tractor and one employee. Michael and Dale steadily grew the company, moving to a small industrial park in Manchester in 1991, and ultimately to 500 Harvey Road in Manchester in 1998. In 2015, Michael and Dale Aquilino transitioned the company reins to their son Mark, who oversees Outdoor Pride as part of a five-member leadership team.

In addition to its Manchester headquarters, Outdoor Pride has three satellite locations in New Hampshire, including Dover, Merrimack and Nashua, and six satellite locations in Massachusetts, including Andover, Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn and Hamilton. The company owns and maintains a fleet of more than 150 pieces of equipment to support all aspects of its year-round services.