John Newlin, CIC, CIT, CLIA, brought many different educational and work experiences to the table in starting his career in the green industry.
However, since making that choice in 1992 and founding Quality Services he’s never looked back. His company, headquartered 25 miles west of Cleveland, is now one of the most respected landscape irrigation companies in northern Ohio.
Newlin was introduced to the green industry when he helped a lifelong friend with installations. He says he enjoyed the work and saw an opportunity to practice many of the skills he had accumulated in his previous work life.
Even so, he realized that beyond his agriculture and mechanical background and expertise, he had many educational gaps to fill if he wanted to own and run a successful irrigation company. (He had attended The Ohio State University ATI, the Agriculture Short Course at Purdue and the Ohio Diesel Technical Institute prior to joining the green industry.)
Newlin credits a discussion with Scott Knowles, president of Wolf Creek Co. Distribution, for setting him on the path he’s now on.
Knowles directed him to Brent Mecham at the Irrigation Association, citing Mecham as a great source for IA’s many educational offerings.
Newlin followed that advice and has since been one of the IA’s (and the industry’s) strongest proponents for training and ongoing education. He maintains an active membership in both the IA, serving as a director, and as the 2017 secretary for the Ohio Irrigation Association.
“In this business education is key – for your employees, your sales, your customers and for management,” Newlin points out. “I’m either always going to some sort of class or school, or I’m reading or attending a webinar.”
Newlin does “almost all of the sales” for his company’s installations, which account for about one-third of its revenue. The other two-thirds are divided pretty equally between irrigation services and lawn fertilization.
The last three years have been incredibly busy for his company with business “almost doubling.”
The owner’s dedication to ongoing education and training resonates with the employees in his small company, from the back-office folks, office manager Diahann Keyser and customer care manager Katy Hargate to lawn health manager Bryant Levis and irrigation manager Brian Lance, CIC, CLT, CIT, EPA Water Sense Partner.
Lance, also active as an educator in the Irrigation Association, has been with Quality Services since 1998.
“Brian’s extensive experience with commercial and residential irrigation systems allows him to come up with a practical, common-sense solution for property managers and homeowners,” shares Newlin.