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Leveling the Field

Alison Berry

Co-owner, Environmental Landscape Solutions in Lubbock

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erry has always loved plants, but earlier in her career she worked in technology and operations. Her husband has a horticulture background, so about three years ago, when he decided to expand his small landscape design-build firm, Berry joined the business. “There are so many things I love about the work that I’m doing now,” she says. “The majority of our work is creating landscapes, and I enjoy being close to plants and the environment and having that touch point. And the people — I love the people we work with and our clients. It’s a science as well as an art and being a small-business owner. We get to touch so many different elements.” Berry estimates about 80 percent of their projects are residential, while commercial projects make up the other 20 percent. “For us, landscaping is very personal,” she says. “That’s why we really focus more on the residential [projects].” Berry attended the women in horticulture session at TNLA EXPO her first year in the business. “The industry is so broad and so large. That to me was very eye-opening at the time,” she says, adding that she’s found men and women in the industry to be

welcoming, regardless of whether you have a horticulture degree or background. “Everyone’s willing to share their knowledge. It just seems like everybody wants to help one another, and everybody wants to see everyone else succeed.” She encourages young women interested in green industry careers to join industry organizations like TNLA and meet other likeminded people. “There are opportunities galore, regardless of your background, for women to grow within the industry,” she says. She recommends exploring certification opportunities as a way for women to grow their careers. (Visit www.tnlaonline.org/ certification to learn more.) Berry also emphasizes the value of connecting with a mentor. “For me, I think it’s about, ‘Who do you want to become and what do you want to learn’? Find someone who’s in a role that you feel you could learn from,” she advises. “I think one of the most important aspects in mentorships is having a connection with that person. Find that person you click with, that you admire, and establish the relationship so that you can have an open dialogue.” Finding a more specific passion within the broader green industry is also helpful for career growth. “It’s such a large, growing industry with a variety of jobs and disciplines,” she says. “It has a little bit of everything. It’s the environment; it’s nature; it’s something you can feel good about and it is a business. You’re doing something great for our world and helping to shape where we’re going to be.”

hing “You’re doing somet and great for our worldhere helping to shape w .” we’re going to be

May/June 2019 TNLA Green

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Profile for TNLA GREEN Magazine

TNLA Green May/June  

TNLA Green May/June