Ed Furner, a 2002 graduate of the Landscape Contracting program, currently serves as the Director of Customer Care at Mariani Landscape, the largest privately owned residential landscape company in the United States. With annual sales over $400 million, Mariani Landscape employs 400 people during peak operations who provide services to more than 1,100 landscape management clients.

As Director of customer Care Ed accounts for $1.4 million in personal sales working with Mariani’s premier client base while also managing four sales teams who are responsible for $5 million in total yearly sales. Ed is currently serving in the last year of a five year commitment as Chair of the National Association of Landscape Professionals – National Collegiate Landscape Competition.

What are your responsibilities at Mariani Landscape?

I manage a sales team of four that is responsible for almost $5 million in yearly sales. I also manage our premiere client base, which accounts for $1.4 million of our teams’ annual sales. Customer service levels are extreme in our market but we have an amazing team that is able to exceed the expectations of demanding clients.

How large is the company?

We do more than $40 million in annuals sales, have more than 400 employees at peak season, and serve more than 1,100 Landscape Management clients.

What did you do immediately after graduating from Cobleskill?

I built dry-laid stone walls in Massachusetts for one year before moving to Chicago to work for Mariani.

Did you work for other companies prior to your current position?

I completed three internships in college: one in Naples, Florida with Smallwood Design Group; one in Colorado Springs with Brickman Group; and one in Chicago with Mariani Landscape. Otherwise I have been here at Mariani for the entire time, over 15 years now.

picture1-copyWhat was the most important thing that you learned at SUNY Cobleskill?

Time management skills and life lessons from Jack Ingels prepared me very well for future success.

Are you involved with any professional associations?

I currently Chair the National Collegiate Landscape Competition for theNALP (National Association of Landscape Professionals) and will soon will be ending this five-year commitment. The next event is the 40th anniversary at Mississippi State University in March of 2016.