Dennis Elverman and Ross Swartz grew up across the pond from each other on the same stretch of rural county road near Wilmot, Wisconsin. Both men have had an impact on residential and commercial landscaping in southeastern Wisconsin and northeastern Illinois. Elverman is entering his 45th year as a professional landscaper this spring (28 as the owner/operator of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin-based Elverman Landscapes). Swartz has been working the family nursery and landscaping business (Paul Swartz Nursery) since the 1970s, and is entering the first year of a two-year term as the president of the Wisconsin Nursery and Landscape Association.
The size of their businesses may be different (Elverman runs a crew of three; Swartz runs numerous crews and a fully operational nursery), but many of the themes shared by each of them are universal to all landscaping businesses: hard work and reputation will take you places – as long as you’re prepared for what’s ahead and you’ve got a plan for managing the workload.