By Diane Poulton BusINess contributor | Posted: Sunday, September 18, 2011 12:00 am |
Tony V. Martin/The Times
Dean Ricci Ricci’s- Landscape Management, Inc.
For your information
Name: Dean Ricci Jr.
Business name: Ricci’s Landscape Management Inc.
Business address: 502 Norbed Drive, Hebron
Business Phone: (800) 595–4339
|Dean Ricci Jr. started mowing lawns in Lakes of the Four Seasons when he was 10. Several decades later, he has grown from a little boy pulling a lawn mower behind his bike to the owner of a multimillion dollar landscaping management company.
A highly successful entrepreneur, Ricci believes in giving back to the community he serves through education, by providing internships, coaching and sponsoring youth sports programs.
His success, leadership and community commitment have earned Ricci the honor of being included in the Times of Northwest Indiana and BusINess magazine’s 2011 20 under 40 award winners.
Ricci, owner of Ricci’s Landscape Management, volunteers as field director for the Lakes of the Four Seasons Little League, keeping the grounds in excellent shape for the participants and their families.
He has donated time as assistant coach for Pop Warner Football for three years and this year will be assistant coach for a Crown Point Junior Bulldog team. Ricci also helped coach the Crown Point Junior Bulldog wrestling team for three years. Ricci finds coaching youth football most satisfying. He has sponsored numerous youth sports teams. On three occasions, Ricci has assisted Eagle Scouts with landscaping projects for their final badges. Ricci aided with demolition, planning and drainage work for these projects at two churches and an elementary school.
Ricci’s wife Jamie nominated her husband for the award.
“I am very proud of what he has done as a business owner, what he has done to develop himself, his business, his employees,” Jamie said. “He typifies to me what the award is about.”
Jamie says her husband has worked hard to better himself. She says he is an accredited master horticulturist, serves on many boards, has spoken at trade shows and teaches seminars at Valparaiso’s Taltree Arboretum.
Ricci’s Taltree classes focus on landscape construction, drainage and Japanese stone setting. At Taltree, Ricci’s company was responsible for most of the work on the Hitz Family Memorial Rose Garden and worked on the native prairie garden and outdoor education trail.
“Not only does Dean seek to better educate himself but he also encourages the growth of his employees offering off season training courses and incentives for certifications and not smoking,” Jamie says.
Founded in 1994, Ricci’s Landscape Management Inc. in Hebron provides landscape design and construction, lawn care and maintenance, tree service, irrigation installation and service, snow plowing and removal, outdoor lighting, and mosquito misting systems. The company, an authorized Uni Lock installer, employs 30 people and has 14 trucks, nine of which serve double duty as snow plows.
Ricci enjoys the work and being outdoors. Focusing on his job during high school, Ricci describes himself as a “varsity grass cutter.”
“I lettered in it every year,” Ricci says.
Ricci offers a college internship program in landscape architecture and pays for schooling for his employees to complete backflow certification for irrigation technicians.
Ricci graduated from Indiana University Northwest in 1994 with a degree in Business Management. He received the Albert and Margaret Gallagher Scholarship designated for “an outstanding student with interest in entrepreneurship and small business.” Ricci joined the Northwest Indiana Entrepreneur Academy, the Northwest Indiana Nurserymen and Landscape Association, and the Indiana Nurserymen and Landscape Association. Ricci is past president and board member of the NWI Nurserymen’s Association.
A Master Indiana Accredited Horticulturist, Ricci serves as a judge for the National Certified Landscape Technician test. Ricci has been recognized as a leader in his industry by Pro Magazine
Ricci says he has been encouraged along the path to success by several people.
“My wife has been very supportive,” Ricci says. “Without her, I would never been able to accomplish what I have done. She has been there for me emotionally and financially.”
Ricci said Dan Kukulski recruited him to coach football and help with the Lakes of the Four Seasons baseball field.
“He was born to coach and it is his passion,” Ricci said. “He is the one who inspired me.”
Also, Ricci says his dad, Dean Ricci Sr., worked side by side with him from 1997 to 2005.
“The company didn’t do well the first few years,” Ricci said. “He was supportive and encouraging.”
Ricci also considers Joe Allegretti, a client whom he calls “Uncle Joe,” a mentor.
“I have lunch with him once a month,” Ricci says. “He is a mentor; he is very good sounding board for me.”
The two men belong to Proof Management, which is a business group from which they receive both individual and group advice. Ricci says Allegretti is also an inspiration because of his philanthropic work.
Most satisfying for Ricci is seeing his business grow, meeting with clients, using his creative talents and seeing the results of a completed project.
Ricci says he also enjoys seeing his employees grow within the company. One, who has been with him for 15 years, Ricci says, could at first barely work a wheelbarrow, but now runs the landscape division schedule and product management.
In his spare time, Ricci is a member of Cross Fit Crown Point, competitively ballroom dances with his wife and enjoys hunting and fishing.
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