During one crew leader meeting, our office manager Cindy posed a question: “What do you like to do in your free time?” It was an easy question for Mike Davis to answer. He remembers saying. “Nothing, because I really don’t have free time.”
To put it mildly, Mike doesn’t stand still long enough for grass to grow under his feet. “I’ve been in the landscape industry most of my life,” he says.
After working for his parents’ business and a short stint at a small company, he started and operated his own business for 18 years before selling it to, and working for, the new owners.
He joined emi landscape in December 2017 and now works as a Detail Leader for Landscaping and Regional Supervisor for Snow. He holds SIMA and NALP certifications and of course has his CDL.
“I usually take care of special projects, installations, and odds and ends, as well as being in charge of a routine maintenance group,” he says of his current role.
Mike often provides sage advice to the new guys. “I always tell them that if this is the career you want to do, this is exactly the company you want to do it with. It’s a mom-and-pop operation that really takes care of its employees and their clients. We’re not just a company that comes in and mows a client’s lawn once a week. We come in and we take care of the entire exterior of the building.”
Mike likes what he does because it allows him to enjoy working in the industry without the responsibilities of business ownership. This lets him focus on doing his day-to-day work well.
“My favorite part of my job is that it is different every day, it’s never the same,” he says. “That’s what I’ve always liked about this field. I have done my fair share of mowing over the years, and that gets monotonous. But being able to do different things every day keeps me interested.”
Clients benefit from Mike’s skill set and also that he’s been in the business long enough to handle just about anything that comes his way.
“I don’t really get stressed out about much of anything … unless we get a blizzard,” he says.
Even though he’s an industry veteran, Mike remains open to learning new things. “When I was in business I thought I was doing things the right way,” he chuckles. “And then I came to emi and realized they were doing a lot of things the right way and I had been doing things the wrong way.”
And when Mike says he’s used to not having much free time, he’s not exaggerating. For 27 years, he worked as a water polo referee, which was a sport he played in college. He also led his community youth soccer program when his kids were involved.
“That took a lot of time, but it was worth it,” he says. “That’s how I met my fiancée, Karen. Her daughter and my oldest daughter went to school together.”
Mike and Karen are planning to make things official in September 2022, which will make them a family of four daughters and one son, though all are grown. He also has a granddaughter, Emma, who is 9. Mike’s stepson will also be joining us this winter during the snow season as a loader operator here at emi landscape.
And perhaps, just perhaps, there might be a little more free time to enjoy in 2022!