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Meet Jim Turcan of Cornerstone Partners Horticultural Services

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Turcan.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a young boy, I watched my dad build his own landscape business from the ground up – literally. I spent many summers working for him as a kid. We lived on several acres, and when my friends would groan about having to go out and mow the lawn, I’d have the opposite reaction. I couldn’t wait to get out on our mower and create perfect cut lines in the grass.

As I got older, I remember how exciting it was to take an ordinary piece of land and by incorporating a variety of plants, stones, and natural textures, create a beautiful finished product that someone could enjoy with all of their senses – through sight, sound, smell and touch. I’m fairly certain that’s where my passion for this business started.

After graduating college with a business degree, I worked for a commercial landscaper and had the opportunity to experience different aspects of the business including being hands-on in the field, managing crews, and eventually building and maintaining customer relationships. After several years, I couldn’t deny that I wanted to take this passion a step further and start my own business. And now, here I am.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
One of the biggest struggles was growing as quickly as we have. Because of that growth, I had to be honest with myself and realize that I couldn’t possibly handle all of the day-to-day business operations while continuing to put in motion all of the steps that were necessary to take the company to the next level.

As I’m sure any business owner will tell you, it’s not an easy decision. You worry whether your employees will handle these responsibilities as you would as the owner. However, I have been very lucky. I have assembled a group of very talented, knowledgeable individuals who understand and appreciate the mission of the company. By identifying their strengths and talents, I have been able to relinquish some of my daily responsibilities enabling me to concentrate on helping us grow.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Cornerstone Partners Horticultural Services – what should we know?
One of the most difficult things in my industry is differentiating yourself from others. There are many companies who advertise as full-service landscape companies but don’t have the knowledge or expertise to service the customers beyond weekly maintenance and upkeep. I find that our residential customers and commercial property managers want their contractors to be knowledgeable and able to handle all aspects of their landscape needs.

That includes not only weekly maintenance but also landscape design, tree care, hardscape installation, water features, irrigation systems, and pest management and control. To be this diversified takes education and certifications, which is why I insist on continuing education for my staff. We constantly remain up-to-date on the latest equipment, materials, techniques, and trends. Not only does this differentiate us, more importantly, it also benefits our customers.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I have discovered there are three traits to live by, both in my personal and professional life, that have become keys to success: Perseverance, Humility, and Faith.

When things are the most stressful, difficult and I’m feeling defeated, I remind myself how blessed I am to be living my vocation that has tangible impacts on many other people than just myself. I consider myself a leader, with the ultimate responsibility for the financial stability of my family, our teammates, and organization as well as the ultimate responsibility to ensure an extraordinary service experience for the clients we serve. As a great mentor, Ken Buckman once taught me; there is NO “Plan B.” We will persevere no matter the difficulties. We owe it to everyone associated with CPHort; internal and external clients alike and the families that support our teammates.

Humility keeps us grounded. While we strive for perfection and as stated in our Mission statement, “It’s the little things done exceptionally well that makes all the difference,” there is no task too small for any one of us to perform. From the true proactive management of our sites, looking out for the best interests of our clients and being able to identify when we have made a mistake and how quickly we correct that mistake. I don’t believe doing it perfectly every time is feasible, but how you correct a situation that is less than perfect builds strength and reinforces the second half of our Mission, living our core value of Honesty. We can humbly say that we do it better than most.

However, we never stop learning. We do not rest on our laurels and are constantly implementing improvements to all of our processes while returning to the basics in all of our training endeavors. No matter how experienced, we start from the basics at the start of each season. For those times when we’ve made a poor business choice or a mistake, we admit that maybe we don’t have the answer this time. It’s then that we seek out others who can help me right the ship again – whether that be family or friends I can bounce ideas off or by partnering with experts like executive coaches or strategists to help me find the best solutions while taking emotion out of the equation.

And then there’s faith. Faith in not only myself and my abilities but more so my faith in God that He will help guide us down the right path He has set out for us. We have the privilege of being stewards of His creation on this green Earth, and our organization has overcome some of the greatest hardships that could have sunk us. When we neglect to include Him in our decisions, especially with bringing in new team members, we find out the hard way His plan for us is always best. “The Lord will FIGHT for you; you need only BE STILL,” -Exodus 14:14. We are eternally grateful for the successes and a stellar team that He has invited to CPHort, making it a destination company. We will never take those graces for granted!

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