Why do YOU attend Equip Expo?
Julio Lopez At age 13, Julio Lopez came to the United States in search of a better life. That ultimately led him to the landscaping industry, where he worked his way up from pulling weeds to learning design/ build work. At the time, he didn’t speak a word of English. But Lopez enrolled himself in school, earned a diploma, and went to college. He then served eight years in the United States Navy as a Petty Officer. Today, he says he uses that discipline and training to run his Los Angeles– based business, Cadre Landscape, which serves the commercial sector—and worked with the TurfMutt Foundation on its latest broadcast television work with CBS/Hearst’s Lucky Dog . “Cadre is a name we use in the military, and it means a highly trained group that is able to take charge,” Lopez explains. “We are a group of thinkers, and we always want to learn and improve.” Lopez says that continual learning is what brings him to the Equip Exposition. “There’s a lot to take in, but it is one of the best opportunities to try new equipment,” he adds. “Those who plan to attend the show need to make a plan so that they can get the most out of their days. Look at the vendors and determine who you want to see. Walk every aisle but make your planned stops and ask lots of questions. There is always something to learn.”
“Attending Equip Exposition gives us an opportunity to network with others in the industry, learn from leaders, and test drive equipment in the outdoor demo area. We always like to keep a close eye on innovation, and this event allows us to see all our manufacturers and vendor partners in the equipment field and understand what improvements from technology are headed to the market soon.” Greg Franklin, director of fleet, facilities, and safety for Ruppert Landscape, headquartered in Laytonsville, Maryland “Today’s equipment manufacturers are doing an amazing job, and everything is so efficient now— so much different from when I got started in the industry. The show is the best opportunity to see all of the new equipment and get to try it out. I like taking some of our younger team members and seeing them get excited about what’s coming out.”
Marlo Purkey, founder of California Aqua Pros, shares her insight during a panel of women in the industry at the 2021 trade show.
Marlo Purkey For Marlo Purkey, the landscape
industry is all about family. She and her husband, Greg, started California Aqua Pros, to be able to spend more time raising their children. Now, their grown son Jared is joining the business, which began as a swimming pool service company and has since grown into expansive outdoor design/build work. “We started in the swimming pool business because that’s what we knew,” Purkey says. “Greg’s father was in the industry. But we just kept expanding and taking on more. Now, 30 years later, we are a full design/build company.” For the first 20 years of the business, Purkey says they intentionally controlled the growth. Because of that, they were able to be highly involved parents. But in the last 10 years, they’ve been intentional about expanding—and now, with their son involved, the future is full of possibilities. That’s made attending the Equip Exposition even more valuable. “We are big on education, so besides walking the floor, we also appreciate the seminars—particularly in areas that we aren’t experts in,” she says. “We even took a class in robotic lawn mowing last year, even though we don’t offer lawn maintenance right now. We are always interested in learning more, meeting experts, and expanding our knowledge.”
Chuy Medrano, owner of CoCal Landscape in Welby, Colorado
“We enjoyed learning about the new technology that companies are working on to help make business owners more successful and increase productivity. We ended up switching the software we use for our day-to-day operations, which has improved communication between our office, our customers, and those out in the field.”
Matt & Dana Powell, owners of Vision Landscaping in Simi Valley, California
Julio Lopez, owner of L.A.-based Cadre Landscaping, values Expo for the continuous learning opportunities.
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