Lawns Ltd., Ground-Breaking Woman-Owned Business


WACO, Texas — Featured in Texas State Technical College’s 50th Anniversary, 1980 graduate, Lisa Torgersen, turned a part-time mowing business into a profitable landscape and lawn maintenance company in Waco, Texas. She “mowed” her way to a degree at Baylor Univeristy as well and started a successful landscape business before it was a viable career choice for women.

Headed to college on a tennis scholarship, Torgersen surprised her mother and abruptly switched course. She enrolled, instead, in the horticulture program at TSTC. Torgersen started mowing yards when she was 15 and found she loved it. “Women didn’t do physical jobs then, and there wasn’t a lawn maintenance industry. Even if there had been, women wouldn’t have been in it unless you count floral design,” said Torgersen. As a result, her mother “thought it was absolutely ridiculous for me to continue to mow yards,” she said. But she grew to respect her daughter’s career choice.

Torgersen, who earned her degree in 1980, began to build her business while still at TSTC. “I worked at a nursery selling plants and at Mr. Gattis selling pizza and went to school,” explained Lisa. “But what I really wanted to do was mow yards, so I sold my car and bought an old truck.” She worked her way through Baylor University, acquiring an education degree in 1983, but her love of being her own boss and working outdoors confirmed that teaching was not to be her future.

Torgersen has owned Lawns Ltd. in Waco since 1983. With a staff of 40 to 50 employees, Lawns Ltd. is a full-service company providing design/build services in maintenance, landscape, irrigation and lighting for residential and commercial properties. “When I started, no one did this professionally, but lawn service has morphed into a respected industry,” remarked Torgersen.

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