A Timeline Of Accomplishments
Beth Berry, VP,
Turf & Ornamental Sales
Advanced Turf Solutions
1. When, why, and how did you start your career in the Green Industry?
I just finished 40 years in the industry! I started part time at ChemLawn in Indianapolis when I was in college. I went on to be the first female commercial outside sales rep and then office manager before ChemLawn was acquired by TruGreen in 1992. I followed my regional manager and lifetime mentor, Chuck Voyles, to start Emerald Green featuring Scotts.
2. Please describe your position now.
I’m the Vice President of Turf and Ornamental Sales for Advanced Turf Solutions. I have enjoyed this role for two years now. Prior to joining ATS, I spent eight years as Vice President of Sales at Real Green Software, and prior to Real Green, I spent 16 years as Director of Customer Service for Scotts Lawn Service. I am Board Vice President for Project Evergreen and also sit on the board of the National Association of Landscape Professionals and Indiana Professional Lawn and Landscape Association. I have been voted one of the Top 40 Women in the Green Industry and also one of the Top 50 Women in SaaS software. I have a weekly podcast on Turfs Up Radio, Ahead of the Curb with Beth Berry.
3. What is your educational background or skill set? Is there a degree, continuing education class, or skill you would recommend for success?
I pursued a degree in secondary education as I had always wanted to teach high school history. During my senior year of college, while student teaching, I started a part-time job as a customer service rep at ChemLawn. Making America beautiful one lawn at a time became my passion! Also, I never miss an opportunity to attend an industry trade show. Elevate is the best of all time. Unparalleled content.
I also stay current on state pesticide applicator licensing. Trust me, you don’t want me to treat your lawn, but it lends credibility. I am also obsessed with marketing podcasts such as Amy Porterfield, and using AI in marketing and sales.
4. What other jobs did you have along the way?
I spent five years in a popcorn concession stand and then three years in retail.
5. What was your best business or career decision?
To abandon my longtime goal of becoming a school teacher. I would have killed the parents.
6. What was your worst business or career decision?
None. As Steve Jobs said, “You connect the dots of your life in the rearview mirror.”
I never pursued a job after my first real job — 10 years at ChemLawn. I’ve always taken the next industry job with former colleagues, peers, or mentors I have enjoyed over the years. I’ve had very diverse roles, but I LOVE the industry!
7. What was your funniest business experience?
When customers would call our call centers at Scotts they would commonly ask, “Are any of the men around? I have a question.” My reply was, “Sure! I recruited and trained them, but let me grab one for you.”
8. What’s your favorite piece of equipment/ landscaper tool?
Steel Green ride-on spreader/sprayer! It’s what all the cool kids use. It is truly the Harley Davidson of the industry. Steel Green has never been more important because of the efficiencies companies gain.
9. What is your advice to others?
As Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” Become the very best at what you do.
10. What do you wish you had known?
I wish I had joined Toastmasters at a younger age. Public speaking is an art, and if you can articulate ideas in a compelling manner, you will always be highly sought after. I also wish I had the courage 20 years ago to purposely pursue mentors and ask for help. There are so many icons in our industry. Just ask! For me, that was Jennifer Lemcke, CEO of Turf Holdings/Weed Man. Say “yes” when you have the opportunity to do something new or lead a project. You will figure it out.
11. What is your personal or business goal for the future?
I would like to become an NFL Anchor for ESPN. Hey, it could happen!