A Cycle of Learning and Growth:
How We Cultivate DCA Outdoor’s Employee Culture
At DCA Outdoor, we are committed to a culture of growth, one that centers around our biggest asset: our employees. We firmly believe that every member of our team can learn from each other and cultivate what we proudly call a “cycle of learning and growth.” And it’s a commitment that we are proud to share with you.
Our President and Founder, Tory Schwope, expressed this commitment in a recent letter he wrote about Edgar Serrano Martinez. Edgar was a long-time member of the DCA Outdoor family, having grown his career with us over the course of 20 years. While he began as a laborer, Edgar ultimately worked his way up to senior management, with over 50 employees reporting to him. Sadly, Edgar passed away to cancer in July, 2017. However, we know that Edgar would want his story to live on. We’re proud to reflect on Edgar’s inspiring life and career, and how we at DCA Outdoor strive to pay homage to his memory through the work that we do every day.
A Horticulture Professional We Are Proud to Honor
Throughout his life and career, Edgar was an exceptional individual and consummate professional. Having initially arrived in the United States from Mexico with rudimentary English language skills, Edgar was steadfast in his desire to learn English and become a skilled horticulture professional. In addition to his professional accomplishments, Edgar also purchased a home, married, and had two beautiful children.
Tory warmly shares how his professional and personal relationship with Edgar flourished over the years. While it took root in the very fields in which they planted and harvested, it led them to each other’s homes – meeting one another’s families and celebrating the holidays together. One year, Tory even traveled to Central Mexico to experience Edgar’s hometown and meet his family. “It was truly an amazing experience to see what life is like there,” recalls Tory. “I understood why, after he was married, he brought his wife to this country and made plans to raise a family here.”
Edgar’s work ethic helped the company pull through challenging times, particularly the recent economic recession. “During the recession and the near total collapse of the nursery industry, a handful of individuals in our company exhausted significant efforts to pull us through,” states Tory. “Edgar’s effort was monumental. I asked everyone to do more with less, and many times it felt like I was asking for the impossible, but Edgar consistently made the impossible, possible, and usually with a smile.”
An Inspiration for a Career Marked by Ongoing Growth
When reflecting on the impact that Edgar had on the company, Tory states that his life was a triumph. “He set an example for all of us – how to live, how to lead, and how to treat others. His efforts have impacted the lives of everyone in our company, because the organization would most likely not have been able to be built without his efforts.”
All of us at DCA Outdoor firmly believe that Edgar’s story will inspire others to take advantage of the opportunities in front of them. “His legacy will live on,” says Tory.
We want to share that legacy with you. If you are or know a horticulture professional who is looking for an environment that is committed to ongoing learning and growth, we welcome the opportunity to connect with you. We want to be a part of your growth story.