Is “Gardener” a Dirty Word?
When Valerio Morano Sagliocco was in high school in Westchester County, New York, he was reluctant to share that his parents were gardeners and landscapers because it was looked down upon. But now a third-generation landscape designer running his grandfather’s business, he couldn’t be prouder.
When I asked Valerio Morano, owner of third-generation Morano Landscape & Garden Design, what quality he looks for when hiring someone to work with him, he didn’t hesitate to tell me that it was pride
“That’s the number one thing I look for,” he shared. “Whether I’m interviewing a development manager, horticulturist or lawn care person, for instance, I have to see that they have heart in what they do. Anyone who doesn’t have heart simply doesn’t work with us. I want people to have the same passion that I have for the business,” he admitted.
It turns out pride has played a big role throughout Valerio’s life. Having grown up in Westchester County—an area tucked into the Hudson Valley just north of New York City and boasting the second-highest-income in New York per capita, having landscapers in the family when everyone else seemed to work in finance or law—wasn’t always easy for young Valerio. “Saying my parents were landscapers or gardeners [growing up in Westchester], was like saying my parents were garbage collectors,” he shared—(not that he thinks waste management is of any less importance). His point: if your parents weren’t working a high-profile desk job, then it was definitely frowned upon.
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