A relatively new member of the Zeppas family, landscape designer Jeremy Alexander is walking proof that you don’t have to work somewhere forever to make a big impact.
A former landscape business owner, Jeremy joined the team a year ago, bringing with him more than 25 years' worth of experience in the industry. He got his start in the industry while still in high school, working weekends at a local garden center in his hometown of Louisville, KY. From there he started working with homeowners and businesses, designing and installing outdoor projects.
In 2005, Jeremy decided to complement his self-taught education with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from the University of Kentucky in 2005.
Despite all this real-world (and formal) education, the designer says he has never stopped learning.
“I’m continuously reading and studying and researching new garden trends and other leaders in the landscape design industry,” he said.
So what does a day in the life of a Zeppas landscape designer look like?
For Jeremy, the word day normally begins with a rundown and check-up of current projects. This could be anything from designing plans, estimating material costs, or building. This can mean plenty of juggling, but according to Jeremy, this helps to keep things fresh and exciting.
Once he has his priorities set for the day, he will work closely with construction managers, sub-contractors, and homeowners to make sure everyone is on the same page and that site checkups are running smoothly.
On any given day, Jeremy says he will bounce between following up on leads, designing, presenting plans, and producing estimates and bids for potential projects. A hands-on member of the team, Jeremy plays a vital role in ensuring projects are delivered successfully at every stage of the process.
Reflecting on his career highlights, Jeremy said it was hard to pick a favorite project. However, designing the outdoor space for the Union Restaurant & Gameyard in Downtown Jeffersonville was a definite bright spot.
“I was the sole Landscape Designer and Visionary for that entire outdoor space. I drew it up and helped build it from an empty parking lot to what you see there now. It's one of my favorites because it was so gratifying to see people enjoying it throughout the year. When you do a project for a homeowner, usually only they and their family and friends get to experience it and enjoy it. But when it's a bustling restaurant and outdoor space, it gets thousands of people a year that you get to touch. It's awesome!”
When he’s not working, Jeremy can be found hanging out with his family in nature. With three children, Jeremy and his wife of 15 years, Jamie, have a "tight-knit family", and on weekends the five of them love spending time on the patio or exploring the New Albany outdoors. Throw in some BBQ and Bourbon and you've got the blueprint for Jeremy’s dream day.
Despite his wealth of experience, Jeremy says he has found a home at Zeppas. For him, it's the people that make the job so rewarding.
Commenting on what makes Zeppas such a unique place to work, he said:
“Zeppas is a small family-owned company and is operated as a close-knit group of people that love to work outside and work hard for a living. Everyone here is so upbeat and positive, and the team is full of bold thinkers and doers. We focus on high-quality work and doing things differently. No, we are not the cheapest, but we are certainly not average either. We like to be bold and creative and we know our plants too.”
So, next time you see him out and about, don’t forget to say “hi”. And while you’re at it, why not test him on his Latin plant names! According to Jeremy, he has a photographic memory for it.