After nearly 30 years with the company, one of Real Green’s finest started a new chapter — retirement. Peter Brown was one of the original Real Greeners, a well-known and well-loved member of the team. We’ll miss him greatly! Peter shares his thoughts on a long, storied career. We want to wish Peter the best of luck as he embarks on his new adventure. Peter graciously shared with us his thoughts on a long, storied career.
May 1, 2020 represented my last day as a full-time employee of Real Green Systems.
As Vice President of Technical Support for many years, most of you know me (or at least my name). But you may not know much about me.
Soon after graduating from Michigan State, I started in sales for a new lawn company. This was back when we all used route cards and ledger sheets to run the business. As the company grew, I rose to the position of managing the office personnel for their twelve Midwest locations (out of 24 national branches). This company was acquired by Orkin, a very large company who was expanding their lawn care presence. I know many of you from those days.
One of Orkin’s first, and wisest, steps was to upgrade their office systems to Joe Kucik’s Lawn Assistant. We worked on its implementation for a couple of years. Then, 29 years ago, Joe approached me about coming on board with Real Green. I quickly accepted.
At the time, RG had five full-time employees. Of those five, only Joe McPhail still remains as a full time “Real Greener.” How we’ve grown!
In the beginning, we supplied computers to our new customers. They were heavy, huge towers, with monochrome monitors and dot-matrix printers. For many people, this was their first experience operating a computer, which made training very extensive and occasionally overwhelming.
This was, of course, in the days before the internet and distance learning, so we had to travel to install and train. In the course of flying and driving more than a million miles for training, upgrades and conferences over the years (anybody want some of my TWA frequent flier miles?), I’ve had the pleasure of meeting thousands of Real Green customers. I can honestly say that I have enjoyed meeting 99.9% of them.
I leave behind many friends among our customers. I have watched your children grow up, cheered as your revenue grew and grieved when some owners passed on. I particularly enjoyed finding others who shared my passion for college football, getting the latest opinions on Texas A&M, Ole Miss, LSU and many others during our calls. I even put up with Joe Kucik’s love of the Wolverines.
I want to thank you all for a wonderful experience, even the 0.1% of you. I especially want to thank those who laughed at my jokes during my User Conference presentations (that would be a different 0.1%). Most importantly, I want to thank Joe Kucik for bringing me on board.
You aren’t completely done with me yet, though. For now, I will continue to work from home, much like I have since the stay-at-home order began, helping with special projects including data collection for mailings and voiceover work for Real Green Help and Sales videos. I am also keeping my firstname.lastname@example.org email address – so please, keep in touch, just don’t use it for tech support questions!
Other plans include spending more time with my wife Kathy, whom you may have met at User Conferences, and our grandchildren. We have a getaway place in northern Michigan which will see a lot more of us and have a European trip planned for this fall, which we may need to postpone until next year, for obvious reasons.
I was very moved when the RG team put together a farewell video for me. You can check it out here. Someday, I may be able to watch it without crying.
After 36 years in lawn care, I am ready to just watch the grass grow.
Thank you all for a fantastic professional life.