Andy started his career in the Green Industry in 1970 when, as a senior in high school in San Diego, he got his very first job as a draftsman working for Fred Akers at Blue Pacific Landscape, a small design/build landscape construction / retail nursery in Ocean Beach, California. While there, he started to learn the business by drafting landscape plans for both residential and commercial clients. It was there that he first became acquainted with plant material and with the retail side of the nursery business. This matched his love for the outdoor environment and his desire to create beautiful landscapes, a trait that had been passed down to him by his father who maintained a beautiful English garden in the family home in San Diego.
After working for Blue Pacific Landscape for a year and half and wanting to explore other parts of the industry, he went to work for Glenn Asakawa at Presidio Nursery and Garden Center in Linda Vista. In addition to having a family owned construction company, Glenn also had Glenn Asakawa and Associates, a budding landscape architectural firm. While attending San Diego Mesa College earning his degree in Nursery and Landscape Technology, Andy worked for both companies where he picked up valuable knowledge in both design and construction, skills that would become crucial to his future career as a landscape architect.
While attending Mesa College, Andy was awarded two scholarships. The California Association of Nurserymen presented him with the 1974 James R. Seaman Sr. Award in recognition of superior effort to encourage a career in horticulture. The second scholarship was the Exterior Design Associates Award for being the top student in the graduating class.
He worked for two summers for Western Landscape Construction as an intern in their design department during the summer breaks while attending Cal Poly Pomona where he graduated in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture. While at Western Landscape, he further refined his knowledge and skills in both design and construction as well as a better understanding of construction management and cost estimating.
While still a senior at Cal Poly, he started working for a recently created small start-up landscape architectural firm, Robert M. Sawyer and Associates in Costa Mesa. And this is really where his career took hold and got started. Under the tutelage of Rob Sawyer and Mike Imlay, Andy joined their newly found firm and worked his way up the ‘corporate ladder’, eventually becoming project manager, associate, and senior associate. He became a licensed landscape architect in 1979. In 1980, the firm moved from Costa Mesa to Santa Ana and changed its name to Land Concern. Land Concern became known for their innovative and creative designs and are respected for their many award winning projects in model home design and community development. Andy was named a principal of the firm in 2000, a position that he still holds today.
Andy has been very active in a number of organizations benefiting landscape architecture and the Green Industry as a whole. A member of the American Society of Landscape Architects since 1981, he has served as a two-time president of the Southern California Chapter, and also as its trustee for two consecutive terms. He, along with Baxter Miller was the Co-Chair of the 2017 ASLA Annual Meeting in Los Angeles and he recently presented at one of the education sessions at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
He was appointed by Governor’s Schwarzenegger and Brown to the Landscape Architects Technical Committee, having been elected as chair three different times. At the end of his current term in June, he will have been on the Committee for 12 years, making him the longest serving appointee in the over 20 year history since the LATC was first created.
He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the California Landscape Architectural Student Scholarship Fund (CLASS Fund) for over 25 years and along with Marty McPhee of Park West Landscape has served as the Co-Chair of the annual CLASS Fund Golf Tournament which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships for California students in landscape architecture, irrigation science, and ornamental horticulture. The endowment fund currently has over $1.2 million dollars which will allow for these scholarships to be given in perpetuity.
Andy also serves on the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program Guidance Committee and is one of the two ASLA representatives to this group. He has served on the committee since 2009, and has been the chair since 2013.
Andy was presented with a Life Member Award by the CLASS Fund, and also received the Ruth Shellhorn Outstanding Service Award for Service and Dedication from the Southern California Chapter of ASLA. In 2018 he was elevated to Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects at the ASLA Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.
He has worked at Land Concern for over 43 years, been married to his lovely wife, Dawn for over 42 years, and lived in the same house for 39 years. I guess that you could say that Andy just doesn’t like change! He has two sons, Christopher, who has also recently entered into the Green Industry, and his other son, Jonathan, who has studied the culinary arts. He has one grandson, Maddox, who he hopes will consider following in the family tradition and trying to excel at whatever career path he takes.