2019 Board Election
Below are statements by six nominees that are running to fill five vacancies on the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance. Please take a moment to read their statements below and then cast your vote for up to five of the six nominees via the unique hyperlink we provided by email.
Rulyscapes, Inc. (Centreville, VA)
Raul founded Rulyscapes nine years ago after 27 years as a successful entrepreneur. His prior business ventures included a retail shop, a catering company, and an international trade business that was active in the U.S., in his native Bolivia, and in other South American countries. Raul is most proud of Rulyscapes which he claims is the perfect marriage of his skills as an entrepreneur and marketer with his passion for nature and the environment. “There’s such variety in the residential and commercial work that we do and so many functions to oversee that the days go by quickly. Life’s too short to not do what you love and that’s what we stress at Rulyscapes. We love the work we do and our goal is that our customers always love the results.”
Vice President, Operations & HR
Denison Landscaping, Inc. (Fort Washington, MD)
Josh is a native of Maryland and has grown up in a family landscaping business that was started by his father when Josh was 8 years old. "There was never a question about what career I'd pursue," reflected Josh, who added, "Becoming involved with the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance was just as easy a decision." Josh is one of the industry's leading proponents for the H-2B visa program which grants temporary visas to foreign workers to perform seasonal non-agricultural work, and he first gained an appreciation for the work of the NHLA through his time advocating for the H-2B program on Capitol Hill. "I not only joined, I became a Director and have enjoyed getting to know the other Board members and working with them to grow the NHLA. Everything the NHLA has done, it has realized at a very high level. This is true of its advocacy work, service projects, and trainings. Most recently, we sent employees to Train the Trainer and the result exceeded all expectations." Josh believes that going forward the most successful companies in the landscape industry will be those that best embrace Hispanics, and encourage and support their professionalism and advancement, "NHLA membership helps Denison Landscaping do that."
Diaz Group, LLC (Chicago, IL)
Ruben Diaz Jr has been part of the green industry since he was seven years old. For more than 20 years, he has cherished every moment that he has been able to work with his family. After completing his horticultural studies, Ruben, along with his older brother and father, founded Diaz Group LLC in the spring of 2007. Ruben has been the Vice president and businesses developer of the company ever since, helping guide its growth and developing the company into one of the leaders in snow removal and landscape maintenance in the Chicago metropolitan area. He is extremely proud of his Mexican heritage which he credits for instilling a strong family orientation along with the value of hard work and tenacity. Ruben also fully embraces the American value of attaining personal growth and achievement through working smart and continuously improving. He notes that both have been key to growing and improving his business. “My biggest passion is building people from the ground up and connecting business throughout the country and in Mexico to our company. We believe in the power of the community to create a better industry by helping other Hispanic companies succeed, and he welcomes opportunities for collaboration with industry peers. Ruben believes that Hispanics in the industry need to collaborate much more in order to grow and become more successful, and he sees engagement through the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance as an excellent way for Hispanics to do so.
Executive Vice President
LandCare LLC (San Diego, CA)
Tim was born and raised in Arizona and has worked his entire professional career in the green industry. His journey began in the golf industry where he spent 20 years working through various roles in maintenance and golf course management operations. The past 9 years have been on the commercial landscape side of the business where he supports the Western Division at LandCare. “I was introduced to the NHLA about a year ago and upon learning that two key goals of the mission statement were drawing Hispanics in greater numbers into the community of industry leaders and facilitating greater professionalism and transferrable business success among Hispanics in the industry, I knew that I humbly wanted to serve in whatever capacity I could.” Much of Tim’s success he attributes toward working in a servant leadership role supporting the Hispanic workforce that makes this industry run. “If there is something I can do to give back, by helping others develop both personally and professionally, that is a passion that is deeply important to me. Using the NHLA as the instrument with which to accomplish these initiatives will benefit the industry in general.” Tim has demonstrated his commitment to NHLA by recently hosting four Train the Trainer in Spanish programs in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Diego where more than 60 Hispanic team members were inspired to grow as industry professionals and leaders.
Green and Clean Landscaping (Greensboro, NC)
“It is an honor to have been elected to serve on the NHLA Board of Directors and I would like to continue doing so,” said Alex Romo. “I believe than my young and growing company shares many ideals in common with the NHLA and its mission statement. My employees and I have benefitted from NHLA programs, and if re-elected I would look forward to continuing to help the NHLA help other Hispanic landscape professionals and member companies achieve greater professionalism and business success. I am particularly passionate about creating classes to help Hispanic landscape professionals become certified irrigation system installers and licensed landscape contractors, and obtain other professional licenses and certifications. We can certainly accomplish more if we learn from each other and the NHLA is making that possible.”
Nature's Dream Landscape, Inc. (Pinecrest, FL)
Ray Rueda graduated from Industrial Engineering in his native Colombia and moved to South Florida in 1989 with his wife Victoria, who is an architect with a Masters in Landscape Architecture. Ray started his first company in 1990 from home with a desk and a computer, and grew it into a business with 50 employees and annual sales exceeding $16 million. In 2003, Ray and Victoria founded Nature's Dream Landscape, Inc. and in 2005 they established Nature's Dream Nursery, Inc. In 2016, they sold most of the nursery operations to focus on growing their landscape design/build and maintenance services operations. Ray has a background in finance, management, marketing, accounting, business and process automation, landscape installation/ maintenance and plant development/care. “We’ve been NHLA members for a few years and have been impressed with the association’s growth and achievements,” noted Ray, adding “As a Director, I have especially enjoyed working on educational and networking programs to bring our growing membership closer together and help our members become better informed and more successful. If re-elected I look forward to continuing to do so.”