Some have described COVID-19’s “great pause” as an incredible opportunity for us to invest in ourselves and refocus on our goals and passions. What comes to mind if you ask yourself, “What does it look like to bring my dreams to life?” For this month’s client spotlight, we sat down with someone who has done just that. Join us for a candid conversation with Anthony Verches, founder of The ESV Group and Love Them All Foundation.
Verches shares his experiences in entrepreneurship and business growth for both companies. But beyond that, he provides a stunning example of what it looks like to infuse a culture of goodwill into everything he does.
The ESV Group
Verches founded The ESV Group Inc. in 1980. Building on his decades of experience as a landscape contractor, The ESV Group continues this legacy by taking on commercial and custom residential maintenance projects. And although their work is mostly in the Inland Empire, Verches and his team have contracts all over Southern and Central California.
In his role as Founder and President, Verches spends nearly all his time out in the field. Specifically, he oversees the bidding, estimating, and follow-through of projects from start to finish at each location. That means you can expect to see Verches involved in the demolition, purchasing, delivery, and set up until your project is completed.
While many businesses have struggled throughout the pandemic, The ESV Group has thrived during this challenging time. With more people staying at home and looking to tackle new projects, this presents an amazing opportunity for the landscaping industry.
Verches has seen an uptick in projects involving synthetic grass due to drought conditions over the past five years. He’s also seen increasing requests to modify landscapes to be more drought-tolerant.
Additionally, Verches is a huge promoter of high-ROI landscapes incorporating vegetation like fruit trees and vegetables. Lately, he’s been able to help many new home gardeners with advice and support to grow a successful garden.
Apart from this, Verches has adapted to COVID-19 by modifying his own internal processes to limit exposure. For example, redirecting The ESV Group’s mail to minimize the need for travel or going into an actual office.
Differentiation is Key
The landscaping industry can be pretty cutthroat. And with dozens of contractors fighting for the lowest bid, competition is by far the biggest challenge for The ESV Group.
However, you may not know that many times these “budget-friendly” contractors are only able to get their costs so low from lack of licensure, workers’ comp insurance, or cutting other corners that will ultimately result in unsatisfactory work.
Verches and his team of licensed and insured landscaping professionals are committed to quality and client satisfaction. Further, they have a culture of goodwill and an authentic desire to help that makes it an absolute joy to work with The ESV Group.
The result? At the start of the year, Verches had set the goal of maintaining his existing accounts and to continue growing his clientele. Now, halfway through the year–and even in spite of a global pandemic!–they are still on track to reach these goals. A true sign of success that Verches attributes to their culture and quality of work.
Founding Love Them All
For Verches, this culture of goodwill is not limited to his landscaping company, though. He’s also the founder of a nonprofit, Love Them All Foundation, that works with special needs children and young adults to help them stay active.
Looking for ways to engage his own daughter with down syndrome, who loved to swim but disliked the highly competitive nature of the programs available to her, Verches saw the need for programs that allowed kids to play how they want to play.
He began organizing small “grassroots” events. Then, as interest grew, he formally began the nonprofit in 2012.
Making a Difference
Love Them All Foundation is entirely volunteer-operated with no paid positions. They receive about $100,000 in donations each year, all of which goes to the kids. And all events are free because they never want money to be a reason for kids not to show up.
With programs ranging from swimming and bowling to football, dances, softball, basketball, and anything else you can think of, Verches shares that the most rewarding part is seeing the kids who want to come out and play and be involved.
Additionally, so many low-income kids who would normally not be able to participate in these types of programs are now regular participants. No matter what background the kids come from, Verches loves to see the engagement and how inspiring it is to see families get more involved in their special needs children’s lives.
A Chance Encounter
As it happens, Verches actually met Southland Data Processing completely by chance. In 2019, SDP volunteered as a sponsor of the Upland Chamber annual golf tournament. There, we had a themed chipping competition. The prize? Donating a fundraising event to the charity of choice for whoever chipped the most Peeps marshmallows into our hole.
Our winner was Stephen Wells of Falcon Abrasive, who chose to throw the fundraiser for Love Them All Foundation. Throughout the entire experience, Verches was so fun, passionate, and energetic. Our entire team had a blast working with him.
For Verches, the fundraiser was also a great experience, and shortly after he began processing payroll for The ESV Group with SDP. He loves the level of one-on-one support he receives and how warm and welcoming everyone is at the office.
I love that I don’t feel like I’m just a number. With SDP, you’re treated like a person.
And throughout COVID-19, Verches is so thankful to have partnered with SDP. As one example, after receiving a PPP loan, he needed to change his payroll bank account. Our support team took care of the request right away. And once he finished using his PPP funds, it was simple and easy to transition back to his original account. Later, he needed to obtain employee info due to COVID-19. Again, our team was able to help him immediately and make the entire process stress-free.
I was really stressed. It seemed everything was changing day-to-day. The SDP Team just took all the stress off so I didn’t have to worry about it.
Show Some Love!
This month, we want to invite you to join us in supporting Love Them All Foundation. There are so many ways to get involved in the nonprofit’s mission of making a difference in the lives of those living with special needs. You can learn more about the Love Them All Foundation here, or contact them for volunteer or donation opportunities here.
SDP Client Spotlights: Celebrating Our Clients
Every month, we highlight one of our amazing clients with the SDP Client Spotlight. Here at Southland Data Processing, we’re in the people business and strive to always put our clients first. So if you or your organization is interested in becoming our next Client Spotlight, please contact us at [email protected] and we’d love to hear your story!
Photo and video by Love Them All