PGMS Announces David Ott as CGM #180

PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Ott: Throughout my career I have always obtained certifications and training that would further my knowledge and make me better as a Landscape Manager.  The CGM was a life goal to achieve furthering my professional growth in the green industry.   I look forward to representing PGMS in any capacity necessary to grow PGMS and the green industry professionally.

PGMS: What inspired you to pursue a career in the green industry?
Ott: I grew up in the construction industry. My Dad was a home builder and from the time I could walk I was right next to him learning.  As an early adult, I found that as we got houses completed there was no one to finish the landscaping and take care of the lawns.  I found a niche…. So in April of 1991 I started mowing lawns on the side;  a few at first then I didn’t have enough time to care for them all.  A NC Cooperative Extension agent mentored me into doing larger jobs and getting my pesticide license. From there I grew my business into a company that ran and managed a garden center and landscape/hardscape crews. I have truly enjoyed my work and count it a blessing to be a part of such a great industry.

PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Ott: The best thing you can do for yourself and the green industry is to pursue all the certifications and experience you can early in your career.  Make a habit of always making yourself better by professional training and networking through PGMS.  It’s a valuable resource that will pay dividends through your whole career.

PGMS: What challenges have you faced in your professional career that helped you through the process?
Ott: Being in my own business for 20 years has helped me be resilient through all the challenges of grounds maintenance.  Talking with and negotiating with customers and working through the challenges of landscape contracting has helped prepare me for the work of budgets, supervision and employees.  I believe that every person should experience some degree of self employment to develop skills needed to view the landscape we care for as an owner.

PGMS: How do you think having the CGM designation will help you professionally?
Ott: I have grown more through the CGM process than ever in my career, I know my landscape and myself better than ever before.  I have always been a hands on supervisor but now see even more opportunities to grow myself through using the skills the PGME has taught me.  It’s truly a dream come true.

PGMS: What are your favorite aspects of working in the green industry?
Ott: I hear it all the time, “I love to work outside…”, but it’s so much more than that. I love all the aspects of landscape maintenance.  I love the planning, the work and the challenges every job or project brings.  I enjoy the dedication of caring for the landscape and the challenge to keep it thriving.

To learn more about how you can obtain the Certified Grounds Manager certification click here or e-mail us at

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