the CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP
22 Years into his career and there is not much he has not built, designed, worked on, or been part of when it comes to the exterior construction of a home or building. Chad Bennett started his first landscape construction job at 18. Although, he was always busy planting pinto beans in his Arizona garden early on as a child. He realized his love for plants, planting and gardening. It was his favorite thing to do, next to playing every sport and fishing.
His first professional full-time job was with a landscape contracting and maintenance company called Blue Oasis and he credits the former owner David for teaching him everything about plants and the installation process. After 4 years of working for the company, Chad decided he wanted to build his own dream. By 22 he had obtained his first contractor’s license in Arizona. He mostly serviced General Contractors in the new production and track home developments. He also serviced commercial and industrial landscape contracting projects.
There is where he got his start to landscape construction installations on new residential homes. He had 32 GC’s he did work for regularly. That usually work was contracts on the landscape, hardscape, concrete, masonry, fencing, landscape designs, streetscapes and entryways for a lot of the builders. He was the preferred contractor on the new home landscape packages and would usually be able to lock in the common areas of the subdivisions.
His fleet could be seen at every end of the Tri-State area. From Bullhead City AZ, as far south as Needles CA and Lake Havasu City. He would go as far north as Kingman Arizona and you could find see him across the Colorado River in Laughlin Nevada. His work stretched as far as Las Vegas where he was also licensed in Landscaping by the state of Nevada. Arizona was home base and that is where he obtained 4 trade licenses. The first at 22 in Landscape and Irrigation Systems followed by Fencing, Masonry and Concrete.
He owned and operated this from 22 years young. A small landscape company that was big business in a small town. He had upwards of 40 full time employees, 2 offices, a welding shop, construction yard, fleet of trucks, trailers and tractors. Fast forward and it is now 2009. Who can forget the housing crash of 09? It was engulfing the construction industry and putting contractors out of business. When one General Contracting company went under and could not pay for the work Chad had completed, he was able to wither the blow. Then a domino effect unfolded, and it happened with another builder and then another. The financial burden liability and became too heavy. Chad could not sustain the financial effects of the 09-housing crash. Inevitably, slowly and painfully, everything he had built dwindled away. He would have a similar fate as the builders who could not pay him. He could not escape the snowball effect and soon he was engulfed too. He went under, causing him to lose everything he owned and worked so hard for by 29.
Terrible timing. His daughter Meadow was just born that year. Depressed, broke and living in a town where construction was obsolete, he packed up what little they still had. They moved to Phoenix Arizona, in search of a new start. Meadows mother wanted to pursue her degree. He made a post on Facebook the night before they departed Bullhead City. He instantly found a job the next day after arriving in Phoenix. At a measly 10.00 an hour and what little he had scrounged up doing side jobs before leaving they had enough to put up a deposit on an apartment.
He was back to the bottom where he came from. Having been there before it was not an unfamiliar place. So, the transition was not as bad as it was for others affected by the 09 crash. Some who had everything from the start lost everything. He had nothing to start, then accumulated a lot, then found himself with nothing again. If he did not have anything to his name, he did have his beloved daughter, his reason, his Meadow. He also had something called integrity and pride. He was not about being a got dealt a bad hand type of guy. Or a sorry story and giving up and quitting was not something someone would ever be able to tell his daughter about him.
“It was a depressing time, watching everything I owned be sold for pennies on the dollar. My house foreclosed on, my mother’s home I bought her foreclosed on, rental property, commercial property. My small empire crumbled before my eyes. Everything I had worked for was gone and I had nothing. I came to Phoenix with the smallest U-Haul box truck and everything I owned was inside of it. The biggest blessing of my life Meadow and her mom were in our car following me. That was it.”
The only thing that kept him pressing forward was Meadow. “I remember thinking of everything I owned and was forced to sell. My boat, furniture, and now everything I owned was in the back of this small U-Haul. I had about 4 hours to ponder deeply on that drive”. The feeling of not knowing how my rent would be paid was not unfamiliar. He knew he could only go up again. Chad is a mover and a shaker. He is not scared of long workdays and will do whatever it takes to make things happen. He understands the dream comes free, but the hustle is sold separately.
Though Chad was working as a bouncer for 10.00 an hour, he knew it was only temporary. He knew what he was capable of. He knew he had experience and trades. He knew business and marketing. His goal was to keep bettering his family’s situation. A few months in Phoenix and he found another job doing Bankruptcy consultations and signing up new clients for a prominent BK attorney. How familiar it all was. He was not just selling people the service he was empathizing with their situation he knew far too well. It was very gratifying to Chad because he was able to counsel people that thought it was the end. People thought the that their life was over. Although he loved his job there, he also knew in his mind he wanted to own his own business again.
He was told about a sales job at a very high-end reputable company in the Valley. He applied with the disclaimer he wanted to be in business for himself again eventually. Ten minutes after walking out of his interview, he received a welcome to the team phone call. Two weeks later Chad hit the ground running for Unique Landscapes and Custom Pools. There he learned and still credits owner, Chris Griffin for really teaching him everything about business organization and management he never knew. Chad uses a lot of the exact same systems in place at Ground Zero Landscape and Construction and uses the same business ideologies.
Chads work ethic in the field of landscape construction and overseeing day to day operations of Ground Zero does not go unnoticed to those closest to him. Meadow often has to tell him to put the phone down on vacations. You can usually find him in his home office after he has tucked his daughter to bed. He also believes that industry education and continuing education is important. Learning the industries newest methods, tools and products helps give him and Ground Zero Landscape and Construction the edge over competitors in the Phoenix Landscape Designers market.
Chad does not shy away and owns up to his past failures. He most definitely does not shy away from his new successes. He is ready to come meet you for your in-person consultation. He is ready to discuss your project and collaborate with you. He will view your project and the successful execution of your project as a partnership with Ground Zero Landscape and Construction LLC.
Ground Zero has adjusted to some client’s requests due to Covid-19 and now ALSO offers virtual consultations. Ground Zero is now using Zoom, Skype, Google Duo, Go to Meeting, FaceTime and more. Just be sure to mention it in the comments section of the consultation request form or on the client intake sheet.
To schedule a free consultation however you prefer just click the link below!