Francisco Cortes: Always Growing
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
WATSONVILLE — After embarking on a career in landscaping, Francisco Cortes charted a professional path marked by continual growth and development. “Before I got into landscaping, I was working in a warehouse and wanted a job where I could work outside,” he remembers. “A friend suggested becoming a landscaper, and after looking into it, I decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed landscaping work and decided to take some college courses to learn about landscape design and irrigation. Several years later, I became interested in hardscaping, so I joined the California Landscape Contractors Association so I could learn more about that aspect. Basically, the past 30 years have been a continual process of learning, developing my skills and expanding my company’s capabilities.”
Today, as owner of Green Environment Landscape, Inc., Francisco says his favorite part of his job is hardscaping. “I enjoy hardscaping work because you’re always doing something new and different, which brings a fresh set of challenges. Plus, clients are always excited to see the job progress, so it’s very rewarding when we show them the final product.”
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, Francisco immigrated to the United States in the late 1960s and today resides in Santa Cruz County. Outside of work, he maintains an active lifestyle. “I enjoy working out at the gym, going for walks along the beach and singing mariachi music with friends.” Francisco also enjoys spending quality time with his son and two daughters.
When asked about a professional philosophy, Francisco believes in the ethic of continual self-improvement. “My goal with each project is to do better and learn something new,” he explains. “I’m the kind of person who’s never satisfied with the bare minimum—I’m always looking for ways to improve upon things, whether it’s a project I’m working on or just developing my own skills. That’s why I see every new day as a fresh opportunity to learn, grow and become better at what I love to do.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What was your first job?
A: I was a field worker. I picked lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery. That’s where I first learned to love working outside.
Q: What’s your favorite season?
A: Summer, because I get to spend more time at the beach.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Jalisco Restaurant in Watsonville.
Q: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
A: Father’s Day postcards from my kids. They’ve been sending me these postcards for years and I’ve kept them all. I love that I can look at them anytime and they take me back.
Q: What’s your favorite dessert?
A: Carrot cake.
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