Shandi Walls – Female Employee Spotlight of January

Employee name: Shandi Walls
Role at company: Labourer/Crew Lead
Direct quote from the employee: "You’re a Rockstar"

It is important to Women of Commercial Landscaping (WCL) to showcase the amazing women who, on a daily basis, bring their hearts and passion to the table to collectively contribute to our growth and success.

In order to help you get to know us a little bit better and learn about the fantastic individuals that make up our team, we will be interviewing them and letting you in on their answers. What do they do? What do they enjoy? What makes them unique? It’s time to find out!

For our fourth employee spotlight, meet Shandi Walls. Let’s dive in and learn more about her.

What do you do at our company?
In the summer I am a laborer on the construction side of landscaping, and in the winter, I am crew lead for snow removal.

What has been your favourite project so far?
I can't pick just one project, I like them all, proud of all the projects. There's something to be said about starting with a blank canvas and a plan…then working together as a team, having fun, working through challenges and then ‘voilà’, after a lot of hard work, we’ve created a space that is beautiful and adds to nature. It's satisfying.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
Besides payday, I'm motivated to continue building my skills and to learning something new, and to prove to myself that I can do whatever I put my mind to, and do it well. Also proving to the boys that I'm a valuable team player and that I can dig 3 by 3-foot holes, might add to my motivation.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I'm related to Abraham Lincoln. My maternal grandmother’s great (however many ‘greats’ it works out to be) great aunt Mary Todd married him. There's no blood line as they were both assassinated before they had children. My grandmother went on a mission to figure out her family tree and that's where her research took her. Pretty cool since he was one of the good ones.

How do you balance your career and your family/personal life?
Not sure if I'm that great at balancing but I think I've mastered prioritizing. I've learned that we can only do what we can, and we have to make the most of it.

What advice would you give to other women in the industry?
Ladies, the boys will probably be stronger and faster than you, but only at first. If you're persistent and keep going especially on the hardest days, you will build your strength and endurance and your skills will improve. You'll learn things about yourself you never knew before; you'll surprise yourself every day. And maybe you'll never be the strongest but as a female in this industry you have an opportunity to bring valuable qualities that only you can bring. Don't ever quit.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?
In the summer I literally play in the dirt. I dig holes and plant shrubs and trees, I lay sod and other materials. I've done a lot of different things and learned many new skills. I’m fortunate that I work with a lot of great people who are patient and willing to take the time to teach me. In the winter I am a crew lead and I shovel a lot of snow and throw a lot of salt on the sidewalks. I’m responsible for the safety of my crew and for making sure the jobs are done properly and efficiently.

What are three words you would use to describe Clintar?
Encouraging, successful, family.

What do you find most rewarding/challenging about your role?
The most challenging part of my job is the physical labor, especially on the hottest days, it can be exhausting. The most rewarding part is seeing the progress we've made. Getting your fitness on every day is rewarding also as you're going to get in shape, and you'll get the best farmer’s tan!!!

If given the chance, who would you be for a day?
I pick me. It's a waste of who you are if you're wishing to be someone else.

If you could interview one person (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
I would interview John F Kennedy, not only was he the most handsome man but he was complex and kind and a president who genuinely cared about the people, all the people, no matter race or gender or faith or financial status. I believe he would have done great things even beyond the presidency. I'd like to be able to just talk to him, hear his stories and fears and opinions, hopefully squeeze a secret or two out of him. I'd ask him “where do we go from here?”

What would you like to be famous for?
Surviving single motherhood and raising two very good, kind and capable men!

What inspires/motivates you?
My children inspire me every day to be a better person today than I was yesterday. They’re my “why”.

We hope you enjoyed learning about Shandi Walls! We can’t wait to connect you to more of our wonderful team – so stay tuned.