Owner and CEO
Rick Upchurch hales from Alabama but was raised in Atlanta. In 1983, desiring to start his own business, Rick started NatureScapes with a great deal of drive, ambition, and little else. Since then, he has grown the company to over 300 associates, with annual revenues exceeding $10 Million. Rick is a former two-time President of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association and has spent the last 30 years building a reputation for excellence among his peers. NatureScapes has received over 50 awards for excellence in landscape maintenance and installation, and had been consistently ranked as one of Atlanta’s top commercial landscape companies.
The Lilburn facility of Nature Scapes is considered state of the art for the landscape industry, has hosted MALTA meetings and a tour of Atlanta landscape facilities by Lawn and Landscape Magazine.
Rick resides in Greensboro with his wife, Cynthia, and enjoys golf and spending time on the water.
Rick is one of a dwindling number of owner-operators as President of Nature Scapes.
Mike Kneeland financially consulted with NatureScapes beginning in 1995 and officially joined the team in 2003 as CFO. In this role Mike oversees banking relationships, accounting and office staff along with keeping the pulse on the financial well-being of the organization.
Mike’s background involves a variety of businesses including earning his CPA license in Minnesota while working with a large, national accounting firm and also a couple of Atlanta based landscape organizations. Mike has a B.A. degree in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Mike moved to the Atlanta area in 1982, is married, and along with his wife have three grown daughters. Mike enjoys outdoor activities, traveling and spending time with his two Grandchildren that also reside in Atlanta.
Bryan Garruto has been in the industry since 2001. He is passionate about taking care of the customer and building long-term relationships. As a result, Bryan has won multiple awards for highly satisfied clients. In addition, he is committed to delivering superior results and has led teams to achieving many local and national landscape awards for customers.
Bryan is dedicated to advancing NatureScapes excellent industry reputation and brand by providing exceptional service and quality through highly trained employees.
Prior to joining NatureScapes, Bryan served as a Branch Manager for ValleyCrest Landscape Maintenance for over nine years of his fourteen plus years with the company. Before joining ValleyCrest he was an Assistant GM for a minor league baseball team in North Carolina. Bryan has a B.S.B.A. in Marketing from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA.
Bryan and his wife Alison are proud parents of their two daughters, Emerson and Elise. Bryan is also a passionate sports fan and golfer.
Branch Manager, Lilburn | firstname.lastname@example.org
Terry Powell joined NatureScapes in 2016 as Branch Manager for their Lilburn office. As Branch Manager he manages and leads a team servicing a territory from Lake Lanier to Snellville and into Alpharetta and Buckhead. In addition, Terry teaches various continuing education classes for professional property managers through a certified CEU program as well as to the general public at a local university program. He is a Certified Plant Professional with the Urban Ag Council (formerly Georgia Green Industry Association).
Terry has been in the landscape industry since 1997 when he began his career as an intern while attending Auburn University. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Auburn in 2001. He has held key roles in landscape maintenance, golf course maintenance, and with wholesale plant nurseries doing so in Metro Atlanta, Ft. Myers Florida and Birmingham, AL. Some of his various roles have been crew leader, account manager, salesman, technical services manager, designer, yard manager, and branch manager. Terry believes his most important asset is the vast experience he has within the industry as well as his intense love of proper horticulture. He is drawn daily to teaching those around him about the landscape industry both from a business standpoint as well as sustainable horticulture.
Terry is a husband and father of three. He loves spending time with them while tailgating in Auburn and camping throughout the Southeast. Some other hobbies include DIY projects around the house, golfing, and shooting sporting clays.
Branch Manager, Southeast | email@example.com
Matt has been in the industry since 2001 and joined the NatureScapes team in 2013 to lead the Satellite Branch in Del Webb’s Sun City Peachtree. It was at Sun City where Matt truly learned the art of customer service and quality by assisting the property management team, developer and the 900 plus homeowners in the community. Matt is now the Branch Manager for the Southeast Branch for the company.
With 17 years of experience in the landscape industry, Matt has had the opportunity to work for award winning properties in the Commercial, Retail, HOA and Governmental markets. These markets include the Metro/Downtown Atlanta, Macon, Lake Oconee, Athens and Augusta.
Matt achieved a degree in Horticulture and a minor in Turfgrass Management from The University of Georgia. He lives in Greensboro Georgia with his wife and two children. When not working, the sports aficionado enjoys spending time the his family and escaping weekends to the North Georgia and North Carolina mountains.
Business Developer | Bthacker@nscapes.com
Brandt Thacker joined the NatureScapes team in 2017 to serve as Business Developer. This role allows Brandt to focus on strategic growth in Commercial, HOA, Retail and other market segments. In addition, Brandt is a member of BOMA and CAI, and directs all marketing and advertising for the company to increase exposure to perspective clientele.
Brandt comes to NatureScapes with 11 years of experience in all areas of Landscape Maintenance. Prior to joining our team, Brandt served as an Accounts Manager with ValleyCrest, where he managed a portfolio in excess of $1.2M. Brandt has been successful cultivating relationships and beautifying properties through maintenance and enhancements in Atlanta since 2011.
He has B.S. in Horticulture, with a discipline in Landscape Design/Build and Maintenance from Auburn University. The Alabama native resides in Acworth and enjoys fishing, coaching his kids sports and is an active member of his church.