This Local landscaper built her career from the ground up
By Hannah Massen
Melissa Brock is the perfect combination of “ California valley girl” and Southern belle. She has a brilliant smile, rarely has a blonde hair out of place, and buys simple, classy dresses in order to have her company logo embroidered on them so she doesn’t have to wear oversized polo shirts. Most importantly, Brock has made a name for herself in the traditionally male-dominated field of landscaping.
She is director of business development at The Greenery Inc., a regional full-service landscaping company specializing in landscape installation, maintenance, irrigation, lighting, flatwork hardscape and more. Brock initially landed a job as an office administrator for The Greenery’s construction division in 2011. She felt “stuck” in that position, so Brock created a business development position that would allow her to do more of what she loves most: being a “connector” of people.
“I knew I wanted to be the director of business development as a whole, so I went after what I wanted,” Brock said. “My biggest motivation is ‘the thrill of the kill.’” Last year her business development team submitted over 300 proposals worth about $17 million in commercial maintenance proposals with a high conversion rate.
Thanks to her networking and genuine likability, Brock quickly became known for her business development acumen in the construction and landscaping world, so she took up the responsibility to manage and oversee all new business development for commercial maintenance opportunities company-wide for The Greenery’s development initiatives in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
“I’ve been surrounded by great people who have challenged me and made me better,” Brock said.
“When I first started, I knew nothing about landscaping. The horticulturists at The Greenery have taught me so much. I can now go into a meeting and know what I’m talking about.”
The Greenery’s mission is “to be the best landscape company in the markets we serve,” but the company is also committed to serving its employees. The business is entirely employee-owned, giving them a vested interest in the company’s success and its values of service, quality, safety and community involvement. The Greenery encourages professional and personal growth among all its employees through a variety of internal leadership programs.
“We absolutely teach our employees to be happy and to ‘show happy,’” Brock said. “We know our people are our greatest asset.”
The Greenery has launched several initiatives to give back to the Lowcountry over the years, including renovating the landscaping for the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, part of the Spanish Moss Trail in Beaufort, the Wharf Street redevelopment project in Bluffton and most recently donating landscaping at OPFOB (Operation Patriot, Forward Operating Base), a military veterans’ retreat located in Ridgeland.
Driven by her desire to help others, Brock has served on a variety of local and regional committees. She sits on the board of directors for the Hilton Head Area Home Builders Association (HHAHBA) and recently was elected executive VP of associate members.
This is also her fourth year as the chair of the HHAHBA’s education committee. Her dedication to raising money for the scholarship program is personal: both of her daughters were scholarship recipients.
“Without the help of the education foundation, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to send my girls to school,” Brock said. “I’m a single mom, and we went after every single scholarship possible. This is my way of giving back to an organization that gives so much.”
Brock was also on the board of regents for the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce from 2014-2017 after graduating from its leadership
program. She was a member of Business Network International (BNI) for seven years and is proud to be a charter member of Professional Women in Building of the Lowcountry (PWB).
Brock emphasizes the importance of keeping an open mind and listening to others because of the difference it’s made to her career.
“I spend more time listening than talking, and I think it’s served me well,” Brock said. “When people know you are interested in them, as I am, they open up, and by opening up I can get to know them on a human level and connect in a way that isn’t sales-driven.”
Melissa Brock’s top tips for success
Build yourself up: Melissa Brock’s top tips for personal and professional success.
1. Be passionate.
2. Be challenged.
3. Find something personal about the person you are meeting and next time you see them, bring it up and be authentic.
4. Listen more than you talk.