10 Money Questions for J. Mark White
By Nina Smith
“J. Mark White has become a household name in the residential landscape business. Mark is the founder and president of GardenWise, Inc., a leading residential landscape architecture firm in Washington, D.C. Perhaps you’ve seen his work on HGTV’s popular “Curb Appeal,” where many politicos and pundits have enlisted Mark’s landscaping expertise. I asked Mark to get personal about economical design, business ownership and spending money during the current housing crunch.”
Nina Smith: I understand you believe business owners should always give back to the community while creating a new business. How did you do this with GardenWise?
White: That’s so true; the most important thing a person can do while starting a business is give back to the community. It’s like creating good business karma, and I needed to know that while I went after my dreams I was helping others create similar opportunities for themselves.
I have several “communities.” I’m active in the Washington, D.C., PFLAG chapter. I invite friends, employees, and clients each year to be with me at my table during the annual PFLAG dinner, and I donate my design services for their silent auctions. I also hire summer interns from my alma mater, Virginia Tech, and do my best to employ them after the internship, or find them jobs at other firms. In addition, I’m involved in my neighborhood tree stewardship program where we enhance the neighborhood by getting the city to donate trees for both public spaces and for neighbor’s private properties.
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