News & Updates
December 1, 2019
Getting to Know You: Aaron Majors
This month we are getting to know Aaron Majors, third generation owner of Cagwin & Dorward. Cagwin & Dorward was established in 1955 focusing on landscape construction and maintenance. Over the years it has grown and addresses the issues of sustainability that landscaping presents. Aaron has been involved in ReScape since its early days, including that he served as Bay-Friendly Board President for five years. Aaron has been in Landscape Construction for almost 25 years and has led Cagwin & Dorward to become a full-service landscape provider specializing in landscape maintenance, landscape construction, water management, and tree care for commercial, municipal and residential customers in Bay Area. Ever looking forward to a challenge, beginning in 2020, Aaron will take on leadership of the Landscape Maintenance Business Unit.
- How did you get interested/involved/engaged? I recognized that many of our typical landscape contractor practices are destroying the earth, and it became more important to me when I pondered what I was going to leave for my children. I joined the Bay-Friendly Board of Directors in 2011 where like-minded professionals fueled my dedication to changing how we design, build and maintain landscapes. I always have an opportunity to educate.
- What do you want to people to learn/do in your work with them? You can make a difference! You as an individual have huge influence and can make a big difference on the environment. Get your ReScape Qualification and educate your customers and fellow employees on sustainable landscape practices.
- Name one thing you have learned over the years. As a landscape professional, you often serve many customers: property managers, homeowners, landscape architects, general contractors and Mother Earth- sometimes all these folks on one project! The challenge is keeping them all happy, especially when you’re in the middle and they don’t agree. You must respect each of their roles and take the time to learn what makes each successful.
- A big failure that (you) turned into a positive. I had an employee who I admired greatly quit for better opportunities. This changed my approach to identifying potential in my leaders, understanding their limitations, challenging them and creating opportunities. We are only as good as our team!
- What is most precious to you? My children: Tyler (12) and Jacob (10). When facing parenting challenges, I often think of holding them immediately after birth. I’m grateful for the inspiration they provide!
- What do you most value in your colleagues? A focus on solutions. I most admire fellow employees who acknowledge their role in mistakes and move quickly to what will be done differently next time.
- Who is/are your hero(es)? There are many leaders I draw inspiration from. The following quotes routinely guide me: William Buffet: “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” Benjamin Franklin: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Trey Anastasio of the band, Phish: “Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul!” You’ve got to run like an antelope, out of control!”
- What is your greatest achievement? Building the Construction Business Unit at Cagwin & Dorward. Our growth has fueled many careers. We have more than tripled the number of managers, annual revenue and promotions during my tenure.
- What is the thing for which you want to be remembered? I want to leave a legacy of serving our employees by creating opportunities for promotion, and by challenging them to create change in our industry through sustainable landscape practices.
- One thing/activity you are actively doing to address climate change and why? Promoting sustainable landscape practices by setting expectation for all employees to become ReScape Qualified and CLCA Water Manager Certified. Each Manager will impact millions of square feet of landscape in their career. Will they continue to destroy the earth, or choose to heal it?
- What would you tell your younger self? Keep up the hard work. It will pay off. When I first started out, I worked 50-60 hours/week. I now enjoy the benefits of that kind of grueling schedule.
- The one thing you have not done/achieved/experienced and want to do before you die. Professionally: I would like to set a tree with a helicopter. Personally: I want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail with my boys!