Meet the Chesapeake Landscape & Design Team

Michael Hill, Co-owner & General Manager

Mike Hill has been working in the green/landscape industry since 1977. As a partial owner and the General Manager of Chesapeake Landscape & Design, Mike is responsible for day to day operations, determining the best utilization of man power by following closely the progress of his employees and their specialized skills. Mike also manages the company budget making key decisions on purchasing and financing options. His hands-on experience and knowledge provides the sales team with valuable guidance on bidding projects to fit within the company’s means. Mike also is closely involved in the timing and implementation of the company’s marketing. Mike has taken business management and agricultural college courses, as well as green industry courses in landscaping finance, plant/turf management, entomology ID, athletic construction sites, aquatic eco systems, and large scale modular wall systems. He continues building his knowledge and certifications with numerous related classes annually. Mike enjoys maintaining close relationships with both existing and new customers. Mike resides on the eastern shore of Maryland with his wife Julie and their three teenagers. He enjoys spending outdoor time with his family, fly fishing, and is an excellent cook!

Julie Hill, Co-owner & Accounts Administrator

Julie has enjoyed living in the Washington DC area her entire life. After receiving a liberal arts degree, she worked for several years at a bank as a teller and customer service representative. Julie handles all the contract work for Chesapeake Landscape & Design. She also manages the titles and registrations for company vehicles and equipment. Julie loves reading, spending time at the ocean, and caring for her three teenage children.

Kathy Sakraida, Office Manager & Bookkeeper

Kathy met Mike and Julie when she owned her own business as a child care provider. They were so impressed with her good business sense that they asked her to work for Chesapeake Landscape & Design when she relocated to Chesapeake Beach. With little computer experience, Kathy quickly learned financial programs that have successfully evolved as the company has grown. Specialized courses in landscape financial management have helped with long term budget planning. With divisions in both Maryland and Virginia, Kathy has worked diligently to keep multiple states' requirements in proper order. Kathy enjoys anything outdoors with her family, especially 4-wheeling, mountain camping, reading, and cross-stitch.

Virginia Clark, Maryland Division Assistant Office Manager & Irrigation and Lighting Coordinator

Virginia grew up locally, attending high school at Southern Senior High. She then worked at the National Institutes of Health for 18 years as a data processor for international medical journals. After working as a dispatcher, Virginia found her way to Chesapeake Landscape & Design when her son interned with Mike for special administrative projects. Virginia wears many hats at Chesapeake managing equipment inventory, insurances, human resources, and communications. She works closely with Javier coordinating the schedule for the Irrigation and Lighting Division. While Virginia enjoys maintaining close family ties, her favorite past time is outdoor decorative crafts. And of course, Go Terps!

Javier Palacios, Maryland Division Irrigation & Landscape Lighting Specialist

When Javier first came to Chesapeake Landscape & Design, he worked as an assistant equipment and vehicle mechanic, but his prior experience as a machine operator in New York took him into the field delivering hardgoods and plant material. After taking courses in irrigation and lighting design and installation, his natural ability to create and troubleshoot difficult irrigation situations was realized. Javier’s gregarious nature has now led him to irrigation and lighting sales. Having been involved in all aspects of the landscaping business, Javier steps in easily to assist anyone in need. Basketball is favorite weekend pleasure.

Bell Hartnack, Customer Service & Horticulture Specialist

Bell started her landscaping career 19 years ago handling plant warranty issues and learned very quickly what plants work best in different conditions. While working closely with customers to resolve warranty issues, Bell became involved in other areas of landscaping including hardscaping, drainage, pond and fish care, and environmental issues. She has also worked with county and city officials regarding environmental permitting and inspections. Bell has taken many classes in plant care, new plant introductions, plant diseases and pests, water gardening, and communications. Not surprisingly, Bell's favorite hobby is gardening but she loves to read on the beach and camp with her family.

Chuck Slater, Regional Operations Manager

Chuck Slater grew up in Sykesville, Maryland and started working in the landscape industry when he was just 13 years old. His first job was at a miniature golf course where he immediately realized how much he loved working outdoors. Chuck has come a long way since those days, having supervised crews and managed commercial and residential properties. He has also worked in the landscape maintenance division for the City of Bowie. The staff at Chesapeake Landscape & Design is impressed with Chuck’s skills as a facilitator. Chuck enjoys fishing, camping, and canoeing with his family.

Todd Joy, Maryland Division Grounds Maintenance Portfolio Manager

Like so many young men, Todd put his foot in landscaping many years ago by mowing lawns and doing yard maintenance. Todd has lived in different areas of Maryland, attending Frostburg State University where he received a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. But Todd has always settled back into the Annapolis area after each time away. For seven years Todd worked on the Eastern Shore as a Maintenance Supervisor making sure clients were serviced in a way that met or exceeded their expectations. Todd enjoys being hands on working with crews which has afforded him the knowledge of job efficiency, and has also kept his fluency in Spanish fine tuned. By working in the field, Todd has acquired a keen knowledge of horticulture insights. Mike and the entire staff at Chesapeake Landscape & Design are impressed with Todd's customer service priorities. Todd lives with his wife Lara in Arnold and enjoys fishing and golf during his free time.
Alex Spare, Northern Virginia Division Landscape Designer & Business Development Manager

Alex grew up alongside her grandmother in the garden. With a passion for plants, Alex completed her degree in Landscape Horticulture at the University of Maine, Orono, before moving south to Maryland to enjoy a larger plant palette and to test the waters as a landscape production manager. Alex has honed her design skills for nearly thirteen years, several of which as a designer with CLD. Alex loves interacting with customers in the translation of their needs and desires into beautiful, functional, outdoor spaces. Alex's recently obtained Master's degree in Business Management has enabled her to expand her landscape design/sales capabilities to encompass much more in terms of finances, leadership, and development. Alex and her husband Mike love family time outdoors enjoying nature with their young bundle of chaos.

Mike Spare, Northern Virginia Division Irrigation & Landscape Lighting Specialist

For over twenty years Mike has been working in the landscape industry. Beginning with lawn care, Mike's career evolved into a focus on irrigation and lighting. Mike's quest to learn and grow took him from the role of irrigation technician to instructor. Mike has worked as a irrigation division manager within the MD/VA/DC area as well as in Maine and most recently on the Outer Banks of NC. Mike holds a Project Management Certification from the University of Maine and has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He has participated in numerous seminars such as Toro’s business school at the University of Notre Dame, John Deere workshops, and training programs offered by the NC cooperative extension. Mike has returned to CLD to aid in expanding our Northern Virginia Division. Mike is pleased to be once again be working alongside some of the best talent in the green industry (wife Alex included). As a Maryland native, Mike is happy to be back closer to family. His free time away from work is spent chasing his youngest daughter, hunting and fishing.

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