John Gardner is the Kichler Landscape Lighting Territory Sales Manager for Eastern Washington, Idaho, Utah, Montana and Jackson Hole.
John works with landscape contractors and landscape supply distributors as a resource and as an expert in landscape lighting. John’s primary objective is to sell Kichler landscape lighting products but his vast knowledge and experience make him much more than a salesperson. He’s an invaluable resource to numerous landscape contractors, landscape supply wholesalers and lighting contractors.
Q: How did you get into landscape lighting?
I started working at Clearwater Summit Group in Spokane, Washington when I was 19 and was there for over 15 years. When I was there I did everything but ended up as the company’s lead landscape lighting technician and the foreman for the landscape lighting division.
Ty Ullman, Clearwater’s owner, was really great to me and could tell that I was passionate about landscape lighting. He gave me the tools and let me learn everything there was to know about landscape lighting. When I was in high school I worked at REI in Spokane where I learned a lot about sales and about customer service. My passion for landscape lighting and customer service training made running the landscape lighting division for Clearwater a dream come true.
Q: How did you end up on the supplier side of the business?
When I was at Clearwater I was fortunate enough to go on a factory trip to the Kichler headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. I knew I liked the Kichler product but had no idea how much I would love the Kichler people. Kichler is a family owned company and everyone there is fantastic. After the visit I kept in touch with the company’s sales manager and a couple of years ago I ended up coming to work with them. I do miss working outside installing landscape lighting but I really enjoy helping lots of different contractors understand lighting and build their businesses.
Q: What was the hardest part going from the contractor side to the supplier side of the industry?
It’s just so different. For a long time Kichler didn’t have much representation here in my territory. Because of the lack of representation and support a lot of people either didn’t know how awesome Kichler is or had a bad taste in their mouths about Kichler. I’ve been working really hard to fix these issues and to be as available and responsive as I possibly can to contractors and suppliers. My job is to sell Kichler landscape lighting but what I do is so much more than that. I’m here as a resource to contractors and suppliers. There is a lot of money to be made installing landscape lighting and I will help any contractor and supplier who will listen. Whether its product knowledge, proper installation or troubleshooting I’m here to help.
Q: What is your favorite lighting project you’ve installed?
There is no way to answer that! I’ve installed hundreds of projects and so many of them were awesome. I’ve always loved the projects where the owner saw the value in landscape lighting and wanted the beauty, effect, safety and aesthetic landscape lighting provides.
Q: Anything else you would like everyone to know about landscape lighting?
I think every landscape project can benefit from landscape lighting. Whether its a home, a campus, a restaurant or shopping center landscape lighting will make it look so much better. Here in our part of the world where the day is pretty short for a lot of the year, wouldn’t it be great to be able to enjoy your landscape even when its dark or dusky?
If you’re a contractor in Utah, Idaho, Eastern Washington, Montana or Jackson Hole and need support or education on landscape lighting give me a shout anytime. I know I can help you build your business and make more money.