green industry jobs johnsons nursery ben french ftimg1
Ben French
May 3, 2013
Cody Wolters
November 10, 2013

Jesse McElroy

Jesse McElroy

Starting Position: Mulch Truck Driver
Current Position: Head Greenhouse Grower

Jesse grew up in the Milwaukee area and has been fascinated with plants for as long as he can remember. He learned gardening from his mother, who was an avid vegetable gardener and also tended a wide variety of houseplants.

Jesse was just two classes short of an IT degree when his mother fell ill with the disease that would tragically take her life. After his mother’s untimely passing, Jesse became the caregiver of his mom’s houseplants and that proved to be a turning point in his life. He began researching houseplants to make sure that he was giving the best care possible to these living memorials to his beloved mother, in particular her prized Jade plant. Before long he became aware that he truly loved working with plants, especially succulents such as his mom’s Jade. He made the life changing decision to drop his IT degree and switch his area of study to Horticulture. In honor of his mother he graduated with a degree in Horticulture, specializing in Greenhouse Management and Plant Health.

Jesse began working for Johnson’s Gardens while still a student. He started out by driving the mulch truck for deliveries but quickly advanced to his current position as Head Greenhouse Grower. He is a wealth of knowledge about all things plant and greenhouse related but his particular passion is for succulents. His mom’s Jade plant has led him down the path to what Jesse jokingly refers to as his “addiction” with growing and propagating rare & unusual succulent varieties. He is always in search of new and different varieties and has completely filled his home with his collection and is now working on filling our greenhouses!

What do you like most about working at Johnson's Gardens?
"Being able to absolutely utilize my knowledge and passion in the greenhouses with growing and propagating anything I can get my hands on. Also passing the knowledge and passion on to customers on a daily basis and teaching our classes and workshops as well. The positive energy here is contagious!"

Why would you recommend someone work here?
"Not only do we have some of the best customers I have ever worked with but we as employees have formed a bond so close with each other that it feels like a second home and family."

Personal Brief
"I not only have a passion for all things plant but also for music & cars. I have been playing guitar for 17 years (self-taught) and play lead guitar in my band, Ceteri. I have a huge passion for cars and car shows as well as car races (track & drag strip). I have won 17 First Place/Best-in-Show trophies at car shows with my 2011 Scion TC that I purchased new and made extensive aftermarket upgrades myself."

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