My Story with the Aquascape Artist of the Year Award Recipients
Today’s write-up is a bit about my past in the field at Tussey Landscaping, my career in installing beautiful Aquascape water features, and the Aquascape Artist of the Year Award. I’m going to digress a bit from talking about SynkedUP to share a bit of my background in this industry.
I just got back from Chicago, where I was attending the 2022 Pondemonium. The first in-person Pondo event since 2019. It was like a family reunion. In this crowd are some of my best friends in the industry. I participated in the hands-on training water feature build at Aqualand (the water garden capital of the world). Mingled with the (growing!) SynkedUP Crew that was also there and shared the stage with my fellow Artists of the Year.
I Call Them Friends
It was an honor to be up on stage with these driven “won’t stop” types of people. Every one of these guys isn’t just excellent business people and incredibly talented artists – they are my friends. Firmly cemented as a part of my career and life story.
We’ve shared countless experiences over the years all over the world, laughs, grinding through some of the worst conditions we’ve ever worked in (remember the build at @shaq O’Neal!?)
My being a part of this @aquascape_aoty group started many years ago. I remember first seeing Chris Siewing and John Adams winning these awards 9-10 years ago. Then Jaak Harju won it, and that year lit a fire in me. I remember leaving Pondemonium that day in 2014 as if it were yesterday.
I wanted that award.
Something Special About This Award
There was something about this award that made me want it extra bad.
It was a pure award.
It couldn’t be bought. It wasn’t based on sales or one person’s opinion. The next Artist of the Year was always selected by the Aquascape team, Greg, Ed, Brian, and the past @aquascape_aoty winners. To me, this was the most coveted award you could win in the water feature industry.
But it didn’t happen overnight. It took years, thousands of hours of honing my craft. Seeking every chance to work beside and learn from past artists. Well-deserving artists, Joey Genovese and Alan Decker, won the award over the next few years. Each year I’d go home, more determined than ever.
I was hungry.
In 2017, that day finally came. I was electric. But it wasn’t just me. It was the folks at the @tussey.landscaping team that made this possible.
And that has afforded me the privilege of experiences all over the world with these guys. I couldn’t be more blessed.
It’s an honor and privilege. Thank you, to Greg Wittstock, CEO of Aquascape, for all you pour into us.
Congrats Ralph Biezad at @pondscapesaz on being the 2022 AOTY. So deserving.
Today my pursuit is in SynkedUP. Our mission is to help landscape business owners live better lives by knowing their numbers. It feels incredible to see all these SynkedUP users today. I remember 3 years ago at the 2019 Pondemonium showing a couple of guys a bare-bones skeleton version of SynkedUP. Look where we are today. Grateful to God for sustaining us.
We won’t stop.
Every day on this journey is a blessing. Can’t believe I get to go this.
Thank you 🙏
Let me know what you think about all of this in the comments below!
CEO and co-founder