Meet all our experts that lead the company and the employees, while also excelling at customer service.
Fun Fact: Eagle Scout
Shawn founded A+ Lawn and Landscape, Inc in 1988. Shawn started in the lawn care industry at the early age of 10 years old, working for his mentor Denny Pennington. Denny was the owner of a ChemLawn Franchise. After college and moving up the career ladder at ChemLawn, Shawn decided to offer the community a full line of lawn and landscaping services. Shawn appreciates and understands that without his very dedicated co-workers, the company would not be what it is today.
Fun Fact: Loves to Fish
Melanie Grew up in Dennison, IA and attended school in Omaha. She worked in child care before bringing her talents to A+. When she isn’t working Melanie enjoys spending time with her animals, vacationing with family in Florida, or just relaxing with her music.
Melanie and her team strive to provide our customers with a fantastic customer service experience and guide their questions to the appropriate expert.
Fun Fact: Was 3rd team All American out of high school and went on to be a catcher for Boston Red Sox.
Mark started with A+ Lawn and Landscape in 1991. Before starting at A+, Mark attended Arkansas Tech University on a Baseball Scholarship. While attending Arkansas Tech, Mark studied coaching and Physical Education. His passion for the outdoors came from growing up on a farm in Northwest Iowa in a small town by the name of Remsen. In 1995 Mark became a Managing Partner with A+ Lawn and Landscape and is driven to make the company successful.
Casey has been working in the lawn care field since 1998, and 15 of those years have been with A+ Lawn and Landscape. He is a Des Moines native, attending East High school growing up. During his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and attending concerts.
Fun Fact: Nicknamed after Radar from M.A.S.H
Chris “Radar” Jensen was hired in 1988, becoming the 1st employee hired at A+ Lawn and Landscape. Chris received his B.S. degree in Forest Management and Agronomy with a specialization in Soil Science from ISU. Along with this, he is also a certified arborist. His agricultural background has cultured a desire to help individuals with lawn care and landscape plantings. For the last 10 years, Chris has been an active member of the Iowa Professional Lawncare Association and within the last 3 years, he has become president of the association.
Fun Fact: Active fisherman and Raider fan
I have been with A+ Lawn & Landscape for 5 years. Experienced in Turf Care and Irrigation. Involved with Hope Valley Foundation, as well as Des Moines Park and Recs Flag Football club for 15 years.
Fun Fact: Enjoys Sprint Car Races
Darin started out with A+ Lawn and Landscape as a Lawn Care Specialist. He then moved into the Sales Department, becoming a Residential Sales Consultant. Darin has over 20 years of experience in the lawn care industry. His “customers 1st” mindset makes him A+’s leading sales consultant.
Fun Fact: I play slow pitch softball, Men's League.
I was born in 1979 in Des Moines. Grew up on MLK and University back when it was only called 19th St. I was raised by Johnnie and Patricia Lang along with help from a whole lot of family along the way. Still love 'em all til this day.
Fun Fact: Hockey Fan
Deon came to A+ after 25+ years in the customer service industry, working at a management level for companies like Target, Hobby Lobby, and Hy-Vee. Deon is a driving force behind his employee’s excellent customer service. During his free time, Deon enjoys attending Iowa Wild Games and being outdoors.
Fun Fact: Collegiate Nominee for National Security Counsel
I started at A+ Lawn & Landscape in 2020 when my internship in Texas was cancelled due to Covid. I start as a chemical treatment specialist and from there became the youngest manager in A+ Lawn & Landscape's 35 year history. I grew up in Johnston, graduating in 2018, and now attend the University of Iowa to get my Bachelors in Actuarial Sciences. In my free time I tutor for ACTs, and I'm almost always doing something outdoors.
Fun Fact: Enjoys woodworking and building outdoor games
Chris was born and raised on north central Iowa farm. Moved to Ankeny in 2009. Chris has been working in the lawn care industry since 2010 and brought his experience to A+ in 2018. Besides his years of experience in landscaping and outdoor maintenance Chris also maintains a Level IV certification by the Accredited Snow Contractors Association. In his free time he enjoys working in his wood shop building a variety of outdoor games.
Fun Fact: In Travis’ spare time he loves to Golf and go Boating
Travis has almost 20 years’ experience in the Green industry. Travis holds certifications 3OT for chemical applications. Travis has worked in various capacities at A+. Travis brings a unique passion to the table every day and will provide some outstanding solutions for his cutomers.
Fun Fact: Eagle Scout
Zack was born and raised in Ankeny, IA. Zach as been working in the Water Care department for 6 years. He holds the 3OT, 7A, and 5 classifications for chemical applications. Zack has experience with Kasco and Otterbine Barebo fountains. During his free time he enjoys going on camping trips, river floats, going to concerts, and going to concerts with his wife.
Fun Fact: Awarded a Show Choir Scholarship
Ethan’s passion for the turf industry started when he worked for a lawn care company during high school. After high school, Ethan attended ISU where he earned his B.S. in Horticulture with an emphasis in Turf Grass Management. During his time at ISU, he was on the crew that won the 2012 Collegiate Football Sports Field of the year. After graduating from college, Ethan worked for the Iowa Cubs Sports Field. He is also a certified Hunter Product Specialist.
Fun Fact: Avid Chicago Cubs and Iowa Hawkeyes fan. The only Hawkeye football game that he's been to that they lost was the Rose Bowl in 2016. The Hawkeyes are something like 47-1 when Nate attends the game.
Nathan graduated from Bondurant-Farrar High School in 2000. After graduation, Nate joined the US Army National Guard, and after 9/11 he put in to be conditionally released from the Guard to go Active Army. Once he joined the active Army, he served all over the Continental U.S. and OCONUS in South Korea, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq until medically retiring following his final deployment overseas. Once Nate got out of the military, he went back to college and eventually joined the team at A+ Lawn & Landscape where he's worked for the last 8 years. Starting out as an irrigation service technician, Nate was eager to learn about the lawn care industry, so he moved around the company learning every service A+ Lawn & Landscape offers, until 5 years ago when he was promoted to the night lighting manager position, and then shortly thereafter becoming the sprinkler team leader for the irrigation division. He currently resides in Mingo with fiance Christina and his pit bull Kendrick.
Fun Fact: I've taken off in an airplane but never landed in one.
I have been working in the irrigation field for 5 years. I spend my free time either being outdoors hunting, fishing, or off-roading during the warm months. During the cold months I like to be inside with my cats either playing video games or watching movies/tv series.
Fun Fact: Dienda L.L.C. Co-owner, I enjoy plowing till’ Dienda the storm.
Accent lighting inside bars and homes since 1997 for fun. Now I get paid to do it. 3+ years irrigation. Dig a hole, fill it in.
Fun Fact: Loves to go fishing
Ken moved to the Des Moines area in 1995 shortly after graduating from ISU. He studied Economics and Engineering in school while nurturing his passion for work in the green industry through internships and summer work. Ken is passionate about improving the quality and value of landscaping with the people he meets. The move to pursuing a full-time career in landscaping was a natural fit. Ken began working at A+ Lawn and Landscape in 2010, becoming a partner in the firm. He is a certified nurseryman and has served several terms on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Nursery & Landscape Association.
“Promoting positive community and relationships in landscaping”
Fun Fact: Wrestled for ISU
Cody graduated from ISU with a Bachelor Degree in Landscape Design with an emphasis in Horticulture and Design. While in college he worked for a landscape company where he worked his way to lead foreman. Cody’s passion for landscape comes from his love of the outdoors. Cody enjoys working with clients and designing their ideal landscape.
Fun Fact: Has scuba dived the Disney Epcot Aquarium
Rob has a degree in Landscape Architecture from ISU. His focus has been in the design-build industry in the Des Moines area for over 35 years. Along with working for companies in the design/build/retail markets, he owned his own business for many years. Rob has a passion for hardscaping areas. He believes “Designing outdoor experiences for clients is rewarding.” Along with his journey in the landscaping industry, Rob has been a member of the Citizens Design Committee for the redesign of the I-235 through Des Moines and the Windsor Heights University Redevelopment Committee and he has written articles for various local publications. Rob has pursued Masters Level design work with an interest in rain garden design and stormwater management.
Fun Fact: Studied jazz for a summer at Lincoln Center in New York
A graduate of Simpson College with a degree in music, Ben started as a landscape laborer and has worked diligently to increase his knowledge and skills in the landscape construction field, earning his promotion to Team Leader in 2019. He loves landscaping because "it combines the opportunities to transform the ordinary into extraordinary with a hardcore work out". In his free time, Ben enjoys most things nerdy, working out, playing the saxophone, and spending as much time with his family as possible.
Fun Fact: Die Hard Cyclone & Chiefs Fan
Tom has been the Garden Center Manager at A+ Lawn and Landscape for over 9 years. He attended Lincoln University in Missouri for Agriculture. Tom has been in the green industry for over 40 years starting work as a field hand and working his way up to managing commercial gardens and retail centers. Tom is very knowledgeable and is a great resource for our customers and staff, making him a great asset to A+ Lawn and Landscape.