Administration

Shawn Edwards

Shawn Edwards

President and Owner

(515) 777-7850

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.

Melanie Cooper

Melanie Cooper

Office Manager

Fun Fact: Loves to FIsh

Melanie Grew up in Dennison Iowa 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 a fantastic customer service experience, and guide there questions to the appropriate expert.


Lawn Care Division

Aaron Darr

Aaron Darr

Business Developer/Managing Partner

(515) 777-7869

Fun Fact: Avid Fly Fisherman

Aaron addended Ohio State University. He has worked in and around the green industry since 1997, most recently as the Assistant Superintendent at Echo Valley Country Club before joining A+ in 2014. Aaron is passionate about improving homes and properties through quality outdoor environments. He is certified in Iowa for turf, ornamental and aquatic chemical applications and is currently working towards his SIMA (Snow and Ice Management Association) Certification. Aaron is a firm believer that building strong personal relationships drives a positive long term business partnership. Aaron spends his free time hunting, fishing, golfing, and spending time with his kids

Chris Jensen

Chris Jensen

Tree & Shrub Manager/Arborist & Agronomist

(515) 777-7861

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.

Casey Earp

Casey Earp

Lawn Care Production Manager

Fun Fact: Semi-profeessional Poke Player

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.

Deon Slemp

Deon Slemp

Lawn Care Production Manager

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.

Darin Drake

Darin Drake

Residential Sales Consultant

(515) 777-7846

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 experience in the lawn care industry. His “customers 1st” mindset makes him A+’s leading sales consultant.


Irrigation Division

Ethan Dykstra

Ethan Dykstra

Business Developer/Managing Partner

(515) 777-7889

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.

Chris Nygard

Chris Nygard

Irrigation Production Manager

Fun Fact: Avid Cyclone Fan #cycLONEnation

Chris has been in the green industry for 9 years with experience in Landscaping, Mowing and Irrigation. He grew up on a farm in northern Iowa and moved to Ankeny in 2010. Chris also has passion for construction and wood working and loves to build with recycled wood. He is a multisport athlete and loves to be active.

Jim Buys

Jim Buys

Lead Irrigation Foreman

Fun Fact: Grew up on a farm

Jim has over 20 years experience in the lawn and landscaping industry. He has been working at A+ Lawn and Landscape since he graduated from Emporia State University in 1990. A+ has been his only employer.


Landscape Division

Ken Erwin

Ken Erwin

Business Developer/Managing Partner

(515) 777-7900

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 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”

Cody Fox

Cody Fox

Landscape Designer/Architect

(515) 777-7849

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.

Rob Owen

Rob Owen

Landscape Designer/Architect

(515) 777-7849

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 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.

Scott McKenzie

Scott McKenzie

Lead Landscape Foreman

Fun Fact: Makes model airplanes and tanks during the winter

Scott has been in the landscaping industry since he was in high school. He attended DMACC and obtained a degree in Horticulture. He has over 30 years experience and has worked over 25 years at A+ Lawn and Landscape.


Garden Center

Tom Posner

Tom Posner

Garden Center Manager

(515) 289-2020 Ext 2027

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 our customers and staff, making him a great asset to A+ Lawn and Landscape.


Maintenance Division

Mark Harpenau

Mark Harpenau

Business Developer/Managing Partner

(515) 777-7878

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.

Travis Miner

Travis Miner

Production Manager

(515) 777-7901

Fun Fact: Enjoys boating and golfing

Travis has over 15 years experience in the landscaping industry and is a licensed lawn care technician. He enjoys working with his team to make sure properties look their best.

Jessica Panek

Jessica Panek

Client Service Manager

(515) 777-7877

Fun Fact: Has never missed a shot during Turkey Season

Jessica has over 10 years experience in the Horticulture industry ranging from field work to sales. She graduated from Kirkwood College with a degree in Garden Center Management with emphasis in Horticulture. She is very detailed oriented and has a passion for working with clients and keeping their lawns and landscaping looking their best.

Greg Nehls

Greg Nehls

Client Service Manager

(515) 777-7854

Fun Fact: Greg enjoys watersports and can be found on Saylorville Lake during the summer

Greg grew up and went to high school in Charles City, Iowa then continued his education at Hawkeye Community College and The University of Northern Iowa where he majored in Psychology and Business Management.

He has been involved in exterior beautification and improvements for most of his career. Greg operated a construction company from 2005 to 2015 which focused on the exterior renovations and new construction before moving to Ankeny and joining the team at A+
Lawn and Landscape.

Greg is certified through the Department of Public Health as a certified backflow assembly tester and a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals.


Water Care Division

Mike Cooper

Mike Cooper

Water Care Manager

(515) 777-7860

Fun Fact: Enjoys drawing and painting

Mike has always had a passion for the outdoors. He has been in the industry for over 15 years including owning his own landscaping company for many years. Mike started out at A+ in the Lawn Care Division as a lawn specialist before becoming the manager over the Water Care Division. He is certified in Iowa for turf, ornamental and aquatic chemical applications as well as being a certified service technician for Otterbine Fountains.