Jeff Schwartz, Founder and President
The AME Way developed from how Jeff Schwartz was raised. His work ethic, attention to detail, and his belief in always giving back, began at a very early age and those tenets have always guided his personal and professional life. Jeff is a lifelong Montgomery County resident who grew up in Silver Spring and attended Springbrook High School. His love of the outdoors began early with lawnmowing jobs, hikes at Billy Goat Trail, family camping trips, skiing adventures and more. He earned his degrees in Environmental Science from the State University of New York and Johns Hopkins. In 2002, Jeff founded Ashton Manor Environmental and began putting his knowledge and passion to very good use.
Jeff likes to find solutions that address personal, community and business needs all at once. His sister’s ongoing battle with cancer led to AME’s involvement with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. The company has been the top local chapter fundraiser since 1995, raising more than $125,000. AME has also connected with Jemicy, a school specializing in supporting students with learning disabilities, including Jeff’s son. The company has hosted Jemicy students to teach them about environmental sustainability and recently hired their first Jemicy graduate.
Jeff is also a proud supporter, and board member of the Literacy Council of Montgomery County and has helped more than 10 percent of the AME workforce complete the LCMC’s curriculum, giving them English-language skills that benefit them for life.
Outside of work, he is a dedicated ski patroller, along with his two dogs, as well as an avid cyclist. He lives in a restored 1700’s Farm House (passionately restored several years ago) with his two children, horses, lamb, goats, cows, and two dogs in Brookeville, Maryland.
Eric DuBois, Vice President
Eric has been the VP of AME for nearly 15 years and offers design/build expertise in both commercial and residential landscape construction. His responsibilities include business development and client relations, operations management, personnel development, and quality control.
Eric is a Certified Landscape Technician and is USACE Quality Management Certified. He has been a member of the Baltimore-area Vistage Key Executive Group for more than five years.
The DuBois are a sports and lacrosse family — their oldest son coordinates the lacrosse leagues and programs for Howard County Rec & Parks.
Eric is also a vehicle restoration enthusiast and participates in various shows and Nostalgia drag racing events. Eric lives in Woodbine with his wife and sons.
Daniel Bramell, Estimator
Daniel’s role at AME includes project estimation and business development for new and existing clients. He has has been in the industry for more than 15 years and offers extensive experience in contract negotiation and project management for commercial, government, and municipal clients. Daniel has always been passionate about the environment and enjoys both camping and hiking. One of his personal goals is to visit every national park in the country.
John Cole, Estimator
John brings 30 years of industry knowledge and experience to the AME team. Specializing in estimating and managing large intricate projects, John works closely with architects, developers and general contractors from the design phase through project closeout. He has a broad range of technical and tactical experience with commercial landscape, wetland mitigation, irrigation, and vertical on-structure construction. John enjoys gardening and tennis in his spare time and resides in Union County, NJ with his wife, Sylvia.
Beatriz Firpo, Estimator
Beatriz brings over 30 years of experience in landscape installation and maintenance, environmental research and restoration, and green infrastructures. In addition, she has a master’s and Ph.D. in environmental restoration, soils, waste management, and mining. Beatriz is a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional.
She is originally from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and English. Beatriz loves to be among animals, create art projects, and travel whenever she is not at work.
Rob Petersen, Estimator & Landscape Design
Rob graduated with a bachelor’s degree in plant science and landscape development from SUNY Cobleskill and has worked in the landscape industry for 23 years. He has experience in landscape installation & maintenance, residential & commercial design/estimating, irrigation, and tree work. When not at work, he enjoys hiking, kayaking, and with family and friends.
Beatriz Ortega, Junior Estimator
Beatriz Ortega is from Venezuela, South America. She holds a degree in civil engineering from Valencia’s Jose Antonio Paez University and an MBA in environmental management from Colombia’s Javeriana University in Bogotá. Beatriz speaks English and Spanish. She brings over ten years of experience in the take-off for civil construction projects, and in AME, she is part of our estimation team. In her free time, Bea enjoys being with her baby and her husband; her favorite place is the beach.
Jim Krug, Senior Project Manager
Jim is responsible for all aspects of production, personnel and safety for the company. He has 29 years of project management and supervisory experience and maintains several credentials, including a 30-hr OSHA Certificate, along with certificates for Traffic Management, Trenching and Shoring, and Sediment & Erosion Control. Jim enjoys spending his free time with his family and grandsons — and also breeding reptiles!
Ben Statler, Project Manager
Ben is responsible for the pesticide and herbicide program at AME and is a certified pesticide applicator in Maryland and Virginia. He brings 25 years of landscape experience to the company. When not working, Ben enjoys fishing, hiking, and kayaking. In addition, Ben and his wife are in the process of renovating a 75-year-old house in Annapolis.
Steve Pritchard, Project Manager
Steve is a United States Coast Guard veteran with nearly 30 years of supervisory and project management experience in the installation of large-scale commercial and residential landscapes/hardscapes. He is also a Certified Professional Horticulturalist and Certified Landscape Technician with Sediment and Erosion Control and 10-hr OSHA certificates. Outside of work, Steve enjoys anything outdoors, especially camping and sitting around the campfire with friends and family.
Refugio Vera, Project Manager
Refugio was one of our first employees and has been with AME for 19 years. He has been a Project Manager since 2018 and is a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional and 30-hr OSHA Certified. When not working, Refugio enjoys time with his wife, his dog and his bass guitar.
Scott Pullen, Project Manager
Scott has 16 years of landscape industry experience ranging from design/build to environmental construction to landscape management. He is USACE Quality Management Certified, Green/Yellow Card Certified, OSHA 10, OSHA 30, First AID, and soon to be ISA Certified. Scott holds an undergraduate degree from Ohio State and a Master of Landscape Architecture from SUNY ESF. Running, fishing, camping, walking the dog, and home projects fill his schedule outside of work.
Larry Winters, Project Manager
Larry has been in the landscape industry for over 25 years. His skill set is vast, ranging from hardscape construction to the installation of artificial turf fields. During his leisure time, Larry enjoys taking bike rides and watching football games. Interestingly, Larry has a unique background in that he used to play professional football.
Luis Sapon, Assistant Project Manager
Luis has over 11 years of landscape experience. With a background in large scale commercial projects, his main focus is hardscape construction. He holds an OSHA 30 certification. He enjoys spending his free time with his family and playing soccer.
Steve Gilmore, Purchaser
Steve has worked in the landscape industry for 22 years. His duties at AME include purchasing, inventory management, and yard management. When not at work, Steve enjoys competitive bass fishing and Ravens football.
Sara Bache, Preconstruction Manager
Sara’s main responsibilities include managing the overall process from project inception to close out, handling submittals, and managing subcontracts. When not at work, Sara teaches Pure Barre at a local fitness studio, likes to hike with her fiancé and dog, and visit local breweries.
Tucker Kircher, Operations Integration Manager
Tucker has almost a decade of experience in landscape and construction. Tucker has a diverse background, from routine maintenance to large construction projects. His primary responsibilities include managing inventory, optimizing processes, and meeting customer standards for projects. Tucker is also a certified Scrum Master with the Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.
Tucker enjoys time with his wife and newborn when he’s not at work. His hobbies include playing video and board games, engaging in sports, and gardening.
Mark Kaercher, Controller
Mark brings more than 30 years of corporate accounting experience in construction, IT and landscape industries to AME. He earned his accounting degree at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA. When not at work, Mark can be found playing golf, skiing and always enjoying music.
Sabrina Mayberry, AP Specialist
Sabrina brings over 10 years of office management work including accounting and customer service. While not working she enjoys grooming dogs, traveling, and going to the movies with her son. She is excited to be a part of an amazing team.
Laura Makepeace, Senior HR Generalist
Laura is originally from Colombia, South America, and obtained her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Externado University. She also has a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Rey Juan Carlos University in Spain. Her responsibilities include assisting our Hispanic workforce, onboarding, employee relations, developing programs/policies, performance management, and other HR-related roles. When Laura is not working, she loves to spend time with her husband, son, and dog.
Jennifer Fiorenza, Safety Manager
Jennifer is responsible for the Safety Program at AME and brings over twenty years of experience in the horticultural industry. She has managed safety for farm locations across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic and a large remote workforce. Jennifer specializes in creating custom safety programs, policies, and training for a diverse workforce, ensuring the well-being of employees and compliance with OSHA regulations, and has an OSHA Safety & Health Fundamentals Certificate for General Industry. When not at work, she enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, and spending quality time with her husband, Mike, three sons, and two rescue dogs.
Ibis Cortez, Safety Coordinator
Ibis is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Maryland University College with a bachelor’s degree in business. She brings over ten years of customer service and administrative experience to AME. Her primary responsibility is supporting the safety and human resources departments. In addition, she enjoys reading and spending time with her family in her spare time.
Beatrice Garay, Office Administrator
Beatrice Garay is an energetic professional fluent in both English and Spanish. She earned her Bachelor of Science in International Business Management from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. Beatrice is responsible for managing the AME main office. She brings years of administrative, customer service, and event organization experience. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and professional photography.
Gavin Young, Facility/Fleet Manager
Gavin’s focus is the overall management and safety of the company’s fleet and equipment. He has worked in the trucking industry for more than 25 years and has experience in business management, time sensitive delivery systems, and production facility management.
Manuel Luis, Master Mechanic
Manuel has been working in the fleet and equipment repair sector for more than 15 years. He can maintain and fix just about any piece of equipment. He works directly with the Fleet Manager on a daily basis to keep all AME trucks and equipment operating safely.
The AME Way
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