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Sposato Landscape announces new human resources director

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Sposato Landscape of Milton has announced that Maria Lugo is the new human resources director.

When Lugo was studying human resources and business management at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, she learned a very simple but important lesson: "The secret to building a successful business is to focus on growing your people and they will grow your business. I was very lucky to have some great professors in college," said Lugo. "People are the key to the success or failure of every company. They're the deciding factor. So if you focus on growing your people, your company will also grow."

Lugo put her people philosophy to the test in her first job. As a general manager at Cartier Boutique, a high-end jewelry store, she concentrated on the development of her 16 subordinates - training them on everything from sales skills to dressing for success. Together, they took the store from $3 million a year in sales to $12 million.

Lugo developed an employee development plan that was based on training and engaging people in their work. "I try to set the example," she said of her management style. "You need to find out what motivates your people. You do this by talking and listening to them. The motivation may be money, recognition or advancement—or a combination. Once you understand where they're coming from, you try to match their motivation to the company's business strategy."

In 2006, she moved from Puerto Rico to the US and landed a job with Coach Handbag as a general manager. Three years later she moved to Kate Spade Handbags as general manager and area manager where she continued to build high-performance teams through training and engagement.

In 2013 she moved to Anne Fontaine, a French clothing, shoe and handbag company, where she was the East Central Region manager with 16 stores from Boston to Miami. This allowed her to move to Bethany Beach and still be able to cover her service area. After a few years, the business traveling started to wear thin, so she started looking for something local where she could travel less and also be able to pursue a master's degree.

She traded in her corporate attire for khakis and a golf shirt with the Sposato Landscape logo. "The two biggest challenges here have been learning the culture and the industry," she said of the 25-year-old landscaping business. "Anyplace you go, it's the culture and industry that you have to learn. In former jobs, people were more concerned about their careers. This is because the companies had professional career development programs. At Sposato, I hope to be able to help implement a similar program. In some cases, our employees don't know about all the good career opportunities that are available. If people feel they are valued and have career opportunities, they stay. If they don't feel valued, they leave.

"I've found that wherever I've worked, people are people and they all want the same things - an honest day's pay for their work and the opportunity to grow with the company. People work for people. Not companies."

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Original Publication Date: July 8, 2016

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