Our Team

Smith Lawn and Tree (SLAT) was founded in 1997 by Jud Smith.  He started the company with one yard but continued to provide excellent customer service in his business through high school and college and grew the company into a small landscape firm.  In 2006 Smith Lawn and Tree merged with Metro Horticulture Services and brought on another Owner, Russell Simpler.  At that time Smith Lawn and Tree consisted of about 12 Employees.  Since then, SLAT has grown to over 100 Employees and their service area covers the entire metroplex.  Jud and Russell are both involved in the daily operations of the business.

Our mission is to help quality-conscious commercial property managers and homeowners realize their vision for a beautiful and sensible landscape, built with skill and reliably maintained. To deliver beauty and functionality, on time and on budget – every time – with turnkey services. We will hire and train the best staff and foster a culture of cooperation and teamwork to get the best results for the company and the customer. We will use the smartest methods and best components on every job to meet and exceed our customer’s expectations.

 

Jud Smith

Founder

Jud Smith founded Smith Lawn and Tree in 1997 and has had hands on involvement every day to grow Smith Lawn and Tree to what it is today. Jud attended Texas Christian University and continued to grow Smith Lawn and Tree through his college years.

Jud is a licensed irrigator, which has driven him in developing a large commercial installation division of the company. He enjoys implementing all commercial installations as well as many construction and hardscape projects. Jud is also the head of all tree operations.

Russell Simpler

Partner

Russell Simpler joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2006 as a managing partner. Russell studied horticultural business at Tarleton State University which has excelled his knowledge of plants, turf, and landscape design. His entrepreneurial drive has helped in growing Smith Lawn and Tree into a large landscape management company serving the DFW metro area.

Russell is a licensed commercial pesticide applicator, and has over 13 years of green industry experience. His focus at Smith Lawn and Tree is on landscape management, employee development, and managing all financial aspects of the company.

David Yonis

Chief Operations Officer

David is a 2005 graduate of Tarleton State University with a degree in horticulture and landscape management. He’s been in the Dallas/Fort Worth area since 1996 although he grew up in Massachusetts. During college, David worked for 3 years at a tree farm in Stephenville, TX. After graduating from college, he worked for a design/build firm in Dallas for 10 years. David is a licensed irrigator in the state of Texas and a Texas Certified Landscape Professional through the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association (TNLA).

David has also served on the TNLA Region IV Board of Directors as a landscapce director (2008-2012) Vice-Chairman (2012) and Chairman (2013&2014). When he’s not working, David enjoys spending time with his wife, Marla, his son, Riley and daughter, McKenna.

Tammy Blackburn

Human Resources/Office Manager

Tammy Blackburn joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2012 as the Office Assistant. She was promoted to the Office Manager in 2013, and in 2016 also became our Human Resources Manager . She has many responsibilities including payroll, Human Resources, managing the office/employee needs, and customer relations.

Tammy has over 17 years of experience in Customer Relations. She was born and raised in Fort Worth Texas. She attended Tarrant County College and majored in Psychology/Clinical Counseling. Her positive personality and passion for working with people is an asset to our customers and Smith Lawn and Tree.

Michael Strauss

Business Development Manager

Michael Strauss joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2019 as our new Business Developer. He has been working in the green industry for the last 16 years. Prior to Smith he worked for a Dallas based company as the Director of Landscape Maintenance for 6 years. Michael holds an Irrigation Tech License with the state of Texas. He is well rounded in every aspect of landscaping which makes him a perfect fit for this role. Michael loves meeting with clients & building long lasting relationships.

Glen Jennings

Director of Tree Care

A new addition to the Smith team, Glen Jennings has been in the tree care industry for over 35 years. He attended Kansas State and became a Kansas certified arborist in 1989. A couple years later he received his certification through the International Society of Arboriculture. Glen enjoys being in this field because of his dedication to taking care of trees for our clients.

Shannon Finch

Residential Tree Care Manager

Shannon Finch joined the Smith Lawn and Tree team in March 2018 as an Arborist. He has been in the green industry since the early 2000’s, starting with lawn care. In 2014, he joined the Arborist world and received his certification through the International Society of Arboriculture. His meticulous attention to detail and dedication makes him a great asset to Smith Lawn and Tree. He loves the outdoors and spending time with his family.

Brandon Hennigan

Account Manager, Fort Worth

Brandon is a 2009 graduate of The University of Texas at Arlington with a degree in Business Management. He was raised locally here in Keller, Tx.  During and after college, Brandon owned and operated Aloha Lawn Care until he went into the oil and gas industry.  Brandon thoroughly enjoys meeting with clients and helping people make their vision a reality. He enjoys being in the field checking on properties, assuring there are no issues and suggesting improvements. When he’s not working, Brandon enjoys surfing, golfing, and playing with his Pitbull, Ikon.

Laura McLarry

Account Manager, Fort Worth

Laura McLarry is a degreed Horticulturist, an ISA Certified Arborist and a licensed TDA pesticide applicator. She has over 40 years of experience in the green industry. Laura’s background includes experience as a designer and horticulturist for a landscape architecture firm; as a wholesale nursery grower; as an instructor of outdoor education for at-risk youth; and as a technician for Texas Agrilife Extension Service in the Soil Science, Entomology, and Turfgrass Breeding and Genetics departments. 

She holds a BS degree in Horticulture from Texas Tech University and a BBA in Administrative Management from the University of North Texas. Laura was raised in the green industry and started working for the family interiorscaping business when she was 12. Laura has a passion for plants and continues to try new varieties. She enjoys travel, reading, cooking, home improvement projects, and of course, gardening.

Brandon Byrd

Account Manager, Fort Worth

Brandon Byrd joined the Smith Lawn and Tree team in 2018 as a Commercial Account Manager. Brandon studied Business Administration at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. During college, Brandon worked for 4 years at a landscape firm. After college, he worked numerous years in the construction industry in Management and Human Resources. Brandon decided to get back into the landscape industry 3 years ago excelling in Human Resources, Account Management, and Operations.

Brandon enjoys building strong, long lasting relationships with customers which makes him a great fit at Smith Lawn and Tree. When he’s not working, Brandon enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and daughter.

Brent Bailey

Account Manager, Dallas

Brent Bailey joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2015 as Residential Production Manager, and has since branched out into the role of Commercial Account Manager. Brent graduated from Texas A&M University in 2011, with a Bachelors of Landscape Architecture. Upon graduation, he moved back to Dallas and has spent the last 6 years working in the landscape design/build industry. Brent is excited to continue his contributions to the DFW green industry with the Smith Lawn and Tree team, combining his rich experience in design and production.

Brent’s attention to detail in all aspects of a project, and strong commitment to customer satisfaction, help ensure every project and property meets Smith’s top tier level of quality. As Commercial Account Manager, Brent applies his energy and passion for landscaping to our commercial portfolio, alongside the talented installation and maintenance crews of Smith Lawn and Tree.

Matt Kelly

Account Manager, Dallas

Matt joined Smith Lawn and Tree’s growing Dallas branch in the beginning of 2019.  As a Commercial Account Manager, Matt brings over 20 years of landscaping experience to our team.  Starting with his family nursery in 1998, Matt’s extensive career in greater Dallas has included self-owned maintenance companies and working for some of the largest design-build firms in the industry.

Matt’s insightful support and positivity are just some of the traits that have made him such a great addition to our company. When he’s not contributing to the Smith Lawn and Tree family, Matt can be found with his own family; out and about with his wife and two children, as well as his two Labrador Retrievers… if they’re behaving.

Destany Hall

Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable

Destany Hall joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2016 as the Office Assistant. She handles various responsibilities including scheduling and customer relations. In 2018 she was promoted to accounts payable/accounts receivable. She’s always jumping in to assist our staff and loves a challenge. Destany has over five years of experience specializing in Customer Relations.

A native Texan, Destany’s outgoing and bubbly personality with people is an asset to our customers and our company. When she is not working Destany loves spending time with her Pit babies.

Kelsea Sanders

Office Assistant

Kelsea Sanders joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2019 as our Office Assistant. She handles scheduling and customer relations with over seven years of experience in customer service and always up for a challenge and enjoys helping the staff and customers.

Kelsea was born in Burleson, Texas, she has a contagious laugh and personality, which makes a great asset to our company. When she is not working, you can find her enjoying the outdoors, either out hunting or fishing.

Francisco Segura

Dallas Field Manager

Francisco Segura joined Smith Lawn and Tree in 2016 as the Field Manager for our new Dallas office. Living in the Dallas area for 33 years, Francisco has spent the last 30 years working in the green industry on both commercial and residential landscape maintenance. Throughout his career he has strived to make customers and crews his top priority. He leads by example with both his attitude and his professionalism.

Francisco’s experience and knowledge of the area makes him a perfect fit for Smith’s new Dallas facility. He enjoys supporting his son, who plays soccer for the high school team and practicing with FC Dallas.