Sales & Marketing
Founder and Managing Partner
Mark is one of the founders of Aspire and has been in the software development business for over 25 years, half of that time creating software for the Landscape industry. In fact, this is Mark’s second venture into Landscape software, having previously founded another company where he developed and marketed a product that grew to over $400 million in client revenue under his leadership.
He learned that it takes more than a just good software to be successful in Landscape. It requires a partnership with people with business process expertise. In addition, Mark is focused on making every client successful, and he is proudest of the culture and the team of people that make up Aspire.
When not being brilliant writing the software, he likes to golf, grill, and drink red wine (though not all at the same time). Most importantly, he likes and spending time with his family, and … heaven is when you put these pieces together.
Founder and Managing Partner
Kevin is the old guy on the Aspire team. Before launching The Aspire Software Company, he was a nationally recognized consultant for more than 35 years including 26 years in the landscape industry with Three Point Group (with partners Frank Ross and Jeff Harkness).
He provided practical solutions, systems
He is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook, Southern Methodist University, and The Thunderbird School of Management… yeah, way too many degrees. He is a husband and father. He is a cancer survivor and currently in treatment. He loves to motorcycle (used to race before a bad crash), golf and surf. His goal is to build Aspire into the best software business in the industry.
Chief Financial Officer
Mike has over twenty years experience in accounting and finance primarily working with technology companies. He is passionate about working with companies, like Aspire, with compelling customer value propositions and great growth opportunities. His previous experience includes facilitating over 50 M&A and financing transactions totaling over $4 billion as well as working with small and mid-sized companies through times of significant expansion. Mike started his career as a CPA in the audit division of Arthur Andersen.
In addition to leading the finance function, Mike’s focus is ensuring that all of Aspire’s teammates have the resources they need to provide outstanding products and services to Aspire’s customers.
Mike has a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from the Olin School of Business at Washington University.
Mike was named one of the “CFO’s of the Year” in 2014 by the St. Louis Business Journal. He serves on the governing board of Boys Hope Girls Hope St Louis and is the chapter president of Finance Executives International. He lives in Wildwood, MO with his wife and two children and enjoys watching his children play sports, reading and teaching evening finance courses at Webster University.
Vice President of Client Services
With over 35 years experience in all aspects of the landscape industry, from spreading fertilizers to building budgets for multimillion dollar firms, Bryan has a passion for helping people and companies succeed.
His personal success has been obtained through continued education and a natural understanding of people. Bryan studied in Lean Management, Leadership Development, Sales, and Business and in 2011 graduated from RIT in Rochester, NY, with his Executive MBA degree. His academic honors awarded him recognition by the International Honor Society Beta Gamma Sigma.
Driven by his desire to help people, Bryan started his own landscape consulting business in 2010 and in 2014 joined Aspire in its early development stages. He has since become the Director of Client Services, overseeing a team of 10 Account Managers and 5 AspireCare Representatives. He understands that business owners don’t always have the tools they need, whether through experience or education, to make their businesses successful. He desires to partner with these owners to share his experience and education, helping them to grow and become more successful.
In addition to working in the Landscape industry, Bryan also owned 2 restaurants in southern Wisconsin. He has a passion for cooking and searching out the best restaurants while traveling with his loving wife, Susan. When time permits, (he doesn’t have a lot of extra time because he stays busy with his 7 wonderful grandchildren), Bryan enjoys fishing, golfing and an occasional Packers game at Lambeau!
Vice President of Marketing
Jim is an experienced software marketing executive with a passion for helping customers overcome challenges and achieve business outcomes through technology. As the head of Marketing at Aspire, he is eager to provide you with the best possible customer experience throughout every stage of your journey with Aspire. Jim loves working with the wonderful team at Aspire who every day demonstrate a commitment to teamwork and customer-focused service.
Prior to Aspire, Jim was the Senior Vice President of Marketing at Omnigo Software, a records management provider in the law enforcement and public safety sectors. Previously he was the Vice President of Marketing for North America for Unit4, a global ERP software provider, as well as the head of Marketing for the U.S. Industrial Products practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Outside of the office Jim enjoys spending time with his wife attending concerts, visiting local wineries, and going to St. Louis Cardinals games. Jim also has three grown children living outside his home base of St. Louis. One of Jim’s most memorable personal experiences was jumping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet with his daughter to fulfill her 21st birthday request to go skydiving. It was thrilling, but Jim asked that future birthday requests be based on solid ground!
Senior Software Implementation Consultant
With 15 years of experience in the landscape industry, Jon has played a variety of positions on a landscape team. As an H2B recruiter, he represented his previous employer at three U.S. Embassies.
Jon is committed to guiding our clients through a successful deployment while streamlining each organization’s processes and procedures.
“Geography plays a major role in dictating how a landscape company operates – each region has unique obstacles and opportunities. Listening to the Client and providing a dynamic software solution to address those challenges head-on is what makes being on the Aspire Team so rewarding.”
Jon is passionate about Spanish, travel, cooking and serving the community. He, his wife and their surf dog are proud to be members of the SoCal Surf Dogs, a local dog surfing team that supports dog charities and rescue groups.
Software Implementation Consultant
I was born and raised in Connecticut and just recently have relocated to Brooklyn, NY after the birth of my first daughter.
I started working in the landscape industry as
I grew to love being outside and working in the green industry.
I joined the Aspire team in the spring of 2016 and am happy to still be involved in the industry and work with companies to help them perform at the highest level.
Any free time I can find is spent playing golf or heading to Yankee Stadium to take in as many games as I can
Maggie joined the Aspire team in early 2018. She works as a part of the AspireCare department to diligently ensure clients receive a clear understanding of the product and services. Her goal is to provide clients with proactive communication and timely solutions.
An Illinois native, Maggie was born and raised in small town on the northwest side of Chicago. Her passion for the landscaping industry stemmed from her first job as a teenager working at family owned garden center. This first job truly defined the importance of a work ethic and being a team player. Through these experiences, she was motivated to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture-Production & Management from the University of Illinois. Over the past 9 years in the Green Industry, she’s had the opportunity to work with some amazing organizations of all sizes in both northern Illinois and the St. Louis area.
In her free time, she likes to spend as much time as possible with her husband, baby boy, and two dogs. She also has a passion for floral design, crafting and decorating. Her sincere desire for showing kindness and helping others is something she works to implement in every aspect of life.
Software Implementation Consultant
Travis Wills joins the Aspire team with 20 years of experience in the green industry spread across a handful of local, regional, and national service providers. His caring nature and strong desire to deliver excellence provided him success in many different aspects of the business.
Whether in the management of field operations, field and classroom training, project design and sales, or development of long-term client partners, Travis has always looked for creative ways to serve his clients and to create opportunities for everyone to win.
This nature of service was fostered at an early age growing up on the family farm in Piner, Kentucky, and continues today. Travis currently serves as a Deacon at his church, where his wife and 4 school aged children serve as
Travis currently holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the Cumberlands. He earned his Landscape Industry Certified designation from the National Association of Landscape Professionals in 2006.
When not shuttling kids to school, church, basketball, gymnastics, archery, etc. or assisting his wife with her crafting business, you may find Travis watching the Wildcats at Rupp Arena, enjoying the great outdoors, or planning the next family adventure!
Software Implementation Consultant
Kevin is an Aspire Account Manager. He was born and raised in a small cornfield town in Illinois. He moved to St. Louis to study civil engineering and construction management at Southeast Missouri State.
The landscape industry grew increasingly enticing as Kevin’s need to be outside intersected with his studies in
He has been involved in all facets of the landscape industry ever
Kevin truly loves the entire spectrum of the green industry and is excited to continue his passion with Aspire. Aside from work, Kevin enjoys reading, trout fishing, and anything involving his wife and three young children.
Software Implementation Consultant
Stephanie Ryder was born and raised on Cape Cod, MA. For the past 10 years she has resided in Texas on the ranch she shares with her husband, their horses and their dogs.
Stephanie has worked in the Green industry for 18 years in the lawncare side of the business. Eight years of that was spent with a smaller, privately owned company on Cape Cod and the last 10 years with a large corporation. She was a regional manager with the corporation and her primary responsibilities included training of company software and customer service. Her territory included locations throughout the Midwest, Southwest and West regions of the United States.
She likes to spend as much time as possible with her husband of 33 years, her children and grandchildren. Her hobbies include gardening, riding horses, reading and visiting the beach. Her love of the outdoors and working in the yard led her to the Green industry.
Software Implementation Consultant
Dave comes to Aspire with over 30 years in the landscape industry. Working during the summer while attending Ohio State University, he received his B.S. in Agriculture, with a specialization in Landscape Horticulture.
After graduation, Dave rose through the ranks at a variety of landscape companies in the Columbus, Ohio, area. From mowing to fertilization, tree & shrub care to design/build construction, he worked in the field for 20 years before moving to full time management roles. As an Operations Manager and Branch Manager, Dave excelled at integrating technology into his company, cultivating a winning company culture, and inspiring those in his charge to learn, grow and become true industry professionals.
Outside of work, Dave enjoys spending time with his wife of 23 years, Jennifer. A dog and a horse round out the family, and they are both spoiled rotten! Dave is also an avid Ohio State football fan, and loves to spend time taking care of his Mustang GT. The Mustang helps to relieve the stress of everyday life, whether on a leisurely drive around town or a quick trip down the ¼ mile!
Software Implementation Consultant
Sharon’s passions are people, process and problem solving. These qualities are evident upon meeting her. For more than fifteen years she served in the telecommunications industry focused on people development, process definition and organizational optimization.
More recently, Sharon transitioned to the Landscape industry and spent the last 7 years in Strategic Account Management, serving larger portfolio clients ensuring service excellence while meeting bottom line goals.
After earning a degree in Sociology, she went on to achieve certifications in Organizational Development and Leadership. Sharon is truly a lifelong learner and is currently completing coursework in project management.
Being an Aspire team member represents the best convergence of Sharon’s personal and professional passions. In her down time you may find her involved in gardening, home décor or serving in some capacity through her local church, Toastmasters or community group.
Software Implementation Consultant
Matt Winn comes to Aspire with 10 years of account management experience, including spending many years as the General Manager for a local turf grass management company. Prior to joining Aspire, he was the Account Manager for a landscape company in Nashville, TN where he managed the recurring services for 50+ commercial and high-end residential accounts.
His background in account management, in which he was responsible for the management of sales and relationships with customers and his managerial skills, makes him uniquely suited to join the Aspire Software Company’s team of account managers.
His job responsibilities will include training and supporting Aspire clients in all areas of the software during their deployment, go-live and ongoing use.
In addition to his professional experience, he is a Certified Lawn Care Manager through the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and was also awarded the 2017 Rookie Account Manager of the Year. Matt attended Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in Business Management and minoring in Accounting.
In his spare time, he enjoys watching sports, playing golf and spending time his wife Miranda and their 2.5-year-old Daughter, Nora.
Software Implementation Trainer
Cheryl Hall comes to Aspire with a great resume in the industry. Most recently, she served as payroll administrator and office manager for a landscape installation company where she identified areas of opportunity and implements strategies and best practice and process improvement. Her experience includes contract maintenance, job costing – invoicing, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, documentation and training. Prior to the Landscape industry, Cheryl worked for Habitat for Humanity, a Corporate Restaurant Group and Wholesale College Book Company where she provided administrative support as Executive Assistant, Resources Development & Community Relations Associate and Volunteer Coordinator.
Her job responsibilities will include project management, training and supporting Aspire clients in all areas of the software during their deployment, go-live and ongoing use.
In her spare time, she can be found at the baseball field watching her son pitch, attending sporting events, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
Cris has spent the last couple decades living and learning all aspects of residential and commercial landscape contracting - irrigation, snow, maintenance, design/build. She started at the ground level to eventually earning the role of Vice President of Residential Services - Landscape Management and Design/Build.
Cris lives just west of Chicago with her husband, Larry, and 2 wonderful children. They have a strong connection to the community and volunteer and support local initiatives. In her free time, she enjoys sports, staying active, and spending time with friends and family.
Cris is currently co-chair on the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association, Sustainable and Ecological Landscape Committee. This is a major driver in her life. She is a proponent of increasing knowledge and awareness about incorporating sustainable and ecological focused applications in the contracting business.
Director of Customer Success
In this new role, Erin will lead the AspireCare™ customer support team and will be responsible for assessing and managing the satisfaction of Aspire’s customer base
Erin previously served as Client Service Manager, where she was responsible for delivering quality customer service assistance and follow-up and the oversight of the client services team. In this role, she will work to strengthen Aspire’s presence in the market and grow the national customer base.
Erin has more than 15 years of experience in customer advocacy and has a SSPA Certification (Certified Support Professional).
In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the family farm with her husband Jim and two children and is excited about getting a family dog soon.
Senior Deployment & AspireCare Support
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt. This is the approach I take when serving Aspire clients.
Don’t take me wrong, our team is full of industry knowledge and experience, but our real strength is that we personally and professionally invest ourselves into our clients’ business.
Prior to the last eight years deploying landscape industry software, I worked in an Office Management role for a $15M green industry company in Indianapolis, IN and a number of years in the non-green industry.
My background includes A/R, A/P, Payroll, Invoicing, Job Costing, Contract Administration as well as data mining and database development.
My husband and I live outside Branson, MO in the countryside of Galena. When I am not working, I enjoy quiltmaking and spending time with family.
Accounting & Payroll Account Manager
Kathy McWhorter is a Georgia native and joins our team with an accounting degree from the University of Georgia and over 30 years of accounting and consulting experience.
After many years of being self-employed, and the last 14 of those years working with clients in the landscape industry, she jumped at the chance to work with Aspire.
Kathy’s passion, attention to detail and love for helping others achieve their goals is what brought her to Aspire.
In Kathy’s free time she enjoys traveling, being outdoors and spending time with her two daughters and three grandchildren.
Lead AspireCare Specialist
Megan joined Aspire in 2014 as a member of the AspireCare team. She graduated from Belhaven University in Jackson, MS in 2011 with her Bachelor of Arts degree.
During her time at Aspire, Megan has grown quickly in understanding of landscape business, working effectively with clients and creating report layouts. Megan enjoys problem solving and desires to provide effective solutions to her clients.
In her free-time she loves working the Jr. and Sr. high youth group at her local church. She also enjoys recreational photography and playing violin.
Client Service Product/Layout Specialist
Trisha joined our team with 14 years of Financial Operations experience. She graduated with a Masters degree in Business Administration from Maryville University. Prior to Aspire, she spent most of her career in Financial Operations for a major barge line.
While at the barge line, Trisha discovered that she derived her greatest job satisfaction from solving the problems faced by both internal and external customers. She has a passion for people and is very excited about this opportunity to transition into a more
Trisha looks forward to focusing on developing relationships with Aspire’s
Though originally from Illinois, Trisha has lived in the St. Louis area for over 15 years. In her free time, she loves to document her family’s life through photography.
Her other hobbies include reading, travel, and playing board games. Most of the time Trisha just enjoys spending quality time with her two daughters.
Client Service Communication Specialist
Julie believes in the power of stories to bring people together. Here’s one of hers.
Julie started school in the middle of a school year before age 3. Her older brother went to preschool every morning, and one day, Julie decided she was going to school, too! She brought a folder and sat down on the blue bench with the big kids, and she refused to leave! In preschool, Julie’s love of learning began to take shape. Her education spanned more than twenty years and culminated in bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication from Saint Louis University.
After graduation, Julie went to work in the transportation industry, where she became familiar with boats and barges. Excited to take on a new challenge, Julie is now starting to learn about the landscape industry.
When Julie is not working, she enjoys the three R’s: researching, running, and really good food. In her spare time, she likes to find connections between ideas and pick up new bits of information. Julie loves Google.
Julie also loves to run. She trains for and runs half marathons for fun, which accounts for her appetite! When Julie was a baby, her mom used to call her a good eater, and well, she still is! Pizza, sushi, and soft pretzels always make this girl happy.
She can’t wait to learn more about the landscape industry and hear Aspire’s clients’ stories.
Manager of Administration
Barb is more than just our Office Manager. She handles so much of the detailed behind-the-scenes work essential to running a company like Aspire. She is untiringly helpful and attentive and gets the job done.
Barb came to Aspire with more than fifteen years of experience in Office Administration and Human Resources. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Missouri State University.
Barb lives in Kirkwood, Missouri with her husband, two teenage sons, and her big running dog, Gage. When she isn’t at the office you can find her in a hockey rink, watching her boys play, or out training for her next marathon or ultra-marathon.
Client Service Software Specialist
Todd studied liberal arts in college and attended seminary, where he earned a Master’s in Divinity, a degree of pastoral profession. He has several years of varied experience in the service industry, and several years of experience as a pastor both in clinical (chaplaincy) and congregational contexts.
Todd is new to the green industry. However, he’s spent 3 years at ‘Casa de Weedman’, functioning as proprietor, manager, designer, dispatcher, and crew leader.
A self proclaimed autodidact, Todd is a self learner. His hobbies include traveling, cycling, gardening, carpentry, home brewing, culinary arts, and making music. He plays piano and guitar, and sings as a classically trained tenor in the St. Louis Bach Society. He enjoys hanging out with Champ, his nine year old Boston Terrier.
Peggy Hughes has been working as an Accountant in the construction industry on both the general contractor and subcontractor sides of things for over 30 years. For the last several years, she has worked as the Controller for a landscape contractor. Peggy has been responsible for everything from the bidding process, contract administration, and project close out to the payroll process and financial statements.
Peggy is currently an Ambassador for Vida Mountain Bike Series, a group that encourages women to get involved in mountain biking and provides clinics to teach women mountain bike skills. (https://www.vidamtb.com/)
In Peggy’s spare time she leads group mountain bike rides for women of all levels and enjoys spending her time encouraging new riders in the sport.
James Steinlage comes to Aspire with five years of experience and support in the green industry, having served as Crew Leader at a residential/commercial lawncare business. His background in green industry account management, sales and customer service –makes a perfect addition to the Aspire Software Company’s team of experts.
His job responsibilities will include Aspire customer support and client interaction. His role is that of a problem solver, troubleshooter and trainer for issues and tickets pertaining to specific software features.
In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and is a huge sports enthusiast! Soccer and baseball being one of his favorite sports to watch, with Manchester United and the St. Louis Cardinals being his favorite teams to root for.
Client Service Software Specialist
Justin has lived in St. Louis all of his life except for his time in college. At Missouri S&T, he received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.
In his free time, Justin likes to play video games and give back to the community. He illustrates Bible stories with Legos for his Sunday school class at church.
Sarah is no stranger to customer service and understands the value of each client. She has worked in many jobs from Sales and Business Development to Human Resources. As the first point of contact in many of the positions, Sarah improved client services and strengthened company reputation. She is a role model of strong work ethic and is an excellent addition to the Aspire team.
Sarah is a self-proclaimed nerd. She believes that one can never own enough cats and she dabbles in a little cosplay. In her spare time, she loves to watch anime and sci-fi shows as well as read horror novels.
Client Service Software Specialist
Mary's career in client success services has taken her through many industries. She has experiences in banking, serving as a branch manager, then moving to service work with point-of-sale terminals and to the later, managing clients utilizing software programs in the healthcare industry. She looks forward to the new horizons that Aspire will bring within the landscaping industry.
Mary says what motivates her most is to work closely with clients in order to give software support and guidance to management and their teams so they achievement successful outcomes.
Product Development Manager
As our Product Manager, Jacob keeps Aspire running perfectly – so it is fast, available and functions like it should. When he is not working he shuns simple labels, and you are as likely to find him hang gliding in the Andes, snorkeling in the North Atlantic, or chilling at his beach house in Hawaii.
He can usually be found curled up in
Jacob graduated from what was then called the University of Missouri – Rolla with a degree in Computer Science and has been pursuing his passion
Prior to joining
Technical Support Specialist
Emanuel joined the Aspire team in the spring of 2017 as a Technical Product Specialist. He handles a lot of the technical issues that are escalated from the AspireCare team. He loves working at Aspire and proudly says he is “here for the long haul.” He finds the Aspire team to be “all super people,” and from his extensive experience in customer service, he immediately found the level of service that is given to Aspire customers superb.
When not working with a computer or database, Emanuel enjoys boating and fishing. He has always liked working outside, enjoying the sunshine and lots of fresh air. When time permits, he also enjoys playing keyboards and synthesizers, as well as other miscellaneous musical instruments.
A St. Louis native, Emanuel lives in Villa Ridge, MO, with his wife and is heavily involved in their church.
Danny Simpson comes to Aspire with close to fifteen years of Software Development experience. He lives here in town with his lovely wife and three children. In his spare time, he enjoys powerlifting, reading, and a good cup of coffee.
Quality Assurance Manager
Kendal joined Aspire in 2016. He serves as Aspire’s Quality Manager enhancing Aspire’s overall reliability and ease of use. He is a knowledgeable IT professional with strong attention to detail and broad experience in a variety of technical and management roles.
Prior to Aspire, Kendal headed the IT department of a major barge line and before that served in various roles including computer system administrator, software development and testing, and consultant.
Kendal is excited to be part of Aspire, applying his skills to improve the quality of our software. Kendal and his wife reside in St. Peters, Missouri.
Prior to joining Aspire, Charlotte worked at several top healthcare organizations, a transportation company, and a global business services organization. She is fascinated with data science and how it is changing our everyday lives. Charlotte joined the Aspire Team because she likes being part of a friendly group and believes the organization’s leadership has created an environment for productivity, creativity and growth.
When not working or caring for her elderly mom, she enjoys spending time with her grandkids, working in my vegetable garden, cooking for family and friends, traveling, dancing, horseback riding, and playing piano with her grandkids. She loves music and any excuse to be outdoors like festivals, watersports, bonfires and cookouts.
She is a St. Louis native and currently reside in Overland, MO with her so
Brendan is an experienced Product Management professional with a clear passion for building software that users love. He’s led several companies through agile transformations. He’s worked with stakeholders, subject matter experts, and leadership to establish strategic roadmaps to refocus effort around delivering end user value. Brendan’s skill set has aided in building scalable growth within companies to provide clear vision that drives strategic direction.
Before Brendan was in the technology business, he worked as a television show producer. He had the privilege to work on dozens of pilots, commercial productions and full network series. In this work, Brendan found an appreciation of people and their fantastic stories. His love of narrative is leveraged to help companies find their voice and, through great products, bring their vision to reality.
Anitha joined the Aspire team in September 2018 as our Quality Assurance Analyst. She has worked in the Information Technology field for over 4 years, focusing primarily in Quality Assurance and Software Testing.
Prior to joining Aspire, she served as a QA and Business Analyst for Global KTech Inc, a fast-growing Technology firm headquartered in Orlando, Florida where she was involved in setting up numerous testing environment and responsible for performing system and Integration testing for release. Her background includes conducting exploratory testing, not only for web but also mobile applications as well. In addition to her accomplishments, Anitha has also been selected as a favorite tester by the customer and a Gold Rated Tester in Functional Testing.
In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and spending time with family and friends.
Senior System Administrator
I am coming to Aspire with 25 years in the IT industry supporting Windows systems. I first learned Basic and DOS on an old IBM 8088 machine and have worked on every iteration of operating system since.
I live in the St Peters area and I am owned by my wonderful Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, or Tollers, for short. I have been involved with this breed for 20 years. I am currently on the board of directors for the national club but am stepping down so I can focus on chairing our National Specialty next October, in Colorado.
In my free time I like to keep fit by running the local trails. I belong to two great local running clubs and love to meet up with friends for a run and a drink. I also enjoy riding my bike on the Katy trail and have recently taken up mountain biking where I am mostly just learning not to fall down too often. I am currently training for a 20k trail race and considering entering my first ultra next spring.
Avid gamer turned programmer. A love of mathematics, mainly Algebra and calculus, due to their logic and rules they use. Seeing this same thing in programming went into that field. After graduating from UMSL with a degree in Computer Science I went to program for companies who built software for finances and records management.
Can be found fighting monsters (behind a screen and with a group of long-time friends), at church serving on the tech team as a lighting tech, learning a new programming language or in the kitchen baking/cooking something up!
Quality Assurance Analyst
Scott Pennington joined the Aspire team in January 2019 as our Quality Assurance Analyst. He has worked in the Information Technology field for over 3 years, focusing primarily in Quality Assurance and Technical Support.
Prior to joining Aspire, he served as a QA Analyst for a fast-growing Surgical Inventory Management firm headquartered in Franklin, TN where he was involved in locating and eliminating issues in software that directly impacted end users. His background includes end users support, to provide support within house software including troubleshooting, upgrades, reporting and training while providing technical support across the company.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Katie, their two dogs and two cats. And because he is an avid gamer at heart, playing video games is something he enjoys doing with any additional free time he has.
James is our Lead Developer at Aspire and has been in the IT industry for over 20 years. He has spent his time on systems ranging from e-commerce, survey applications to facility systems. He is proficient in all aspects of the development life cycle and have written windows services, web service, web sites, mobile applications, mobile centric websites and development tools.
In his spare time, he enjoys running, writing data mining algorithms, recreational math and traveling. James currently resides in Maryville, IL.
Jim Crosby has been programming for about 17 years now, in all types of languages, applications and platforms. He has worked mostly at what would be considered job shops, such as development of windows forms, web development, CMS development, and mobile.
Jim has had many hats throughout my life, he has been a mechanic, machinist, journeyman rail car mechanic, roofer, professional musician and developer.
While not working, Jim currently plays in several bands that play regularly around town. He has an obsession with collecting guitars, and currently has more than one person needs, since you really can only play one at a time.
Jim live with his wife and in Chesterfield with their two dogs, Zeus the German Shepherd Dog, and Bullet, who is a miniature poodle, miniature schnauzer, chihuahua mix.
When not sleeping on the weekends from getting in late from playing, Jim and his wife like to go out and ride motorcycles with our friends, cruising around in their convertible mustang or jeep, and hanging out with family.
Senior Software Developer
J.D. has been in software development for 16 years prior to coming to Aspire. He has a track record of helping companies grow and mature by focusing on improving processes and efficiency of every team on which he's been involved. He has transitioned several companies from waterfall to agile methodologies, set up and improved QA teams, managed development teams, and helped shape the culture of companies.
When he's not at work, J.D. takes care of his three young kids, and is typically involved in some major home renovation at any given time. He has a passion for personal finance, and loves doing research to figure out how things work under the hood. He volunteers for a Divorce Care group at his church, is the treasurer for his Home Owners Association, and is a member on the City of Manchester Board of Adjustments.
Jennifer Sanders joined the Aspire team in July 2019 as our UI/UX Designer. She has worked as a designer for over 5 years, with a strong focus on human-centered design practices.
Prior to joining the team, she worked as a Web Content Manager for a local eCommerce company where she led efforts to create a more cohesive brand through user-focused intuitive design. Her background includes website design, graphic design for both web and print, user research and user testing.
In her spare time, Jennifer enjoys learning new crafts, painting, designing, decorating, reading non-fiction books and spending time with her family and friends.
Software Developer Intern
Peter is a St. Louis native who is passionately pursuing software development as an intern at Aspire for the summer. He is currently studying Computer Science for an undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado Boulder.
In his free time you may find him hiking, biking, or skiing. When he is back with his high school friends, however, he is known to make cheesy short films.
Senior Sales and Business Development
Gage had a long history with Aspire, even before coming to the company. As the former national sales manager for GIE Media – owners of Lawn & Landscape magazine – he was on speed-dial as the Aspire contact for lining up press releases, events, projects and advertising through the magazine. He was also a critical link to several industry organizations such as the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and the American Snow Contractors Association (ASCA).
Now, a welcome new member of the sales/business development team, Gage’s responsibilities include expanding Aspire’s market share and closing new clients in the Green/Snow industries.
His work experience is diverse, but has uniquely prepared him for his position with Aspire. It spans everything from retail store management to marketing/video company ownership and includes a stint as an Ohio State Trooper.
His interests and activities outside of work are as diverse as his résumé. A husband and father (his son was born in 2016), he enjoys spending time with his family, large home improvement projects and managing a small horse farm with his wife (two horses, two mules and a dog) outside of Cleveland, Ohio. He has a regimental workout every morning at 4:30 a.m. and also likes to play golf.
Despite his time behind the badge, he also has a passion for things that go fast, specifically riding motorcycles and modifying cars. “I play both sides of the fence as far as import tuners and muscle cars – I appreciate the time and quality of work invested in either,” he says.
Sid joined the Aspire team in August of 2018 as our Marketing Manager. She has over 10 years of experience putting together comprehensive marketing strategies that drive profitable growth and improve brand recognition. As a specialist in small to mid-sized businesses, she’s accustomed to wearing many hats including event management, social media campaigns, account management, yearly budgeting, lead nurturing, inbound marketing, print media and more.
After graduating from University of Central Missouri with a BS in Business Administration, she’s lived in Missouri, Texas, and Kansas establishing her career. As a St. Louis native, Sid is excited about the opportunity at Aspire which brings her back to her hometown roots.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with close friends either cooking, watching movies, shopping, grabbing brunch and having great conversations. Sometimes she gets spontaneous and takes random trips on a whim. And now that she’s relocated back to St. Louis, she’s spending more time with her 2 nephews, Enzo & Nicolas.
Senior Business Development Representative
Julia grew up in Southern California and currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her partner and two dogs. After going to school in California, Julia moved to Oregon to pursue her work in brewery sales and brewing. She spent the last several years working at some of the most prominent breweries in Oregon.
In her free time she enjoys hiking and camping with her dogs, bike packing with her boyfriend, and carefully curating and propagating her collection of tropical houseplants.
Sales and Business Development
Darrin grew up in the green industry. He ran his first full sized excavator at age 12, was on a crew at 15 and acquired a CDL at 21.
Most recently, business development in hardscape product sales was Darrin’s primary focus. In addition, he was responsible for developing and managing company wide ICPI & NCMA industry certification training which educated almost 500 individuals.
Serving others is in Darrin’s nature and he has been actively involved with growing and developing our industry through local and national associations such as the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association (WLCA), Wisconsin Nursery & Landscape Association (WNLA) the and the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) and the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA).
When not at work Darrin enjoys spending time with his wife Lynn and three young children Sawyer, Connor and Sierra. They frequently go on adventures where the whole family rides for (or is hauled) 20 miles. As a former Pro/Semi pro mountain bike racer Darrin knows what it takes to complete the difficult tasks needed to get to a win! Find him on Strava and you will see he enjoys his 4am wake up call to go for a ride.
A personal cause that is near and dear to Darrin’s heart is to raise awareness and hope for families who are affected by ALS (Think Ice Bucket Challenge). He and his family created the ALS Steps for Hope fundraiser that has raised almost $50,000 since inception in 2012.
Eric is a senior at Lindenwood University. He is currently working on a Bachelor Degree of Arts in Marketing and will be graduating this December. Marketing has always been a fun and exciting field for him.
Before starting his internship at Aspire, Eric worked at a small restaurant called JJ's Restaurant. There he gained a passion for food and cooking. In his free time, he likes to try new, exciting foods or being outdoors to go fishing.
Business Development Representative
Clay was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. While growing up, his summers consisted of baseball and mowing. When he was not playing games, he was helping his father’s landscape company. His tenure started at the age of 10 and continued through high school (and continued some more after college).
He graduated from Saint Louis University where he also pitched for the Billikens’ Baseball team. He spent the next several months as an Irrigation estimator for his father before he moved to St. Louis. Over the past few years he worked as an estimator and project manager for a national door and hardware distributor, before starting with Aspire.
Outside of the office, he spends most of his time with his fiancé and chocolate lab. They will travel, hang out with friends, and work on the yard as a team.
Kory and his bride both grew up in Allentown, PA and have been married since 2001, back when there were no smartphone photos or videos evidence of your dancing to Vanilla Ice during the reception…thankfully. Despite growing up a Notre Dame fan, Kory quickly changed his allegiance to Penn State after being accepted for their architectural engineering program. Fortunately, after his freshman year and a summer of helping his brother do landscaping side jobs, he found his passion and switched to the Landscape Contracting program at Penn State. After graduation, a move to San Diego began his landscaping career with Valley Crest’s maintenance division, Environmental Care.
After making a change to work with Brickman’s new acquisition in San Diego, Kory also found a new passion for training and development, which eventually led to making a move to the Midwest to pursue additional education at Iowa State University. After grad school, Kory was hired back by Brickman as their Corporate Training Manager, based out of Maryland, with a focus on developing technical programs. Since 2007, Kory has successfully designed, built, implemented and improved training curriculum that ranges from the crew level to senior management for a few different companies in our industry. Kory has also stayed very involved with NALP’s National Collegiate Landscape Competition since early in his career and was the acting Chair of the event for a 3-year period.
Kory’s first experience with Aspire came when he was selected to be part of a small team that helped successfully implement the software to all the branches nationwide for a large landscape leader in the industry.
Kory enjoys an active life with his bride and three children and is thankful for every opportunity to help coach the sports that his kids play. He has also recently become a board member of the Frederick, MD chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Dana Shaw was born and raised near Boston, Massachusetts. He began work in the Landscape industry before it was called the Green industry.
The allure of residential landscape enhancement projects matched well with his drive to create and inspire.
After achieving his horticulture degree from the University of New Hampshire, Dana relocated to Seattle, Washington. This move prompted a deep involvement in irrigation and
In the years since, Dana relocated again to St. Louis, Missouri after completing a business degree in organizational leadership from Colorado State.
While in the Midwest he managed production operations with the largest landscape company in the U.S., facilitating roles in client relationship management, safety management, estimating and enhancement project management.
Now after 17 years of industry experience Dana brings his skills and energy to the Aspire team.
In his spare
Aspire believes in hiring talented, motivated individuals and giving them the responsibility to do great things. If you seek innovation and lots of responsibility in a fast-paced environment, we’d like to meet you.