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About Our Company

Chevalier Outdoor Living is a full outdoor service provider, allowing you live freely and easily beyond the confines of four walls. We are “out-of-the-box” thinkers and tailor each individual job to our clients needs and expectations. Our unique and versatile designs lay a foundation that our customers can grow with as their needs change. And our year-round maintenance services allow for maximum outdoor enjoyment!

Get to know our team!

Mike Frank

Owner, Designer, Pioneer, Visionary 24 years ago, a tired owner passed down the flickering torch of a landscaping company we now know as Chevalier Outdoor Living. Today that torch is burning strong and bright because of one man’s determination. Mike Frank’s passion and integrity to provide quality service is the foundation in which he has built his company. Like many, plain old experience gives Mike a wealth of knowledge but unlike some he regularly continues his education. He attends classes on the most state-of-the-art techniques and business practices to ensure excellence for his clients AND employees. It’s hard to believe he was extremely shy and somewhat of an introvert growing up, because today we know him as a great teacher who is willing to teach anyone willing to learn. Mike’s true expertise lies within his creative abilities, which he likes to attribute to his grandfather who was a successful commercial artist. Favorite color: Rich vibrant colors. Orange. Favorite quote: “If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” –Michael Jordan

Susan Frank

Office Manager/Landscape Technician Sue is the oil for the machine known as Chevalier Outdoor Living. She started back in 1994 by landscaping, snowplowing, and managing the office. She continues to do all this and more. Sue’s degree in Business Administration, on-the-job experience and her continued business education keeps her atop her game. She relaxes by riding her motorcycle and is also a practicing sous chef. Favorite color: Red (and Pink) Proudest accomplishment: Working with her husband Mike to throw her parents an awesome 50th Anniversary. Words to live by: “Think outside. No box required.” Favorite quote: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.” –Simon Sinek

Patrick Tolsma

Skilled Mason/Lead Labor In 2009 Patrick decided to leave his restaurant job in search of greener pastures- and that’s when he found us! Pat’s positive attitude and willingness to learn made hiring him a no-brainer. Every day Pat is faced with changing tasks that have given him hands on experience in a multitude of different areas. With determination he tackles anything thrown his way, but his excellence lies most in is patience with and ability to instruct his co-workers. In addition Pat’s sense of humor and eagerness to accomplish the task at hand makes him an absolute pleasure to work with. Favorite color: Black or Blue. Proudest accomplishment: Creating a mentality to overcome adversity, push beyond his personal boundaries and to stay focused on moving forward. Words to live by: “Life’s a garden… dig it!”

Sara Tolsma

Landscape Technician Sara joined our team at turf level in 2012 and has been our main lawn care gal ever since. Her disarming bubbly personality and positive attitude allow her to connect easily with clients and co-workers. Sara is also highly skilled when it comes to detail work on carved concrete projects. In her spare time, Sara loves to write in whatever form it may take, she finds it incredibly liberating & therapeutic. Favorite color: No one specific color on it’s own, but rather high-contrast color combinations. Proudest accomplishment: “It’s a rollercoaster of ups and downs, with smiles and tears, bumps and bruises, but being a mother is my proudest accomplishment.” Words to live by: “Embrace life! Life is too short to dwell on the negative things or to do what doesn’t make you happy. It’s the only one we have so embrace it.” Inspired by a necklace given to her by her late father.

Crystal Portwood

Horticulture Technician/Lead Laborer After having our eye on Crystal for over a year it was May 2015 where we were able to scoop her up and make her part of our team. It’s not only Crystal’s Degree in Horticulture and her 8 years prior experience in which she gained her expertise in Landscape Maintenance, her love of plants and drive keeps her informed on the most innovative planting and caring techniques. Crystal may spend many days being down-to-earth but she enjoys flying high in the sky as she likes to skydive too. Favorite color: Green! Proudest accomplishment: Graduating from Niagara Community College with 3 degrees; AS Physical Education; BS Kinesiology; AS Horticulture. Favorite Quote: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” -Oscar Wilde

Karen Byrne

AKA: ‘Shortie’ Landscape Technician Karen has the unique and valuable perspective of being a former landscape business owner. It was a no brainer, although she didn’t leave us much choice, to make her part of our team in May 2015. Already with a Bachelor of Science in Plants under her belt, Karen continues to learn and tackle whatever task is thrown her way. This small, scrappy tomboy meets any bet made against her with how fast she can prove them wrong. Favorite color: Red Proudest accomplishment: Mother of two, college educated, evolving children and Grandmother. “Family means everything!” Words to live by: “You can’t succeed if you don’t give it a try!”

Jenna Winters

Marketing Manager Jenna started off as our Freelance Photographer/Graphic Designer and quickly moved into the slot of Marketing Manager in July 2015. Her Bachelors in Fine Art from Daemen College, 10 years Graphic Design experience in advertising and 15 years as a Freelance Photographer combined gives her the expertise to develop and execute a cohesive identity for our company. Jenna’s creativity doesn’t stop at work, she appreciates homemade items and always has a handcrafted project she is working on. Favorite color: All colors. Favored colors are situational. Proudest accomplishment: Securing my biggest and longest art project… purchasing my house. Words to live by: “Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”

Sarge

Sarge has been with team Chevalier since 2009. His expertise lies in managing the crew’s stress levels. His timing for comic relief is unparalleled. He keeps us constantly laughing through loud, random expulsions of gas, the urgency in which he needs his head itched and even with the mere skill and precision in which he always makes it to the cat food before the cat. Sarge also plays a prominent role in teaching rookies valuable lessons like… “Listen to Mike!” Like when Mike says ‘Don’t let Sarge be alone by the wheelbarrow because he has an affinity for eating the tires.’ Sarge not only enjoys eating wheelbarrow tires, but loves to chew on wood too. Favorite Color: Medium to darkish gray. Proudest accomplishment: Keeping the cat hungry. Words to live by: “Inedible? I think not!”

Affiliations

  • Plantasia Garden & Landscape Show
  • Member of PlantWNY
  • Member of the Springville Chamber of Commerce
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