Ed Quinn is likely one of the most steadfast people you will meet when it comes to giving back and doing good.
The 53-year old started E.A. Quinn Landscape Contractors during the summer of his junior year in high school when he encountered trouble with the law and had to pay off his legal bills. That’s when he borrowed two old mowers from his employer at the time, Coffiel Sport & Power and threw them in the back of his Mustang. He then made a few flyers and started mowing lawns for $25 an hour.
The subsequent rise of E.A. Quinn as one of the most reputable, successful companies in Connecticut is not a dramatic or complex story, but simple and measured, just like Ed.
Through a series of small, but incredibly smart decisions, Ed slowly built the business. Each year, he added new services to his roster and perfected them. And, every five years, he reassessed and kept moving forward.
Along the way, he has made key decisions that allowed him to offer true quality to his clients. Ed created a management team that embodies Ed’s high standards, desire to always improve the customer experience and to work collaboratively. This same mentality has been passed down to the support staff, sales, and maintenance teams. It is all about open and honest communication where information is shared every week. That includes customer feedback, weekly sales, backlog, productivity, job closeouts, and the amount of time it takes to do a job versus the expectation. It is a system of complete transparency on every single level. After each job, Ed insists on a debrief to find out what could have been done better.
Another way Ed has built a successful team is through the E.A. Quinn apprentice program. It’s an example of his unwavering commitment to helping people find the right career path. It has always been about people to Ed. Every decision he makes is based on the idea that if you provide people with opportunity and a home, they will feel valued and succeed. Most of his time is spent out in the field talking to both customers and team members to better understand their perspective and needs. This connection has led to long-time employees who know properties inside and out. Whether a residential customer or big commercial property, the same employees are taking care of the same customers year after year.
Among the most influential people throughout his life were Ed’s Grandfather, Carl Carbone, who built Carbone’s Restaurant in Hartford from scratch by offering a restaurant experience like no other. His other mentor was Maurice Bourbeau, a well-known mason in Glastonbury. Ed says Maurice did not have a formal education but was a brilliant man with a lifetime of knowledge in the hardscape arena. With his guidance and advice, Ed was able to build the masonry side of his business to what it is today. Ed also attributes the success of E.A. Quinn to his wife of 28 years, Laura. Laura and Ed have 3 children and he has often been heard saying, “Without Laura keeping things under control at home, I never would have been able to stay focused on building the company.”
E.A. Quinn now operates four vibrant divisions: Commercial Install, Commercial Maintenance, Design Build, and Residential Maintenance. There are 80 employees at the height of the season and many return every year because of Ed.
What has made him most proud over the years is how the success of the company has allowed Ed to give back to the community he loves. One of the more honorable moments in his life was when he was chosen to receive the Paul Harris Award through the Glastonbury Rotary Club. The award recognizes the Rotarian who goes above and beyond to offer help in any capacity.
You will always find Ed doing what he loves outside: hunting, fishing, snowmobiling or just getting his hands dirty, but you will never find him at a desk job. He starts his day at 5:00 AM with a cup of coffee and his crew getting ready for the work ahead. Among his favorite places to be include Gardner Lake in Connecticut or Burke Mountain in Vermont. He believes in quality above all in every aspect of life, especially business. He never settles and is always looking for how to do better. His best life advice is WORK FOR IT, DON’T WISH FOR IT. That is exactly what he did 37 years ago when he started the company. And for Ed, that mantra has led to a lifetime of success and respect.