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News & Notes #36

Welcome to the new digital format of Focal Pointe News and Notes. We are providing this new format as a more efficient way of delivering important and relevant information and as a more environmentally sustainable practice. We hope that you enjoy receiving the newsletter in a way that gives you the ability to read it on your mobile device. 

  Message from John:  

We are excited to share with you our plans to reestablish our Employee Referral Program.  As we look forward to our 2021 season, our sales teams continue to pursue exciting growth opportunities which will increase our need for additional landscape professionals.  Unfortunately, the uncertainty within the H-2B program remains, so we must continue to pull together to fill our labor needs for next year.  Below please find a few key points pertaining to our program:

  • We encourage everyone to share with friends and/or family members the open positions we have available.  You may find our open positions on our website at  or within the monthly employee newsletters.
  • All employees who refer a candidate will earn a $250.00 Finder’s Fee if the candidate is a good fit and becomes a reliable team member.  Payment of Finder’s Fee is as follows:
    • $50.00 will be issued once the new employee has reached thirty (30) days of employment.
    • The remaining $200.00 will be issued once the employee has reached six (6) months of employment.
  • The Finder’s Fee will be paid through your normal paycheck.
  • Please keep in mind that employees you recruit must comply with the following requirements:
    • Professional Appearance:  No visible piercings, no visible tattoos, etc.
    • Comply with our No Smoking Policy
    • Pass the Pre-Employment Background Test
    • Pass the Drug Test
    • Comply with Uniform Policy

All Focal Pointe team members would like to be surrounded by high-quality, long-term employees.  When recruiting, you should ask yourself if the candidate will be reliable, enjoy serving others, and be someone you’d be proud to work with.  If they fit that description, then you’ve probably found someone who belongs on our team!

Our second Core Value (We Create Our Future) really speaks to this forecasted labor crisis.  We know through our sales goals and historical client retention rate, that we’ll be short on landcare professionals next year.  Let’s put the work in now to make sure next Spring goes well!

Please see Sandra to discuss the pay range and to answer any other questions you may have.  As always, thank you for your hard work and determination toward building a great company!

  Operational Excellence:  

  • Jo Downs with O’Fallon Public Works recently wrote – “I wanted to take a moment and thank you for being proactive in the assistance of compliance with the IEPA and Illinois Plumbing Code mandates regarding backflow testing.  Your company is one of the few that actually acts as a liaison between the inspector, resident and water purveyor… Again, thank you for your assistance in keeping everyone in compliance!”
  • A customer in Alton who contracted a major cleanup prior to selling their home was very happy with the results we provided within her budget She said, “Vela is communicating with her husband also and very nice to work with.” Here is some of her text messaging.
  • While walking through a part of the Wash U campus recently, Brian Brueggemann and Mike Kirchoff were stopped twice. A 1970’s Wash U grad, said it is the best he has ever seen the campus. And, a woman that walks her dog through campus frequently praised Focal Pointe on how meticulous we are at maintaining the property.
  • Karen, a Wash U employee at Med Campus road past Cody on a bike at Olin Library, she turned back around to come let me know how much she appreciates the work we do on the campus. She said, “It’s so wonderful to ride through campus” and “It really lifts my spirit.”

It’s clear that Elyse has great relationships with her clients, and she communicates with them via text message – here is some evidence.

  • Janelle Nativi is pleased to work with Sal, on her irrigation.
  • Dennis Muilenburg was happy with the work completed by Sylvestre and Oscar.
  • Janice Mahoney was also very happy with Sylvestre and Oscar.
  • And Beau Brauer is pleased with the work at UL 17 & 18 he says, “Everything is looking sharp! Thank you!”


Gerardo Ruiz Bonilla – 10/02
Martin Ruiz Bonilla -10/03
Francisco Hernandez Sanchez – 10/04
Emily Van Dyke – 10/05
Jorge Alberto Espino Nieves – 10/05
Terry Rau – 10/16
Cristo Rey Benitez Leyva – 10/19
Dawn Slechta -10/20
Nicole Kunkle – 10/20
Darnell Stevenson – 10/20
Lisa Stoner – 10/20
Feliciano Balderas Torres – 10/20
Sebastian Lesmes – 10/22
Gloria Santos Lazaro – 10/22
Fernando Colorado Hernandez – 10/24
Jesus Villanueva Bustos – 10/27
Elizabeth Fraley – 10/30
Angel Ruiz Bonilla – 10/31
Adolfo Berriozabal – 10/31


Elyse Harpstrite 10/1/2013 (7 Years)
Silvestre Huerta 10/1/2015 (5 Years)
Salvador Belmonte 10/22/2018 (2 Years)
Nicole Kunkle 10/1/2019 (1 Year)
Jose Arellano 10/11/2019 (1 Year)
Jose Carrillo 10/11/2019 (1 Year)
Jorge Santiago 10/11/2019 (1 Year)

  New Employee Corner  

Jay Tonsfeldt

Marketing Director

Hire Date: 06/22/2020

Dylan Fuehne

PHC Tech

Hire Date: 8/14/2020

Amanda Fraley


Hire Date: 8/18/2020

Lance Jones

Landcare Professional

Hire Date: 8/25/2020

Ian Montereo

Install Professional

Hire Date: 8/25/2020

Donna Padget


Hire Date: 8/25/2020

Aura Sanchez

Landcare Professional

Hire Date: 9/18/2020

Juan Carlos Sanchez

Landcare Professional

Hire Date: 9/18/2020