Behind the Backbone of Bonick: Meet Production Assistant, Alex Diaz
Springing into action is what most of our Bonick staff excel at. Enter recent recruit, Production Assistant, Alex Diaz. Couple learning a new industry with a Covid-19 pandemic within his first month on staff, and top it off with a record-breaking 2021 freeze, and you have Alex’s first year on the books. Hear what this all-star action figure aficionado has to say about his rookie year and how he’s conquered the challenges he’s faced with flying colors in this month’s employee spotlight interview:
by Tammy Vanderkolk
Hi Alex, I hear you just started working at Bonick in the last year? Is that correct?
Yes. I started in February of last year.
Oh wow, right before Covid! So what was that learning curve like coupled with scrambling to manage a pandemic?
Very challenging, but exciting. I’m brand new to the industry, with a background in warehousing and medical supplies, so I had a lot to learn.
Quite different than the landscape industry… How did you end up working at Bonick?
I graduated from UNT 2 years ago with a degree in logistics and supply chain management. I was looking for a position in purchasing since I had previously purchased for hospitals. I saw that Bonick was hiring so I interviewed with Glenn and Ralph. They liked what saw, and the rest was history.
Tell us about your role at Bonick.
I’m the production assistant—I am responsible for managing plant materials. I take care of the plants in our Bonick Landscaping yard and I also schedule enhancement jobs and procure the plants for each. Basically, as soon as the sale gets made, all the jobs get sent to me. Once I schedule them, I immediately procure the materials. That’s been challenging this year due to the freeze.
I bet. What sort of obstacles have you faced in sourcing plants as a result of the freeze?
A bunch of plants died at our clients’ homes as well as with the growers, so the challenge has been in finding materials. They go quickly—the day a new supply arrives at the nurseries, it’s gone within a few hours.
Wow. How do you handle that?
I have had to be very proactive and do the best I can to stay ahead of the situation.
I was just reading an article Glenn sent us today from NALP about how landscape companies handled the freeze. I heard you guys were able to salvage some of your best plants in Bonick’s heated greenhouses?
Yes. The greenhouses saved the plants from the freeze. Funny story—that Friday prior to the storm, it was drizzling and cold and our shop team and I took a last-minute walk through the yard. We made the decision to move as many plants as we could into our enclosed greenhouses. It was better to try than to do nothing at all.
Great teamwork! Sounds like that decision paid off!
Yes—I wish I could have been more successful but I’ll take what I can get.
So what is your involvement with the garden managers and landscape designers?
I work with them on a daily basis and communicate if there is an issue. For instance, with limited plant availability, we’ve often had to come up with a solution or possible substitution. As long as what we do brings satisfaction and enjoyment to our clients, our main goal is accomplished.
That’s definitely the most important. What do you enjoy most about working at Bonick?
The people are great! All my teammates are awesome people to work with. The challenges also keep me on my toes, and I enjoy that. Here there is always something that comes up to make things interesting.
It’s always nice to have variety in your workday. So what are your hobbies outside of work?
I’m a toy collector—vintage action figures from Ghost Busters, Ninja Turtles, He-Man, all the good stuff from the 80s. I go to toy shows, talk to other collectors, buy and exchange. It’s fun especially if you find a piece you had when you were little—it brings back memories and that’s the whole point of collecting.
Sounds like you belong to a fun, nerdy niche club! My cousin actually collects Star Wars and Star Trek action figures. His room is arranged perfectly like a museum.
Exactly! That’s how my house is. One wall for Ninja Turtles, another wall for He-Man, another for Ghost Busters, and then another with a variety of fun things.
I love it. So, tell us about your family.
Me and my wife, Karina have been married for 15 years. No kids, just enjoying life and making her crazy—my two goals in life.
(Laughs) Keeping humor alive in a relationship is always important. So what does she do?
She’s an office manager for a drywall construction company.
So you two probably have some similar work stories you can bond over at the dinner table?
For sure. There’s always something. In fact, she’s going through similar issues with construction material shortages.
Oh, I can imagine. Well thanks so much for taking time out of your day to talk with us, Alex. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you. Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks, you too!
You may also like:
For over 35 years, Bonick Landscaping has served Dallas area clients with the highest standards looking for out-of-the-ordinary luxury landscape design and pools by offering the best in service, workmanship, and plantings. Services include hardscape and landscape design, pool designs, pool construction and installation, lawn care services and garden maintenance, pool maintenance, and more. For discerning clients in Dallas who want to express their own distinctive style through their landscaping, Bonick Landscaping can help you realize your dream. For more information, call us at 972-243-9673 or email us.