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Prominent business changes ownership

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  • | 6:41 a.m. August 20, 2012
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A saga more than two years in the making inside the corner office at one of the region's largest locally owned tree and landscaping businesses is officially over.

Now the company, Bradenton-based Turner Tree and Landscape, has a new sole owner: Co-founder Darrell Turner, who recently bought out what was a 51% majority ownership stake held by Mary Ann Turner, his ex-wife.

The Turners started the business together in 1981 and worked side-by-side for nearly 30 years. They divorced last year. Darrell Turner handled outside work, including networking and sales, while Mary Ann Turner ran the internal financial side of the business. (See Business Review Aug. 1, 2011.)

A deal transferring ownership of the firm closed Aug. 10. Terms of the sale weren't disclosed. Both Turners, nonetheless, emphasize they are excited to move on to another stage of their lives.

Darrell Turner, moreover, says he's ecstatic to get back to the business of keeping the business going. Rumors of the company's demise the past three years, from the recession and the marital problems, took a heavy toll. “I enjoy what I do,” Turner tells Coffee Talk. “I took a lot of pride in keeping the doors open.”

Working through the divorce, adds Turner, “was the largest hell I've ever gone through in my life.”

Turner Tree does commercial landscaping and tree sales, and owns several tree farms in Manatee County. The company had about $9 million in sales in 2011, up about 10% from 2010, Turner says. It has more than 100 pending projects, adds Turner, and will bid on another 100 over the next few months. It recently hired two employees, and now has a staff of 70.

Looking ahead, Turner says he's excited about some upcoming new potential business. One project is a $2 million job in Sarasota County through a federal neighborhood beautification grant.

The company is also bidding on work outside of Florida — specifically with Exxon Mobil Corp., which is expanding its corporate campus in Houston. That project, says Turner, has a landscaping budget of at least $20 million.


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