Vicky and Jon Cundiff have spent the better part of the last two-and-a-half-decades as not only business owners in Lee’s Summit, but also as stewards for the city.
Both have been involved in some capacity with volunteering and giving back over the course of the last 25 years including in civic and philanthropic endeavors.
The couple was recently honored as the recipients of the 2012 Green and Yellow award from Weed Man USA, a lawn care franchise company. The Cundiffs, who employ about the equivalent of 25 full-time employees, were presented with the honor at the company’s national conference in Tampa, Fla.
The Green and Yellow Award was established to recognize the franchisee that outwardly expresses their enthusiasm for their role as a Weed Man franchisee and fully embraces the system.
“The conferences are something that we have been to since 2000 and this has been an award that has always been kind of one that you were proud of the people who received it,” Vicky Cundiff said. “It’s kind of one of those emotional awards that comes along with how much you give to others and become involved. It has a little bit different meaning for everybody, so for us to receive that this year was awesome.
“We received the award for working with our franchisees within our own system and then using our company in the community to actually help others. It was an awesome recognition for us to receive. They actually have a community service award that’s just for community service and we actually received that one a couple of years ago.”
The Cundiffs, who started their initial lawn care service business in 1987 before becoming a sub-franchiser and franchisee of Weed Man in 2000, believe if not for the residents of Lee’s Summit their business would not be as strong as it is now after being recognized by the national Weed Man group that represents the Cundiffs’ business, Weed Man of Kansas City.
“We’ve always felt that it was important to give back to the community that you are involved in, live in, work in,” said Jon Cundiff. “It’s important to give a little piece back. We’ve always been very involved in the community.”
Vicky Cundiff, who is a board member of the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, added: “What we’ve discovered is that when the city is growing and thriving then our business also does well. By growing our city, we grow the community by attracting economic development. New businesses come and old businesses stay and that promotes our business because, obviously, then there are more people available to take our services.”
The Cundiffs have ties with not only the Chamber, but with the Lee’s Summit Economic Developmental Council, Lee’s Summit 360, Partners in Education, and in Jon Cundiff’s case, a previous seat on the national board of PLANET, or professional landcare network
“It’s fulfilling,” Vicky Cundiff said of the couple’s philanthropy. “When we started our business 25 years ago we were in the basement of our house. Because of this community, and because of the people we have run across, our business has done well. We’ve been able to stay in this community and thrive, so to give back to all the people that have helped us grow and to be able to help others get into business…we feel very strongly about that.”
Weed Man specializes in providing environmentally responsible fertilization, weed control and integrated pest management services, and the company has a strong focus on franchise development.
“The Cundiffs are such great role-models within the Weed Man franchise with their willingness to constantly help out others in the system from sub-franchisors to new franchisee candidates,” said Jennifer Lemcke, COO of Weed Man and Turf Holdings, LLC. “Vicky and Jon are huge supporters within their community, and as Weed Man franchisees, they are always looking for ways to integrate themselves and their company into the community.”