Stephen Judy is a lifelong Louisan, proud employee of Lake Anna Nursery and Landscaping and a member of Leadership Louisa. Judy takes pride in his work and is no stranger to overcoming challenges.
Growing up, Judy looked up to his father, who also worked landscaping jobs. Judy described memories of going to jobs with his dad. When he was 16, Judy got his own start in the business.
“I didn’t know what hard work was until I worked for a big landscaping company,” he said.
“It’s not like an office job – it’s constant demand,” he said about his job with Lake Anna Nursery. “I like to say we battle Mother Nature – Mother Nature always wins but we do get the upper hand every now and then.”
Judy described his day-to-day work as difficult, but rewarding.
“You have a lot of hot days – it’s hard working in the heat,” he said. “Sometimes we have to work seven days a week, or we’re having to work long hours on days before it’s going to rain – we have to keep up with the forecast.”
Despite the challenges he faces daily, Judy remains positive. “It’s not about what happens, it’s how we react to it.”
In addition to being a leader in the workplace, Judy is a leader in his personal life. Judy is a recovering addict, four and a half years clean, and an active participant with Louisa Reentry Council since 2019.
“That’s how I found out about the leadership program,” said Judy. “I try to lead people who are in a situation I was once in,” said Judy on his time with the reentry council.
The reentry council provides opportunities to individuals who have been released from jail to integrate back into the community. Leadership Louisa, an initiative of the Louisa County Chamber of Commerce, aims to foster leadership potential in the community. Judy was part of the program’s first class of graduates earlier this month.
Judy has been working to organize Narcotics Anonymous meetings in Louisa. He said that everything he has learned in recovery, he has tried to apply “in my personal life on a daily basis.”
Judy said that he is proud of what he does as a landscaper.
“I enjoy taking pride in my work and turning something that was left undone into something beautiful,” he said. “I like to call it ‘yard art.’”
Judy also appreciates working for a local business like Lake Anna Nursery.
“I like to work for small businesses,” he said. “Your work is noticed.”
“I learned how to deal with different people from different walks of life,” said Judy on the lessons his job has taught him. “I’ve tried to be an ear and listen, and value what other people think.”
Throughout his journey, Judy has overcome obstacles and learned lessons that he shares with others and applies to his own life.
“I’m just grateful,” he said.
Learn more about Leadership Louisa at louisachamber.org/louisa-forward-foundation/leadershiplouisa. Learn about Louisa Reentry Council at louisacounty.com/249/Reentry-Council.
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