Meet the Team

Vanessa Emmery, RPA

Business Development Manager

As a kid, Vanessa wanted to be a pediatrician because of her love for children. Once she discovered that needles were involved as part of this occupation, she had to reevaluate her dreams. Vanessa attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona where she studied Business and Spanish. Her first job was at a shoe store called La Cinderella, which was an experience that she thoroughly enjoyed.  She loved this job so much because she was able to buy as many shoes as she wanted. She soon realized the bad part was that she was spending all that hard-earned money. That was her first of many lessons in savings.

Vanessa gets to spend her life with her favorite person, her husband Johan, and their son Julian. They also have two fur babies, a chocolate lab named Henry, and a black lab named Luna.  Luna just recently joined their family during COVID, and she has been a great addition. When she’s not spending time with her family she enjoys biking on her Peloton, and most recently has gotten into circuit training. Vanessa is a big fan of European football, or shall we say soccer, and she has a soft spot for the Danish soccer team as her husband is from Denmark.

Vanessa simply loves San Diego because of the weather and the beauty of the ocean.  She feels that being able to go outside, go for a walk, or hike at any time throughout the year is just a blessing. Her favorite part about her job is getting the opportunity to meet new people.  It was so hard during quarantine to not be able to socialize, see her family or friends, so being out in the field again is just a great feeling. ​​

Educational & Professional Credentials:

  • Active California Real Estate License
  • HVAC System Design Certification – UC San Diego
  • Bilingual in Spanish
  • BOMA RPA Designated
  • Arizona State University, 1999 – BA, Business Interdisciplinary Studies – Emphases on Business & Spanish

Mike Blake

Account Manager

In his younger days, Mike went skateboarding in empty swimming pools.  The risk, of course, is in all that hard concrete…and eventually, he decided he’d had enough.  He still wants to skydive someday.  And he’d like to go whitewater rafting in Costa Rica.  The physical conditioning won’t be an issue, because he hits the gym each weekday morning at 4 a.m.

On his favorite (and most interesting) vacation, Mike spent most of a month snow skiing in Austria.  The trip included travel in Germany and the Netherlands.  He’s also given many, many a free hour to his vegetable garden.  Gardening, he says, is a great stress reliever, although it’s not an option at his current home.  Volunteering at his church is another of his off-hour activities.

Asked about the most life-altering experience of his life, he gave a truer answer than most of us think of.  It’s parenthood.  His kids are Trevor (30), Tiffany (26), and Cameron (21), who works with Mike at LUSA.

Educational & Professional Credentials:

  • C-27 Landscape License
  • C-29 Masonry License.
  • 28 years in Landscaping

Derek Montroy

Account Manager

Derek is a much-decorated Marine and designated Naval Aviator.  He has combat experience in the Middle East and took part in many Navy-Marine Corps operations, both humanitarian and military.  He earned a master’s degree in military studies at the select Marine Corps Command and Staff College in Quantico, Virginia; and he eventually mustered out, at the completion of his service to our nation, as a lieutenant colonel.

Derek is a Michigan native whose Marine days introduced him to sunny San Diego.  He has two sons and a daughter—triplets!—who are 17, as well as two dogs and three cats.  Each of the animals is a rescue. In his spare time, Derek exercises, roots for the Detroit Red Wings, works with wood, and plays both the guitar and the bass.

He’d like to add more travel to his many experiences.  He’s already seen much of southwest and southeast Asia.  (His favorite liberty port, by the way, was in Thailand.)  In the future, he’d like to visit some of Europe’s great battlefields, such as Normandy.

Educational & Professional Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Spanish with minor in Business Administration – Central Michigan University
  • Master of Arts in Military Studies – Marine Corps University
  • Recycled Water Site Supervisor

Amael Vizuet

Account Manager

Amael was born in Morelos, Mexico, just south of Mexico City. He got his start in landscaping in 2004 when he began working at Valley Crest. It was here that he discovered his love for horticulture and the outdoors. Amael enjoys the challenge of working in landscaping. He constantly pushes himself to learn more about the plants he cares for and what makes them thrive. Amael is certified in irrigation management for both recycled and potable water.

Amael likes working at LandscapesUSA because of the people. He says he has a smart, solid team that continues to help him grow in his career.

When not at work, Amael likes spending time with his wife, two daughters and young son. They are an active family and enjoy the outdoors where they often go hiking, mountain biking and to the beach.

Stacey Sturnot, QAL, LICM

Executive Operations Manager

Stacey is working on a book about native and low-water-use plants in San Diego county.  It will be a design and maintenance guide.  She loves that landscapes here thrive year-round.  It’s such a contrast to her childhood home in Milwaukee!

Her interest in plants extends to the ever-popular product of the grape, and she is serious enough about wine tasting that she has become a certified enologist.  She is also a certified yoga instructor.  Hobbies include running, hanging out at the beach and surfing with her kids, camping, hiking, reading, and botanical garden tours.  Busy as she is, she finds time to volunteer.  She does this with her sons’ schools, the Ironman Triathlon, and the local chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association.

Stacey lives in Vista with her two sons. Although she grew up in Milwaukee, she was born in Germany, and counts a visit to that country as both her favorite and most interesting vacation.  On her bucket list is much more travel, particularly to Asia and Australia.

Educational & Professional Credentials:

  • Associated Degree in Applied Science: Landscape Horticulture – Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • Board Member – San Diego Chapter California Landscape Contractors Association
  • Landscape Industry Certified Manager
  • Qualified Applicators License

Jerry L. DeJournett, ASLA

Vice President West Coast

Jerry is a high energy guy who golfs, hikes, hunts, fishes, rides bikes, skis, and boogie boards–sometimes all in the same day.  Or…maybe not all on the same day.  He is also a problem solver and a strong leader.  Happily, he adds to these qualities a friendly, quick-to-laugh personality, and a genuine enjoyment of others.

His favorite ‘others’ are family.  Toni, his fiancée, is as energetic and outdoorsy as he is.  Between them, Jerry and Toni have three sons—Quinton, 21, Dylan, 20, and Jake, who is 13.  A baby girl, a chocolate English lab, recently joined the crew.  She is guaranteed a lifetime of affection and tons of fun exercise.

Jerry grew up in Idaho.  He tells hair-raising tales involving large predators, like grizzlies and mountain lions.  Vacationing with his entire extended family is, he says, his favorite activity, and Costa Rica is “hands down” his favorite destination.  His current hometown of San Diego, however, is the place he most loves living.  He loves the beaches, the weather, the Padres, the golf courses, the restaurants, and (of course) the profusion of outdoor activities.

Educational & Professional Credentials:

  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture – University of Idaho
  • Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects
  • Licensed Landscape Architect and Landscape Contractor in Oregon
  • Certified Rainbird Maxicom Technician/Programmer