Change can be difficult, especially when it comes to your name. However, ESLM, Inc owner Benjamin Lewis knew he needed to make the change several years ago. "As our company has grown, the type and amount of services we offer has exploded," said company president Benjamin Lewis. "When I founded the company in 2003, we were primarily a landscape maintenance company focused on lawn, shrubbery and tree maintenance. Occasionally we would install new landscaping or pavers." As the quality and portfolio of work increased, so did opportunities to expand. From paver patios and wall installations to landscape lighting and irrigation, Lewis quickly discovered his growing company had an identity issue. "We were finding many folks, both existing and prospective clients, really weren't aware of all the services we provided. Our company name, Eastern Shore Landscape Management, really didn't fit who we were any longer. That's how Browder-Hite came about." But why the name Browder-Hite? "Our company has never been about the name. It's always been about our people," Lewis said. "I wanted to give us a name that differentiated us from every other landscaping company, especially considering the different avenues of work we're starting to dive into." Elva Browder Lewis and Mary Hite Tanner were Lewis's grandmothers and using their maiden names just made sense, considering who they were and what they did. "Both of these women were 'Children of the Depression.' Elva Browder lived in Southside Virginia on a farm and Mary Hite grew up in Old South Richmond. They knew what it was like to sacrifice, work hard, focus on the future and never give up. "Both of my grandmothers endured hard times, tragedy and want. But it forged them into women of determination, courage and resourcefulness, all the character traits I want my company and team members to personify."
While the name change is effective November 1, the broad list of services Browder-Hite offers has been slowly evolving. From the first days of lawn mowing and occasional landscape installation, numerous Browder-Hite landscape professionals now install paver patios, retaining and seating walls, full service masonry work including concrete and brick work, carpentry work, landscape lighting and irrigation, tree care, landscape and tree/shrub insect control, turf care, weed control and professional landscape design by in-house landscape designer Kimberly Allen. "Kim has really elevated the level and quality of work we do. She has a design esthetic that is diverse and allows us to easily flow from historical homes and contemporary brick ranchers to commercial jobs. She has an easy-going style that people just love," said Lewis with a smile.
While his eye is on the next 12 years of the company's future, Lewis has not lost sight of the Eastern Shore values that have brought him this far. "Hard, intelligent work, humility and embracing family and community are what I'm all about. We want to be the best at what we do. We won't ever become complacent." Seeing how far they've come, it's hard to imagine Browder-Hite will be anything different.