Over 30 years, we’ve had people come and go. Whether they have moved on or are still part of the team, we are ever grateful for everyone who has come through the door. Without them, we wouldn’t have had the experiences we have had. We owe many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the team in one way or another – we truly do appreciate you all!
Below are current members of the team. In this business, especially during the season, it’s easy to just hire bodies with a pulse, but at ELITE, we take pride in the people we hire. For that reason, when it comes to hiring, we don’t joke around! We’ve developed a rigorous hiring process – check out our careers page to see what we mean. The people below are the best of the best. We hire not only skill – but passion, and drive. We hire people who share our vision and we train them OUR way. That’s what we’ve built our reputation on!
David Katz earned his Landscape Degree in Landscape Design and Ornamental Horticulture from Cobleskill State University of NY, and continued on for Landscape Architecture at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, at Syracuse NY. In 1980 he started a 5 1/2 year management career for a well known Nursery and Garden Center in Westchester County, NY.
Through those years, David became increasingly passionate about giving homeowners more than they could ever get from a traditional nursery or landscape company. In 1985, David gave notice, left the company, and founded ELITE Landscaping. Since then, David and the team at ELITE have set an entirely new standard for landscape design and build services. Beyond Expectation℠!
David and ELITE are members of the New York Better Business Bureau (BBB), the North East Spa and Pool Association (NESPA), and the New York/New Jersey Metro Chapter of the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) where david sits on the board as VP.. David is also a Certified Building Professional™ with the APSP, one of only 220 such certified professionals in the
While Debbie has, for obvious reasons, been involved with ELITE since its inception, her first and foremost priority was raising her two children Shellee and Mitchell, who are now grown. 17 years ago she joined the firm on a full time basis and has been an integral part of keeping the back end running smoothly. Not only is she a genius with finances and IT stuff, she is also a go to person for setting up initial client consultations, explaining how we work and making sure every detail is as all of us at ELITE expect; as perfect as humanly possible. What she can not do is, and these are her words, “able to get a schedule changed”. Not that she wouldn’t want to, as she understands everyone wants things yesterday, but she knows we have a schedule and we treat everyone equally, first come fist serve. Oh and if you ever need some one to talk to about going through cancer or raising your kids, it’s virtually impossible to find a more qualified person.
If you’re thinking this is the boss’s kid syndrome, forget about it! Mitch is truly beyond his years in experience and training. Mitchell is as certified (educated, trained, capable) in the pool industry as anyone. In fact he is literary in the top 1% of the industry. As a result, he often teaches the certification courses to others in the industry. And he has achieved all these credentials at a younger age than anyone has ever done so.
His certifications include:
CPO- Certified Pool Operator by the National Swimming Pool Foundation
CSP – Certified Service Professional by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (one of only 275 in the world)
CBP – Certified Building Professional by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (one of only 375 in the world)
He is also a Certified Start-up Technician by the National Plasterers Council (NPC), a Certified Stain Specialist by Jack’s Magic (a leading stain prevention and removal company), and not least of all, a 2010 Graduate of Marist College.
This is a guy who knows what it means to be ELITE and he won’t disappoint anyone, not you nor his dad. If you are someone we build a pool or spa for, he’s the expert, in all things technical. You need it, he knows it and I mean KNOWS IT!
As a graduate of Marist College (where he earned a business degree with a concentration in Finance and Human resources and a minor in accounting), he ain’t no slouch. Mitch (as he likes to be called) put himself through college on an athletic and academic scholarship for diving. He dove “Division 1” on 1 meter and 3 meter spring board, holding multiple school records as well as leading his team as captain.
Since he was 3 Mitchell (as his dad and mom like to call him) has been disciplined his whole life, starting with Karate, gymnastics, and from his high school freshman year through college as a spring board diver. He has never been afraid of hard work, which means you can often find him in the office at 5:00 AM or 10:00 PM, and all times in between. He has been a hard worker his entire short life; sometimes in college he had 5 jobs at one time. One summer he was an intern both at a wall street bank and a local insurance company, coached gymnastics and diving (two separate jobs) and worked with E L I T E.
And if all that’s not enough, Mitchell sits on the board of directors for the NY/ NJ Metro Pool and Spa Chapter, heading several committees and also is heavily involved in committee work for NESPA (North East Pool and Spa Association)
In full disclosure, I should point out that all of the above was written by me, his father, bragging. Which is why I must point out that Mitchell is my polar opposite. It’s never about him; he doesn’t have a bragging bone in his body. And talk about Team player, he’s the epitome of one. In reality, it’s a dream come true to have someone as talented as Mitchell taking our firm into the next phase of exciting growth.
Shellee is the bosses daughter and she has that syndrome, but not in a negative way. There’s no free ride here, Shellee works for free and loves it. This is a business she grew up in, literally. Shellee was born our first Spring, back in 1986 only 9 months after ELITE itself took life. To her, ELITE is not a business it’s a way of life and its how she lives hers. DETAIL, HARD WORK, NO EXCUSES and FOCUSED. To Get feedback and direction we don’t have to ask for it, she’s like a stealth military camera and just senses when something needs reviewing. Which is all very much appreciated and quite impressive considering Shellee actually has a full time career out side of ELITE
As a staff accountant in a NYC firm, Shellee loves numbers, organization and detail. She is also intolerant of mistakes and wasting time, something she gets from her dad and wears like a badge of honor. This is one serious young woman; a Cum Laude graduate from the University of Buffalo Business School, which was in the top 10 as rated by the Wall Street Journal, she continues her professional merit climb as she studies for her CPA exam. A real NYC girl, Shellee lives down town in the hustle and bustle of New York City’s new ‘It Spot’, the Financial District. Only a Phone call, Skype, Text, E-mail or train ride away, she has her heart, sole and mind on the pulse of everything we do here at ELITE and we love it!
For all those pet lovers out there; so are we! Do you want to know who the favorite around the office is? It’s Emee our 3 year old Japanese Chin. And before anyone starts making comments about imports or anything in that direction, WRONG, Emee was born right here in the good old US of A from a reputable breeder. At 11 1/2 lbs, she’s a bundle of energy & joy, and as well behaved as you could imagine. Most days she lays quietly, usually under Debbie’s desk, but visits everyone else so they don’t get jealous. Once in while she goes out with David to visit a work in progress, never leaves his side and brings a smile to everyone who meets her, especially the kids. If you’re ever by the office, feel free to stop in and say hello to our little, Emee
Did you know that every 13 minutes a woman dies of breast cancer? Statistics show that one in eight women (12.6% of all women) will get breast cancer in her lifetime. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35.
Fortunately, breast cancer death rates have been going DOWN. (Right now there are more than 2½ million breast cancer SURVIVORS in the United States.) This is most likely a result of (1) finding the cancer earlier and (2) better treatment.
Our team here at ELITE cares, and while we do so about all suffering and injustices against life, we are particularly passionate about breast cancer awareness. It is our wish to eradicate this horribly debilitating (physically and mentally) disease. To that cause, we encourage support to The American Cancer Society’s and their events such as “Making Strides, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s “Race For the Cure, and/or any other cause you feel drawn to.
We know firsthand what it’s like to live with and be affected by breast cancer. For that reason, our door is always open (or by phone, email, fax, smoke signal or even snail mail). If you ever need an ear to yell into or a shoulder to cry on, or just want a hug, let us know and don’t hesitate, We’ll be happy to talk with you.
The ELITE Team.