Lawn Doctor History: The Foundation
The co-founders of Lawn Doctor were Bob Magda & Tony Giordano.
In the mid-1960s, the two friends were starting out – in Matawan, New Jersey. Bob was apprenticing at Singer Sewing Machine Manufacturing, while Tony was the owner of a small hardware store located on Main Street.
When construction started on a nearby housing development, new homeowners flocked to Tony’s store with questions about creating and caring for their lawns. As an accomplished entrepreneur as well as a natural salesperson who enjoyed explaining things, Tony welcomed the questions.
The desire for lawn advice grew so great that Tony began conducting special workshops in lawn care each Sunday morning. Every week, he attracted crowds that were standing-room only.
But Tony grew disheartened upon seeing homeowners spend so much money, time and effort doing their own lawn care without getting the desired results. After Tony discussed his frustration with Bob, the two of them decided they would start their own lawn care business. Auto Lawn – the predecessor to Lawn Doctor – came to life with a handshake.
Lawn Doctor History: The Growth
Bob left his position at Singer to devise a machine that could build and maintain lawns. Bob’s machine became the industry’s first automated lawn care machine. Tony marketed the business through his hardware store.
Their reputation began to grow. Local salesmen and a newspaper started calling them “The Lawn Doctors.” Tony and Bob thought that was such a good name that they re-christened their company “Lawn Doctor.” The company’s logo would then become the now-renowned green thumb.
Bob converted his basement into “the factory” where he built the next three machines. In 1966, the first tractor combine was created. The inventor remembers the commitment that he and Tony made: “We knew we had the best equipment available, and we vowed to always keep it the best.”
For over a decade, Tony ran the company’s business side as the president. Bob used his design skill to advance the company’s technology and eventually developed the Turf Tamer® application equipment you would see on your lawn – now have U.S. patents.
Lawn Doctor Company History: The Legacy
Tony Giordano died unexpectedly in 1983 bringing shock and sadness to the Lawn Doctor family.
Russell J. Frith was promoted to president and CEO of Lawn Doctor. Frith had served Lawn Doctor as the Director of Franchise Development, Vice President of Marketing and Executive Vice President. Building upon Lawn Doctor’s strong foundation, Frith has shaped the company’s evolution for nearly 25 years.
Within those 25 years, Russell has managed Lawn Doctor as one of the most successful franchise company in the United States with titles such as One of America’s best franchises by Success Magazine, #1 Lawn Care Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine, and World-Class Franchise by Fran Survey (2007). Frith himself has been recognized as a top authority on both franchising and business. He was named “Man of the Year” by Landscape Management and served as a past president of the Professional Lawn Care Association of America.
Originally coming to Lawn Doctor as a customer, Russell had a passion for lawn care that he would eventually pass down to his son, Scott Frith, who would then go on to continue the Lawn Doctor legacy.
Lawn Doctor Today
Scott Frith started working at Lawn Doctor’s manufacturing facility in 1987, building equipment and outfitting franchisees’ vans, while attending school. After graduating from Seton Hall University, he worked for Bloomberg Financial Markets. Frith returned to Lawn Doctor and worked his way through the marketing department, earning the position of Marketing Director in 1999. In 2005, he was further promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Franchise Development. In 2011, Scott Frith became President & CEO of Lawn Doctor.
In addition to serving on the board of directors for Project Evergreen, Frith has achieved the title of Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) from the International Franchise Association. His knowledge and experience have been instrumental in developing Lawn Doctor’s marketing strategies and tools. Frith has been featured in USA Today, Brand Licensing magazine, Grounds Maintenance magazine and Direct Marketing magazine.
Today, Scott Frith has advanced the over 50 year old Lawn Doctor brand in establishing over 600 locations and 200 local experts servicing over 40 states nationwide. “There is a lot that I learned from my father. The value of relationships is something I learned from my father really early on. You can take the most convenient path, or the one that’s most advantageous under a particular set of circumstances at that moment, or you can do the right thing for all the people involved. Opportunities come and go, but character is lasting”– Scott Frith, CEO at Lawn Doctor Inc.
Since its first franchise in 1967, Lawn Doctor has established itself as a leader in the lawn care services industry through innovative technology, its ability to satisfy the needs of consumers on a national level, and its development and expansion within the industry. Lawn Doctor ranked #19 in the 2022 Top Home-Based & Mobile Franchises, this list is ranked based on how they scored in the 2022 Franchise 500 evaluation, which analyzes companies based on 150-plus data points in the areas of costs and fees, size and growth, franchisee support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability.