The 2019 NALP Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

Her vision is to lead the green industry in sustainability, water management, farm-to-table, client satisfaction and continuous improvement.


The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) is proud to announce H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina as the 2019 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. The award recognizes a member who demonstrates entrepreneurial spirit and initiative, ensures advancement of the landscape industry by actions and endeavors, and serves as a shining example to current and future female entrepreneurs. This award is going to be presented at NALP LANDSCAPES 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky, this October. The award was established in 2015 and Ishimaru-Gachina is the fifth recipient of this prestigious honor.

"Creating a work environment that promotes diversity, [coupled with] the Gachina Way—respect, courtesy and professionalism, has allowed women to thrive within our organization. It is very inspiring to see so many women at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition who have chosen the landscape industry. When interviewing female candidates, I am encouraged by their greater numbers. These women are self-confident, knowledgeable, driven and prepared/inspired to make an impact. We encourage them to intern with us and, after graduation, join our team. The fact that 45 percent of the senior management team is female speaks volumes,” Ishimaru-Gachina comments.

Ishimaru-Gachina is the president and co-founder of Gachina Landscape Management; she assumed the role of president and CEO upon the passing of John Gachina in December 2015. In 2018, Gachina Landscape was certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Pacific Region and is also a minority-owned business. Ninety-one percent of the employees are minority.

This "humble gardening company" grew from three to over 450 employees. Ishimaru-Gachina actively oversees the day-to-day operations; the company is going to be celebrating its 31st anniversary in July. Ishimaru-Gachina was also named in the top 25 woman- and minority-owned companies by the San Francisco Business Times the past three years. She was named to JobTrain’s board of directors, and the marketing and development committee in 2018.

Ishimaru-Gachina’s initial mission was to honor John’s legacy by leading the company and not selling. She continues John’s vision of leading the green industry in sustainability, water management, farm-to-table, client satisfaction and valuing employees through continuous improvement—known in Japanese as kaizen. She is active in various local, state and national trade organizations. Personally and professionally, Ishimaru-Gachina is committed to the community. She generously supports multiple community outreach programs throughout the year with volunteers, landscape materials and cash donations.