Toby Denham, Landscape Designer
With a bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Georgia State University and 35 years in the green industry, Toby combines his earlier field experience in nursery and install together with two plus decades of designing hardscapes and softscapes for residential and commercial clients all over Georgia. Toby is a GGIA Certified Plant Professional and resides in Fayetteville with his wife Nancy who is also a local green industry Professional.
John Newman, BLA, President
John’s background in the green industry began in 1986 with the Southeastern United States’ most successful developer of multi-family housing, Post Properties Inc. John received his Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia in 1990. He also received the Post Properties’ Doug Bates Memorial Scholarship for outstanding vocational and academic performance in 1988. He is a Georgia Certified Plant Professional (#450). John and his work have been featured in publications such as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, USA Today and has won numerous industry awards over his 30 plus year career. He was also featured on HGTV’s Groundbreakers in 2008. John has served on the Board of Directors of the Henry County Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of Community Gardens of Henry County. Projects completed include Christian City, Magnolia House and Gardens, Eagles Landing Family Practice, Henry County Chamber of Commerce, Pepperton Park City of Jackson Georgia, McBrayer Park City of Hampton, Pro Studio at the Garden Cottage, Gardens of Fayetteville Assisted Living, Riverbend Assisted Living, The Woods Assisted Living, Morningstar Assisted Living, Lost Valley at Lake Spivey HOA, Walden Community HOA and several nationally acclaimed private estates.
Jill Newman, Director of Special Projects
Jill handles plant procurement, container garden design and implementation as well as coordination of specific expos and events that the CLI team participates in. Jill studied Pre-Pharmacy at UGA and is Vice President of the New Creation Christian Academy Booster Club in McDonough, GA. Jill also sings in her church choir as a soprano.
Manuel Mendez Leon
Manuel was born in Puerto Rico growing up in New York going through school there when he moved to be close to his family. Since 2017 Manuel leads our commercial management work. Manuel lives in Puerto Rico in the winter with his family and cheers his New York Mets during baseball season. Manuel began with Classic in commercial installation and leads teams in color and enhancement work as well.
Makayla grew up in south Atlanta where her family is from and studied Agriculture at Ola High School where she worked watering, repotting, and selling plants. Makayla competed in a Nursery and Landscape CDE in high school solidifying her decision to study Environmental Horticulture at ABAC (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College) in Tifton, GA where she is a sophomore. She plays on ABAC’s soccer team and enjoys Atlanta Braves baseball when she isn’t learning about the green industry or interning with the Classic Landscapes team.