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three headshots over a photo of a courtyard
From left, Christian de Quevedo, Scott Taber and Jonathan “Malu” Stanich

In 2022, two University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Shidler College of Business alums Christian de Quevedo and Scott Taber, joined forces with UH Mānoa architecture alumnus Jonathan “Malu” Stanich, to start Lēʻahi Landscaping—an all-electric service committed to providing its customers with an environmentally friendly option for their landscaping needs.

They recognized the need to address the environmental impacts of traditional landscaping practices, which often rely on gas-powered equipment, chemical fertilizers and other dangerous additives. They also wanted to lead by example and inspire others in the community to embrace the principles of environmental stewardship and sustainable living.

“We came together to start this landscaping company with a shared passion for environmental stewardship first and foremost,” Taber said. “Growing up amidst Hawaiʻi‘s unique natural beauty, we wanted to contribute to its preservation and enhancement by incorporating cutting edge technology and sustainable practices to the landscaping industry.”

Taber added that the idea for the company grew partially from a frustration of constantly being interrupted by loud and toxic methods of landscaping, a common occurrence throughout Oʻahu’s neighborhoods. The trio also grew tired of watching Hawaiʻi lag behind the continental U.S. in adopting these new types of technologies. The company’s electric fleet provides a quieter atmosphere, net zero emissions and releases no toxic gasses into the environment.

“Our education experiences at the University of Hawaiʻi provided the perfect foundation for our business.”
—Jonathan “Malu” Stanich

Lēʻahi Landscaping is managed by de Quevedo and Stanich, who both see the value of their UH education in the company’s success. Their blend of business and architecture backgrounds create a strong, multidisciplinary foundation.

“It’s been a great synergy,” de Quevedo said. “Malu’s knowledge of ecosystem dynamics and my understanding of business strategy has been the driving force behind our company’s success. We’ve managed to strike that delicate balance between creating beautiful, functional landscapes and ensuring they are environmentally responsible.”

“That’s the beauty of it—the fusion of our backgrounds has allowed us to create a company that’s truly unique in the Hawaiʻi landscaping scene,” Stanich said. “Our education experiences at the University of Hawaiʻi provided the perfect foundation for our business and I’m excited to see how we continue to innovate and make a positive impact on the islands we love.”

For the entire story and more stories like this, see the fall/winter 2023 edition of Shidler Business (PDF).

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