Chad Vander Veen is the marketing and communications manager at Purchase Green Artificial Grass. Vander Veen received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands. With traditional lawn care methods favoring plants and grasses that are either water conserving or artificial, it’s safe to assume that Purchase Green has seen tremendous growth in the past couple of years. Tasked with making sure that the consumer is making the most informed decision, Vander Veen oversees his company’s local and digital marketing efforts.
What does your job entail?
“My job is to educate people about the benefits of artificial grass. I do that by overseeing our company’s local and digital marketing efforts, communication strategies and content creation. A fundamental part of the Purchase Green philosophy is that we want our customers to have as much information as possible before they make a decision about purchasing artificial grass. Whether I’m creating videos, writing blogs, drafting press releases or attending events, the goal is the same: to help our customers choose the best product to suit their needs.”
What parts of your job do you enjoy?
“Working at a young company like Purchase Green is tremendously rewarding. There is a culture here very much akin to a technology startup. The potential market for our products is massive, and we’re still agile enough that we have the freedom to try new things to see which work and which don’t. The freedom to be creative and the rapid growth we’re experiencing makes it a joy to come into work each day. I also take pride in helping people make a decision that not only saves them money in the long-term but also helps conserve significant volumes of water.”
What was your education history like?
“I received my degree in government from the University of Redlands. Creativity and writing have always come naturally to me. The combination of these things led to me working for nearly 10 years at Folsom-based e.Republic, where I was an editor at Government Technology magazine and also an event manager. From those experiences, as well as a stint as a PIO for the state of California, I learned a great deal about effective communication that equipped me to take on my current role at Purchase Green.”
Do you think that your education has prepared you to take on this position?
“Absolutely it has, though in ways I would have never anticipated. My passion was and is government, but my ability is in writing and creative thinking. Being educated in how government functions (or doesn’t, depending on who you ask) prepared me to navigate other complex organizations. And by embracing my skill set, I am now well-equipped to serve in a role that requires transforming complicated information into something that is palatable and valuable to the average person.”
Do you have any advice for people wanting to pursue a similar career?
“My advice would be to embrace what you know you’re good at while studying the things that interest you. I believe that anyone who has educated themselves can learn to do almost any job. So focus on your skills and your passions; you may be pleasantly surprised where you wind up.”
Paulo Acoba is a California native raised in the Bay Area and living in the Central Valley. He enjoys distance running, cycling and grassroots motorsports. He holds a degree in management from the University of California Merced. Paulo has been writing for Examiner.com since 2012 and covering the Fresno area.