We’re All in This Together

While every employee may not be from the Buckel family, Ideal Landscape Group considers every staff person a part of our business family. In fact, many of our crew members have been with us for nearly 10 years, and we even have several employees celebrating 20 and 30 years with our company. In an industry known for turnover, we stand out when it comes to employee longevity and loyalty.

At seasonal capacity, we employ more than 100 full-time workers, each of whom is trained in the green industry. Our turnover rate is very low thanks to a company culture that encourages employee pride and a sense of ownership in the organization.



David Buckel

President, Construction Manager

Dave has more than 25 years of experience in the Green Industry. Dave’s expertise is in landscape management, specifically with commercial properties specializing in sustainable products.  His landscape and environmental construction knowledge are vast, including Erosion Control, Bio-stabilization, Retaining Walls, Brick Paving, Stormwater work, Site Grading seeding and sod, Landscape Installation, Concrete curbs, and flatwork, and Precision laser grading. He has successfully completed and managed landscape projects totaling over $200 million.  Dave currently manages over 100 personnel from the office staff to foreman to laborers and union staffers.


Leanna Buckel

Vice President

Leanna, M.Ed., has been equally involved with Ideal Landscape Group for more than 22 years.  Leanna is Vice President, co-manages all aspects of the company in particular the financials, administration, contract compliance, technology, certifications, and the ever-changing employment, OSHA, EPA, and IRS regulations.  She also directly oversees the H2B work visa program, manages the office staff, payroll, and is the liaison for community-related events.



Mark Howell

Director of Irrigation & Plant Health Care

Mark brings to Ideal Landscape Group over 30 years of industry experience. In 1981, Mark worked for Land Maintenance where he learned everything he could about commercial landscape and irrigation maintenance, working in all divisions at some point. He has designed and installed large irrigation and landscape projects at sites such as St. Louis University, the St. Louis Zoo, Monsanto’s world headquarters, and its sister location in Chesterfield. He worked for a Jack Nicklaus certified golf course construction company installing irrigation on two 9 hole courses and an 18 hole course in one season. He has worked on the distribution side of irrigation as well, working for the Toro Company. There, he taught irrigation design and service as well as consulted for area irrigation companies. He has also taught Horticulture classes at St. Louis Community College. Mark is state licensed with the Department of Natural Resources for statewide backflow prevention testing and servicing. He also has a Master Irrigation Installer license with St Louis County as well as a Master Backflow Tester’s license. In addition to these licenses, Mark is also a Certified Irrigation Technician through the Irrigation Association.


Craig Sander

Craig Sanders, CPSI

Director of Ideal Play and Surfacing

Craig brings 29 years of experience in the general construction field. Construction management courses at the University of Cincinnati laid the groundwork for Craig to begin his career and quickly learn the trade through hands-on experience. Working in the residential construction field from 1992-2000, then on to the commercial field in 2001. In 2008 Craig became a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) and entered the intricate commercial playground and recreational equipment field. Through the management of his company, the installation of hundreds of playgrounds was accomplished from 2008 – 2017. Ideal saw an opportunity to bring his expertise to the company and is pleased to have Craig as the division manager of Ideal Play and Surfacing. In his “spare time,” he enjoys watching his daughter play soccer, volleyball, basketball, and hanging out with his family and their 2 dogs.

Silas Dill

Silas Dill

Director of Operations

After attaining his Associate’s Degree in General Studies from St. Louis Community College in 2010, Silas accepted an opportunity to continue his education at the University of Southern Indiana as a member of the university’s baseball team. In 2012, while still a student-athlete, Silas began his career in the green industry at the University of Southern Indiana as an entry-level groundskeeper. In that same year, he graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management. After graduation, Silas continued to learn and grow in his landscape maintenance knowledge and responsibilities at the university. In 2014, Silas moved back to St. Louis and took a crew leader position with a prominent national landscape company. By 2015 he had been promoted by that same company to the position of Operations Manager. Silas joined the Ideal team late in 2017, accepting the position of Operations Manager. Silas resides in O’Fallon, Missouri with his wife of nearly 3 years. He enjoys golfing and being active outdoors.

Jeff Cassani

Director of Sales

Jeff brings more than 27 years of experience in the landscape industry to our team at Ideal Landscape Group. While growing up Jeff traveled the country playing competitive soccer.  He began his career in the green industry while in High School when he incorporated his first mowing business. After 10 years in business, Jeff sold the business to his partner and joined a large national firm as a production specialist helping struggling branches improve processes. Jeff’s leadership and understanding of the client’s needs moved him into the dual role of an Operations Manager and Account Manager. In 2019, Jeff joined the Ideal team as an Account Manager. Jeff resides in St. Louis with his wife of 20 years and 3 kids. In his free time, Jeff still plays soccer and enjoys the outdoors and traveling.

Nick Fischer

Account Manager

Starting in the lawn and landscaping industry at the age of 14, Nick has over 25 years of experience. In the past, Nick worked for several smaller companies before taking on the role of On-Site Manager for a large, national landscaping company. In his role, he oversaw day-to-day operations on the property and coordinated crews for additional site work. In 2012 Nick incorporated his own company where he serviced residential properties. As the owner of the company, he wore many hats but found his main responsibilities to be overseeing route scheduling and collaboratively solving his customer’s problems. In 2021 he sold his business and joined the Ideal team as an Account Manager. We believe the skills he has learned through his many years in the industry and experience working one-on-one with his clients will make him a successful Account Manager for both Ideal and our clients. Nick lives in St. Louis with his wife and enjoys traveling, the outdoors, and woodworking.

Adam Hunter

Account Manager

Adam brings over 23 years of experience to Ideal Landscape Group. He started a landscape business with his dad while in high school and together they grew their business for over 10 years, while also working for a golf course in Pevely. MO. In 2012, he started his own company servicing residential and commercial clients in landscape maintenance and snow and ice services.  He became a Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) member and was recognized in the snow industry at the annual SIMA conference in 2015. While continuing to lead his business and understand his clients’ needs, he also worked for one of the largest snow contractors in St. Louis as an area manager and subcontractor where he worked with crews to ensure that expectations were met for the scope of work. In the spring of 2020, he joined the Ideal team as a production manager overseeing crews in the field for daily processes, and in December of 2021, he accepted a position as Account Manager. Adam resides in Arnold, MO with his 5 children. He enjoys supporting and coaching them in sports, boating and trail riding with family at their lake house. He is also a passionate outdoorsman.