President & CEO

Chris Clifton

Chris has been president and CEO of Southview Design since 2009. Since Chris took ownership, Southview Design has grown its revenues by more than 400 percent, ranking it among the largest design-build landscape firms in the U.S. Chris attributes this growth to the fact that he took a solid organization with good people and good visibility and continued to invest in marketing the Southview brand, even during the downturn.

Southview uses a different employment model than the majority of privately owned landscape firms. Most of these firms require its employees to wear several different hats – landscape designer, salesperson, crew and supply manager, accountant, etc. At Southview, employees have specialized roles that enable them to work in their area of competency.

Chris is a proponent of the idea that while product excellence and customer service are important, there’s nothing more important than providing a great work environment for people who want to thrive and grow in the landscape business. Southview now has more than 50 career landscape professionals whose compensation is tied with revenue growth and profitability, so they’re incentivized to help the company grow.

Chris bought Southview Design only after looking at several different companies that were in related but similar fields to facilities management, a field he had worked in for 24 years. Of all the companies he considered buying, Southview Design was the most well put-together company in terms of the systems, processes and quality of staff.

Prior to joining Southview Design, Chris was president and chief operating officer with Marsden Bldg Maintenance, a commercial facilities management company serving customers throughout the central part of the U.S. From 2006 to 2009, he oversaw 2,500 employees servicing a multitude of commercial, industrial, and institutional clients.

Before joining Marsden, Chris was owner and president of Paradise Building Services, a commercial facilities maintenance company in Los Angeles specializing in commercial housekeeping, landscape maintenance and parking lot services. He sold his company to Marsden in 2005. Chris has also worked at ISS Facilities Services as a branch manager and account executive.

Originally from the Dallas area, Chris holds a BBA in finance from Stephen F. Austin State University and an MBA from Minnesota State University.