We truly believe that an organisation is only as strong as its people, and we feel what sets Cross River Design apart from other companies, is our team’s ability to stay focused on what matters most to our clients, and not losing sight of how our product and service can make a difference in our clients lives.
The Cross River Design team is home to innovative, landscape architects, designers horticulturists and craftsman from a wide array of disciplines — many of whom have been working together for more than 15 years.
Many of our clients believe that it’s the special culture we’ve built over our 26 years that sets our company apart. A culture of professionalism, and attention to detail, coupled with a passion to continually perfect a process that produces exceptional outdoor spaces year after year.
Anthony Berardo: Principal
When Tony was quite young, his uncle who owned a florist, would take him along on runs to purchase flowers in New York’s Flower District, along 6th ave in the 20’s. He remembers canyons of flowers lining the sidewalks in every direction as far as the eye could see – especially along 28th street. Tony says this was his earliest memory of what really excited him, and what he could see himself doing for a lifetime.
A graduate of the University of Georgia with degrees in both horticulture and landscape architecture, Tony had the good fortune of being enrolled as a student there while both Michael Dirr (planstman, rock god), and Darrell Morrison -Dean of the landscape architecture school with whom he sees regularly, were actively teaching at the college.
After graduation, Tony worked for a number of landscape architecture firms around Manhattan – working mostly on large corporate projects. His biggest frustration at the time was the amount of work he saw invested in projects that would either never be built, or altered so radically in the field that the original design objective was lost. With that in mind, he set out to create a company that would make preserving design integrity a priority – from conception, down to the finest details.
Cross River was founded on the philosophy that great projects are created when the design and field implementation are carefully orchestrated in tandem.
Tony’s work has been published in New York Spaces, Design NJ, Veranda Magazine, as well as a host of other publications and books. Serving as a trustee on the board at the Prallsville Mill in Stockton, NJ, Tony is committed to giving back. He is active in the Delaware Twp. Community in which he lives, and is currently involved with a host of local and state environmental issues. He lectures on topics including “Urban Roof Gardens”, “Sculpture in the Outdoor Environment” and “Impact of Deer Pressure in the Suburban Landscape”.
Larry Butynski: Landscape Architect
Larry (fondly known as “LB”), worked together with Tony years before Cross River was created. Back then after a long day, Tony & Larry would leave their office to experiment on small residential projects together – testing new ways of laying stone at this one, experimenting with new plant varieties on another.
When Tony left to start Cross River, he figured that together with their years of collaboration (and Larry’s unique approach to design), that Larry would make an ideal candidate for heading up the new design team. LB joined the firm when Cross River entered it’s second year, and the rest is history.
Larry is a registered landscape architect in New Jersey and New York, and a Rutgers alumni as well. Having been with the company for over 24 years, Larry is pretty much responsible for overseeing all the work coming out of the design studio. LB has had the privilege of presenting many successful projects to township and city planning boards and associations throughout the years. His true passion comes from design that influences the way people react with nature and the outdoor environment.
Always the stoic, Larry is known for his cool head. In fact, when asked, no one in the company seems to remember a time when Larry actually “lost it”.
LB resides in Red Bank, New Jersey, along with his wife Pat and two boys, Jesse & Jake. Artists seem to run in the family – Larry’s wife Pat is a talented painter who teaches classes in abstract art when she‘s not herself, painting.
Josh Mieloch: Project Designer
Josh (another Rutgers alum.) also came to us first as an intern and later full time after graduating with a degree in landscape architecture. What impressed us most with Josh, was his willingness to jump in and assist wherever he was needed. In his first year, it seemed like he never did the same thing twice in one week. Measuring job sites, putting together animations for presentations– picking up almond croissants (Josh’s favorite) at Black River Roasters. There’s pretty much nothing Josh wouldn’t do for the benefit of the company. A rare quality these days – he was a lucky find.
Josh ended up having other admirable traits as well. He‘s thorough, and has a great design eye. He’s also a true team player, but with strong opinions – especially when it comes to design.
To stay sharp, Josh likes to brush up on his plant ID skills – enrolling in woody plant classes at Rutgers in the off-season. He’s also pretty good at making furniture and fantastically intricate wooden gifts for his friends and family. A big Harley fan, we usually hear Josh arrive in the morning before we actually see him pulling up to the office (when the weather cooperates that is).
Tom Huff: Project Manager
Tom’s been with Cross River since 2014 and he’s been managing construction projects of every sort in and out of the state for well over 30 years. After working with Tom, one quickly realizes there isn’t much in the construction realm that he’s not seen, or personally been involved with. From troubleshooting issues on large fountain pumps, to presenting simple solutions to complicated drainage problems, Tom’s proved himself to be one of the most important cogs in our production wheel. Tom is a certified building professional as well as the Grand Master Flash of landscape construction.
Tom’s ability to stay calm under pressure is legendary. Before kidney surgery a few years back, he casually asked his doctor if he wouldn’t mind scheduling surgery early in the morning, assuming by the afternoon his anesthesia would have worn off, and he could monitor progress on one of our job sites with a clear head – classic!
A New Jersey native, Tom resides in northern New Jersey with his wife and 2 daughters, but like most folks finds Hunterdon County especially beautiful. When he’s not building beautiful things outside, Tom can usually be found on the water somewhere, rod in hand, working on catching his daily limit.
Jonathan Rigby: Operations Manager
Jonathan first started working with Tony back in 2002, as in intern while studying landscape architecture at Rutgers University Cook College, and was hired full time after graduation. After a few years working primary as a designer, Jonathan took a sabbatical to get hands-on experience with building and pool construction, returning a few short years later to incorporate what he learned into our systems.
Acting as liaison between client and designer, Jonathan helps to streamline the transition from design to project implementation, and being a “detail guy”, he’s often the one catching the small, but important details that sometimes get overlooked on projects with multiple moving parts. It’s for that reason that Jonathan is the go-to guy for all things pool.
Jonathan is an outdoorsman, nature advocate and gardener/farmer at heart. Along with his wife Natalie and daughter Charlotte, he manages to produce a pretty spectacular tomato sauce along with other home grown vegetables, eggs and honey from their little piece of paradise just south of Round Valley Reservoir in Clinton Township.
Steve Dandeo: Account Manager Supervisor
Steve was fortunate to grow up in the landscape industry – it’s in his blood. His family owned and operated a landscape business in Hunterdon County for years.
Steve started at Cross River when he was quite young, and he’s probably the most dedicated individual to come through our door in our 26 years. Steve’s desire to absorb everything he could about the business helped him move through the ranks quickly, and he’s now responsible for everything from managing the property care division, assisting with construction management, to managing the nursery.
Steve’s familiarity and comfort with the entire design- build process, means he has a lot of leeway over how designs get implemented, and commonly makes last minute alterations in the field if he feels it will make a difference in the success of a project.
Although Steve’s quite comfortable with all aspects of construction, his true passion lies in horticulture and growing in general. He’s personally responsible for planting and maintaining our tree nursery, and he’s the go-to expert for moving large tree material – a true plantsman.
When he’s not in the nursery communing with our trees, or hanging with Amy, Owen and the twins, Steve is likely to be seen catching gnarly doubleheaders on his long board.
Deb Martin: Office Manager
Deb is our Office Manager and pretty much the connective fiber that keeps the company together and working smoothly. After her former employer (a high end home builder in Branchburg, NJ) closed shop for good in 2012, we were fortunate to grab her. She brought with her a background in construction as well as efficiency, and managed to simplify our existing billing and tracking software. Now, we’re able to collect more data with more efficiency (and with fewer people). All these years later we’re still trying to figure out how she did it.
It appears to us that Deb’s favorite past time is hanging with her dog and the 2 men in her life – husband Steve, and son Matt, (although we think cruising the back roads of the shore on the back of a Harley runs a close second).