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President Sarah Kitson ensures quality control and oversees operations and all internal safety programs. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Horticultural Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has since become an ISA Certified Arborist. In addition to a formal education in horticulture, Sarah literally grew up in the business working at her parents' side. As one of the leading women in the local green industry she takes pride in the fact that the second generation family business is thriving. Sarah focuses on fostering the continual improvement of her employees and on the integration of sustainable business practices wherever possible.

Director of Operations Mike Waggoner came to Kitson Landscape Management with 14 years’ experience in the landscape maintenance industry after receiving a degree in Business Administration from Sonoma State. Mike coordinates crew schedules, acts as an Account Manager, is a Certified Water Manager, and most importantly ensures client expectations and Kitson standards are met on a daily basis. Mike enjoys spending time with his friends and family and attending his children’s sporting events on the weekends.

Mike is backed by Account Managers Trina Gault, Victor Lopez, Marcela Mallo, and Richard Mason. Long time Santa Barbara resident Trina earned a degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Ornamental Horticulture and has from an early age appreciated the beauty and uniqueness of the plant and insect world. In addition to handling all the duties involved as an Account Manager Trina is also a Qualified Applicator and administers the Kitson IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Program. She is also a Certified Arborist and Certified Water Manager.

Victor also received a degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Environmental Horticultural Science, is a Certified Water Manager, and is studying for his Arborist License. Victor grew up in Goleta and enjoys volunteering with his wife on the weekends at the ASAP Cat Shelter.

Marcela was born in Argentina and earned a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the National University of Cordoba. Upon moving to the United States she received a Certification in Gardening and Horticulture from UCLA, and more recently passed the exam to become a Certified Water Manager. She has over a decade of experience in the industry in which she has focused on design, installation, and project management. Marcela loves plants and feels privileged to work with them on a daily basis.

Richard began his professional career working in arboriculture after receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Forestry and Natural Resources Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He has worked the past 14 years in the industry, evaluating plant health and creating and implementing long term preventative care and maintenance programs in Santa Barbara County. He is a Board Certified Master Arborist, is a member of the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and has a California State Applicator's License, and is currently studying to become a Certified Water Manager. Richard is a family man, father of two, and enjoys gardening and spending time with his family. He also a member of the local Begonia Society.


We are proud of the fact that KLM Crew Leaders average over 13 years with our company. The majority of our Crew Leaders are Green Gardener certified, bilingual, and have undergone extensive safety and leadership training. Continuing education is important with all of our staff. We regularly review safety protocol, encourage learning scientific plant names, require tool certification training, present leadership coaching sessions, and offer reimbursement for adult education classes outside of the work day.


Our field crews and managers are supported by a highly efficient and responsive office staff. Office Manager Susan Ellis is a UCSB graduate and is responsible for accounts receivables and is currently celebrating her 25th anniversary working with the Kitson family! Susan is assisted in the accounts receivables department by Lori Lui, who came to us with over 19 years in the landscape industry. Lori enjoys camping with her family, traveling, and (of course) gardening. Human Resource Manager and Purchasing Agent Holly Krock joined the Kitson team with over 10 years’ experience in the Horticulture industry. She holds a degree in Environmental Horticulture from Cal Poly, has an MPA in Management and Leadership, and is a Certified Permaculture Designer. She is a natural administrator with a love for plants. Bookkeeper Melanie Avery moved to Santa Barbara to attend college and fell in love with the community. She rooted in, making Santa Barbara as her new home town where she started her family. Melanie's extensive experience in private sector bookkeeping amply prepared her to handle our accounts payables, payroll, and all the behind the scenes bookkeeping to keep us organized here at Kitson.


  • Contractor's License C-27 (Landscaping) #543195
  • Santa Barbara Business License #43117
  • Goleta Business License #12191
  • ISA Certified Arborists #WE-10550A & #WE-7081B
  • National Woman Business Owners Corporation Cert.# RCPS13784
  • Qualified Pesticide Applicator Certificate QAC 106302
  • Pest Control Business License #36542
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditors
  • Certified Water Managers
  • Certified Green Gardeners


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