Most office workers would agree that having plants in the office environment makes it a nicer place to be. There have been studies stating plants improve air quality and reduce stress. That is, unless worrying about keeping plants alive is in itself a stressor. Enter Todd Marquiss, who has been in the business of keeping indoor plants alive in local businesses since 1979. In fact, The Columbian is one of his oldest accounts, and he’s caring for plants that have been here since 1980. He tends plants at businesses large and small, from those who have four plants or several hundred. “They can enjoy a variety of plants to surround themselves with and not have to worry about their care or how to keep them alive,” Marquiss says. “If they’re on a maintenance program, it’s basically risk-free for the business because I guarantee everything — if a plant does die, I replace it at no cost.”
Name: Todd Marquiss.
Residence neighborhood: Mount Vista.
Business name: Indoors Only Plant Maintenance, (commercial only, no residential service), 360-574-9009.
Educational/professional background: I always wanted to be a pilot — ever since I was a kid — and had my pilot’s license before I even had my driver’s license. I got my instrument rating and commercial rating then went to join the Air Force or Navy, but they couldn’t guarantee me that I could fly, so I said, “no.” I went to Mount Hood Community College and got an associate’s degree in what was an aviation business program, designed for commercial pilots.
How — and when — you got started in your business: I started working part time while I was going to college for someone who was doing what I do now, but on a wholesaler’s scale. Life changed, I started my family, and flying jobs paid less than I was making, so I chose this path and started my own business in 1979.
Personal/business philosophy: Provide professional service and honesty.
Most rewarding part of job: Freedom of work schedule.
Most challenging part of job: In the beginning, I was never able to take more than three days off in a row.
Something surprising about your work: Customers thinking it’s hard to keep plants alive.
Best feature of my Clark County community: Small-city atmosphere.
What would make your community a better place: Fewer commuters.
What is your favorite travel destination and type: Fishing trip to Sitka, Alaska.
Hobbies: Fishing, especially up on my property on the Kalama River. I also enjoy Lake Billy Chinook.
Something you’d like to do this year/within five years: This year — go back to Anchorage to visit relatives. Within five years — catch a 10-pound bass.
One word to describe yourself: Quiet.
Person you’d most like to meet: Ronald Reagan.