Our Team

James E. Hornung Jr., CSP, CLP
President

A graduate of Canisius College and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership & Strategic Entrepreneurship, Jim Hornung Jr. was named Volunteer of the Year in 2008 by the Snow & Ice Management Association, where he previously served as president.

Jim also belongs to the New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, the Western New York State Nursery & Landscape Association, the New York State Turfgrass Association (where he serves on the board), Sports Turf Managers Association, Planet (Professional Landcare Network), Main-Amherst Business and Resident Association (where he serves as board treasurer) Cherry Hill Club and the Buffalo Club. In 2003, Jim and his dad, James E. Hornung Sr., started Great Lakes Athletic Fields, an athletic field service, construction, maintenance and consultation company.

 

James E. Hornung Sr.
Owner

Jim Hornung, Sr. has more than 35 years of experience in athletic field maintenance and management. After earning his AAS degree in Landscape and Nursery Management from SUNY at Alfred and serving in the Army National Guard, Jim started his career at Elbers Landscape Service. In 1980, Jim and his wife, Beth Ann, purchased the business. Jim was head groundskeeper at Dunn Tire Park in Buffalo for 16 seasons. In 2003, he became head groundskeeper for the City of Buffalo Parks Department and, in 2008, became Erie County Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, a position he held until 2011. Jim has been a sports field consultant for World University Games; Marco Clay Products; Erie Seawolves and SUNY Fredonia. He and his son, Jim Jr., started Great Lakes Athletic Fields in 2003.

In 1997, Jim was presented with the American Association Groundskeeper of the Year Award by Major League Baseball. In 2000 he received the Unity Award from Bayer Corporation and in 2007 he received the Citation of Merit Award from the New York State Turfgrass Association.

 

Peter Schmit, CNLP
Vice President/Estimator

Peter began working at Elbers in 1982, while attending Erie Community College. Upon receiving his Associate Degree in Engineering Science from ECC, he turned his passion for gardening and the outdoor lifestyle into a full-time career as nursery manager at Elbers. During his 10-year tenure as nursery manager, Peter became a certified nurseryman and a certified pesticide applicator. In 1992, Peter moved over to the Landscape Division of Elbers where, for the past 20 years he has worked on and produced designs for many prominent Buffalo properties. Peter is a member of the New York State Nursery Landscape Association (NYSNLA); New York State Turfgrass Association (NYSTA); Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) and PLANET Professional Landcare Network.

 

Brendon Grabowski
Field Superintendent/Estimator

Brendon has been in the construction and landscape construction business for more than 20 years, and has been an employee of Elbers since 2006. His experience includes installing and maintaining commercial buildings and office parks and designing and installing water features and landscapes. In addition, Brendon has more than 15 years’ experience with drainage and irrigation projects and snowplow supervision. Brendon has been certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute and the National Concrete Masonry Association.

 

Kevin Burke
Snowplow and General Project Manager

Kevin has been an employee of Elbers since 2005 and manages all phases of our snowplowing operations, as well as handles the purchasing needs for athletic field projects for Great Lakes Athletic Fields.  Kevin graduated from Buffalo State College in 2010 with a degree in Business Administration.

 

Marc Nicholson
Operations Manager     

Marc joins the Elbers team with more than 14 years in the landscape industry.  His experience includes inspecting and coordinating landscape, lawn, concrete, and asphalt aspects of utility restoration.  Marc has been certified by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) for Field Testing, and NYS DOT for Portland Cement Concrete Testing/Plant Inspection.  Marc graduated from Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario with a degree in Business Administration.

 

Judy Chryniewicz
Office Manager

Judy Chryniewicz has worked in an office environment for more than 27 years. She started at Elbers in 2007 as an administrative assistant and was promoted to office manager in 2009. Judy oversees payroll, accounts receivables and billing, contracts, insurance, customer service and “whatever else needs to be done to keep our organization running smoothly and our customers happy.”