Our Story

Old North State was born in the 1980’s by a man named Bill Strope.  Bill created this company with a wheel barrow, a shovel, and a handful of dirt.  When ONS first started out, it was no more than a small landscaping and maintenance company providing services to the community.  Since the creation of the company more than 40 years ago, ONS has become an organization and family of skilled craftsmen, designers, and administration.   

Old North State was established on the foundation of four main values: honesty, accountability, knowledge, and a hard work ethic.  These values reverberate with all levels of employees, from our owners to our laborers.  We strive to give the customer the highest level of this service, quality, and value, which has and always will be our most important element in our relationship with our clients.  We are committed to exceeding your expectations on what is possible and bring that into fruition on your property. 

Bill Strope

Owner and Founder

Gardening has always been a part of Bill’s life since he was 13 years old.  Intrigued with watching a landscape of plants sprout and grow into what became a beautiful garden, Bill taught himself how to work with different species of plants.  From mowing his neighbor’s lawns, to planting their flowers, he eventually reached the time in his where he had to begin college.  Bill chose to pursue a degree in Landscape Architecture at Penn State University.  After his college career, he decided to take what he learned and implement it into his own business, and that was how Old North State was born.  Since beginning Old North State, Bill has received his NC Landscape Contractor’s license, his NC Irrigation Contractor’s license, and his ICPI Paver Certification.   

As the owner and founder of Old North State, Bill takes on many roles; from dealing with day to day business activities, to going out into the field for quality control.  His main role however, is to be involved in the creative team and sales department, where he assistants in generating ideas, details, and sketches.  Bill states: “I have always tried to think of the land as a canvas.  We integrate creative artistry form with construction knowledge and regulations. Bringing the two together is always challenging, but very rewarding not just for the client, but for us as well.”

Throughout the years, Bill has met and worked with hundreds of clients to create their outdoor living spaces.  His greatest reward is to see them again after many years, because they are still in love with the space ONS has created for them.  Bill has established a company and built a life around bringing joy to others through the artistic expression and passion of one simple ideal “outdoor living.”

Ben Strope

Project Manager, Co-Owner. and VP

As one of Bill’s three sons, Ben decided to help keep the family legacy alive, by joining the family business 12 years ago.  Once Ben came to work for the family business, he worked along side the now retired VP of Old North State everyday for many years learning the proper way to handle, install, and work to implement these designs that will turn your yard into a retreat.  He has always loved the art of construction by watching the bare earth become something truly luxurious.  His love translates into his work by building one of a kind outdoor living spaces for his clients right in their backyard.

Ben is challenged with new and exciting projects every day, but none too large to handle.  Ben has grown with the company by starting off managing 1 -2 projects at a time, but now, as Old North State has also grown, he now manages 5-7 large scale projects at a time.  Despite his management of these projects, he always has time to discuss the project to make sure our clients feel comfortable with each step to bring their vision to life. After often long days in the field, Ben likes to spend his time relaxing with his wife and new puppy at home.

Ben attended Guilford College for Business Management and has since received many certifications to include: ICPI Paver Certification, Segmental Retaining Wall Builder Certification with the National Concrete Masonry Association, NASCLA General Contractor Certified, and his NC General Contractor’s License. 

Will Strope

Sales Manager and Co-Owner

A perfect addition to the management team, as Bill’s son, and Ben’s twin brother, Will came aboard the company full time, 10 years ago.  From the time that Will could walk, he was always following his father around with a shovel in hand.  Bill taught both him and his brother to have respect for all living things, and to use that passion to create and care for living designed outdoor spaces.  It didn’t take long for Will to realize that he had to be in the second generation of the family business in some capacity.  Working alongside each employee, Will quickly realized he had to help create something to take care of the projects that ONS installed.

Four years ago, in 2014, Will created the Estate Maintenance Department of Old North State, HomeCare.  Will wanted to create and build a service that no one in the area was doing.  Others said they were, but others were falling short.  After looking at the maintenance industry, looking at the need for ONS, Will decided to roll up his sleeves and work side by side with the men to build what has evolved into a highly detailed oriented maintenance division.  Today, Will humbly calls himself an employee of the company.  As one of the owner’s of Old North State, he never knows exactly what will be needed of him from day to day.  He always keeps the motto : “Dress up, show up, and be ready to help.”

After work, Will spends time caring for his wife, and  baby girl.  Will attended college for Business and Design.  Since attending college, Will has earned his NC Irrigation License, his NC Pesticide/ Chemical Applicator License, and his ICPI Paver Certification. 

Administration

Jim Frier

Director of Operations

Design and Estimating Department

Whitney Gilbert

Landscape Designer / Estimator

Whitney graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor's of Science in Landscape Architecture and a minor in Horticulture. Since beginning at Old North State, she was able to receive her NC Landscape Contractor's License, which helps her design lasting landscapes.  Her love of the outdoors began with her parents simple vegetable garden in their backyard, which blossomed into a huge vegetable farm.  "I have always loved art, design, and nature. Residential landscape design has always intrigued me, because it allows for me to add in details you wouldn't otherwise be able to see. My landscape architecture degree allowed me to combine these ideals, which lead me to the green industry and the Old North State Family."

Whitney is dedicated to bringing all of your ideas and forming them into one beautiful and cohesive design. She will listen and work with you to get you exactly what you have envisioned for your property, and more. We are proud to have Whitney on our team, because she along with all of us, are what makes your dreams possible. When Whitney isn't in the design studio, you can find her going on adventures with her fiance to the mountains and to the coast. She can also be found hanging out with her two sweet cats that she rescued from the wild when they were kittens. 

Joshua Huttle

Landscape Designer / Estimator

Joshua was born and raised in California and has been in the Landscape Design Industry for 20 years.  A graduate of U.C. Davis with a degree in Landscape Architecture, and an emphasis in design and construction,  Joshua brings an “out of the box” design style to the North Carolina Landscape.  With extensive design and field experience, Joshua has been able to incorporate the technicality of landscape and hardscape installation, as well as how it relates to the overall design of a project, merging both functionality and creativity into a cohesive, one of a kind package.  Skilled in all aspects of design, construction, client relations, estimating and problem solving,  he is able to look at a project from every angle, paying close attention to every clients’ wants and needs, and delivering a premium product that is always an original.  Joshua represents the few last hand designers in the industry and views the pencil and paper as an extension of his thought process, drawing is his happy place!

Joshua is an artist, musician, Father and Husband, soccer enthusiast, and sees the world through optimistic eyes and loves what he does.  Getting the opportunity to work for ONS Landscape has provided him the ability to work on projects that push the boundaries of design, and collaborate with a stellar team as well as with great clients, making ONS a powerhouse in the Design and Construction Industry.  Working in North Carolina has been a dream of his for a long time, the opportunity for unique projects has been the most refreshing part of moving from the West Coast.  When he is not in the office or meeting with clients, Joshua enjoys being with his family, breathing fresh air, training his boys on the soccer fields, and being a goofball with his Wife ( High School Sweetheart).

Project Management

Anna Dixon

Assistant Project Manager

Accounting Department

Laura Wilkinson

Bookkeeper

Daniel Love

Accounting Assistant

In early 2018, Daniel joined the Old North State Family.  Daniel attended North Carolina State University and has received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management, with a minor in accounting.  Despite his business background, his love for the outdoors couldn’t keep him away from the green industry.  After college Daniel jumped into a career through production management and job tracking.  During this track, Daniel earned his Certified Plant Professional certification to help better his understanding of each project, and to assist in finding plants that are beyond the norm.  Once joining ONS, Daniel spent many months out in the field in the everyday duties to learn and understand the unique way that Old North State makes every client feel like family while providing the best quality service and product. 

Daniel loves seeing completed projects from the team, because every completed product is unique, just like Old North State.  In his downtime, Daniel loves to spend his time with his family.  Whenever possible, Daniel gets out on the boat, the beach, or just out on a hike with his wife and two boys.  Family is very important to Daniel, which is why he makes such a great fit in the Old North State Family.   

Permitting

Julia McNeill

Permitting & Social Media

In 2020 Julia joined the Old North State Family to create the Permitting Department and to provide an additional level of customer service as the company continues to expand. Growing up in Wrightsville Beach and spending months at a time on her uncle’s farm, Julia has always had an appreciation and passion for the outdoors and gardening. Julia graduated from East Carolina University with an undergraduate degree in Hospitality with a minor in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Sustainable Tourism. With a background in planning, development and customer service she enjoys working with the clients and the municipalities to foster new relationships and coordinate efficiently.

 

Julia has traded the beach and boating to take in everything Bull City and the triangle area has to offer. You can find her hiking and exploring every weekend with her beloved King Charles Spaniel mix.

Mailing Address :   PO Box 61748     Durham, NC 27715

        Phone: (919) 384 -1800    |   Fax: (919) 384-1817

©Copyright 2020 Old North State Landscape Development, Inc.