In 1919, Henry H. Elbers established a landscape business and moved to 2924
Main Street in Buffalo, next to the current store. A young James (Jim) Hornung started
working for Elbers in 1972, eventually purchasing the business from Joe (son of Henry)
and Jean Elbers. He maintained the name and image of the business: a service-oriented
company located near its city-based customers. Currently, Elbers serves large residential
and commercial properties, and a sister company (Great Lakes Athletic Fields Inc.) manages
natural sport fields throughout New York State and Pennsylvania. Jim Hornung Sr. is
president and son Jim Jr. is senior vice president.
SERVICE TO THE INDUS TRY
The lawn and landscape industry in general has a culture of mutual support even among
competitors, and the Hornungs represent the highest level of that standard of commitment.
Both Hornungs (senior and junior) have been officers in the New York State Turfgrass
Association, and Jim Jr. has been president of SIMA (Snow and Ice Managers Association).
Jim Sr. was president of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County and its Foundation,
and is currently the chair of the Buffalo Green Fund. He was also Head Groundskeeper for
Pilot Field (now Sahlen Field) for fifteen years.
Why all that board and association work? Why do some business owners put so much
into education and strengthening their industries? Jim Sr. explains, “I wish the public
understood better about turfgrass and landscaping. It is about the quality of life, pride in
WISDOM TO DIVERSIFY
B Y SALLY CUNNINGHAM