Thirty years ago, Mark Keller made the decision that he wanted to join the army…

In over two decades of service, he managed the resources and equipment of 60 soldiers in Afghanistan and was part of one of the most successful British Military Operations since World War II. It was a big change when Mark decided to give up life on the battlefield abroad for a bespoke landscaping company in the UK. Mark has shown his can-do attitude and the desire to over achieve – both whilst wearing a uniform on the ground or a suit in the office. This is his story.

After passing the Commando Course, a young Mark was enthused about the prospect of serving his country in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMF). He swiftly became the principal technical targeting advisor to the Commander Royal Artillery (RA) and as a Senior Warrant Officer led the management of up to 120 staff in barracks and on operations in Afghanistan. It is in his service, however, that Mark merged his experience in the military with his ambition to lead. Mark undertook various Open University courses and achieved a diploma in management, which developed his skills and built his character as part of the requirements for his post military career.

Over 20 years later, having left the service and travelled back to Newcastle, Mark nailed his first ever interview in the public sector. It was not long before he was managing his own team and made a leap in his professional career to the country’s fastest growing landscaping solutions provider, Ground Control. Today, from a background in commanding units in Afghanistan, Mark manages a corporate team in the midlands, Wales and the North of England as Regional Operations Manager for Ground Control.

Established in 1973, Ground Control is the UK’s fastest growing external maintenance and commercial landscaping company, and is the contractor of choice for some of the UK’s leading organisations such as Tesco, Network Rail, Sainsbury’s and BP Oil.

Ground Control is recognised for its national service excellence alongside such accolades as achieving 20 BALI National Landscape Awards and has become one of London Stock Exchange’s ‘Top 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’. In 2016, in Her Majesty’s 90th year, Ground Control was awarded a Queen’s Award for Innovation in recognition of its pioneering role in creating leading edge technology to help maintain external spaces that are safe and enjoyable for all.

Ground Control has built a business founded upon the success of its thousands of people; like Mark Keller. As Regional Operations Manager for the past two years, Mark leads a team responsible for pricing, selling and managing landscaping works for clients with small gardens or clients with industrial parks.

Under his portfolio, Mark has successfully managed over £12m value of pre-planned grounds maintenance contracts, becoming a key figure within the business. Similar to life in the military, Mark leads a unit and is constantly on the move; however, after spending years away from home, Mark is thankful to be able to maintain a workload that fits around his family, where international flights are more for pleasure than for service. However, he does coach a rugby team to remain vocal on the muddy battlefields of Newcastle’s playing grounds!

To find out more about Ground Control, visit:

Telephone: 01277 650 697

E-mail:[email protected]