PLANET AND TCIA CONSIDER NEW ORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIP
PLANET and TCIA boards issued the following statement: "We are excited by the potential of a new association that would unify our industry's voice and increase our ability to serve and advance the interests of our members, our businesses, and the green care industry."
"At a time when so many in our industry are offering a wide array of services, it makes good sense to have the representation of one organizational leader," stated Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, president of PLANET.
"Currently, when we promote the environmental benefits of our services, we do so holistically to include lawn care, landscape services, and tree care as well as the benefits of indoor plant care," Hildebolt explained. When PLANET was formed in 2005, its leadership expressed the hope that it would be the first step in a process to expand the scope and capabilities of a single, larger national association for the industry. "Unification with TCIA would fulfill a longtime goal," added Hildebolt.
"Seven years ago, TCIA embarked on a 10-year plan we call the Transformation of the Industry to advance the level of safety, professionalism, and public and governmental awareness of tree care companies. We have made great strides," stated Terrill Collier, chair of the TCIA board. "Now, we have a historic opportunity to create a future that will redefine the green industry. Our industry sectors are more connected with each other and our customers than ever before. Together, we can lead the way for communities and consumers to protect the health and safety of our environment as the voice of the green industry. A unified organization can invest in technology and infrastructurethat will allow the continued development of programs that benefit members as they seek to run even more successful companies."
Both parties will continue discussions to create and design the plan for a new organization that will maintain the current community structure. This includes keeping PLANET's specialty groups in place and keeping the TCIA community together, while also maintaining the positive characteristics that have made both organizations successful. To this effort, both boards have made a good faith commitment to create a new industry organization that would replace the existing associations and to design a successor organization that will increase value to everyone and be approved by both memberships.
Additional details will be worked out and reported on as more information becomes available. "We intend for our process to be transparent and collaborative," said Collier. "To this end, we will work to keep all members of the green industry informed about our progress."
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PLANET STARTS 2010 WITH A NEW CEO
Sabeena Hickman, CAE, CMP, came to PLANET in June 2007 and served as chief operating officer up until March 2008 when she became acting CEO of the organization. "Through Sabeena's leadership over the past year-and-a-half, she has built a highly successful, talented, and effective team at PLANET,” says PLANET President Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician.
Under Hickman's guidance, the association launched a large national event — the PLANET Day of Service that incentivizes PLANET members to go out into their communities on Earth Day each year and work on green (landscape, lawn care, and interior plantscape) volunteer projects. The organization also successfully grew its annual signature event — Renewal & Remembrance, a national volunteer project at Arlington National Cemetery.
PLANET has seen many additional successes through Hickman's work. These include the launch of a CEO forum at PLANET's annual Green Industry Conference (GIC); current development of "PLANET Universe" — a comprehensive Web portal; and relationship building and program implementation with other associations and organizations. Recently, PLANET held a successful Lawn Care Summit in Florida.
Hickman is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Prior to joining PLANET, she was chief of the Learning Center for the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA).
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ATTENDEES PRAISE LAWN CARE SUMMIT
Jointly sponsored by PLANET and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the Lawn Care Summit is the result of years of dialogue between the two groups about ways the strengths of both organizations could best be harnessed for the benefit of lawn care professionals.
Dual educational tracks, developed by leading lawn care operators, covered both technical and management topics of interest, such as how to create a dynamic Web site, the strategical use of new and traditional insecticides, tips on designing cost-effective and environmentally compatible lawn fertilization programs, a look at responsible weed control, and how to inject social media in a marketing plan, to name just a few.
The opening session, "Trends in Lawn Care — The Future of the Industry," was led by a panel of lawn care experts who shared their thoughts on how the economic recession is impacting the industry, what lawn care operators can expect in the way of new products, and perspectives on new customer demands.
Evening receptions and daytime gatherings provided ample time for peer networking, and the perfect setting to share best practices and build valuable peer relationships. BASF Professional Turf & Ornamentals was the event's Gold Sponsor.
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HELP SELECT THE 2010 EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR
The PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) is currently accepting nominations for the 2010 Outstanding Educator of the Year. The educator selected for this honor will be presented with an award at the PLANET Student Career Days event, April 8–11, 2010, at Chattahoochee Technical College, North Metro Campus, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Educators nominated for this award must be a professor at a two- or four-year institution with significant programs dedicated to the green industry field. They also need to have devoted time, energy, and enthusiasm to their programs and to have made a noteworthy contribution to education in the green industry.
Past recipients of this award include Frank Millsap of Richland College (2001); Steve Angley of Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo (2002); Martha Hill of Hinds Community College (2003); Kent Hammond of Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute (2004); Grant Reid of Colorado State University (2005); Phil Allen, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager, of Brigham Young University – Provo (2006); Jack E. Ingels of State University of New York (SUNY) – Cobleskill (2007); Rex Bishop of North Metro Technical College (2008); and Brad Rowe, Ph.D., Michigan State University (2009).
Nominations may be submitted by current PLANET members and by students who must solicit a PLANET member to endorse their selection.
For more information about the PLANET AEF Outstanding Educator of the Year Award and to download an application, visit the Educator of the Year section of PLANET's Web site, e-mail Kristen Nolton, or call (800) 395-2522.
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EARNING RECOGNITION FOR YOUR SAFETY EFFORTS
All green industry service provider companies and branches are invited to participate in the PLANET/CNA annual Safety Recognition Awards Program. Applications are available online and must be returned to PLANET by April 30, 2010.
Safety Recognition Awards are presented to companies in the following categories: No Vehicle Accidents, No Injuries or Illnesses, and No Days Away From Work. In addition, companies that participated in previous programs are eligible for the Most Improved category.
Program participants also may qualify for the Overall Safety Achievement Award. This award honors those companies with thorough, high-performing, safety programs that create and maintain safe work environments in the green industry. Companies are eligible for this award if they demonstrate outstanding safety performance in the workplace based on their combined fleet and employee incident rates. A checklist also is used to rate the company's complete safety program. Results of the Overall Safety Achievement Awards (gold, silver, and bronze levels) will be kept confidential until they are announced in the fall of 2010.
The safety awards program covers the period of January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2009. Companies participating in the program must submit a copy of their application, OSHA Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, and a copy of their year-end vehicle insurance claims summary report from their insurance agents. Participants are required to complete a Safety Program Checklist, which is included with the application, and are encouraged to return the benchmarking form, also part of the application.
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TWO 2010 EVENTS OFFER HIGH-PROFILE PR FOR YOUR COMPANY
PLANET has two very rewarding and economical ways your company can obtain major media coverage, while giving back to your community and the nation — the PLANET Day of Service (to take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2010) and Renewal & Remembrance at Arlington National Cemetery (as part of Legislative Day on the Hill, July 18–20).
The PLANET Day of Service is a grassroots effort that allows individual members, supplier members, and state associations to create volunteer lawn care and landscape projects in their own communities and also helps to raise awareness of our industry as a steward of the environment. More than 280 projects were carried out by approximately 2,000 volunteers in a total of 43 states during last year's Day of Service, many of which received media coverage. Fox News, for example, covered a service project in Washington, D.C.
Hundreds of landscape and lawn care professionals from across the nation bring their crews to Arlington National Cemetery to spend the day mulching, caring for and cabling trees with lightening protection, pruning, liming, planting, and aerating the soil. Through this event each year, PLANET has already contributed more than $2 million to the care of these historic landmarks. Among the media outlets that highlighted last year's event were NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN, and News Channel 8 in Washington, D.C.
Mark your calendar and stay tuned as more information about these events will be announced in the coming months.
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CERTIFICATION REVAMP RESULTS IN NEW BRAND
According to PLANET's International Certification Council, the new brand name, Landscape Industry Certified, consolidates specialties of green industry certification under one umbrella. Now, everyone who is PLANET certified will be identified with this universal title.
Landscape Industry Certified speaks very clearly to the end user. Lengthy explanations about what the acronyms behind a signature mean are no longer needed. It also has universal appeal as the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA) has adopted the new brand name and logo for its professional development program. This will pave the way for broader recognition of industry certification.
The PLANET certification program continuously seeks to align itself with the certification industry’s best practices as defined by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) standards. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), and PLANET is a proud member of ICE.
For more details about the new PLANET certification brand, visit the Certification section of the PLANET Web site, call (800) 395-2522, or e-mail the PLANET office.
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VALLEYCREST OPENS ITS DOORS TO EXECUTIVE FORUM PARTICIPANTS
There will be more than education sessions, leadership meetings, and networking opportunities at the Executive Forum — Mastering the New Economy: Today’s Tools for Tomorrow’s Success — February 17–21, 2010, at the brand new ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Attendees will also have the opportunity for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the operations of a ValleyCrest Landscape branch facility. This special tour will include a number of workstations focusing on different subjects, such as how to load a maintenance truck, how ValleyCrest built a $40 million landscape project, and everything in between, all with an emphasis on safety. ValleyCrest has a long history in Las Vegas. In fact, its first job in the area was the Stardust Hotel back in 1958.
This ticketed tour will take place on Thursday, February 18. Buses will depart at 10:30 a.m. from the ARIA Resort & Casino. Tour space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so register early.
Major sponsors for this year' Forum are Caterpillar Inc., at the Platinum level; Vermeer Corp., at the Gold level; and JOHN DEERE at the Silver level.
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BRANDSCAPING WEBINAR PLANNED FOR JANUARY 19
A carefully built brand should be a critical component of any business strategy. It's especially important during the current economic climate. Business owners must know how to develop stakeholder trust and loyalty, and how to differentiate themselves from the competition. Join your industry peers on January 19, 2010, at 2 p.m. (EST), when well-known industry expert, Judith M. Guido of Guido & Associates, will present an informative webinar — Brandscaping: Using Your Brand as a Powerful Business Asset and Key Differentiator — on what branding is and is not, and how it can help generate profits for your company.
It's easy to sign up for the webinar, and there is no cost to participate. Just fill in the online registration form, and then click Register Now. You’ll immediately receive a confirmation that includes the phone number and link you'll need to access the webinar.
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WINTER PUBLICATIONS SALE IS NOW IN PROGRESS
During the lull of the winter season, take time to focus on priorities such as employee training, improving company operations for the coming year, or preparing for a Landscape Industry Certified exam with the help of resources in the PLANET Bookstore.
To help you gear up for the new year, PLANET is discounting Bookstore purchases by 20 percent during the month of January. The discount applies to all publications and resources, including certification study materials, clearance items, and new releases such as Crystal Ball Report #29 — Green Industry ECOnomics: Innovating Toward a Sustainable and Profitable Future, $afety $aves CD, and Landscape Design Showcase CD.
To receive your discount on purchases at the Bookstore checkout, enter promotion code WS10.
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LAST CHANCE TO APPLY FOR A PLANET INDUSTRY MENTOR
Don't miss your chance to spend an entire day, one-on-one, with an industry veteran (choice of your facility or theirs) and receive advice and guidance that will boost your business performance. More information can be found in the Trailblazer brochure. After reading about the program, be sure to download the Trailblazer application, complete the application, and fax to the PLANET office at (703-736-9668) by the deadline of January 15, 2010. For more information, you can also e-mail Gail Rogers or call (800) 395-2522.
MESSAGE FROM YOUR PLANET PRESIDENT
With years of business and leadership experience, PLANET President Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, shares his wisdom and insights in a monthly message to members.
Available in both English and Spanish, Safety $ense offers tips on safe workplace practices on a monthly basis.
The popular monthly Personnel Notebook gives green industry companies a wealth of information on a variety of human resource topics.
QUARTERLY LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
This publication contains a recap of relevant legislative and regulatory activity important to members of the green industry.
Online editions of the monthly official newsmagazine of the association — PLANET News — are archived for your convenience.
PLANET NEWS INTERIOR
For the interior plantscaper, PLANET News Interior captures interior-specific topics of interest and more.