TRAILBLAZERS ON CALL
Designed in response to the tough economic climate that green industry companies are currently facing, the new Trailblazers on Call program is underway.
The program provides PLANET members with up to one hour of phone consultation time with one of more than 30 Trailblazers on Call. These Trailblazers are industry leaders who have volunteered their time and expertise as an additional way to give back to the industry. Members may use the service as many times as they choose.
To participate in the program, PLANET members are asked to submit questions to the PLANET office by phone or e-mail. Those questions are directed to the most appropriate Trailblazer on Call, based on his or her experience and/or availability. The member can then expect a call from a Trailblazer on Call within 24 hours. After this 24-hour period, the member may also expect to be contacted by PLANET to ensure that he or she was satisfied with the response given.
For more details about the program, e-mail Program Administrator Gail Rogers or call her at (800) 395-2522.
go to top
FREE BRANDING WEBINAR PLANNED FOR FEBRUARY 10
Branding is one of the most misunderstood — yet mission critical — business sciences, so Judith Guido wasn't surprised by the large number of participants in her first webinar. "Most people are confused, misled, or mistaken about branding, and there have been many myths created about the subject," says Guido. "Branding does not come naturally, and successful brands grow out of superior strategies, driven by keen insights into the market, that are then communicated effectively and creatively throughout the organization and to all key stakeholders.
"Your brand is one of your company's greatest business assets, and branding is a disciplined business process that when positioned, executed, and managed properly yields tremendous economic results. Your brand affects the value of your company in either a positive or negative way (your stakeholders either build or lose equity via your brand)."
The purpose of the first webinar was to define and dispel the myths around branding, introduce the brand as a strategic asset and the equity it creates for a company, and introduce key brand stewards, along with sharing the key attributes and four phases of branding. Guido continues: "Most people believe that branding is a logo, tagline, slogan, spokesperson, product/service, or a marketing campaign. This is akin to believing that landscaping is cutting grass and planting flowers. While a logo is a brand-mark, and a tagline, slogan, and marketing campaign are key elements of brand communications, they do not define "branding." A brand is the product of thousands of experiences a company creates by your employees, suppliers, investors, community, media, customers, and competitors, and the emotional feelings these groups develop as a result. It is the "why-to-buy" your company over your competitor."
In Part Two of Brandscaping™, you’ll learn how your company can increase its overall value, bottom-line profits, and customer retention by utilizing the 12 best practices in branding, as well as what customers demand in a brand and how to make them your greatest brand stewards. You'll learn how to increase your familiarity (name awareness) and favorability (reputation) the two key drivers of master-brands on a limited budget. And finally, you'll learn how to position your company and brand in the new economic landscape while reaping the opportunities it offers, and creating a sustainable competitive advantage.
Sign up for this free Part Two Brandscaping™ webinar today! This webinar is worth one CEU toward PLANET recertification; subject matter must pertain to your designation held. Be sure to also check out other webinars being offered.
go to top
EXCITEMENT BUILDS FOR STUDENT CAREER DAYS
Student Career Days draws hundreds of students enrolled in landscape and lawn care programs from more than 50 colleges and universities across the country. Students have the opportunity to attend technical and industry-related workshops, to network with colleagues and green industry company personnel, and to interview for internships and employment possibilities. They'll also have the opportunity to tour one of the premier residential landscapes in Atlanta, the beautiful 10-acre garden of John and Nancy Williams, as well as the now open-to-the-public, 15-acre Smith-Gilbert Gardens — each a work of art in its own right.
As part of the PLANET Career Development Series at SCD, the opening ceremony on April 9th will feature P. Allen Smith, host of two nationally televised gardening shows and a regular contributor to NBC's "The Today Show." Brought to PLANET by STIHL Inc., Smith will share his unique insight into the latest outdoor living trends and services that customers want and why now is the perfect time to consider a career in the green industry.
In addition, Doug York, president of Ewing Irrigation Products, will be doing a presentation on Friday evening, “Passion for What You Do and How to Get There,” that will provide insights into education, career choices, family and friends … while making your way through life.
The highlight of this event is the 28 competitive events, designed to mentally and physically challenge students in a variety of areas — from testing leadership, safety and pest management skills to skid steer and compact excavator operation, and turf pest identification and woody ornamental plant identification, to name a few. Each event has a Lead Sponsor who organizes it, and multiple Assistant Sponsors and Donors who assist the Lead Sponsor. Anyone interested in competitive event sponsorships can visit the SCD Web site at StudentCareerDays.org or contact Anna Walraven at (800) 395-2522. Those interested in other sponsorships opportunities can contact Dina Wiley also at (800) 395-2522.
Opportunities exist for landscape and lawn care companies to promote their company and their employment opportunities during the Career Fair on Friday, April 9, 2010. Each booth will have an adjacent interview area so interviewing can be done right at the booth site. Registration for a Career Fair booth is separate from all other SCD registration and booths are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. So, register now to get the best location.
SCD would not be possible without the generous support of its Major Sponsors with STIHL Inc. at the Platinum level; Ariens/Gravely at the Gold level; Caterpillar and JOHN DEERE at the Silver level; and BRICKMAN, Husqvarna, Pavestone Company, and Ryan Turf Renovation Products at the Bronze level.
SCD is approved for up to 13 CEUs toward PLANET recertification. CEUs are awarded for the hours of education/training that are attended at the rate of one hour of instruction equals one CEU. Subject matter must pertain to your designation held. For more information on PLANET recertification, please visit PLANET’s Recertification Center.
For more information about SCD, please contact Anna Walraven at (800) 395-2522. You may also register online at StudentCareerDays.org.
go to top
PLANET DAY OF SERVICE PLANNING UNDERWAY
The annual PLANET Day of Service program kicked off on April 22, 2009, with more than 285 projects and approximately 2,000 volunteers in a total of 43 states and Canada. PLANET is looking to increase those numbers this year. "We’re shooting for more than 5,000 participants,” said Richard Heller, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, chair of PLANET’s Public Relations Committee. “Last year’s totals don’t begin to tell the entire story. Smaller projects mushroomed into larger projects and literally hundreds of non-landscape professionals who participated were not included in the final tally."
Green industry professionals are already beginning to plan their projects for this year. Examples include refurbishing the landscape of a local cemetery with native grasses suitable to the dry climate, installing native plants and a drip irrigation system in a neighborhood park, installing monuments to be raised at a local memorial, and cleaning up the shores and accesses of a lake.
Interested participants for the 2010 PLANET Day of Service are encouraged to visit planetdayofservice.org for further information and to register and to sign up their projects. The Web site contains a planning guide, videos, and pictures from last year’s projects, and tools and resources to help in putting together an event that will most benefit the community.
PLANET thanks its 2010 PLANET Day of Service Lead Sponsors: Agrium Advanced Technologies; American Profit Recovery; JOHN DEERE; Lawns by Yorkshire, Inc.; and Shindaiwa.
go to top
ORGANIZATIONS NAME NEW LEADERSHIP
Effective January 1, 2011, Cindy Code will take the reins as the new executive director of Project EverGreen. Code, who has been a part of Project EverGreen since its transition from the Evergreen Foundation, served two years as president of the board and has her own consulting business in the green industry, representing companies and association. Project EverGreen is a national nonprofit organization representing green industry service providers, associations (including PLANET), suppliers/distributors, media companies, and other organizations.
The Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC), an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to unite and inspire the building industry toward higher performance through education, outreach, advocacy, and the mutual exchange of ideas, has appointed Bud DeFlaviis to serve as its new executive director. He will work with SBIC membership to support the organization’s mission and to work on strategic fundraising, membership expansion and support, policy advocacy, and a variety of special projects.
go to top
A LOOK BACK AT 2009 MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
Source: Green Industry Merger & Acquisition News, PrincipiumGroup.com
- Yellowstone Landscape Group and its private equity sponsor, Gridiron Capital, announced their third platform acquisition, Austin Outdoor, based in Bunnell, Florida, with a number of other offices in Florida, plus the Bahamas.
- The assets of Hines Horticultural were acquired by Black Diamond Capital Management, LLC. Hines had filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2008. The business is now known as Hines Nurseries, LLC. Hines is one of the largest commercial nursery operators in North America, operating seven nurseries in four states.
- Davey Tree announced it had acquired Monteleone Landscaping Co. of North Royalton, Ohio.
- Bartlett Tree Experts announced the acquisition of Empire Tree and Turf in Augusta, Georgia, and Top Notch Treecare in Plymouth, Minnesota.
- Mission Landscape of Tustin, California, acquired Landarcwest, a landscape architecture firm based in Irvine, California.
- San Jose-based Jensen Corporate Holdings, Inc. acquired Huppe Landscape Co., Inc. of Roseville, California.
- Arizona-based Pathway Landscape, a landscape architecture firm, announced what it called a strategic partnership with Paradise Full Service Landscaping of Scottsdale, a full-service landscape maintenance business. The combined company, operating under the name Pathway Landscape Maintenance & Design, serves Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix, and nearly every other city in the Valley of the Sun.
- Denver-based American Civil Constructors sold its landscape maintenance unit, ACC Landscape Services, LLC, to Progress Equity Partners. ACC Landscape Services operations are in Colorado and Northern California.
- Noblesville, Indiana-based Custom Touch Irrigation acquired Indianapolis-based Perfect Property Services.
- BRICKMAN announced it had “formed a partnership” with Pontiac, Michigan-based Torre & Brugglio.
- Brighton Partners, LLC, acquired a 70 percent interest in New England lawn care company, Lawn Dawg, Inc., in a recapitalization. Lawn Dawg has operations in Nashua, New Hampshire; Boston, Massachusetts; Albany, New York; and Portland, Maine. Lawn Dawg’s president, Jim Campanella, continues in that role and as a major shareholder. In announcing the recapitalization, Campanella, an industry veteran and former president of the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (now PLANET), also announced plans to launch an acquisition program.
- Austin Outdoor, LLC, a unit of Gridiron Capital-backed Yellowstone Landscape Group, acquired Dolphin Landscape of West Palm Beach, with operations serving Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties in Florida.
- Sav-A-Tree announced the acquisition of H.R. Spooner Ornamental Care of East Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod.
- BRICKMAN announced the acquisition of D. Foley Landscape, Inc. of Walpole, Massachusetts.
- Two Atlanta-area lawn care businesses, Crabapple Turf Management, Inc. and Unlimited Landscaping and Turf Management, Inc., merged their residential lawn care businesses.
- Massey Services, Inc., completed the acquisition of Sunair Services, Inc., and its Middleton Pest Control subsidiary. The merger, the final chapter in a well-publicized take-over battle, combined cross-town, Orlando-area rivals and formed a very strong statewide network in the key state of Florida.
- In May, Lawn and Landscape quoted newly-named TruGreen Lawncare president Steven Donly as saying, “Strategic acquisitions have always been a fundamental component of TruGreen’s growth strategy. We believe we can bring owners a compelling business case for growth and create a winning combination for customers looking for outstanding service from a brand they can trust.” TruGreen does not normally announce individual acquisitions, but in August it announced the acquisition of Nutri-Turf in Michigan and Easy Chair Lawn Care in Ohio.
An analysis of the public filings of The ServiceMaster Company, TruGreen’s parent company, suggest that TruGreen completed acquisitions totaling approximately $15 million during the first nine months of 2009, compared to approximately $20 million during the first nine months of 2008.
go to top
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.