DEADLINE FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION SURVEY EXTENDED PLANET is currently conducting its Employee Compensation Survey for 2010, which will cover compensation and benefit programs in use during 2009 for lawn care, landscape, interiorscape, and design/build/installation businesses (no nurseries, dealers, or suppliers). PLANET has partnered with more than 20 state associations members to distribute this survey, and has extended the deadline from September 15, 2010 to September 30, 2010.
The data gathered will be presented in a comprehensive, final report, the 2010 Employee Compensation Report for the Green Industry, with the results broken out into as many volume and location categories as will be statistically relevant. It is slated to debut at the Green Industry Conference October 27–30, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky.
As in previous years, the report will cover both executive and employee compensation by position, including salaries, bonuses, commissions, and perks. Also profiled in detail will be fringe benefits programs covering health insurance, vacation policies, retirement, and the like.
PLANET has contracted with the Profit Planning Group to independently conduct this survey, and, to maintain confidentiality, completed surveys should be returned to the Profit Planning Group (see survey for submission details). To ensure a comprehensive report, participation is needed from as many lawn care, landscape, interiorscape, and design/build/installation businesses as possible. Click here to access the survey or go to www.profitplanninggroup.com/pages/comp/plancq10.xls to download an Excel version.
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NEW AT GIC THIS YEAR The Green Industry Conference (GIC), to be held October 27–30, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky, brings several new opportunities and features to the table to help members grow their businesses in this tough economy.
New features to GIC this year include a series of six interactive clinics on topics such as PR, green roofs, and business building; a full range of educational sessions offered by Hardscape North America, which for the first time is co-locating with GIC and GIE+EXPO; Specialty Group Thursday, which will provide networking and educational sessions targeted by specialty group (lawn care, design/build/installation and landscape management); a virtual facility tour of three top-notch facilities — Mariani Landscape, Moyer Indoor | Outdoor®, and Pacific Landscape Management; and the launch of PLANET’s newest resource, PLANET UNIVERSE, a brand new online portal filled with the latest green industry news and information. As always, GIC attendees are encouraged to experience the GIE+EXPO to see and test drive the latest in equipment, products, and technology.
Attendees will be inspired by this year’s keynote speaker, Jamie Clarke, an extreme adventurer and gifted storyteller who has twice scaled Mt. Everest; awed by the award-winning work of colleagues displayed during the PLANET Awards Presentation and Reception; and encouraged to support the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) and PLANET’s legislative activities through participation in a silent as well as the annual live auction. There’ll be plenty of time to catch up with old friends and make new ones through a number of evening receptions, and chart-toping entertainment to take in at Fourth Street Live!, Louisville’s premier dining and entertainment district, from some of country’s brightest stars, Neal McCoy and Heidi Newfield.
PLANET thanks its Green Industry Conference Platinum Sponsor JOHN DEERE and its Silver Sponsor Bayer Environmental Science.
For more information about GIC, to register, or to book your hotel room, visit GreenIndustryConference.org or contact PLANET at (800) 395-2522.
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CNA’S SCHOOL OF RISK CONTROL EXCELLENCE WEBINAR SERIES As PLANET’s endorsed insurance carrier since 1983, CNA has been a strong partner in promoting safety and providing information to help you keep your work environment as safe as possible. In keeping with this tradition of providing valuable and timely safety information, CNA, through its School of Risk Control Excellence (SORCE), invites PLANET members and STARS members to attend a series of five webinars, free of charge, to be held during the month of September. There is no fee to participate in these webinars, but registration is required in order to obtain a pin code for dialing in and getting into the webinar. To register, please click here. Note: Webinar registration will close 30 minutes before the start of each webinar. You must have your pin number 30 minutes before the webinar starts.
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PLANET AEF STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED When it comes to finding money to pay for school, you often hear “there’s money out there; it just takes a bit of research to find it.” For green industry students, one of the first places to look, would be the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF). Applications are now being accepted for the 2011 PLANET AEF scholarships, and students who are enrolled in landscape contracting and horticulture programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities across the nation are encouraged to apply. The schools they attend must have a PLANET-accredited landscape contracting/horticulture curriculum, be a PLANET student chapter member, or participate in PLANET’s Student Career Days.
PLANET AEF helps fund the educational endeavors of students who are preparing to become future leaders of the green industry and attend schools that have a PLANET-accredited landscape contracting/horticulture curriculum, are a PLANET student chapter member, or participate in PLANET’s Student Career Days. The generous support of lawn and landscape professionals, industry suppliers, and students themselves fund the scholarships.
In 2010, the Foundation presented almost $80,000 in scholarships to 73 deserving students. “The PLANET AEF contributors and board are very proud of the 511 scholarships and more than $500,000 that have been dispersed over this last decade to assist qualified students in pursuing a green industry career,” says David J. Frank, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, of David J. Frank Landscape Contracting, Inc. “I know from personal interviews that these scholarships have made a big difference for people coming into the industry as well as choosing to earn a professional degree.”
That sentiment is echoed by Jacquelyne Nielsen of Brigham Young University, a recipient of a 2010 PLANET AEF scholarship. “I feel like I have so many thanks to give due to PLANET. I just found out about my receiving the Damgaard Family Landscape Contracting Scholarship, and words cannot express how much it will help me out financially.”
Scholarship applications are available online at LandcareNetwork.org and must be submitted to the PLANET office no later than December 10, 2010. The scholarships will be presented during a special ceremony and reception, sponsored by STIHL Inc., at Student Career Days event, March 17–20, 2011, at Joliet Junior College, in Joliet, Illinois.
For more information about the PLANET AEF scholarship program, contact Kristen Nolton at (800) 395-2522.
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TIME TO NOMINATE AN OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR “Cornerstone,” “mentor,” “great leader and developer of people”; these are some of the words used to describe the educators who are nominated for the Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) Outstanding Educator of the Year Award. This award was developed to recognize professors who have made significant contributions to green industry education and who have devoted time, energy, and enthusiasm to their programs and to the education of future leaders in the industry.
PLANET AEF is now accepting nominations for the Outstanding Educator of the Year for 2011. Nominations may be submitted by current PLANET members and by students who must solicit a PLANET member to endorse their selection, and the 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.
Applications are available online and must be submitted to the PLANET office no later than February 7, 2011. The award will be presented at the PLANET Student Career Days event, March 17–20, 2011, at Joliet Junior College, in Joliet, Illinois.
For more information about the PLANET AEF Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, call the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522, send an e-mail to Kristen Nolton or visit the Educator of the Year section of PLANET’s Web site, LandcareNetwork.org.
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BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR BUSINESS IN A BOX FOR THE LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT CONTRACTOR Be on the lookout for your newest, most comprehensive membership benefit — Business in a Box for the Landscape Management Contractor! Designed specifically for the landscape management market, but with information that applies to any type of business, the CD is a hands-on business tool produced by the Wilson-Oyler Group in collaboration with PLANET’s Landscape Management Specialty Group.
The goal of this business toolbox is to provide the small to midsized boutique contractor with the resources necessary to successfully compete in any market of any size and against any and all competitors. The Wilson-Oyler Group has laid out a structured approach to the various tasks required to produce a sustainable, scalable small business.
In this box of tools you will find almost everything you need to sustain your business for a lifetime — from financial planning tools, to estimating and proposal presentation tools, to employee accountability tools. This platform has it all.
Click here for more details about the contents of this latest PLANET publication. Or, for more information about Business in a Box for the Landscape Management Contractor contact the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522 or visit LandcareNetwork.org today.
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PLANET CELEBRATES ITS FIVE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY On January 1, 2005, PLANET emerged from the merger of the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) and the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA). These PLANET legacy associations joined forces to become a more encompassing network of green industry professionals and to create an even stronger voice for the industry, and, during the association’s Green Industry Conference (GIC) in Louisville, Kentucky, October 27–30, 2010, PLANET will celebrate its fifth anniversary.
Over the course of the past five years, PLANET has made some remarkable achievements. The most recent, PLANET Universe, will launch at this year’s GIC. The content of PLANET Universe, an online education portal/clearinghouse that will include articles, books, case studies, Web tools, and more, is for landscape professionals, by landscape professionals. It will be the go to Web site for green industry information and news.
Another recent accomplishment was the introduction of the Trailblazers On Call program, a 24-hour “ask the expert” service for PLANET members that allows them to obtain timely answers to some of their more pressing day-to-day questions from veterans of the business. It is an extension to our already popular Trailblazers program where members can arrange for a full day of on-site personalized networking and mentoring from a select group of industry veterans. This in-depth program is a unique way for emerging and established companies to gain insight and advice on developing and growing their businesses.
Among other accomplishments are the PLANET Day of Service event, an opportunity for green industry professionals to help revitalize their local community green spaces, while bringing attention to our role as a steward of the environment; the CEO Forum, sponsored by STIHL Inc., which occurs at GIC and brings together leaders from some of the top green industry companies; and the STARS Safe Company Program (Safety Training Achieves Remarkable Success) (now with more than than 1,100 participating companies), a free safety initiative, sponsored by CNA, designed for companies to set the precedent for safety throughout the industry.
Since our inception, PLANET has been working to make positive changes for our members and the industry. Our committed volunteer leaders, working alongside staff, have helped us to reach our goals and foster the results we seek. Five years have gone by quickly and the last two have been challenging, but with solid leadership, strategic partnerships, and committed members we can surmount any challenge. We hope you’ll continue to help us shape the future of your organization and the industry in the coming years.
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RESEARCH WITH AN ROI: WHAT THE LATEST HOUSING RESEARCH TELLS US In this month’s issue of PLANET News, Judy Guido, chairwoman and founder of Guido and Associates, a leading green industry consulting firm, sheds light on two very important things that the latest housing research tells us. Click here to read all about it.
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2ND ANNUAL LAWN CARE SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN ATLANTA
As a lawn care services provider, do you ever wonder if acid soils are wasting your fertilizer dollars, if sustainable lawn care is an oxymoron, or what hot new business trends are on the horizon? These and many other technical and business-related topics are on the agenda for the 2nd annual 2010 Lawn Care Summit, co-hosted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and PLANET, and to be held December 1–3, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia.
This educational event was developed by lawn care professionals, for lawn care professionals, including owners, managers, and technicians. On the technical side, topics attendees will have the opportunity to learn about include new and traditional insecticides and their use strategies from Dave Shetlar, The Ohio State University; the research on carbon sequestration of turf from Dr. Bruce Augustin, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.; and weed management strategies from Patrick E. McCullough, Ph.D., The University of Georgia.
On the business side, sessions include learning the latest on the Environmental Protections Agency’s WaterSense Program and being brought up to date on the latest industry issues and hottest business trends. And let’s not forget the networking opportunities and chances to check out the latest in lawn care products and services! Agrium Advanced Technologies, Quali-Pro®, and Real Green Systems are among the companies hosting Networking Lounges.
In addition to the education and networking, there will also be time to relax and experience the southern hospitality of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, conveniently located within walking distance of a number of Atlanta’s treasures.
Register online at LandcareNetwork.org by November 8, 2010, and save $50 on your registration fee. For hotel reservations, call (800) 233-1234 by November 8, and mention “Lawn Care Summit” to receive the group rate of $119 per night. After November 8, rooms and rate are subject to availability.
For more detailed information about the educational sessions and how to register for this event, call PLANET at (800) 395-2522.
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PLANET CONGRATULATES THE 2009 SAFETY AWARD WINNERS A total of 256 companies earned 535 awards in the 2009 PLANET Safety Recognition Awards Program, sponsored by CNA.
Award categories include “No Vehicle Accidents,” “No Injuries or Illnesses,” and “No Days Away From Work.” Contestants who participated in previous programs are also eligible for the “Most Improved” category. The “Overall Safety Achievement 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 is also used to rate the company’s complete safety program.
PLANET and CNA congratulate to the 2009 Safety Recognition Awards Program recipients (“Most Improved” and “Overall Safety Achievement Award” recipients will be announced at PLANET’s Awards Presentation and Reception at GIC). Click here for the list of 2009 recipients.
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SUPPLIER DISCOUNTS: THE NEWEST PLANET MEMBER BENEFIT! As a member of PLANET, you are eligible to receive discounts on products/services from our Supplier Members through the Supplier Discount Program. Since you already do business with many of these companies, take a moment and view the list of Supplier Members that offer discounts on their products/services — JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE A MEMBER OF PLANET!
The best way to get value from PLANET is to participate in the savings programs we offer! Your participation in this discount program could actually PAY FOR YOUR MEMBERSHIP! Fred Haskett, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, CA, US Lawns of St. Charles echoes this sentiment: “The savings we achieve through just ONE PLANET supplier member discounts more than pays for our annual membership. The rest serve to further our bottom line.”