EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION SURVEY DEADLINE EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 20 We can’t make it up … the data in the 2010 Employee Compensation Report for the Green Industry that is. To provide you with a benchmarking tool that is as comprehensive as it can be and that will allow you to see where you stand in terms of compensation and benefits when compared to other local and national green industry companies, we need you to complete and return the Employee Compensation Survey today. To that end, we’re extending the deadline to Wednesday, October 20, 2010. And, don’t forget that for participating, you get the report for half the final cost.
The data gathered will be presented in a full, 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. This is where your participation is important. 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 for a copy of the survey.
The 2010 Employee Compensation Report for the Green Industry is slated to debut at the Green Industry Conference, October 27–30, 2010, in Louisville, Kentucky.
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LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER FOR GIC In about three weeks, green industry professionals from across the country will gather in Louisville, Kentucky, for the annual Green Industry Conference, held in conjunction with GIE+EXPO and, this year, Hardscape North America. They’ll renew old acquaintances and make new ones, and absorb loads of information from industry experts to help with the day-to-day management of their businesses and with their professional development. Not to mention, there’ll be plenty of opportunities to share with and learn from their colleagues, get to see and try out new cutting-edge equipment and technology, and enjoy great entertainment from some of country’s brightest stars, Neal McCoy and Heidi Newfield, in Louisville’s premier dining and entertainment district, Fourth Street Live! If you haven’t already made plans to attend, there’s still time. To register or to book your hotel room, visit GreenIndustryConference.org or contact PLANET at (800) 395-2522.
Each year, there are a number of new features at GIC, many as a result of feedback PLANET receives from those who attend. This year’s new features 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 and sponsored by Agrium Advanced Technologies.
PLANET thanks its Green Industry Conference Platinum Sponsor JOHN DEERE and its Silver Sponsor Bayer Environmental Science for helping to make this conference possible. We hope you’ll consider joining us in Louisville and register today for what promises to be an informative and fun-filled time. NOTE: Landscape Industry Certified recertification opportunities are available at GIC — 1 CEU per hour of instruction attended.
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PLANET AWARDED SUSAN HARWOOD GRANT PLANET is pleased to announce that it is one of 16 organizations recently awarded a Susan Harwood Targeted Topic Training Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Targeted topic grants support workplace occupational safety and health programs in both construction and general industry to educate workers and employers in industries with high hazard and fatality rates, workers with limited English proficiency, hard-to-reach workers and supervisors, and small business employers. These grants will enable the organizations to develop materials to train workers and employers to recognize, avoid, abate, and prevent safety and health hazards in their workplaces.
With this grant, PLANET will develop and deliver a participatory safety training program, in English and Spanish, with a hands-on component that addresses hearing conservation, and fall and machinery hazards. Ten state associations have agreed to partner with PLANET to help deliver the initial safety training in their respective locations: Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, California Landscape Contractors Association, Metro Atlanta Landscape & Turf Association, Michigan Green Industry Association, New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association, New York State Turf & Landscape Association, North Carolina Nursery & Landscaping Association, Ohio Landscape Association, Inc., Oregon Landscape Contractors Association, and Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association. This will allow PLANET to evaluate the effectiveness of the training and make any refinements, if necessary, before rolling it out nationwide.
"PLANET has always taken the lead in safety by providing green industry specific safety awareness and resources with the goal of preventing accidents and injuries. Our vision and intentions have always been ambitious around safety, and this support from OSHA will help us to deliver and meet those visions," said PLANET President, David Snodgrass, Landscape Industry Certified Manager. "This speaks to the importance of safety in our industry and the strong position that we have placed ourselves in winning the confidence of our government that we can deliver; we are truly honored."
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KEY RESOURCES IN RECERTIFICATION CENTER As we approach the one-year mark of the PLANET certification program moving from renewal to requiring Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for recertification and undergoing rebranding — Landscape Industry Certified — more than 2,000 certificants are expected to go through the process to recertify by December 31, 2010.
"To ensure that certified individuals keep current on skills and knowledge in their area of specialization, PLANET’s recertification process requires that you earn 24 Continuing Education Units every two years," explains Michael Becker, Landscape Industry Certified Manager and the chair of PLANET’s International Certification Council. "Recertification is a major component of good certification programs and is considered a best practice across the certification industry."
As with any new process, Becker anticipates questions as certificants make the transition to the two-year recertification cycle with CEUs. He recommends that Landscape Industry Certified individuals check out PLANET’s Recertification Center for information on how to recertify. "It offers key resources such as a recertification requirements sheet, CEU submission and tracking form, and a helpful question-and-answer section. And you can always call on our certification staff with any questions, CEU approval requests and clarifications."
Becker urges certificants to visit the Recertification Center often for updates. "In May, we expanded the opportunities for individuals to earn CEUs." The changes include CEUs applying to writing articles or books for publication, preparing presentations, reading materials as part of self-study and making presentations.
Based on a mix of educational and service CEUs, the subject matter must be green industry or job related. "We have even added a retired status option," notes Becker.
Becker will also be on hand at the Green Industry Conference (GIC) in Louisville, Kentucky, to answer questions about certification. He will be presenting a clinic "CEUs, Landscape Industry Certified & You" on Saturday, October 30, 2010, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Kentucky Expo Center.
Visit PLANET’s Recertification Center for details or call PLANET at (800) 395-2522.
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PLANET SELECTS NEWEST TRAILBLAZERS Congratulations to the newest group of PLANET Trailblazers, who are willing to share their experience and knowledge, and to help make a difference in the business success of other industry professionals. This dedicated group was nominated by its peers for making significant and long-term contributions to the green industry in the areas of design/build/installation, interior plantscaping, landscape management, lawn care, or academia.
Each Trailblazer sets aside one day per year to provide on-site mentoring to a PLANET member. And, each year, members who have been fortunate enough to participate in this program, extol its value. This colleague-to-colleague mentoring and networking program is a wonderful opportunity for both emerging and established companies to gain insight and advice on how to develop and grow their businesses.
PLANET members interested in applying for the Trailblazer program can find out more in the Program section of the PLANET Web site at LandcareNetwork.org, or can contact Gail Rogers at (800) 395-2522. See list below of the newest Trailblazers:
Mark Borst, Landscape Industry Certified Technician
Borst Landscape & Design
Allendale, New Jersey
Burt DeMarche, Landscape Industry Certified Manager
The LaurelRock Co.
Ed LaFlamme, Landscape Industry Certified Manager
The Harvest Group
Allentuck Landscaping Co.
Richard Arlington, Landscape Industry Certified Manager
Arlington Lawncare & Landscape, Inc.
Donald DeFever, Landscape Industry Certified Manager
Jensen Landscape Services, Inc.
San Jose, California
Land Care, Inc.
North Las Vegas, Nevada
Kyle Webb, Landscape Industry Certified Manager
A To Z Lawn and Landscaping, Inc.
Brad Johnson, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician
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RESEARCH WITH AN ROI AND BRANDSCAPING In this month’s issue of PLANET News, Judy Guido, chairwoman and founder of Guido and Associates, sheds light on the seismic impact that the crippled commercial real estate market has had on our industry and answers the questions: What is the outlook for the national commercial real estate markets and what impact do they have on our industry? Click here to read all about it on page 28.
At this year’s Green Industry Conference, Guido also will be presenting a workshop titled "Brandscaping: Increase the Value of Your Company and Differential Yourself!" that underscores the importance of your most valuable strategic asset — your brand. Leading brands out-perform the competition by 3 to 1 and make product/service introductions easier while attracting bankers and financial partners. In this session, which will take place Wednesday, October 27 from 9 a.m. to noon, participants will learn how to build a master-brand, reduce marketing expenses, create an identifiable difference, and increase market share, customer retention, and profits. In addition, Guido will share the 12 best practices in branding and show attendees how to determine if their brand is "you-niuqe" and how to position their brand in the new economy.
For more information about Guido’s workshop and the other workshops also offered on Wednesday — "Hand Graphics: Quick and Easy" by Mike Lin, Mike Lin Graphic Workshop (9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.) and "Social Services: Using Social Media to Grow Your Business" by Beth Dockins, Scotts Company (1:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.) — check out the Wednesday Optional Workshop tab at GreenIndustryConference.org.
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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2010 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENT AWARDS WINNERS
Of the 162 projects entered in the 41st Annual Environmental Improvement Awards program, 139 were recognized with an award: two Decade Awards, 35 Grand Awards, 55 Merit Awards, and 47 Distinction Awards. Three of the winners earned the Judges Award, which goes to those Grand Award projects that really stood out to the judges as being the best of the winners. Judges Award winners will be announced at the Awards Reception and Presentation on Friday, October 29, 2010, at the Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. PLANET congratulates all Environmental Improvement Awards winners for their outstanding work.
PLANET’s Environmental Improvement Awards Program reflects the association’s commitment to creating and preserving the beauty of our landscape. The program is designed to reward independent landscape, lawn care, and interior plantscaping professionals who execute superior projects. PLANET strives to increase public awareness of environmental improvement through contracted landscaping, lawn care, and interior plantscaping and encourages the consistent use of quality materials and workmanship.
Special thanks to the judges, Ann Joyce, Yard Solutions, Inc., Dennis Karem, Environmental Mgmt., Inc., and Steve O’Neal, Columbus State Community College as well as Awards Committee Chair Will Spiegelberg, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Spiegelberg Landscape Design, Inc.
For a complete list of 2010 Decade, Grand, Merit, and Distinction Award recipients, click here. There will be a special multimedia showing of all the winning projects during the Awards Reception and Presentation on October 29, 2010.
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HEALTH CARE REFORM: A PRIMER FOR 2010 OPEN ENROLLMENTS WEBINAR Join attorneys Mike Thompson and Matt Stiles of Lehr, Middlebrooks & Vreeland, P.C., on October 20, 2010, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., for this HRCI-accredited, no-nonsense, practical discussion of the new health care reform law. Thompson and Stiles will clear up any confusion about the new law, make sense of the employer obligations, and recommend key action items for your 2010 open enrollment season. In addition to taking your questions, they’ll discuss the following topics:
- Key action Items for 2010 Group Health Plan Compliance, including:
Grandfathered plans: How to keep them, how to lose them, and whether it really matters Surprising new guidance on providing space/breaks for nursing moms at work Planning for future health care reform changes For PLANET members, the registration fee for this webinar is $75 per connection site, with no limit on the number of participating attendees at each site. Please contact Marilyn Cagle at (205) 323-9263 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and identify yourself as a PLANET member when you register to get the discounted fee.
- Dependent coverage for adult children
- First dollar coverage for preventive care
- Pre-existing condition exclusions
- Physician designation and emergency care rules
- Non-discrimination testing
- New Compliance Disclosures and Notice Forms
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DONATIONS NEEDED FOR GIC AUCTION Support PLANET’s scholarships and legislative activities by donating items to this year’s silent and live auctions, to be held Wednesday, October 27, 2010, during the PLANET Green Industry Conference (October 27–30, 2010) in Louisville, Kentucky. PLANET’s live auction draws enthusiastic crowds and is a fun way for companies to earn recognition while supporting important PLANET programs.
All donations are welcome, including items not related to lawn care and landscaping, such as magazine advertising, consulting aids, artwork, electronics, sports paraphernalia, fishing equipment, quilts, and anything else donors may wish to give (minimum value of $250).
Each donating company will gain maximum visibility with its company’s name and GIE+EXPO booth number (if applicable) displayed during the auction, a special acknowledgment in PLANET’s auction brochure, and recognition in the PLANET News magazine.
All proceeds go to support your choice of PLANET’s legislative activities (100 percent), the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) (100 percent), or a combination of the two (50 percent/50 percent). To make a donation, please visit GreenIndustryConference.org, call (800) 395-2522, or e-mail Kristin Stierle.
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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.
MEMBER BENEFIT OF THE MONTH
From supplier discounts to free resources, PLANET members enjoy a variety of benefits. Check out the featured benefit for this month.