EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION REPORT NOW AVAILABLE
This past summer, PLANET partnered with more than 25 state association members to distribute the 2010 Employee Compensation Report Survey to as many green industry members as possible. The data collected was analyzed and compiled into PLANET’s newest publication, the 2010 Employee Compensation Report for the Green Industry, which debuted at this year’s Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
This updated report includes the latest green industry employee wage and benefit standards based on 2009 data from landscape companies across the nation. Hourly rates, salaries, fringe benefits, and commissions are also included, with the data broken down by type of business (including sales volume) and by region.
The report (item AB-0035) is available in electronic format only and can be purchased from the PLANET Bookstore by calling (800) 293-5542 or online at LandcareNetwork.org: Member price $40/Nonmember $80. For more information about this new PLANET publication, contact Sonia Myrick at (800) 395-2522.
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TIME TO APPLY FOR 2011 PLANET AEF SCHOLARSHIPS
Applications are now being accepted for 2011 PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) scholarships. 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.
Scholarship applications are available online and must be submitted to the PLANET office no later than December 10, 2010. The scholarships will be distributed during a reception and presentation sponsored by STIHL Inc., at Student Career Days, March 17–20, 2011, at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois.
PLANET AEF helps fund the educational endeavors of students who are preparing to become future leaders of the green industry. The generous contributions come from lawn and landscape professionals, industry suppliers, and students themselves. In 2010, the Foundation presented almost $80,000 in scholarships to 73 deserving students.
For more information about the PLANET AEF scholarship program, contact Kristen Nolton at (800) 395-2522.
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Celebrating one’s accomplishments is an important way to affirm quality, value, and meaning. Through PLANET’s annual awards programs, members are recognized and honored by their peers for contributing to the betterment of the association and the green industry. Congratulations to the following, very deserving recipients of this year’s various awards:
Lifetime Leadership Award: Chris Kujawa, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Kujawa Enterprises, Inc., Oak Creek, Wisconsin
PLANET Promise Award: Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, Nature’s Select Premium Turf Services
Association Partner of the Year Award: Ohio Landscape Association
Association Executive Partner of the Year Award: Sharon McGuire, California Landscape Contractors Association
Partner in Success Award: CNA Business Insurance and JOHN DEERE
Environmental Improvement Judges Award: “The Wauterlek Residence – Potager and Pool Garden” by BRICKMAN, “Intuit Santa Fe Summit” by ValleyCrest Maintenance of Calabasas, and “CityCenter Las Vegas” by ValleyCrest Landscape Development of Calabasas
Sustainable Company Award: Sunrise Landscape & Design, Precision Landscape Management, E.G. Rall Jr. Landscape Design & Horticultural Services, and Christy Webber Landscapes
Overall Safety Achievement Awards: List of recipients
Most Improved Employee Safety: Sentry Box Services, LLC
Most Improved Fleet Safety: Lawn Image Landscaping
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ETHANOL DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NEWS
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently waived a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol — known as E15 — and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. This represents the first of a number of actions that are needed from federal, state, and industry toward commercialization of E15 gasoline blends. The EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson made the decision after a review of the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) extensive testing and other available data on E15’s impact on engine durability and emissions.
“Thorough testing has now shown that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Wherever sound science and the law support steps to allow more home-grown fuels in America’s vehicles, this administration takes those steps.”
A decision on the use of E15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles will be made after EPA receives the results of additional DOE testing, which is expected to be completed in November. However, no waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks — or in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines — because currently there is no test data to support such a waiver. Since 1979, up to 10 percent ethanol or E10 has been used for all conventional cars and light trucks, and non-road vehicles.
In addition, steps are being taken to help consumers easily identify the correct fuel for their vehicles and equipment. For example, the EPA is proposing E15 pump labeling requirements, including a requirement that the fuel industry specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers. There would also be a quarterly survey of retail stations to help ensure their gas pumps are properly labeled.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 mandated an increase in the overall volume of renewable fuels in the marketplace to reach a 36 billion gallon total by 2022. Ethanol is considered a renewable fuel because it is produced from plant products or wastes and not from fossil fuels. Ethanol is blended with gasoline for use in most areas across the country.
The E15 petition was submitted to the EPA by Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers in March 2009. In April 2009, EPA sought public comment on the petition and received about 78,000 comments.
The petition was submitted under a Clean Air Act provision that allows the EPA to waive the act’s prohibition against the sale of a significantly altered fuel if the petitioner shows that the new fuel will not cause or contribute to the failure of the engine parts that ensure compliance with the act’s emissions limits.
For more information about E15, go online to epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/.
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LOTS TO CELEBRATE AT PLANET’S 2011 GREEN INDUSTRY CONFERENCE
Some 1220 green industry professionals gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, October 27–30, 2010, for the annual Green Industry Conference (GIC) and GIE+EXPO. They were also joined by Hardscape North America, which co-located its show in Louisville this year. GIC was made possible by the support of a number of sponsors, including Platinum Sponsor JOHN DEERE and Silver Sponsor Bayer Environmental Science.
Extreme adventurer Jamie Clarke, who has scaled Mount Everest, regaled attendees with stories of trial and triumph, something he indicated that most in attendance had experienced in their own right. “The heart of an entrepreneur is the spirit of adventure,” he told attendees during his Thursday evening GIC keynote address. “Learn from your mistakes to gain some wisdom,” he added.
First-time GIC attendee David Arnold of Corion Landscape Management in Washington said he really enjoyed Executive Forum in February and wanted to experience GIC because of it. “I’m taking in as many seminars as I can and looking forward to walking the trade show.” Attendees took advantage of several days of networking with peers from around the country; participated in educational sessions, virtual tours of three facilities, and the always popular Breakfast With Champions roundtables; and tried out the latest products at the industry’s largest trade show and outdoor exhibition. Silent and Live Auction participants were in a giving mood, raising more than $25,000 for the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) and for Government Affairs.
Education and networking aside, there was a lot to celebrate at this year’s conference: PLANET marked its five-year anniversary; debuted its newest publication, the 2010 Employee Compensation Report for the Green Industry; and launched a brand new green industry tool, PLANETUniverse.org, a comprehensive Web portal for everything green industry-related. PLANET Universe is sponsored by Agrium Advanced Technologies.
The celebration continued at the annual Awards Reception and Presentation on Friday evening where recipients of the Environmental Improvement Awards, Safety Recognition Awards, and PLANET Leadership Awards were honored. BRICKMAN and ValleyCrest are the winners of the prestigious 2010 Judges Awards, the top award given by the judges to only a few exceptional entries. “It was a big surprise for us,” remarks ValleyCrest regional sales leader Don Winsett. “We are delighted,” adds Valley Crest Kelly Duke, referring to the recognition for the company’s work on CityCenter in Las Vegas. “The award was especially gratifying because it was a very challenging job.”
Mark your calendars for next year’s GIC and GIE+EXPO, October 26–29, 2011, in Louisville, Kentucky. For more information about the conference, visit LandcareNetwork.org, or call the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522.
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RESEARCH WITH AN ROI: MAJOR NATIONAL TRENDS
In this month’s issue of PLANET News, Judy Guido, chairwoman and founder of Guido and Associates, sheds light on some major national trends and their implications for our industry. Click here and read all about it on page 26.
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PLANET MEMBERS TO ENJOY COST SAVINGS AT JIFFY LUBE®
We are pleased to announce that PLANET has teamed up with Jiffy Lube to offer members savings on their regularly scheduled vehicle maintenance.
For nearly 30 years, Jiffy Lube has pioneered the preventive maintenance industry with a customer-focused, service-oriented approach. This partnership program offers PLANET members a 12 percent cash discount on all posted prices for all Jiffy Lube products and services.
To get started with their new Jiffy Lube Fleet Care National Cash Account, PLANET members will first need to obtain a copy of a letter from Jiffy Lube from the Cost-Savings Partnership section of the Member Center by logging on to LandcareNetwork.org. With this letter in hand, they can then visit any of the 2,000+ Jiffy Lube locations nationwide (no appointment necessary), identify themselves as a PLANET member, provide the Jiffy Lube letter, and experience the in-and-out efficiency that Jiffy Lube can provide.
For more information about the Jiffy Lube program or any of PLANET’s other affinity programs, contact Cheryl Claborn or call the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522.
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If your PLANET certification good-through date on your wallet card is December 31, 2010, you are due to recertify. This is your deadline to send in your CEU Submission Form. When you recertify, you’ll receive a rebranded certificate, lapel pin, and wallet card reflecting your new good-through date.
You have more opportunities than ever to earn CEUs as explained on your revised recertification requirements sheet. If the educational opportunity is green industry or job related, it will qualify. Webinars, articles, or books as part of self-study and in-house training are just some examples of how you can accumulate CEUs in your two-year recertification cycle.
For more details about recertification, check the Recertification Frequently Asked Questions section often for regular updates. NOTE: If your wallet card good-through date is 2009, your certification has lapsed. Please contact PLANET immediately at (800) 395-2522.
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THE LAWN CARE SUMMIT
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and PLANET will once again co-host The Lawn Care Summit, a national forum on current trends and future developments in lawn care. The meeting is scheduled for December 1–3, 2010, at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dual-tracked sessions will offer both technical and management sessions for owners, managers, and top-line technicians. Programming, developed by leaders in the lawn care field, will bring respected experts from national firms to share thoughts on what the future holds as well as seasoned veterans to offer practical advice on how they are responding to current issues in the field. Attendees will be able to network and learn about new products available for the lawn care industry at Networking Lounges, sponsored by Agrium Advanced Technologies, DuPont Professional Products, EverGreen Software by Marathon Data Systems, Quali-Pro®, Real Green Systems, and Spring Valley.
For the complete schedule, sponsorship information, and registration materials for this year’s Summit, go online to npmapestworld.org/events/lawncare or LandcareNetwork.org/events/lcs/index. For more information regarding the Lawn Care Summit, contact Betsy Demoret, or call the PLANET office at (800) 395-2522.
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PROJECT EVERGREEN LAUNCHES SNOWCARE FOR TROOPS
Project EverGreen’s best known program — GreenCare for Troops — is branching out. Just because summer is over doesn’t mean outdoor jobs and responsibilities come to an end. Old Man Winter can pack a backbreaking punch such as raking a yard full of leaves, removing limbs from a dead tree, or hauling clippings from a thriving yard.
Consequently, Project EverGreen is partnering with the Boss Snowplow to launch SnowCare for Troops, projectevergreen.com/scft/. This program is designed to connect military families with snow and ice management professionals who will provide free snow and ice removal services. The goal is to recruit volunteers to help families of military personnel serving overseas with the physically challenging job of removing heavy snow and dangerous ice from driveways and sidewalks.
Many of our current GreenCare for Troops volunteers have generously offered to extend their current volunteer arrangement to the new SnowCare for Troops program. Their support is greatly appreciated as demand for the new program is growing as summer wanes. We look forward to hearing from more of our existing GreenCare for Troops volunteers and Project EverGreen supporters as well.
Please be sure and sign up at projectevergreen.com/scft/.
And, while the weather is quickly changing in the North, the grass is still growing in the South. The new GreenCare for Communities Mobile Unit made its debut along North Carolina’s I-40 corridor spanning from Greensboro to Raleigh. This fully equipped mobile unit, supervised by Steve Hill, president of Turf Tenders in Raleigh, mowed, pruned, and cleaned up the homes of military families in communities big and small.
Thanks to contributors Bayer Environmental Science, Husqvarna, Walker Mowers, and The Toro Co., worried and stressed out families were able to ease their burden of caring for their lawns.
Hill and his crew have said they will keep the mobile unit rolling next year. Project EverGreen again extends its thanks to Turf Tenders for playing such an integral role in getting this valuable new program off the ground.
As GreenCare for Communities initiatives grow — so far Akron, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and North Carolina have benefited from our consumer outreach program — we hope to expand the mobile unit’s outreach. Contractors and suppliers interested in volunteering their time or supplying donations should contact Cindy Code at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CRYSTAL BALL REPORT #30 TO FOCUS ON INNOVATION
PLANET recently held its Crystal Ball #30 meeting at Madison Valley Ranch in Enison, Montana, to discuss this year’s theme, Innovation. Why innovation? Because innovation is the best way for many green industry companies to differentiate themselves, increase their profits, and protect their futures. This report will be a green industry guidebook to innovation. This year’s report will provide explanations and stories to help you understand what innovation is, why it’s important, how to come up with innovative ideas, and how to implement them in your business.
This year’s participants and contributors to the report are the following:
- Crystal Ball Subcommittee Chair Jim McCutcheon, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, HighGrove Partners, Austell, Georgia
- Tom Fochtman, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, CoCal Landscape, Denver, Colorado
- Richard Heller, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, Greener by Design, Pelham, New York
- Dalton Hermes, Hermes Landscaping, Inc., Lenexa, Kansas
- Sabeena Hickman, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, PLANET, Herndon, Virginia
- Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, Nature's Select Premium Turf Services, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
- Greg Ina, The Davey Institute, Kent, Ohio
- Kurt Kluznik, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Yardmaster, Inc., Painesville, Ohio
- Shayne Newman, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, Yardapes, Inc., New Milford, Connecticut
- Todd Pugh, Todd’s Enviroscapes Inc. & Green Industry Innovators, Louisville, Ohio
- Robert Schutzki, Ph.D., Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
- David Snodgrass, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, Dennis’ Seven Dees Landscaping & Garden Center, Portland, Oregon
- Lynda Wightman, Hunter Industries, Missoula, Montana
- Dave Zerfoss, The Zerfoss Group, Davidson, North Carolina
The report is scheduled to be released in early 2011 and is sponsored by Hunter Industries.
Crystal Ball Reports were originally published by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), prior to its merger with the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA). This merger resulted in the formation of PLANET, which continues to identify meaningful topics, resulting in the development of Crystal Ball Reports. For many years, valuable information about the green industry has been captured by leading members of the industry and compiled into these Crystal Ball Reports.
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PLANET DEBUTS PUBLICATION WRITTEN BY FORMER PRESIDENT BILL HILDEBOLT
Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from the experiences of top industry leaders? In his newly released book titled The Professional Entrepreneur: When Cowboys Grow Up, former PLANET president turned author, Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, shares his personal experience, spent in the corporate world and running his own company, and the experiences of several top entrepreneurs from across the multibillion dollar landscape and lawn care industry.
In The Professional Entrepreneur, Hildebolt celebrates the green industry and the people who make a difference in the quality of lives in the communities they serve. The book contains anecdotes about how to become a professional entrepreneur.
“Hildebolt succeeds in exploring and defining what entrepreneurs have in common with depth and understanding. His combined experience in the corporate world and as a leader in the (real) green industry gives him a unique perspective,” says Richard Heller, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, president of Greener By Designs, Inc. “The way he synthesizes this with the example ‘propreneurs’ in the book is educational and enlightening in that he illustrates not only how the typical entrepreneur starts and creates a successful business in various elements of the industry, but also how ‘propreneurs’ can harness the resources of larger institutions and break new ground.”
All proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF), formed in 1998 to award scholarships and fund educational activities for the green industry. Promoting and advancing the lawn care and landscape services industry by supporting academic excellence is the Foundation’s mission. To fulfill its mission, the PLANET AEF relies on tax-deductible donations and long-term pledges from individuals, corporations, organizations, and estates. Since its inception, the PLANET AEF has provided more than $500,000 in scholarship funds to 511 students.
To obtain a copy of The Professional Entrepreneur (Item AB-0036), go online to the PLANET Bookstore at LandcareNetwork.org, or call the bookstore at (800) 293-5542.
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