President’s Notes February 2019

By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
February 2019

Well, we are already down, one month, and Mother Nature is not playing very nice with us again this winter. By the time you receive this Newsletter, the rodent in PA would have told us to look forward to another six weeks of winter. Let’s all hope Phil is wrong and we can get an early start this spring. We all have more leaves than usual to clean up this year, as some fall cleanups did not get done, “thanks” to the early snow. Well, with the hope of spring on its way, we turn to the NHLA Spring Conference, on Friday. March 22. This is going to be a very important meeting. I encourage all members to attend. We will be voting on a very important issue, the merging of NHLA and NH Plant Growers.

The merger or joining of the two associations is very important, and we need as much input as we can, from the members. This meeting will end all discussions on the issue, as the vote will take place at the meeting. We are going to send out an email, with the ballot, so you can vote, even if you are unable to attend the meeting. The results will be in the May Newsletter. I feel this is a very good move for both organizations, as we are both experiencing a decline in membership. This will give us more help and ideas for different events and educational opportunities. We as an organization need to look at it as a way to strengthen NHLA. You know what they say about strength in numbers. If you have any concerns and/or questions please feel free to email me or call me directly.

Well, the NEW website is finally up and running. It went live just after the New Year. It looks awesome! Now we need your help! The old site was almost 10 years old and some of you have never logged in to update your company information. Our Professional Directory is now searchable by specialty areas, as well as, name, company and city. For example, you now do landscape lighting and irrigation, but no longer do snow removal. Please take a few minutes to update your data. We want the consumer to be able to find you!

You should have received an email explaining how to log into the site and how to update your membership information. If you have not, please email Pam or Carolyn. This website was long overdue and we should be good for at least another 10 years.

I just want to say THANK YOU to the website committee, Pam, Carolyn, Annette, Maria, and Dave, as they’ve work many, many hours over the last ten months.

I want to update everyone on the status of the NH Agriculture teacher project. A few members and I met with the group, on January 12 in Alton, NH, to start the process of creating a high school student certification. We had some great discussions. The teachers are extremely motived to make this happen. I hope to have more information for you next month.

Lastly, we still need your help with getting new members. I know all of you know at least 1 or 2 people in the industry, who are not members. Please talk with them and let them know the benefits of becoming a member. We are working on change! One change is more benefits to you, for being a member. The question I hear all the time is “What’s in for me?” New Hampshire Landscape Association’s mission is to create a community of dedicated professionals committed to a sustainable environment, improving knowledge, skills, and professionalism. We accomplish this by enhancing our public awareness of general, economic, and legislative issues to develop our appreciation of the Green Industry, in the state of New Hampshire. In working on our mission, our next goal is to work on more education opportunities for the members. This is where you come in. I know we are all busy, but I am busy, too. I am making the time to work for you, throughout the year. All I’m asking is for an idea for a Twilight Meeting or a speaker for the conferences or the dinner meeting. I am sure that you have said to yourself, I would like to learn more about that?

“You only get out what you put in. Don’t expect more until you do more.”
— Anonymous

President’s Notes January 2019

By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
January 2019

I can’t believe we are at the beginning of a new year. I, for one, am glad to see that 2018 is over. It was a tough year, with the passing of several friends, co-workers, and customers. I look back and think of the all memories and remember what they’ve taught me over the years. It helps me keep them near and dear to my heart. I know that we all have had something like this happen to us, this past year. I would like to say that time is precious so make the most of it! You never know what tomorrow brings! I want to wish everyone a healthy, Happy New Year and great growing season!

We have been very busy here, at NHLA, with the new website and working on the possible merger of NHLA and NHPGA. The winter meeting is January 16 and I encourage everyone to try and make it. We are going to present what a possible merger would look like and how it would affect both associations. We will answer any and all questions you might have. I think I have said this before, but this is not a done deal until the membership of both associations have voted. So with that said, we will have the official vote, in March, at our spring meeting. Please feel free to contact the Board, if you have any questions regarding this proposal.

The website should be up and running by now, so and please take a few minutes and check out the new site. Please verify your membership information and update, if necessary. We will be sending out instructions. There have been many of hours spent to make the new website right, but we are all human. The committee has done a great job and I want to say THANK YOU for your hard work.

We are looking at 2019 and want to do the best we can for our members. Please remember, YOU are part of this membership and your voice counts. The Board makes up less than 2% of the association. All the committees together, make up less than 10% of the association. We need to hear your voice, to know what you would like to see happen with the association. We have had several successes in the past five years. Our annual golf tournament has been a huge success and our largest fundraiser. We brought back the Dinner Meeting last year, and have had a great response. We continue to have our winter and spring meetings and several Twilight Meetings throughout the summer. These events are possible because of a few dedicated members, and the help of the UNH Cooperative Extension, who work very hard to make sure these programs go off without a hitch. We need YOUR ideas and YOUR help, to continue to meet YOUR needs. We are working hard to streamline the committees. We recognize that traveling to a meeting is not always possible or convenient, so we have the ability to use ZOOM, a teleconferencing system, for meetings. We are hoping this will allow more people to become committee members, which in turn will generate more ideas. Please contact me if you would like to help out on the Education Committee, for 2019, and help make the NHLA an educational resource for the industry in New Hampshire.

A new source of employees! We have been in talks, with a few high school Ag teachers, in the state. We’ve shared our Certification Manual with them, so they could review it and write a proposal for an Ag Curriculum, statewide. The draft proposal was created and shared by all. They sent us a copy and we were very impressed. The next step is to work on questions, for a formal certification test. We will have a meeting, on January 12, to start this process. I will keep everyone posted in the February newsletter.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift…that’s why they call it the present.”
– Alice Morse Earle.

Please take time for family and friends because time goes to too fast.

President’s Notes December 2018

By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
December 2018

The NHLA Board has been very busy the past few months. We have some great opportunities coming for our members. The first project we are very close to finishing is our new website, which has long been overdue for an update. The committee has been working very hard to get this done, in a timely manner. This website is going to be user friendly and allow the general public to access the membership so they hire NHLA professionals. So look for the notice that the new site is up and running. I want to thank the committee members: Pam Moreau, Maria Rainey, Dave DeJohn, Annette Zamarchi, and Carolyn Isaak for a great job. Thank you for your time and commitment.

The second project is the discussion of a possible merger of the NHLA and NHPGA. This merger has been in the talking stage for several months, and is far from being a done deal. We need to get both Associations to get together to discuss, vote on, and approve the merger before we move ahead. We need the membership to attend the January Joint meeting to be a part of the discussion and then attend/vote at the Spring Conference, in March. This is going to be a long process, and we do not want to rush into anything without the approval of the membership. So I ask you to vote on this matter and please contact me if there are any concerns with this merger. Remember that it is your Association and you need to VOTE. Please read the article from Dave DeJohn, as he has been representing the Board during the merger talks. (See Dave’s article on in the December newsletter, available when you log in.)

A third project is in the works with Janet Rosequist, who is Capstone Facilitator and the former Agricultural Education Director at the Winnisquam Regional Agricultural Education Center. Janet reached out to NHLA for help in starting a certification program for students who take horticultural classes in high school. NHLA will be collaborating with the teachers in the state, to develop a test to initiate a student certification. The State of NH is looking for something, so they have a benchmark for student knowledge. I have met with Janet, and we have come up with some ideas that will benefit both the students and our membership. Some of the ideas are paid internships with member companies, field trips to job sites and/or members facilities, guest speakers in the classroom, and a team of member professionals to mentor/answer questions on specifics that should be taught in the classroom. In the current difficult employee economy, this can only benefit our members. Please contact me if you would be interested in getting involved with this project. We are still in the early stages, but we are going to move forward in 2019.

The fourth project is with the NH Department of Corrections. I have been contacted by Dan McDonough. He is looking to partner with NHLA to help find jobs for skilled inmates who take classes in prison. I have invited him to a Board meeting to provide more information, so you will see more in the January Newsletter.

Our last project is looking at how we can better serve our members. However, in order to do this, we need your help! We’re looking into creating smaller, focus committees for some of the programs, so the commitment is not overwhelming. Our new Dinner Meeting Committee will begin in 2019. We are still looking for people to join the Education Committee to develop programs for our membership. I would like to appeal to the entire membership to think about helping out. A little of your time goes a long way with education. If there is a member, or an employee of a member, who would be willing to give a little time, it will help us provide a well-rounded education program for your benefit. Please contact me or any board member if you are willing to help out.

As you can see, we have had a very busy few months. By the time you get this Newsletter, the holiday season will be in full swing. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and looking forward to the Christmas season.

I would like to leave you with a little message. May you find joy in the holiday season and may we all help our fellow man. Please remember the less fortunate during this joyous season. I want to wish everyone a healthy and Happy Holiday!