by Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
Well, the rodent in PA did not see his shadow, so spring will be early this year. I still have my doubts, as it has been a very strange winter, so far. One day it is -5° and next, it’s 60° and sunny. I’m with the rest of the crowd, as I want an early spring so we can all get back to doing what we love to do. As I sit in my home office, with my crazy cat, Minnie, who likes to help me write my President’s Notes, I think back to a very wet and cold fall which we’d all like to forget. This year is going to be another busy season in the landscape industry. I am hearing from a lot of people that things look good and the phone is still ringing. So I just want to wish everyone a great season.
The NHLA Boardroom has been busy, and we are working very hard to make NHLA better for all our members. The biggest thing is the website, which I have spoken about before. It is complete and looking great. Please remember to go in and update your information, as it is how potential customers are going to find you. Log in directions can be found in this Newsletter (page 1). If you have any trouble with the new site or things that need to be fixed, please email Pam Moreau and she can help you out. This is going to be a great tool for the members, as it will be easier for people to find you.
Hort Program in NH Prison System
At the February board meeting, we met with Dan McDonough, from the State of NH, Department of Corrections. He is a re-entry administrator for the prison system here in NH. He spoke to us about starting a horticultural program in the prison system, which will help inmates that are re-entering the public sector start a career in the Green Industry. He is looking for any and all input from the membership. I look at this as a great way to possibly find some labor force, which is so lacking in the state. He told us that the inmate population has asked for some type of education program in the landscape industry. Dan would like to get a program started and is looking for instructors who would be willing to teach a few classes. This is a great opportunity for NHLA to help in the community and give someone a second chance. If you are interested in doing anything that can help, please free to contact me and I will get you more details. This could work out to be a paid position for the right person, who likes to teach and wants to make a difference. I want to say one more thing before you say, “I don’t want an ex-convict on my job site”. These men and women are on parole and have to hold to strict rules or it is back to prison. I feel that with the help of us at NHLA, we can give someone a great paying career. Who knows, they may be your best employee. Everyone deserves a second chance!
We had a meeting to discuss this topic at the Joint Winter Meeting, which was attended by members of both organizations. I believe it helped everyone to understand that we are still in the early stages of getting this done. We are going to have a vote at the NHLA Spring Conference, to see if OUR membership is willing to go forward with the merger. There will be much to do, since we’d be looking at a name change, logo change, redoing the by-laws, the website, and much more. We are going very slowly with this process, as there is a lot to do, and we want to get it right. We are also looking into how we are going to pay for this whole thing, as you all know change can be expensive. We need ALL of the membership to vote. Please VOTE HERE. There is also a ballot in the March-April NHLA Newsletter.
Please also read Dave DeJohn’s post on the merger. This is extremely important, and if you have any questions or concerns please contact any Board member. Their information is located on the Leadership page.