By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
Happy New Year! I am glad to see 2020 go in my review mirror and hope to see better days in 2021. As I sit here writing these notes for the Newsletter, the first vaccines are being distributed to the United States and around the world. Hopefully by this time next year, we will be in a better state of mind and back to somewhat normal. We all know that the normal life we once had, before COVID-19, will probably never exist ever again. Unfortunately, numbers are climbing again. Let’s hope and pray that the winter months do not get any worse. So, be smart about protocols and stay safe and healthy. Let’s ring in the 2021 New Year together and see what it has in store for the landscape industry.
Well, I have some great news from UNH Cooperative Extension. They are finally working on a replacement for Cathy Neal, who you all know retired over a year ago, as the Horticultural State Specialist. We all know that Cathy did a tremendous amount of work for the landscape industry and it will be very difficult to find a replacement. It is an exciting time and I was asked to be a member of the hiring committee. The committee is made up of industry professionals and members of the UNH Cooperative Extension Office. The applicants will go through a rigorous screening. We want to hire someone who is going to take the position as seriously, as Cathy did for many years.
The committee is in the middle of reviewing the applications and comparing notes. Once this process is done, we will have our first round of interviews. Once we narrow it down, we will then move to our second round of interviews. So by the time some of you receive this Newsletter, we will have our finalist for the position. Then they meet with the University staff, for the final approval. I am hopeful we will have a new State Specialist by January.
This position is a great resource for the landscape industry, in New Hampshire, and it has been sorely missed, since Cathy left. I know that the NHLA membership will welcome the new person with open arms. I would like to finish by saying “Thank you” to Jonathan Ebba, who has been helping out since Cathy retired. He has been a tremendous help and an invaluable resource in organizing programs for the membership. Unfortunately, Jonathan is moving to the Strafford County Extension office. He will be sorely missed. Good luck Jonathan!
The Board meets monthly to keep NHLA moving in the right direction. Since our traditional conferences are on hold, we are looking at new events and venues. The Education Committee has also been working hard on program ideas. They are looking at many virtual programs. Lo8h7g5d33a1 (Oops! Sorry about that, Minnie just walked on the keyboard. Yes, she is sitting here with me in the home office writing these notes.)
Ok, let’s get back to the Education Committee. They are in dire need of help, as we are losing a long time committee member, Bill Hoffman. Bill is retiring from the committee and I want to personally say “Thank You, Bill” for all your hard work and dedication. You will be missed! The committee needs help in order to have conferences, Twilight Meetings, and much more. Please think about it! It does not require a ton of time. You too can make a difference in the NHLA and have some fun at the same time. Some day you will look back and say, “I made a difference in the industry,” so please contact us.
As we say “goodbye” to this crazy year, let’s welcome 2021 with open arms and a smile. Let’s remember the family and friends we have lost. Welcome our new family and friends into the world and into the industry. It was an unprecedented year that I will never forget, but I will try to remember the goodness that came from it. It was an incredible year for kindness, generosity, support, and problem solving. Just remember, life is too short, so make the best of it. We may not always get along, but we are here for each other, no matter what. Please make 2021 the year that you want it to be and live life to the fullest.
In closing, I am sad to say that we have lost a founding father of the NHLA, Dave Sansom, and an owner of New Hampshire Landscape, an early landscape firm in Hooksett. He passed away in late November (see pages 4-5). We also lost another dedicated professional in November, Frank Wolfe, who owned Lake Street Gardens, in Salem (see the December issue). I will keep them in my prayers.
I want to thank Peter van Berkum for the great articles he wrote on both of these fine individuals. They will both be missed.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis