By Jim Moreau, CIT, CLIA, CIC, CLVLT
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!