by Andrew Pelkey
It seems fitting to use my first edition of presidents notes to introduce my self to the NHLA community, express my intentions, and share my approach.
My name is Andrew Pelkey. Newly elected NHLA President. I am the co-owner of North Point Outdoors based out of Derry, NH. Were a commercially based landscape maintenance and snow company with residential offerings in turf care, irrigation, and design build.
I have been in the landscape industry since 2006. Potentially like many of you, I started in this industry with no formal education focused on the Green Industry but do have my associate degree in business management. I’m married with a 4-year-old daughter, and a 1-year-old son. To say my days are busy as a business owner, husband, and dad may be an understatement, but I think many of you are all in the same boat and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
I currently sit on the Board of Directors for the National Roads and Fuel Association (NARFA) as president. This is where the recent connection and endorsement was made to connect the NHLA to NARFA and provide a streamlined process for members of the NHLA to buy group-based health insurance benefits. I also sit on two additional boards: The ABC Group SIG, and the AIIC, which are both self-insured workers compensation groups that our company belongs to. I took these roles so that I could be on the front line advocating for our team.
I joined the NHLA Board last year for one main reason. The Green Industry has given me my livelihood. And now, having learned a fair amount over the last 17 years, I feel compelled to try to give back to our industry in a locally focused manner.
I lead using a simple but effective management style called “Partnership Leadership,” which comes from the book Partnership Is the New Leadership by Ty Bennett. Partner leaders understand that influence has to be earned. They build genuine relationships, add value, and join in collaboration with their people. Sounds simple right? Where it can become difficult is in the face of conflict or friction. That’s where somehow my brain seems to work well, it takes a fair amount of conflict to send me down a negative path. If you ask my team when they last saw me angry, they probably couldn’t pin down a story…
The current Board and administrative team for the NHLA is a fantastic group, and I only look to work to collaborate with them to continue to build the association.
Now we know who I am, and my approach. But where is NHLA headed? This is where things get exciting! The Board’s vision is to enhance its offerings to current members by bringing more value to the membership while growing the Association’s members via a marketing campaign in the early stages of planning. We have made steady progress on this concept in the last calendar year with the NARFA and Greenius endorsements and our First annual Safety Day and Field Day events.
The Board is made of owners and landscape professionals like myself, who work daily in their business and in the field. They make the time to volunteer for the betterment of our local NH landscape industry. On behalf of the Association, I ask each of you reading to reflect on what the landscape industry has given you, and if you can make the time to give back to it by volunteering and joining one of the breakout committees that helps plan events and educational offerings. Coming from someone who started doing this last year, it’s rewarding; I promise!
I am looking forward to my new role as president for the next two years and feel confident we will accomplish great things! As we enter into our busy season I wish each and every one of you luck and success!