Cheryl Claborn Celebrating 30 Years at NALP

NALP Membership Director Cheryl Claborn started her career at the association 30 years ago as an office assistant at the legacy association PLCAA. We recently celebrated Cheryl’s incredible career with the association with a party at NALP.

We asked Cheryl a few questions about her career at the association.

We know you are a Jack of all trades, what types of positions you have had over the years at the association?

I started out doing the data entry, mailings, etc. for PLCAA. I also helped out answering phones, and worked in the membership department by processing dues payments and produced monthly membership reports. I also worked closely with the events team and processed registrations, badges, and reports for our annual conference. From there, I moved into the finance department handling accounting and financial statements. Just prior to the merger of ALCA and PLCAA, I started selling exhibit space for the GIE trade show.  When GIE merged with EXPO in 2007, I’ve help various positions within PLANET, including working with the Foundation, Accredited Schools, safety, advertising sales, and finally circling back to where I first started…membership.

What do you like best about your job?

That’s an easy answer…developing relationships with the members! I’ve been fortunate to have met some of the best people and have developed many personal friendships with the members and staff. I’ve known some of the staff for 25+ years and have gotten to know their families as well. I’ve gone through the good and bad times with them and consider them an extension of my family. I will cherish these memories forever.

What do you like best about the association or its members?

The association has been very good to me and has utilized my talents in many areas and I greatly appreciate that. Our members are some of the friendliest and most genuine people and are easy to get to know. I feel honored to know them and it’s my pleasure to serve them on a daily basis.

What type of impact do you hope you have made over the last 30 years?

Those that know me understand that I laugh at most everything! I remember in my early years when I answered the phones, people said I always answered the phone with a smile and cheerful voice and it would show through on the other end. I hope my positive attitude and funny spirit shows and has brightened up a member’s day. Laughter really is the best medicine. A co-worker once wrote to me that Cheryl has the best laugh on the PLANET (when we were PLANET.) haha!

Any memorable/favorite work related memories?

There are so many memories, it’s difficult to list them as a favorite. One of my favorite memories was my 25th work anniversary celebration when the staff surprised me! I still have all the personal notes everyone wrote me and I occasionally pull them out and read again to remind me how lucky I am to have such great friends in the workplace. Another time was the last GIE show in Columbus, Ohio, before we merged with OPEI. I went to my first professional hockey game and hung out with some great friends.

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Is Non-Billable Time Killing You?

Author Jeffrey Scott, MBA, is an NALP consultant member and author, business coach, hall-of-fame consultant, and expert in growth and profit maximization in the lawn & landscape industry.

Every service company has to make an assessment of how much unproductive non-billable time their crews will have in a year, and this in effect becomes part of their overhead.
Do you track this? If not, you are not alone. Many if not most companies do not track non-billable time and are not aware of just how large it is. Continue reading

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What the Industry Growth Initiative is Doing

Don’t you wish there was a movement that could raise the visibility of the industry and put professional landscape and lawn care services in higher demand? Wouldn’t it be nice if you suddenly got more resumes for your open positions and you had to turn good candidates away?

That is what our Industry Growth Initiative is working to do and here is a little of what we have been up to this spring… Continue reading

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ALCA Awards Legacy Continues

I love history and I love old photos, so coming across a scrapbook from the association’s past was really fun! ALCA, which merged with PLCAA to eventually become the National Association of Landscape Professionals, was the group that originated our national awards program.

There was a spouses’ program for the wives of the members, called the “Grass Widows.” From the looks of it, they had a blast.  They took tours, held teas and luncheons, even had group exercises classes and ran their own Board of Directors for the group. Continue reading

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Trumps Signs Fiscal Measure that Provides H-2B Cap Relief

Limited H-2B regulatory relief is part of the bill that President Trump signed into law authorizing federal government funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2017. Inclusion of the cap relief language is a significant legislative victory, and was the direct result of grassroots outreach by NALP members and other seasonal employers. Continue reading

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House Passes Bill to Repeal and Replace ObamaCare


The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (217-213) on strictly partisan lines, with 20 Republicans voting against the bill. The bill will repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, better known as “ObamaCare”. Continue reading

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Congress Includes H-2B Relief in Budget Bill

Late Sunday, April 30, Congress released a bipartisan budget bill to provide for government funding through the end of fiscal 2017. Thanks to a massive effort from NALP members and other seasonal business owners, the bipartisan agreement contains limited H-2B cap relief.  Through social media, meetings on the Hill and back in the district, and hundreds of emails our collective voices were heard on Capitol Hill. Continue reading

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Business Coach, Mentor, or Consultant?

Author Lisa Perdue, is a manager of professional development for LandOpt which is an NALP consultant member. 

Coaches Aren’t Just for Athletes

Not sure what a business coach is? Many professional athletes will readily claim the keys to their success are diligence, determination, drive, and a dedicated coach. While it’s true coaching has traditionally been associated with sports, it has evolved in recent decades to have entrepreneurial connotations. The term business coach is becoming as commonplace these days as smartphone and selfie, and with good reason. Small business owners are increasingly discovering the innumerable benefits of a targeted coaching approach in helping them to translate their visions and goals for their businesses into reality. Like the professional athlete, the small business owner may have the diligence, determination, and drive to kick start a business venture but may lack the accountability and time necessary to consistently lead it to significant wins. The dedicated involvement of – and collaboration with – the business coach can make all the difference. Continue reading

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Critical Timing for the H-2B Day on the Hill

The National Association of Landscape Professionals, the H-2B Coalition and more than 100 landscape professionals and colleagues from allied industries joined together on the Hill on April 26, at a crucial time in the battle for H-2B reform.  John McMahon, the Executive Director of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado, is pictured here with a group of landscape professionals as they headed out for meetings with their legislators.

More than 100 meetings were scheduled with legislators and their staffers from 19 states. This visit is timed to educate and help convince legislators to include a Returning Worker Exemption in the Budget before April 28, when they need to submit a new budget to avoid a government shut down. Continue reading

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Blazing a Two-Way Trail

Both Tom Heaviland and Michael Kravitsky, IV have been NALP Trailblazers for 15 years or more. During that time, they’ve collectively mentored at least 25 people, owners of large and small companies alike who represent nearly every segment of the lawn and landscape industry.  The two trailblazers share many of the same thoughts, not the least of which is being a mentor is “give and take.” Without expecting it or even trying, they’ve always gained something from the experience, may it be a friend for life or a kernel of knowledge that has helped their businesses grow.

Heaviland, owner of Heaviland Landscape Management in Vista, CA, was an early mentee in the program. “The company was much bigger than mine and had developed processes and other systems that would later help me grow,” he recalled.

What he remembers most about the experience was how his mentor openly shared company financials.  “’What’s ours is yours,’ he said, and I’ve tried to be equally as open with my mentees. Being a peer mentor, or Trailblazer, gives me an opportunity to help someone else by sharing my industry experience with them.” Continue reading

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