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

Posted in Business Advice & Stories, Professional Development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Both Chambers of Congress Introduce H-2B Reform Bills


Two bills that would temporarily reinstate the H-2B visa temporary worker program have been introduced recently in the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

The legislation would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow for more workers to enter the U.S. The Senate bill would “establish an H-2B temporary non-agricultural work visa program,” while the House measure states it would “reinstate the returning workers’ exemption for H-2B visas.” Continue reading

Posted in Legislation & Regulation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Control Workers’ Compensation Costs

Author, Drew Garcia, with Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, is the program director for NALP’s Workers’ Compensation Program which provides discounts to NALP members. 

As the NALP Workers Compensation Program Manager we understand the need for “Best Practices” to be utilized by landscape contractors to prevent workers’ compensation claims from occurring. However, at some point, a claim will occur and at that moment there are steps to be taken that both control the costs of the claim and look for preventive measures to reduce or eliminate a similar claim from reoccurring. Continue reading

Posted in Safety | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the Road at the NALP Sales Boot Camp

NALP vice president of education and services Shaine Anderson was on the road last week at the NALP Sales Bootcamp with Marty Grunder which was held at the Bartlett Tree Experts research laboratory in Raleigh, North Carolina.

We can’t give away all the secrets Marty shared, but here are a few tips that Shaine took away. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Events, Industry News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Greg Jolley Named Outstanding Educator of the Year

On, March 18, at the closing ceremonies of the National Collegiate Landscape Competition, the National Association of Landscape Professionals Foundation announced the recipient of its Outstanding Educator of the Year Award – Greg Jolley, associate professor of the Plant and Wildlife Sciences in the College of Life Sciences at Brigham Young University, in Provo.

Jolley joined the BYU faculty in 2003 after several years working as a landscape architect. He uses his real-world skills to teach and mentor his students with a hands-on approach. Jolley has won many awards including landscape design awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Kansas State University – Robert P Ealy Award for Academic Excellence, and he worked with dozens of students on a high-end residential design build project which was the only student project to ever win a national NALP Award of Excellence.

Upon receipt of the reward Jolley said that his, “greatest joy in his career has been the opportunity to work with his students every day.”

Posted in Industry News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mark Maslow is 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year

The National Association of Landscape Professionals has named, Mark Maslow, co-owner and President of Southern Landscape Group in Evington, Virginia, this year’s Young Entrepreneur of the year. Mark began mowing lawns in high school and started a small landscape maintenance company and he has grown it into Central Virginia’s premier residential Design Build contracting firm.

Mark received his Bachelors of Science degree from Virginia Tech in Horticulture and Landscape Design with a minor in Agricultural Economics.In addition to the landscape company, he has also built up and sold a landscape supply business.

Mark is also focused on mentoring and giving back.  He loves working with student interns and young entrepreneurs  The company is also active in the community, winning many awards.  Mark was the President of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, he is on the Board of Directors for Virginia Technical Institute and the Advisory Board for the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture.


Posted in Industry News | Leave a comment

Brigham Young University Wins NCLC

Brigham Young University – Provo is the winner of NALP’s National Collegiate Landscape Competition, and Tyler Gilson of Michigan State University is the first-place student.

Sixty-one teams battled it out, March 15-18, in 29 competitions in Provo, Utah, in events like arboriculture, hardscape installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, skid steer, 3D exterior landscape design, personnel management, and more. Continue reading

Posted in Industry Events, Landscape Careers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Safety Fail, Three Strikes and You’re Out!

Keep it Green Landscaping Safety Training pictured above

April 15 is the deadline to participate in the Safety Recognition Awards. Author Rod Dickens talked with two winners of the Best of the Best safety recognition awards to see what they are doing right when it comes to safety at their companies.

Keep it Green Landscaping in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, has won Best of the Best for the past five years in a row. “I always tell people there’s not one single thing they can do to make their company a safe place to work,” said company president Dyle MacGregor.  “Being safe is a culture. It applies to most everything you do, and everyone has to have buy in.”

With that said, he pointed to more than a few things his company does to help keep employees safe. “We require pre-employment drug tests and all our drivers are randomly tested for drugs. After we put the drug testing requirement into our help-wanted ads, the number of calls we received dropped dramatically, but their quality went up.” Continue reading

Posted in Safety | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Pay Per Click vs. SEO, Why Your Business Needs the Right Balance of Each

Author, Alain Parcan, director of marketing for Market Hardware, Inc., and NALP consultant, contributed this article. 

One of the most common questions we get while speaking at industry tradeshows or providing educational Webinars is, “which strategy is right for me?” Businesses are constantly focused on finding the right marketing plan when it comes to generating more business from the Web, and it usually comes down to two main choices: Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) or Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Now, imagine you call a remodeler after a big storm damages your house. What would he tell you if you asked, “I don’t have much money, what should I fix – the hole in my kid’s ceiling or the damaged roof over the master bedroom?” Since we are talking about Web marketing, I get to give you a slightly better answer than “you need to do both.” Continue reading

Posted in Sales & Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Landscapes Sales Tips that Work

Author Marty Grunder, consultant, speaker, and owner of Grunder Landscaping, one of the largest firms in the Midwest, gives his advice on making the sale when you aren’t the lowest bid. Catch Marty at his NALP Sales Boot Camps in Baltimore and Charlotte the week of March 27, 2017. 

My experience, and the success of my clients I coach, points to the fact that if you watch your expenses and control your debt, do good work and take care of your team and your clients, you have a very good chance of being successful. Oh sure, there’s a lot more to a successful business, than just that; however, the aforementioned works well. My clients also know their costs; they know their numbers and they are empowered to make great decisions as a result. Since they know their numbers, they know what clients are good and which ones are not. And that leads me to the marketing tips I want to share with you in this issue. Here are my top five: Continue reading

Posted in Business Advice & Stories | Leave a comment