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Serving the regional educational, professional and networking needs of Southeast Michigan's nursery and landscape industry.
The Southeast Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association seeks to present an informative, educational and cooperative environment to regional members of the nursery and landscape industry. This organization shall promote regional answers to regional questions, fellowship, networking and knowledge among the Southeast region of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association.
semnla President's message
Hello everyone –
Thanks for taking a moment to read my first newsletter as President of the SEMNLA. Hopefully I can fill you with some mid-season motivation to help carry you through the next few months before the snow begins to fall again.
A little background about myself…this season marks my 30th year in the industry. For those who do not know me, my journey in the Green Industry started right out of high school as a summer job while I was attending college. After a few seasons of working and a few college transfers, I landed at Michigan State University studying Horticulture / Landscape Design. That is about the time I realized I had a strong passion for this industry. Thirty years later, I am still just as excited to be part of our community that has so many interesting individuals who share the same core interests.
Over the past 30 years I have acquired some key lessons. Here is a list of my top 5:
1. There is always room to learn new things…plants, designs, construction techniques. Take a moment and listen to what others have to say, attend a seminar, or pursue further education or certifications. A continuous learner with a growth mind set will serve all customers well.
2. As a landscape professional, try to visit the nursery often. The folks at the garden centers are more than willing to show you new and interesting plants in the yard. Value their subject matter expertise and take note that garden center professionals like it when you refer to plants using their Latin names.
3. Conversely, non-industry people prefer using common plant names versus Latin names. It is important to know your audience and meet people where they are in order to provide the best service possible.
4. Patience is learned and incredibly difficult to teach. When faced with adversity, a good business owner will always seek to find the root cause (pun intended). Mastering patience will greatly assist with your customer, vendor, and colleague relationships.
5. Share your knowledge, wins and challenges with fellow industry professionals. Sharing best practices and openly exchanging ideas helps everyone grow and be successful. Bonus – Mentor someone who is interested in the industry. Whether it is a college student pursuing a degree in the Green Industry or someone who has the motivation and drive to work outdoors…our industry needs people now and in the future.
This year also marks the 20th Anniversary of the SEMNLA. Over the past 20 years, the mission has remained the same; to serve the regional educational, professional and networking needs of Southeast Michigan’s Nursery and Landscape Industry. We do this by providing education, collaboration and connections through events during the year. SEMNLA is always open to new ideas and ways to grow our industry through gathering opportunities to share ideas and connect with other like-minded Green Industry professionals. If you have ideas to share, please get involved. The SEMNLA Chapter is comprised of all MNLA members in the counties of: Lenawee, Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, and Wayne. Currently we have 582 members – 331 Business Firms and 251 Key Employees.
The past 20 years have brought many changes, many of which have direct effects on our industry. From the price of goods and services, changing weather patterns, and an ever-evolving labor market, here are just a few facts from 2003 when the SEMNLA began . . .
• Gas was $1.89 per gallon.
• Highest temperature recorded in Michigan was 92 degrees on July 4th.
• The price of a full sized F250 Super Duty Regular Cab XLT Pickup 2D 8 ft started at $25,690.
• The average college graduate had $18,630 in student loan debt.
• Unemployment rate was 6.0 % in 2003.
Whether looking back on the SEMNLA’s 20-year Anniversary or my personal 30 years in the industry, one thing is for sure, time marches on and I remain optimistic. It is important to take a moment, be present, and enjoy the now of what you are doing. Whether you’re riding a lawn mower, laying brick pavers, estimating landscape quotes, or delivering invoices, I hope you are filled with both pride and gratitude that you are part of an industry that has the ability to help beautify this planet that we share.
Michigan Landscape Design Services
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