ALCA November/December 2023

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November/December 2023



Aussie Out. quarter page ad

November/December 2023 The





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President’s Message........................................................................................ 4 Risks of Equipment Leasing ............................................................................ 6 ALCA Sponsors................................................................................................ 6 New Members................................................................................................. 7 Calendar of Events.......................................................................................... 7 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - High Desert Design............................... 8 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - HMI Commercial Landscaping............ 8 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - CareScape, Inc..................................... 9 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - Quail Run Landscapes LLC................... 9 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - Santa Rita Landscaping......................10 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - Sunburst Landscaping Inc. .................10 2022 ALCAs Excellence Awards - Service Direct Landscaping.................11 2022 Excellence in Landscaping Award Sponsors.....................................11 ALCA Member Profile: Hill & Usher............................................................. 12 ALCA Member Profile: All Seasons Wholesale Growers........................... 13 ALCA Member Profile: Evergreen Turf......................................................... 15 ALCA Member Profile: Hunter...................................................................... 16 ALCA Workshops........................................................................................... 18 Three ways to transform your business in the next decade......................... 19 ALCA Member Mixer - Ewing Outdoor Supply..........................................20 ALCA Member Mixer - Rainbow Ecoscience..............................................20 Resource Guide/Ad Index...........................................................................22


Nickie Velten DTR Landscape Development, LLC

Immediate Past President Vice President

Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association

Kim Kleski Kleski & Associates


Specializing in: ♦ Eucalyptus papuana ‘aparrerinja’ ♦ Eremophila – emu bushes ♦ Callistemon varieties ♦ Acacia species ♦ Casaurina “cousin it” ♦ Melaleucas

To schedule delivery or walkabout: Dani, Horticultural Sales Specialist


Association Outsource Services, Inc. (916) 961-9999



Australian Native Plant Growers Extensive Eucalyptus Plantation Paul D. Chambers, C.H.


Dwight Faires Creative Environments Warren Runcorn ABC Scapes Inc

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Diversified Print Solutions 5425 E Bell Road, Suite 105 Scottsdale, Arizona 85254 Phone: 602-626-7091


Beth Postma All Season Wholesale Growers

Executive Director


24” Box up to 48” Box Arizona Certified Nursery Certifiable to ship out-of-state Contract Growing for Large Projects SALES:

The ALCA Influence is the official publication of the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association. ALCA and The ALCA Influence assume no responsibility for the statements or opinions appearing in articles under an author’s name. The services of an attorney or accountant should be sought in legal and tax matters. For editorial information, contact the Arizona Landscape Contractors’ Association, 5425 E. Bell Road, Suite 105, Scottsdale, Arizona 85254; telephone (602) 626-7091 e-mail The Participant hereby irrevocably grants the Company permission to use the Participant’s voice, image and likeness in any photograph, video, internet site, audio-recording, and in any and all of its publications, including website entries (collectively “Promotional Materials”) without payment or any other consideration.

Hunter Hawkins 602.625.1566

Mo Ibarra 602.763.8004

Eric Johnson 602.738.8733

Office 602.243.6125 • Fax 602.243.3764 3401 E. Southern Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85040 November/December 2023 T THE ALCA INFLUENCE



Join Our Team as a Volunteer!

2023 Coming to an End


ith 2023 quickly coming to an end, I want to say how proud I am to have worked with such a remarkable group of people this year. Over the course of 2023, as a team, we have overcome many challenges and I couldn’t be more grateful for everyone’s hard work. We are only a small part of what makes this association so successful, you and our members, have made ALCA the success it is today. Each person plays an integral role in ALCA’s advancement as an association. If you haven’t done so before, I encourage you to join a committee that you are passionate about. There are many committees that would welcome Nickie Velten you with open arms. Do 2023 ALCA President you like planning events? Join the PR/Membership committee and help plan our next golf tournament. Are you passionate about protecting subcontractors’ rights in regard to issues such as prompt pay laws, retention issues or lien rights? Consider joining the Government Affairs committee and help ensure subcontractors rights in Arizona. Make 2024 the year to join a committee! Without the help of our volunteers, ALCA would not be the highly regarded association we know it to be. I would also like to thank the 418 members who continue to be faithful to the association and committed to the enhancement of professionalism in the landscape industry. If you haven’t already, mark your calendars for ALCA’s biggest event of the year – the Excellence in Landscape Awards gala will be held on November 18, 2023 at Wildhorse Pass Resort. Grab your best attire and join us for a night of entertainment and fun, as we honor deserving contractors for some of the most beautiful projects in the state. If you are not yet a member, please contact me and come as my guest. Come see what the association is all about and how you can get involved. Looking into the future, I am eager for what 2024 will bring. New ideas, new growth and new opportunities for Arizona’s landscape contractors. I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season. Cheers, Nickie Velten DTR Landscape Development

Arizona Landscape Contractor’s Association 5425 E Bell Road, Suite 105 Scottsdale, Arizona 85254 | 602-626-7091

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Risks of Equipment Leasing

As with any contract, understand your potential obligations when entering into an equipment lease. By Kent Lang


easing expensive equipment is a valuable business strategy that allows contractors to stay “lean and mean” without tying up precious capital. Equipment leasing is not without it risks, however, and a recent Arizona lawsuit over crane repair and rental costs illustrates the importance of understanding the lease agreement and what can happen when things go wrong. A few years ago, Sepesy Crane Services* leased several industrial cranes from W ilheit L easing.* The lease agreement between Sepesy and W ilheit required Sepesy (a) to pay all repair costs (except for normal wear and tear) during the lease Kent Lang term and (b) to continue to pay rent during any repair periods. While one of the leased cranes was in Sepesy’s possession, its telescopic boom was damaged, making the crane inoperable. The damaged crane was stored for some time at Sepesy’s property before a towing company was hired to transport the damaged crane to a repair company. After loading the crane and leaving Sepesy’s yard, the tow truck driver drove into a ditch, flipping the trailer and damaging the crane’s exterior. The crane was eventually repaired and returned to service, but only after more than 14 months of downtime, starting with the original damage to the boom. Wilheit sued Sepesy for various claims arising from the lease agreement, including payment for rent and repairs. During the litigation, Sepesy’s insurance company paid $161,500 to Wilheit

for repairs related to the crane’s telescopic boom, and the towing company (or its insurer) paid $85,900 to Wilheit for the damage sustained in the towing accident. Unfortunately for Sepesy, its exposure did not end with repairs to the crane. At trial, the judge also found that, per the lease agreement, Sepesy was responsible for the rental payments for the entire period during which the crane was inoperable – from the time of the original damage to the boom, through the time it was stored on Sepesy’s yard and during its short tow trip, and while all of the boom and exterior repairs were being made – until the crane was finally returned to service. The total rental bill was $269,000 ($19,000 per month for approximately 14 months). To make matters worse for Sepesy, the court also ordered it to pay Wilheit’s attorneys’ fees. The moral of this story for contractors is clear. When you rent equipment, especially the expensive kind: • be clear on what your responsibilities are; • try to anticipate your financial exposure if things go badly (did either Wilheit or Sepesy foresee that a tow truck would land their crane in a ditch?); • run the contract by your insurance company to confirm your coverage; and • be confident that you can survive the outof-pocket costs that could stem from your lease obligations. *The company names in this article are fictitious, and any similarity to actual company names is coincidental.


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PLATINUM SPONSORS A to Z Equipment Rental & Sales All Season Wholesale Growers Arizona CLA LLC Belgard/Superlite Block an Oldcastle Co Civano Growers Cutting Edge Curbing Sand & Rock – a SiteOne Landscape Supply Company Desert Tree Farm Enterprise Fleet Management Evergreen Turf Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply Hill & Usher Insurance & Surety Horizon Distributors Hunter Industries/FX Luminaire LeBaron & Carroll Rain Bird Corporation SiteOne Landscape Supply South Coast Wholesale Southwest Sod, Inc. The Synthetic Grass Store /Arizona Turf Masters Toro Company/Unique Lighting Systems/Irritrol Vermeer Mountain West West Coast Turf

RDO Equipment Co. - Phoenix

Professional, Personalized, and Experienced Guidance in the Sale and Acquisition of Arizona Businesses


Special Thank You to our ALCA Sponsors

for you.

Hill & Usher’s Trim Risk for Maintenance or Construction

Jim Magrogan

Designated Broker

602.667.1848 •

Hill & Usher • 3033 North 44th Street, #300 • Phoenix, AZ 85018

NEW MEMBERS BlackSheep Landscapes

Jack Sagrillo 14154 W Dahlia Dr, Surprise, AZ 85379 (303) 564-7797 Yard maintenance, tree planting, tree removal, tree and shrub trimming, pond maintenance, turf cleaning, power washing, and waste removal. Contractor Class 1

Coy Landscaping & Maintenance LLC

Kristin Powell 2915 E Jones Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85040 (602) 276-5177 | Coy Landscaping & Maintenance, Inc. is a family-owned, full-service commercial landscape company. Services we provide include maintenance.

Ground Solutions LLC

Ken Romero 3517 E Robin Ln, Scottsdale, AZ 85050 (480) 285-8557 | Started in 1996 services include Residential, Commercial, ROW, HOA Weed Control on landscapes, turf, and bare ground, fertilization of trees & shrubs, exterior invasive Pest control on plants & trees, and Olive tree spraying Valley-wide. Contractor Class 2

One-Stop Construction Landscaping LLC

Oscar Lara 1292 S 5th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364 (928) 920-6945 | One-Stop Construction Landscaping LLC is a dual-licensed specialty subcontractor holding a CR-21 (hardscaping and irrigation systems); practicing in Yuma, AZ. DBA One-Stop Construction Landscaping LLC. Established in 2021 handling residential landscape construction and, now, commercial landscape construction. Contractor Class 1

Red Shovel

Kenny Grebe PO Box 91598, Albuquerque, NM 87199 (505) 463-0017 | Residential landscape; construction, grounds maintenance, irrigation, tree care, turf care, pest, weed control, yard clean up and holiday lights. Contractor Class 1

Southwest Environments Landscape Services Inc

Jaime Vega 2224 Ilex Ave, San Diego, CA 92154 (619) 498-1891 | Southwest Environments Landscape Services Inc is a full service landscape company. Contractor Class 2

Sustainable Landscape Services

Lara Katler 3249 S 39th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85009 (602) 253-0157 | We are a full-service Landscape Contractor. We specialize in Commercial Landscape Maintenance, Irrigation Management, Tree Care Services, and property enhancements. Contractor Class 1


Ken Ward 971 N Gilbert Rd, Suite 202, Gilbert, AZ 85234 (480) 824-0771 | Aggregates Associate Class 4

Keeper’s Commercial Cleaning

Carlos Hernandez 2260 E University Dr, Mesa, AZ 85213 (480) 306-7100 | Keepers is a commercial cleaning and landscape company. We do facilities management. We are located in Mesa, AZ, and service the entire state of Arizona. Contractor Class 1

Mountain States Wholesale Nursery David Willey PO Box 2500, Litchfield Park, AZ 85340 (623) 247-8509 | We are a wholesale nursery specializing in water-efficient plants. Associate Class 4

NexGen Landscaping

Chase Farris 1927 E Secretariat Dr, Tempe, AZ 85284 (480) 237-2522 Commercial + HOA Landscape Install, Maintenance, and Tree Care. Branch off of large commercial landscape installs company. Contractor Class 3

Onsite Landscape

Doug Strong 6125 E Indian School Rd, #200 Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 429-8885 | We are a full-service landscape firm based in the Scottsdale area. We have been doing design, build, and maintenance in the Arcadia, Paradise Valley & Scottsdale areas for over the past 16 years. Contractor Class 4

2023 Calendar of Events NOVEMBER 2 ACIT – Day 2 9 ACIT – Day 3 18 Excellence in Landscaping Awards Program – Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass 23/24 Thanksgiving – ALCA Office Closed



Tucson Holiday Mixer – Sponsored by Horizon Distributors 13 Phoenix Holiday Mixer 25 Christmas Day – ALCA Office Closed JANUARY 2024 1 17 18 20 24 25 26 27

New Years Day – ALCA Office Closed Member Mixer ACLP Plant ID – ALCA Office or Online ACLP Plant ID – Prerecorded with Live Facilitator Board Meeting ACLP Soils & Fertilizer – ALCA Office & Online SLM – ALCA Office & Online ACLP Plant ID – Tucson

November/December 2023 T THE ALCA INFLUENCE



2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards High Desert Design

Sponsored by:

Riggs, Residential Installation $250,000 - $350,000, Award of Excellence

2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards HMI Commercial Landscaping

Sponsored by:

City of Avondale City Hall-Civic Center Commercial Installation $50,001 - $100,000 Judges Award

Maricopa City Court Houses-South Tower Commercial Maintenance $20,001 - $25,000, Award of Distinction



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Maricopa County Facilities-Southwest Justice Court Commercial Maintenance Over $1 Million Judges Award


2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards CareScape, Inc

Sponsored by:

Cortona, Commercial Maintenance $50,001 - $75,000, Award of Excellence Zanjero Trails, Commercial Maintenance $300,001 - $500,000, Award of Excellence

2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards Quail Run Landscapes LLC

Lot 1883 Residential Installation $350,001 - $500,000 Award of Excellence

Sponsored by:

Lot 1885, Residential Installation $350,001 - $500,000, Award of Excellence

November/December 2023 T THE ALCA INFLUENCE



2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards Santa Rita Landscaping

Sponsored by: January 8th Memorial Commercial Installation $100,001 - $250,000 Award of Excellence

Spross Residence Residential Installation $100,001 - $150,000 Judges Award

La Sonora Senior Living at Dove Mountain, Commercial Maintenance $20,001 - $25,000 Award of Distinction

Pulte Rocking K Models (Vail Parke at Rocking K by Pulte Homes), Model Home Installation Judges Award

2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards Sunburst Landscaping, Inc

X-Phoenix, Special Project, Judges Award



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Elliott Residence Residential Installation $250,000 - $350,000 Judges Award

Sponsored by:


2022 Excellence in Landscaping Awards Service Direct Landscaping

Sponsored by:

Rhythm HOA Commercial Maintenance $150,001 $200,000 Award of Distinction

2022 Excellence in Landscaping Award Sponsors Rain Bird Corporation

Rain Bird Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and provider of irrigation products and services. Daniel Porter | (602) 920-7765

Arid Zone Trees

Dedicated to providing quality trees to the landscape industry that are appropriate to the Desert Southwest. (480) 987-9094 Arcadia Groves, Commercial Maintenance $30,001 - $50,000, Judges Award

Evergreen Turf, Inc

Evergreen Turf has become the major sod provider not just for homeowners, and landscapers, but for Arizona’s demanding golf courses and sports facilities. 480-456-1199

Courtesy Fleet/Commercial

Courtesy Fleet/Commercial is a full-service Chevrolet, Isuzu dealership that also provides Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, Nissan and Volvo vehicles. (602) 604-3040

Sprinkler World of Arizona, Inc West Brook Village HOA, Commercial Maintenance $300,001 - $500,000, Award of Distinction

Going strong since we opened our doors in 1975, we provide irrigation & landscape supplies. Metro Phoenix: (800) 678-3764 Metro Tucson: (800) 707-9335

Civano Growers

We are a family owned and operated business that specializes in growing native and arid-adapted plants for the Southwest. Our 80-acre growing facility is located in Sahuarita, Arizona. We also have a retail shop that is open to the public in Tucson. PO Box 1100, Sahaurita, AZ 85629 (520) 746-9205

SiteOne Landscape Supply

Summit II at Silverstone, Commercial Maintenance $30,001 - $50,000, Judges Award

Chamberlain Residence, Residential Installation $150,001 - $250,00, Judges Award

SiteOne has everything you are looking for with a wide selection of irrigation, lighting, turf and landscape maintenance, nursery and pest control supplies. 1-800-SITEONE | (800) 748-3663 November/December 2023 T THE ALCA INFLUENCE



Feature: Hill & Usher & Trim Risk

25+ Years of Service to Landscape, Lawn Care and Tree Professionals

About us.

Get in touch with Hill & Usher

Hill & Usher proudly celebrates 26 years in business in 2023. Like you, On your next renewal, get to know Hill & Usher by calling one of we have enjoyed solid years of growth most years, and those occasional our Sales Professionals at 602-956-4220 or We years with stalls and learning experiences. appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

A long History.

Richard wrote Arizona’s Prompt Payment statute that was signed in to law in 2001. His speaking on indemnity and risk transfer fairness issues led to reforms in nearly a dozen states. Richard leads a team of 40 insurance professionals in Arizona focused on fairness, family and lifestyle for clients and employees. Hill & Usher realizes insurance is a necessity but fights hard for premium reductions and improved insurance coverage.

How to Control Increased Insurance Rates.

Inflation is well in our midst. Our goal is to beat inflationary impulses for our customers who strongly control losses, while mitigating premium increases for valued customers who aren’t able to reduce losses. As Steve Shields notes, “our landscaper clients can go two directions, and we try to have them prepared as well as possible. One direction is to shop hard with insurance, which we always do. We have a strong team and solid insurance carriers who put your account to market. The better, more sustainable long term strategy is to promote safety within the organization, often and regularly. Many of our clients abided by social distancing measures and in so doing, put a pause on in-person safety meetings. We were surprised to see what kind of a difference and the toll taken by a lack of tool box talks had on experience with both Workers Compensation and Automobile claims wrought from a change in routine safety conversations.”

Let’s talk Safety, Training, Cyber Liability and Hiring.

These major risks go hand in hand. We preach an environment of awareness of these big known risks and emerging risks. It’s easy for your accountant to pay the wrong person, at your cost through a cyber / social engineering loss. Often its uninsured because its either a neglected risk or an unwanted expense of insurance.

Hard Markets.

Auto insurance is a problem with expensive auto repairs and increases in tort activity for bodily injury and uninsured / underinsured motorist claims. The best managed fleets should expect an 8% increase in Business Auto insurance premiums. Workers Compensation has traditionally decreased since the 1990s in Arizona. It’s down another 6% for most buyers today automatically, based on filed NCCI rates. Watch the rates as insurance companies will change rates upward (increase) to accommodate automatic rate reductions. 12


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Now part of the Site One team, Cutting Edge Curbing Sand & Rock Is your one stop shop for all your landscape needs. We are a hauling company with a fully stocked retail yard and a proud distributor for Belgard, Southwest Sod, Evergreen Turf, Phoenix Paver, and AZ Best Block. We carry over fifty colors of landscape rock, river products, soil mixes, rip rap and boulders. Our knowledgeable sales staff will insure that your order is accurate and our experienced drivers will get your materials to you on time. Our certified scale ensures that you are receiving the correct amount of material ordered. Call or come by today. Monday-Friday 6A-5P Saturday 7A -3P 7540 N 67th Ave, Bldg. A Glendale, AZ 85301 Office 602-353-1020 Fax 602-353-1027




What’s New at All Season Wholesale Growers


a proud supporter of the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association since 2006, many of you already know us at All Season Wholesale Growers. If you have not been to the nursery or just haven’t had the time to stop • Growing Technology – we use the latest horticultural practices to by, we welcome you to drop in and see our expansion or just visit with the ensure you are purchasing a healthy tree or plant. From root prunstaff. The nursery is stuffed full of beautiful plants and trees and this is ing tree containers to aggressive weed suppression, we want your the perfect time to prepare and order for fall planting. plants to thrive once planted on your jobsite. • Trees – we currently have more than 1,500 24” box/25 gallon trees • Dedicated Staff – from hands-on ownership to the production/ ready to go. We are one of the few nurseries that also offers many pulling crew, our main goal is your repeat business. We will do tree species in 15 gallon. everything we can to get your employees in and out quickly and • Shrubs and Vines – four acres of tropical, semi-tropical and low to provide professional horticultural knowledge to assist you with water use shrubs and vines ranging in one to fifteen gallon. landscape projects. • Accents – we offer a variety of agaves, yuccas, desert spoons and • Clean and Organized – we pride ourselves on having a very neat various low water use, accent plants. and tidy nursery. Please stop in and see for yourself ! • Convenient Location – we are located on 32nd Street, just two Beth Postma and Tina Heede will be happy to assist you with bids, plant miles south of Interstate 10 in South Phoenix. identification and setting up deliveries. The office offers you a combined • Delivery – we offer delivery on orders larger than $500.00 for 50 years of nursery/landscape experience. We would love to give you a $60.00 in town and priced depending on distance outside of the tour of the nursery and hope to see you soon. Phoenix metropolitan area.

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Grass in the Desert? Why, Yes!


herever people live and play, there is a need for grass! COVID taught us a lot of lessons, (most of them we hope to never repeat), but one of the lessons that resonates with our industry is that people more than ever, want to be outdoors. They want fresh air. They want to connect with nature. They want to live a healthy lifestyle. For anyone with small children or pets, that means natural grass under their bare feet! Literally! The pandemic brought better than expected sales to the sod industry. The pandemic helped increase the rounds of golf, which in turn, created a demand for sod repair work and upgrades to golf courses. Sports fields are increasing in demand as youth sports are at an all-time high. More people are working from home, realizing the need to upgrade their outdoor living space. Natural grass saw a huge resurgence as people realized that life outdoors is more pleasant with cool grass underfoot. As we face record drought and record heat, many people feel that grass has no place in the desert, but the reality is, if people are going to live in this desert, then the responsible use of grass will be a part of our lives. How do we balance the use of grass while saving water? At Evergreen Turf our first priority has always been to help our customers find the best grass for their specific needs. Evergreen grows more than 10 different grasses, just for Arizona, each with its own specific use to ensure the success of our recreational space in the Sonoran Desert. TifTuf has made a splash the last few years. After rigorous testing in Arizona and California, we can confirm that it is the most drought tolerant bermudagrass on the market today. You will begin to see it’s use on golf courses and sport fields first. Fairways have already been converted at Alta Mesa CC, The Biltmore, Pebble Creek GC, and a number of other local golf courses. The Arizona Cardinals have upgraded their stadium with TifTuf along with a number of High Schools. We are beginning to see homeowners request TifTuf as they hope to lower their water bill by using this grass. As landscapes and trees mature, we see shade lines extending into grass areas. No grass can tolerate 100% shade in Arizona, but TifGrand and Palmetto St. Augustine both tolerate as little as 4-6 hours of sunlight. The right grass for the right application! Midiron is still king of our landscape grasses, the main reason, it is the easiest grass to maintain, the easiest to overseed, and the best transitioning grass from overseeding. It can be mowed at 3 inches or half an inch, it is drought tolerant, and produces very little thatch. Tifway is still the standard for sports turf and golf course fairways Arizona. A durable hybrid that makes a great playing surface for athletes. Grown on soil or sand.

Tifgreen, once the standard for golf course putting greens, it is now used for high quality fairways, home lawns and even a few low use sports fields. Honorable mention: Other grasses that have specialized uses are MiniVerde Ultra-dwarf, TifEagle Ultra-dwarf, and TifDwarf. Evergreen Turf was established 24 years ago right here in Arizona. We now have operations in New Mexico, Southwest Texas, and California. No matter which of our farms you deal with, you can be sure that we will help you choose the right grass, for the right location, grown the right way!

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November/December 2023 T THE ALCA INFLUENCE



Tackling Sustainability Challenges One Irrigation Controller at a Time


rom residential landscapes to agricultural zones to sports fields, a well-managed watering plan is a must for maintaining usable green spaces, growing food, and connecting people with the outdoors. Smart irrigation plays a vital role in achieving new levels of sustainability for the environment and the communities where we live, work, and play. One component of smart irrigation that is frequently ignored is the practice of upgrading older or malfunctioning irrigation controllers to newer, more efficient units—and disposing of old items in an environmentally responsible manner. Generally, irrigation products are meant to go unnoticed. They’re installed underground or in hard-to-reach places and are designed to blend in with the surrounding environment. When all parts of an irrigation system are working as intended, it’s easy to forget that these products are all around us. By the same token, we forget they must be replaced periodically and responsibly disposed of. This is where Blue Star Recyclers comes in. The award-winning 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization creates jobs for people with autism and other disabilities by recycling electronics and other e-waste. Blue Star Recyclers is tackling sustainability challenges in the irrigation industry one controller at a time by ethically recycling old controllers and creating jobs in the process. Diverting waste from landfills directly benefits the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions generated during transportation and processing. Additionally, recycling the components allows them to be reused in new ways, which conserves natural resources. Finally, when these old controllers are removed, current-generation controllers can be installed in their place, saving significant amounts of water and energy. Since launching, Blue Star Recyclers has experienced breakout success and reached full sustainability. Over time, Blue Star Recyclers has increased its e-waste processing capacity from 250,000 pounds to 30 million pounds, making the organization the largest electronics recycler in Colorado. The team has grown as well, from six to over 100 employees across four facilities in two states.

At Hunter, we’re striving to advance our sustainability goals by developing new water-saving technologies, products, and services that will have an impact far beyond our industry. We salute the unsung heroes of the industry, like Blue Star Recyclers, for their commendable environmental and social achievements. To learn more about Blue Star Recyclers and the organization’s mission, visit

How the Hunter-Blue Star Recyclers Partnership Began

As part of our broader Corporate Social Responsibility goals, Hunter Industries established a target to achieve a zero-net-waste certification by 2030. This means at least 90% of our waste must be diverted from landfills. So far, we have recycled more than six tons of discarded irrigation controllers and helped pay for six days of employment for one Blue Star Recyclers team member. Hunter wants every irrigation controller in the world recycled. To achieve this goal, we need your help. That’s why we have expanded our Irrigation Controller Recycling Program to Hunter Preferred Program members nationwide. For more information, visit:

Elevating the Irrigation Industry

Blue Star Recyclers helps the irrigation industry achieve sustainability goals by making it easy to upgrade less efficient controllers to the current generation of smart controllers. These new internet-connected controllers automatically fine-tune irrigation schedules based on real-time conditions, saving significant amounts of water. Smart controllers offer two major benefits for the environment: conserving energy by updating irrigation schedules to prevent watering when it’s not needed, and saving water, the source of life for our communities. Additionally, Blue Star Recyclers has inspired industry organizations to put competition aside for the greater good by establishing industry-wide best practices for sustainability in the process. “We take our responsibility to the planet very seriously at Hunter Industries,” said Warren Gorowitz, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Hunter Industries. “By partnering with Blue Star Recyclers, we accelerate our ability to make positive social and environmental impacts that benefit local communities while safeguarding our world for future generations.” 16


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ALCA WORKSHOPS ALCP Irrigation Tucson & Phoenix

In September, ACLP Irrigation was held in Scottsdale at ALCA, on Zoom to remote students, and at the Randoph Center in Tucson to combined total of 90 students. In Tucson, Shannon Scott with AAA Landscape led the main presentation, and in Scottsdale, Ralph Holt preRalph Holt sented the foundational material. Shannon and Mike Wagner Ralph led participants step-by-step through an irrigation system from start to end. They detailed common irrigation components and terms used in the field, shared the importance of using ET to guide watering schedules stressed the value in matching precipitation rates and the importance of saving water using efficiency upgrades. Students then broke into groups for the hands-on breakout sessions: Mike Wagner of SiteOne Landscape Supply and Hanna Delosantos of AAA Landscape led Controllers; Tony Tony Acosta Mike DeRoest & Students Acosta of Genesis Landscape Solutions, Marvin Trejo of Santa Rita Landscaping and Brian Zanni of AAA Landscape presented Valves; Ruben Arrieta of AAA Landscape presented the Pipe session in Tucson, and Matt DeRoest of Caretaker Landscape and Tree Management led Pipe & Sprinklers. Online students viewed the break-out sessions via pre-recorded videos, providing a flexible option for those that couldn’t join in person. Students benefitted from the extensive experience of these seasoned irrigators. Thank you, Shannon, Ralph, Hanna, Mike, Tony, Brian, Marvin, Matt and Ruben for taking the time to share your passion of irrigation and water conservation with our members!



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Rob Kater with Native Resources International led a lively SLM® certification workshop on Friday, September 22, to nearly 50 online and in-person students. Rob shared his expertise on sustainable Rob Kater practices in landscape Design, Construction, Enhancements and Maintenance. Students received ALCA’s new SLM® book which details practices that strive to: preserve limited and valuable natural resources such as water, soil, and fuel; to reduce waste generation and pollution; and to support the natural growth habit and longevity of plant material; all while creating more beautiful, healthy, and efficiently maintained landscapes. After attending the workshop and passing the SLM® exam, participants will be listed on the ALCA website as SLM® certified under their company name. Thank you, Rob, for your time and dedication in presenting the sustainable landscaping practices in SLM® to our members!


Three ways to transform your business in the next decade. Article by Robert Clinkenbeard


raditional business operating models are obsolete. Hierarchies are out. Flat, agile organizations are in. Fragmentation is out. Integration is in. These past few years have been all about acceleration: ramping up the speed at which we work, adopting automation, and building a resilient, integrated business ecosystem run by technology. Up until now, companies were able to use a number of different options to address their

customer retention, puts sustainability into practice, and recruits and retains forward-thinking employees with leadership potential. One of the biggest challenges will be maintaining your company culture. People leave jobs when the culture doesn’t work. Creating a culture that is difficult to leave is even more difficult when people have to adapt to new ways of working To increase your chances of survival, you’ll need to reduce your dependency on one profit center and think about ways to diversify to create additional revenue streams. If past strategies failed to excite customers, rethink your approach. Start managing risks and identify potential weak spots in your systems or processes, data security, and talent pipeline, and observe what’s changing with your customer. Study, predict and prepare for shifts in customer buying behaviors, needs and thresholds, and have a plan in place to pivot. Never forget that your customer pays the rent. Disruptions hit their businesses too and being proactive about what’s going on needs. We didn’t just have hybrid work, but in their world, could save yours. hybrid solutions and outsourcing came in. The major disadvantage in this is that each solution Final Note Things are changing so fast, to completely came with a customized silo of data and processes, and it was difficult for leaders to keep stay ahead of the game will require a culture of track and know the full scope of what was going innovation and a team of experts who can help on. Breaking down functional silos is easy when you address labor fluctuations and fulfill talent people talk to each other. Unifying technology needs. When you roll out an agile strategy across platforms, when the language of technology differs from app to app, is a lot harder. Transforming your business over the next decade and beyond will require simplification, consolidating, and streamlining to protect data, ensure continuity, and stay ahead of disruptions. To do this effectively, people will need to be trained, cultures will need to evolve, and bestin-class companies will need to scale internal change while simultaneously meeting the changing needs of customers.

your organization, it’s important to examine your bottom line and the various factors that impact it. This is especially true in the direct correlation you’ll see between using outside resources and independent consultants who can improve time to value and deliver greater ROI at scale across all of your organization.

About the Author

Robert Clinkenbeard is CEO of WILSON360, a business unit of The Radix Group, LLC. WILSON360 was formerly known as Bruce Wilson & Company, a legacy green industry consulting group founded by Bruce W ilson. Bruce remains with WILSON360 as Chairman. Contact Robert at to learn more. Look for to be launched Fall 2023.

Robert Clinkenbeard

Three Point Way Forward

• Embrace innovation and technologies that support people: customer satisfaction and loyalty, employee experience, and training that help achieve speed, agility, and value creation and delivery. • Invest in solutions that protects data and optimizes your backend: payroll, labor compliance, and advanced tracking that helps reduce operational overhead. • Future proof your business with a strategic plan that includes ways to increase November/December 2023 T THE ALCA INFLUENCE


ALCA MIXERS Member Mixer –Ewing Outdoor Supply

Member Mixer – Rainbow Ecoscience

What an incredible night we had at the ALCA Member Mixer on September 27, 2023, at OHSO Brewery! Though the evening was loud, the energy and enthusiasm in the room were truly unforgettable. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who joined us, making the event a tremendous success. Special thanks go out to our prospective members: Tracy from Best BBQ & Islands, Tim Warren with Kaizink, and Scott Fero with Fero LLC. Your presence added a special touch to the evening, and we hope you felt the warmth of our ALCA community. A huge shout-out to Jim Ramos with Rainbow Ecoscience for sponsoring the event and OHSO Brewery for providing a fantastic venue. Your support is greatly appreciated!

W hat a bubbl y blast we had at the Elevated Seltzer mixer event! We want to raise a toast of gratitude to each and every one of you who joined us and made the evening unforgettable. Your presence truly added the perfect fizz to the event! A special shoutout goes to our amazing sponsor, Ewing Outdoor Supply, for not only making this event possible but also for gifting us with some seriously fabulous raffle prizes. Congratulations to our lucky raffle winners!

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