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Growing Concern


May 2014

A p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h e O h i o La n d s c a p e A s s o c i a t i o n

Landscape Industry Certified Technician Hands-On Test July 24, 2014 PAGE 15

OLA Scholarship Golf Classic August 7, 2014 PAGE 7



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President’s column

Please Don’t Call Me A Salesman! Last month I wrote about the mentors I’ve had throughout my life and how important they have been to me, as well as the need to mentor someone else along the way. When I chose sales as my career (or sales chose me — depending on how you want to look at it) many of the people I looked to for guidance naturally were in the sales business. Some were in the green industry as vendors, manufacturers or other distributors. Most were very gracious in helping me early in my career, but all were put off by my comment when they referred to me as a “salesman.” I often shot back with, “Please don’t call me a salesman.” As soon as I uttered those words I knew exactly what they would say next, “Sales is an honorable profession and you should be proud to be called a salesman.” On the surface they were absolutely correct. Sales done right and honestly is a very noble profession, but the connotation to me from experiences I’d had, was a negative one. The used car salesman has always been the first image that pops into my head when the word comes up. I think all of us have had

bad sales experiences throughout our lives where customer service and satisfaction are mere slogans and not to be practiced. I have never understood the philosophy of “say anything to get the sale and don’t worry about the details.” Over promise and under deliver unfortunately works in some cases and is a tempting shortcut. Let’s face it; it’s easier to talk than to do. My philosophy is the complete opposite. I never liked the term because I don’t really want to sell anything; I want it to be the customer’s idea. By looking at, listening to, and understanding my customers’ needs, I should already know what they want and be in the position to help them help themselves. If a customer feels like they were “sold,” it usually isn’t a warm fuzzy feeling. Chances of getting a referral from that customer is slim to none, and if they do reference you it is more than likely not in a positive light.

Joe Twardzik, CID Wolf Creek Company

I have never understood the philosophy of say anything to get the sale…

I also learned a lot, if not most, from my most valued consultants – my customers. By listening to them and helping them develop and improve their businesses rather than selling them something, they have helped continued on page 6 The Growing Concern x May 2014 x 3

Ta b l e o f c o n t e n t s M ay 2 0 1 4 w w w. o h i o l a n d s c a p e r s . o r g

Ohio’s Professional Green I n d u s t r y A s s o c i at i o n Ohio Landscape Association 9240 Broadview Road Broadview Heights, Ohio 44147 Phone: 440-717-0002 or 1-800-335-6521 Fax: 440-717-0004 Web: or Editor Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Association

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President’s Column

Please Don’t Call Me A Salesman!


Fiscal Fitness

Currency Exposure


For Safety Sake

Workers First Aid


Perennial Focus


Plant Of The Month

Crambe Kale

Viburnum nudum Possumhaw or Smooth Witherod Viburnum

Regular Writers Michael J. Donnellan, King Financial, Inc. Jim Funai, COLP, Cuyahoga Community College Shelley Funai, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Association Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, Bobbie’s Green Thumb Joe Twardzik, CID, Wolf Creek Company Advertising Information Submission deadline: 10th of month prior to publication month. For advertising and classified rates, please call 1-800-335-6521 Disclaimer The Ohio Landscape Association, its board of directors, staff and the editor of The Growing Concern neither endorse any product(s) or attest to the validity of any statements made about products mentioned in this, past or subsequent issues of this publication. Similarly, the opinions expressed in The Growing Concern are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Ohio Landscape Association.

Officers President Joe Twardzik, CID

24 Ohio Colleges and Career Centers

President-Elect Steve Moore

26 How Much are Your Employees

Treasurer Bryan Taynor

Shine in “Landscape Olympics” Really Worth?



Join Me in D.C.

Inside Every Issue

5 29 32

Welcome New Members Advertising Index ClassifiedS

Immediate Past President James Arch, ASLA OLA Staff Executive Director Sandy Munley Membership Coordinator Jean Koch

Directors Eric Brubeck, ASLA Adam Capiccioni Nathan Kowalsick Maria McConnell Cathy Serafin

Ca l e n d a r o f E V e n t s U p c o m i n g OL A m e e t i n g s , e d u c a t i o n s e m i n a r s a n d o t h e r g r e e n i n d u s t r y e v e n t s



17th Annual Snow and Ice Symposium produced by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA). Held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus OH. Visit for more information.

Join us for a fun day of golf, networking, food and liquid refreshments at Mallard Creek Golf Club in Columbia Station. For more information contact OLA at 1-800-335-6521 or visit


NGLCO Field Day AUGUST 12, 2014

SIMA Symposium JUNE 18-21, 2014

Landscape Industry Certified Technician – Exterior – Written Test JULY 23, 2014 Prove your professionalism. Register by May 20 to take the written portion of the test on July 23 and the hands-on portion on July 24 at OSU/ATI in Wooster, OH. For more information contact Jan Elliott at ATI at 330-287-7511 or visit LandscapeCertifiedOhio. org or

Landscape Industry Certified Technician – Exterior – Hands-On and Written Test JULY 24, 2014 Prove your professionalism. Register by May 20 to take the written and hands-on portions of the test on July 24 at OSU/ATI in Wooster, OH. For more information contact Jan Elliott at ATI at 330-287-7511 or visit or

OLA Scholarship Golf Classic AUGUST 7, 2014

This year’s field day will be hosted by Herman Losely & Sons Nursery in Perry, OH. For more information contact Annette Howard at 440-241-7969, or visit


The Ohio Landscape Association is delighted to welcome the following new members to the association: ASSOCIATE MEMBER: Mulch Madness, LLC 4575 State Road Peninsula, OH 44264 (330) 342-0361 Tara Palladino

STUDENT MEMBERS: Gates Mills Environmental Center: Ricky Rugg Jarren Snype

The Growing Concern x May 2014 x 5

President’s column continued from pg 3 me grow both as a person and a salesman. (OK, I said the word!) I have softened on the label over the years because I’ve witnessed some awesome people in the profession, and from some others, I’ve learned what not to do. Whether you are providing services in landscape, hardscape, lighting, water features or irrigation, educate your customer as you listen to their needs and wants. You want to sell your services, but remember your customers have to live with the results. Also remember that everyone in your company is in sales, whether it’s the owner, employee, receptionist, or accounts receivable person. They all touch the customer in some small way and can either add or subtract from the experience. After seeing all of the winners at the recent OLA Awards banquet, it is quite obvious that a lot of “good” sales are going on in our area, and our scholarship recipients bring great hope to our industry’s future. Help keep the perception of the word “salesman” heading in the right direction.

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6 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association


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Acct. No. ________________________________________________________________________________________ Exp. Date_______ Name on Card ________________________________________________ Signature ___________________________________________ Billing Address + Zipcode for Card ___________________________________________________ Last Three Digits on Signature Line___________ Make checks payable and send to: Ohio Landscape Association, 9240 Broadview Rd, Broadview Hts., OH 44147 Register online, by phone, mail, or fax: Phone 440-717-0002 or 1-800-335-6521 • Fax 440-717-0004 •

Fiscal Fitness

Michael J. Donnellan King Financial, Inc.

Currency Exposure Market volatility has been a big topic the first quarter of 2014, but dramatic currency moves seemed to be the main topic on the financial news channels. The Argentinian peso and Russian ruble plunged, while Coca-Cola reported lower-than-expected earnings, attributing it to weaker international currencies. In the United States, most investors are exposed to foreign currency fluctuations in their portfolios, either through global companies like Coca-Cola or direct ownership of foreign assets including stocks, bonds and real estate. According to the Investment Company Institute, over $1.5 trillion, or 12% of U.S. mutual fund assets, was invested in global equity funds at the beginning of 2013. Over the last decade advisors and individual investors have been looking overseas even more for greater diversification and returns. Institutional investors and large multi-national corporations commonly hedge currency risk with forward contracts. How do individual investors protect their portfolios from currency exposure, since those options are not easily available? Traditional hedges, such as gold, were always considered the ultimate hedge against inflation. This theory has not had much success in recent times, as gold dropped over 25% in 2013 alone. It can be used as a hedge, but shouldn’t be the sole strategy. continued on page 10

8 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

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Fiscal Fitness continued from pg 8 Individuals now have the opportunity to participate actively in currency investing or greatly reduce their exposure from international investments through some new mutual funds or Exchange Traded Funds. Some of these funds invest in high-grade bonds in developed and developing nations but hedges the currency risk. Like any bond fund, they face credit and interest rate risk, but by inexpensively hedging out the currency risk, the portfolio managers eliminate the added uncertainty of currency swings. Other funds can invest in a specific country, such as Japan and hedge the Japanese yen. The Nikkei Stock Index gained over 40% in 2013, but the value of the Japanese yen fell 20%against a basket of other major currencies. Other ETFs or mutual funds can give an investor the opportunity to diversify out of the U.S. dollar into other currencies. Once an option only for future traders or Swiss bank account holders, individuals can now bet on foreign currencies against the U.S. dollar. Most investors are overexposed to investments in the United States. International stock and global companies are an answer, but are not true diversification. Over the next decade, I believe you will see a large number of funds opening to take advantage of the Chinese currency and bond market. The yuan (Chinese unit of currency) is primed to be a popular choice to hedge against U.S. dollars and European currencies. According to the London-based Center for

10 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Economics and Business Research, China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy in 2028, as Chinese officials slowly loosen their stranglehold on their currency. The currency’s propensity to appreciate is affected by China’s greater economic growth and rate of increase in the standard of living. Dangers include higher interest rates, potential price inflation, social unrest, economic and political policies and credit risk. In our ever-increasing globalized world, the role of foreign currencies in investment returns has become hard to ignore. Talk to your financial and tax advisors, to determine your specific needs and how to reach your goals.

Michael J. Donnellan is President of King Financial, Inc., in Strongsville, Ohio specializing in stock selection and retirement planning. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments. Phone number (440) 878-9676.

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F o r Sa f e t y Sa k e

Workers First Aid By Dr. Isabel Perry, “The Safety Doctor” Even in the safest workplace, accidents will happen. Knowing the right steps to take will help to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and without making the situation worse. When an accident occurs, whether it’s minor or serious, it should be reported immediately so that proper medical attention can be obtained. Only attempt to give first aid until help arrives. Be prepared to assist in any emergency. Know the telephone numbers to report an accident including “911.” Then do what you can for the individual or individuals who are hurt.

Minor cuts and scratches: • C  lean and cover to prevent contamination

Foreign particles in the eye: • N  ever rub the eye to remove a particle • L  ift the upper eyelid and pull it outward and down over the lower eyelid to induce tears, which can wash out small particles • I f the particle is floating on the surface of the eyeball or under the eyelid, you can try to remove it with the corner of a clean piece of cloth. • N  ever try to remove an object imbedded in the eye; have the victim lie flat, cover both eyes with sterile pads and bandage until medical help arrives. Try to minimize movement as that could make it go deeper.

There are many reasons why a person might lose consciousness… Severe Bleeding: • T  ry to stop the bleeding if possible • Have the victim lie down and apply pressure on the wound with a sterile pad or the cleanest piece of cloth you can find • If the cloth become saturated with blood – keep adding more pads – do not remove any of them • If the wound is on an arm or leg, you can raise the wounded part above the heart • Continue to apply direct pressure • NEVER use a tourniquet unless you’re willing to lose a limb to save a life. Also, NEVER remove a tourniquet once it is applied.

Broken Bones • Unless the person is in danger, don’t move them until the broken bones are stabilized by splints. Splinting should be done by a professional • If the accident could have caused broken bones, again, don’t move the victim unless there is a danger, until a medical professional can assess the damage and direct the application of any splints that may be needed continued on page 14

12 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association










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F o r Sa f e t y Sa k e continued from pg 12 Chemical Exposure: • I f splashed with a chemical, the best treatment is to flush the areas that came into contact with the chemical with water for 15 minutes • Th  is includes chemical that may have been splashed into the eyes. You may need to hold the eyelids open gently to make sure they are properly rinsed. • A  fter 15 minutes of flushing, seek medical attention immediately.

Shock: It is not unusual for someone to also be in shock • A  re they weak and confused? • I s their skin pale, cold and clammy? • D  o they feel nauseated, or like they are going to faint? • D  o their eyes appear vacant with dilated pupils? If they have any of these symptoms, take these actions: • H  ave them lie down – they should be flat on their backs with their feet slightly elevated. • I f they have head injuries, the head should be elevated on pillows. • P  lace a blanket over them – keep them warm • D  on’t give them any fluids • G  et professional help immediately

Unconscious: There are many reasons why a person might lose consciousness: falls, fainting, heart attack or stroke, or possibly being overcome by chemical fumes such as carbon monoxide or hydrogen sulfide. If a person is unconscious: • M  ake sure they’re breathing • G  et medical help immediately • I f they’re bleeding – try to stop it • D  o not move them unless they are in danger of further injury If you suspect that they have been overcome by chemical fumes – do not attempt to rescue them unless you are properly trained and have all the necessary equipment. Don’t become a victim yourself while trying to help.

14 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Recap: • All injuries should be reported • Minor cuts and scratches need to be cleaned and bandaged • Don’t try to remove imbedded particles from the eyes; only particles that float or are under the eyelid • Apply constant pressure to stop bleeding and possibly elevate the wound. Only use a tourniquet as a last resort. • Broken bones should be splinted by a professional before moving • Flush any chemical exposure with water for 15 minutes; hold eyelids open to flush if eyes were splashed • Shock victims should be kept warm and quiet until help arrives • Attempt rescues only if you are trained properly and equipped • Do not move injured persons until medical help arrives, unless the injury is minor or the person is in danger Knowing what to do when an accident occurs can prevent further injury and even save a life!

Dr. Isabel Perry prescribes solutions to reduce risk, costs and increase production for all types of organizations. Dr. Perry is an Orlando, Florida based Safety Professional with over 20 years of broad-based safety experience including: safety speaker, safety consultant, expert witness, and former safety executive at a Fortune 50 company. Her clients include many multinational firms. Dr. Perry can be contacted at:, phone: 407-291-1209.

Stand Out

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By earning your Landscape Industry Certified Technician certification, you send a message to your clients and/or employers that you’ve met and achieved the industry standard, and have demonstrated a thorough understanding of all the facets of your job. 2014 Landscape Industry Certified Technician Written & Hands-on Test Dates Registration deadline for the hands-on test is May 20, 2014. July 23 - WRITTEN TEST (Ohio State ATI in Wooster) July 24 - HANDS ON & WRITTEN TEST (Ohio State ATI in Wooster)

REGISTER TODAY! Deadline to register for the hands-on test is May 20, 2014. For additional information about the test, registration information or study materials, visit, or call The Ohio State ATI at 330-287-7511 or 330-287-0100.

Perennial Focus

Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD Bobbie’s Green Thumb



This perennial kale, hardy in zones 5 to 8, is not an edible, but it is highly ornamental. Crambe cordifolia (Giant Kale) is the species with which most gardeners are familiar. The foliage is similar to edible kale, large, deeply lobed, and crinkled at the base. The flower stalk will rise six feet in the air, bearing a multi-branched inflorescence with a multitude of tiny white flowers. To me, it resembles Baby’s Breath on steroids. Allow four feet of space, although it will be a few years before it fills that space. In spite of its height, I have never needed to stake it. This Crambe blooms for most of June and the deadhead then provides architectural interest for at least another month. I usually cut the stalk to the base after the wind blows it down. Due to its taproot, this is a very drought resistant perennial. It will spread very slowly. Every five years, I dig out some and pot it up to share with clients or friends. Full sun and well-drained soil are essential. Although I have read that it prefers alkaline soil, mine is slightly acidic to neutral. I use this striking perennial as a focal point in one of my perennial beds. Nearby are Paeonia tenuifolia that grabs attention in May with its bright pink flowers, Lychnis continued on page 18

16 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

I use this striking perennial as a focal point in one of my perennial beds.

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Perennial Focus continued from pg 16 ‘Firefly’ that is a garden star in July and August with its magenta flowers, some Pennisetum alopecuroides ‘Hameln’ (Fountain Grass) for its contrasting textural foliage all season, and on the other side of the Crambe, a sea of Coreopsis verticillata cultivars for their color, long bloom, and fine texture. Crambe maritima (Sea Kale) is just as hardy as C. cordifolia but is a native of western European sand dunes rather than the Caucasus. This kale is both edible and ornamental. It can be grown for its young shoots that are used in salads or the midribs that can be cooked and eaten like asparagus. It has large, wavy, blue-green leaves that seem to be impervious to salt spray and saline soils. The fragrant, creamy white flowers are borne in clusters similar to those of C. cordifolia but are a bit larger and closer together. They bloom from June until August and are highly attractive to bees. The stalks of this species, only two feet high, are barely seen. Do allow for three foot spacing. Full sun is again essential but this Crambe is tolerant of moist, dry, or sandy soils. Crambe maritima would be an excellent addition to the drought tolerant garden. I would plant it with Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) for an echo of the blue-green foliage and one of the penstemons for brightly colored flowers all summer. Which one will you be using this year?

Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, owner of Bobbie’s Green Thumb in Shaker Hts., Ohio, is a landscape designer, consultant, free-lance writer, and lecturer whose specialties are perennial gardens and four-season landscapes. In addition to being an Ohio Landscape Association (OLA) member, she is an active member of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association (ONLA) and Perennial Plant Association (PPA). Bobbie is a Past President of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD). Bobbie currently serves as chair of the ONLA Plant Selection Committee. Bobbie can be reached at (216) 752-9449.

18 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

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Plant Of the Month

Jim Funai, COLP Cuyahoga Community College

Shelley Funai Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Viburnum nudum

Possumhaw or Smooth Witherod Viburnum We have had a number of you write us and ask questions about where to locate certain plants in the rain garden. As we continue our exploration of plants that may be suitable for the rain garden, we want to make sure we keep in mind that there are “zones” to these gardens. Some sources want to divide it into three distinct zones which may be suitable in some minds, for us, it seems best to see it as a one large transitional area. The bottom of the garden is clearly going to experience the most moisture and the further up the slope, the less time roots will experience saturation. However, if we are discussing the homeowners rain garden, it likely isn’t large enough to matter that much. Our garden at home, is about 10 feet wide and 20 feet long, which when you consider the spread of mature root systems isn’t that much space to think of a lot of different zones. This is horticulture; there are no distinct “lines in the sand” that we can’t cross. Use your best judgment when selecting plants for these gardens. Know that at times of the year the root system will likely be at field capacity (all pore spaces filled with water) and at times the roots may be at or near their wilting point (no available water). We need plants that can withstand a range of soil moisture, which we will introducing in this article all year long!

This month, we introduce the Possumhaw Viburnum also known as the Smooth Witerod Viburnum and sometimes called the Wild Raisin. The Latin name, Viburnum nudum, alerts us to several key thoughts about this plant. First, being a viburnum, in the Adoxaceae family we know that a key pest, the Viburnum Leaf Beetle (Pyrrhalta viburni) is a possible issue. This skeletonizing beetle is native to Europe and has been in North America since the late 1940s. As it made its way south and west from Ontario it moved into Northeast Ohio several years ago. This pest does the most damage on plants with no previous exposure (no resistance) to its damage, which means all of our native viburnums. Viburnum nudum is a native and is of higher susceptibility to damage from this pest. Our continued on page 22

20 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

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The Growing Concern x May 2014 x 21

Plant Of the Month continued from pg 20 experience with VLB in the past few years is that it has some hot spots where it shows up, spends a few years causing issues, then the population seems to migrate on to new locations. Just three years ago all of the native Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood Viburnum) in our woods at home were obliterated, this past summer we saw many young seedlings sprouting and turning into small shrubs with little to no damage from VLB. Should this pest be a major concern, an annual treatment with imidacloprid (Class 4A Neonicotinoid insecticide) should offer enough defense until the pest population moves on. Other than the VLB, the possomhaw viburnum offers a lot to the rain garden (and all gardens)! Typically reaching into the 5- to 6-foot range in the landscape, this multi-stem shrub has deep green leaves with a nice shine to the surface making for a very attractive backdrop to perennial flowers. In June, clusters of flat-topped white flowers appear. The many stamens of each small five-petaled flower stick out making the entire bloom look soft and fuzzy. After a great flower display and a fury of activity by many native pollinators (make sure if using imidacloprid you read that label and comply with the new “bee box” to protect our pollinators) you are greeted with one of the best fruit sets of any shrub. Starting off in a light pink to whiteish color, the BB sized fruits gather in a large cluster of bright pink/magenta drupes. One by one, they turn blue looking much like miniature blueberries and offer great contrast to the not yet ready pink fruits. Birds will pick the fruits off over some time but not before the leaves will turn to their deep red fall color offering a great end to the gardening season with brilliant displays. This plant is quite at home in oxygen deprived soils either from too much water in the pore space or compacted soils with not enough pore space. This trait makes it a candidate for the rain garden, and would do quite well towards the bottom of the garden where there is likely more moisture in the soil for longer periods of time. A second trait that makes this plant work in the rain garden is its ability to withstand periods of compacted dry soils (though you soil in a properly constructed rain garden should have no issues with compaction). The best cultivar you can seem to find in our market is ‘Winterthur’ selected at the DuPont family estate in Delaware of the same name (a beautiful estate to visit if you can). The pinks of the fruit in ‘Winterthur’ seem to be even brighter than the species. However, do not make the error of only planting this cultivar. You will need to plant some of the straight species to allow better cross pollination for a stronger fruit set on both.

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…this multi-stem shrub has deep green leaves with a nice shine to the surface making for a very attractive backdrop to perennial flowers. The last item on the list to discuss is the seemingly weird common names for this viburnum. Possumhaw actually has a pretty easy explanation. As Europeans came by the boat loads to North America, they assigned names at random to plants and animals they saw that reminded them of something from “home.” “Haw” was a slang term used for a small round fruits, reminding them of the fruits of hawthorn. We still see several plants of no relation with “haw” in the common name because of this. The possum portion of this name is because they either saw possum eating the fruit or saw it in the stomach as they prepared possum for dinner. So, when you see a possum near a small fruit just yell out, “Possumhaw” and slay yourself some dinner! Smooth Witherod makes sense as a common name as well. To start, the specific epithet is referring to the same thing as the word smooth. The stems of this viburnum have nearly no hair (nude) on the stems making them smooth, compared to many viburnums with dense tomentum on them. In Olde English a “withe” is the term for a small stick that is very flexible used for weaving a basket or wattle fence. Every time we see the word “withe” we picture Mike Tyson saying the word “with.” Think withhh-eee. So, anything called a witherod was a reference to the long straight stems, much like this plant gets. We encourage you to look further into this plant and incorporate it into your gardens. The fruit set will catch even the most skilled walking texter with their heads down. There is no escape from the beauty of this plant!

Jim Funai is full-time faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, a PLANET accredited, associate of applied science in horticulture degree program, offering many paths to higher education to the green industry. He has an MS from Colorado State and is a licensed arborist. Shelley Funai is the Grounds Manager at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio that offers a historic estate designed by Warren H. Manning and a beautiful manor house museum. Both are graduates of The Ohio State University. Contact Jim and Shelly via email at


par ner


success The OLA helps its members take their business to the next level with its educational programs and seminars, networking opportunities, and with the determination to increase public awareness of the professionalism of the green industry. Submit your OLA membership application today and

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ola will help your business grow and save you money!

Ohio Colleges and Career Centers Shine in “Landscape Olympics” In a show of academic excellence, five Ohio colleges and two Ohio career center showed their skill and knowledge at Student Career Days, hosted by Colorado State University this past March 27 through March 30. The annual event is organized by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and attracts 65 of the most highly regarded agriculture and horticulture college and university programs in the United States and Canada. This year, there were more than 750 student participants. Among the 65 schools competing in 28 events were prominent programs from Brigham Young University, Michigan State, Purdue, North Carolina State, Penn State and others. Representing Ohio, were Cuyahoga Community College, Columbus State, Cincinnati State, Owens Community College, Ohio State-ATI, Tolles Career & Technical Center and Ohio Hi-point Career Center. Notably, placing first among all 2-year programs and fifth among all schools was Cuyahoga Community College who sent 14 students. Of 28 events, Tri-C students placed in the top twenty in 20 of those events. Those included two 5th place, three 4th place, three 3rd place, one 2nd place and one 1st place winners. Winning 1st in his event was Anthony Angelotta, who competed in the Computer Aided Landscape Design event. While an extraordinary achievement, Anthony’s first place event win was outshined by his twin brother, Hayden, who took top honors as the high points scorer among all 753 participants. Hayden competed in 5 events – 2 individual and 3 team events. “We finished 22nd among all schools last year, so I was really excited to place 5th this year. But I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard Hayden’s name as top student,” said Jim Funai, Head Coach and full-time faculty member for Tri-C’s Plant Science and Landscape Technology Program. Funai added, “I’m happy and proud of Hayden for his individual recognition, but I have to give credit to the whole team who worked really hard to rack up the points.” Three other students placed in the top 25 among all participants including Robert DeCesare (18th), Eric Surace (20th) and

24 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Anthony Angelotta (25th). Helping Funai coach students in individual events were his wife Shelley, Grounds Manager at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens and Program Manager, Greg Malone. Malone added, “As a program manager for a college horticulture program like Tri-C’s, I’m especially encouraged by the participation and achievements of the high school career centers from Ohio. They’re competing against some big-name two and four year colleges! It shows a real passion for our industry among the next generation. If they continue their education, we’ll be putting out some really qualified professionals in the years to come.” While Tri-C enjoyed top honors among 2-year colleges, the summary below illustrates that Ohio is a remarkable place for horticulture education. With over 750 national participants, finishing in the top 20 in individual events places student in an elite status.

School Name

Overall placement among all 65 schools

Finishes in the top 20 in individual events

Number of top 5 placers in individual events

Cuyahoga Community College



10 (see above)

Cincinnati State



2 (5th and 3rd)

Owens Community College



1 (5th)

Columbus State



2 (5th and 3rd)

Tolles Career & Technical Center



1 (4th)

Ohio State – ATI



2 (4th and 3rd)

Ohio Hi-Point Career Ctr.



1 (2nd)

For a full list of events and results as well as more information on PLANET Student Career Days, visit

…placing first among all 2-year programs and fifth among all schools was Cuyahoga Community College…

The Growing Concern x May 2014 x 25

How Much are Your Employees Really Worth? By Tom Borg © 2014 It has been reported that WalMart takes its customers very seriously, and they very badly want to keep their lifetime customers. In their research they have discovered that each one of their typical lifetime customers is worth a quarter of a million dollars. That’s a lot of money! Think about it. At WalMart, just some of the items a typical lifetime customer would purchase are: groceries, small appliances, toys, garden supplies, electronics, sports and fitness, clothing, household items, pharmacy, automotive services, health and beauty, and pet items. Over a period of 25 years it wouldn’t take much to add up to $250,000. It stands to reason that your business and mine are a lot like WalMart’s in that we want to keep as many as possible of our customers for life. Loyal customers are the lifeblood of every business. Without them we wouldn’t be able to maintain a very profitable business. When you stop to think about it, the only people standing between you and your lifetime customers are your employees. You are probably familiar with what the answer was when one Green Industry business owner asked another, “How many employees do you have working for you? The other small business owner replied, “About half.” All kidding aside, let’s take this thought process one step further and let me ask you this question. “How much is each one of your foremen worth to your company?” For the sake of this article, let’s use a yardstick of just one year. Hypothetically, if the amount of money one customer would spend with your company over a 12 month period is $20,000 and we take a group of 10 of your customers then that group of customers would be worth $200,000 in annual revenue. Over the course of a year, if your foreman comes into contact and works closely with these ten established customers, then he is managing a $200,000 book of business. In today’s economy we can’t afford to retain managers or foremen who have the wrong attitude, or are lacking the necessary people or technical skill sets. These people are non-productive and take money away from your bottom line.

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Some business owners are reticent in investing in training of their employees, offering the excuses they cannot afford to invest in them, or if they did, they would be afraid the employees would leave and go work for some other company. To answer these concerns, I remember how one business owner told me that he couldn’t afford not to train unskilled employees, keep them, and then have to pay their regular salaries and benefits. As he explained it to me, “I have to look at each one of our employees as a potential profit center. If they don’t produce, I don’t make money.” We need to hire the best people we can find and prepare them through the right kind of focused training and development programs. For the employees you do retain, you can’t afford not to provide the right kind of training that produces the right kind of skill sets for them. When you do this, they will have even more successful one-on-one encounters with your customers, whether it is in person, on the internet, or over the telephone. Despite the abundance of technological options that your Green Industry customers have, to interface with your business, for most of your customers, face to face or voice to voice contact is still the most important. It is critical that they are properly trained and possess the right skill sets. Whose job is it to make sure they have these skill sets? It is yours and yours alone. So, how much are your foremen really worth to the success of your company? Let the numbers do the talking, then take action to make sure they get the right training to allow them to take care of your customers properly.

Tom Borg © 2014 – Tom Borg is a business expert who works with small and mid-size Green Industry companies that are having issues gaining and retaining customers. He helps these businesses to dramatically increase their profitability and customer retention through his use of consulting, speaking, video and professional writing. To ask him a question or to hire Tom, please contact him at: (734) 404-5909 or email him at: or visit his website at:

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Join Me in D.C. Each year, I attend PLANET’s Day on the Hill. I encourage you to do the same. This year’s Day on the Hill takes place on Tuesday, July 29th with topic briefings on Monday, July 28th that will explain the issues and process. We go in groups to speak to our legislators so you will not be alone and you do not have to feel intimidated. I will even make your appointments for you. Legislators appreciate the effort you take to come all the way to Washington D.C. to speak with them. Coinciding with Day on the Hill, PLANET holds Renewal and Remembrance (R&R) which will take place on the morning of Monday, July 28th At R&R, green industry companies from across the country spend the day mulching, pruning, planting, and aerating the soil at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia – just outside Washington D.C. Last year more than 400 volunteers participated! What an amazing way to show respect and appreciation for our armed forces and those who have lost their lives defending our great country. You do not have to be a PLANET member to join in the fun and excitement. Registration is free, but you have to pay your own travel expenses and hotel accommodations. I highly recommend and encourage you to participate. I am proud to say that each year Ohio is one of the leading states to have the largest number of attendees, but we need YOU to join us! During a very good presentation on the political process, I once heard that if you are not actively involved in the political process, then you are simply a victim. A victim of whatever laws may be passed that could adversely affect you. When you stop and think about it, it’s very true. As Americans, we have a representative government. We have the right to speak to our elected officials and they should listen to whatever we say. If

28 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

Sandy Munley Executive Director Ohio Landscape Association

As your association, we do our best to speak on your behalf, but because politics is a numbers game, your involvement is critical! those who oppose our ideals have a louder voice, then they “win.” It’s a numbers game, and if you never take the time to reach out to your legislators by phone, email, fax or in person, then you are part of the silent majority and you become a victim. That is why YOU need to be involved. That is why you need to learn who your elected officials are and why you need to build a relationship with them. You need to speak up because some of the issues our industry is facing have large groups of activists who oppose the very things you need to run a successful landscape and lawn care business. Be an advocate for your industry! Wikipedia explains, “Advocacy is a political process by an individual or a large group which normally aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, continued on page 30

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30 Chagrin Valley Nurseries, Inc

13 Davis Tree Farm & Nursery, Inc.

36 Electronic Merchant Systems

21 Empaco Equipment Corporation

29 Klyn Nurseries, Inc. Over 1800 Different Species And Cultivars To Meet Your Needs!

9 Lakeside Sand and Gravel


17 Mason Structural Steel, Inc.


17 MDI Products

27 Medina Sod Farms

13 MRLM Landscape Materials

19 O’Reilly Equipment

17 Oliger Seed Co.

9 R & J Farms

27 RCPW/Sohar’s

27 Shearer Equipment

35 Snow & Ice Management Assn.

2 Unilock 11 Valley City Supply

6, 19


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6 Zoresco The Growing Concern x May 2014 x 29


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Trees Shrubs Evergreens Perennials Mulch Topsoil Organics excellent service prompt order pickup delivery available (440) 423-3363 • Fax: (440) 423-1113 •

continued from pg 28 economic, and social systems and institutions; it may be motivated from moral, ethical or faith principles or simply to protect an asset of interest. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or poll or the ‘filing of friend of the court briefs’. Lobbying is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics.” As your association, we do our best to speak on your behalf, but because politics is a numbers game, your involvement is critical! To catch the attention of our legislators, it takes a lot of phone calls and letters (whether they are faxed or emailed). And when you make personal visits to our legislator’s offices in Washington DC, it shows them you how important issues are to you and your ability to make a living. Please call or email me if you have interest in joining me in Washington and I will be happy to tell you more! Corporate Offices / Main Nursery 4534 Center Road Avon, Ohio 44011-0299 Email: Toll Free: 866-934-4435 / Fax: 440-934-5826


Distribution Centers

4825 Center Rd. / Avon, Oh. 44011-0299 Toll Free: 866-934-4435 ext. 2251 / Local: 440-934-3813 Fax: 440-934-4621 E-mail: Bill Owens, Manager

30 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association


6981 Scioto Darby Creek Road / Hilliard, Oh. 43026 Toll Free: 888-593-5999 / Local: 614-777-9859 Fax: 614-777-1276 E-mail: Jack Johnston, Manager

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CL A SSIFIED s For an up-to-date listing of all classified/help wanted ads, please visit LANDSCAPE OPPORTUNITIES The DiSanto Companies, Inc., a drug-free workplace, is seeking talented and experienced individuals with clean driving records, who are willing to grow in all aspects of our firm including, but not limited to: • Estate and Commercial Garden Maintenance Technicians • Landscape/Hardscape Construction Technicians and Foreman • Turf Maintenance Technicians and Crew Leaders • Irrigation Foremen and Installers • Interior Landscape Maintenance Technicians • Sales Personnel Please email Adam Greisl at agreisl@ with your letter of interest and/or resume. GROUNDS MAINTENANCE & CONSTRUCTION Tucker Landscaping, Inc. is expanding its ground maintenance & construction division. Seeking 1st class dependable employees. Valid driver’s license & basic landscape knowledge. Call 440-786-9840. EXPERIENCED HARDSCAPE INSTALLERS Looking for EXPERIENCED hardscape installers. Great pay / full-time positions available. Call (440) 786-9840. LANDSCAPE TECHNICIANS NEEDED Landscape technicians are needed for an expanding garden center / landscape company serving Akron and surrounding suburbs providing customer friendly service. A company where each staff member is treated respectfully and personal growth is encouraged. Technician Position requirements are organization, communication and landscaping skills including hardscape & plantscape. Ideal candidate will have a minimum of 2 years’ experience and/or an associate degree in landscape installation. Individual must have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record.

Competitive compensation, benefits, & a reasonable work schedule. We encourage certification & additional job training as needed. Growth opportunities are available. Drug free work place

Competitive pay will be based on experience and knowledge. Benefits include medical, dental, life and 401(k) with company match. Year-round employment is available. Drug free work environment.

Send resume to or apply in person, M-F between 9&5. (Weekend appointments by request.)

To learn more about our team or to apply for a position, please call (440) 286-7697 or e-mail

Graf ’s Landscape & Design A division of Graf Growers, 1015 White Pond Drive, Akron, Ohio 44320 330.836.2727 MAINTENANCE FOREMEN AND CREW MEMBERS S.A.M. Landscaping, Inc. is now hiring maintenance personnel including Foreman and Crew Members. Candidates seeking the Foreman position must have 3 or more years of industry experience with at least 1 full season of leadership experience. Crew members must have 1 season of experience. Detailed craftsmanship, honesty, and willingness to learn and improve on a daily basis are required traits. Competitive pay will be based on experience and knowledge. Benefits include medical, dental, life and 401(k) with company match. Year-round employment is available. Drug free work environment. To learn more about our team or to apply for a position, please call (440) 286-7697 or e-mail CONSTRUCTION FOREMAN S.A.M Landscaping, Inc. is now hiring a Construction Foreman. Position requires 3 or more years of industry experience with the ability to communicate with designers and clients. Layout of job sites, excavation, grading, drainage, and hardscape installation along with various other landscape functions will be required. Detailed craftsmanship, self-motivation, execution of ideas, honesty, and delegative skills are required.

32 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

LANDSCAPE / CONSTRUCTION Exterior land development firm is seeking a few good people to join our team! Seeking out qualified individuals for full-time employment in the following departments: Hardscape – Minimum three years of experience with pavers and retaining walls. Experience should include the ability to set up jobs and carry out all duties to the finished product, skidsteer, backhoe, transit, etc. Softscape Crew Leader – Three years of experience with plantings, seeding, pruning. Must have leadership qualities and be able to direct others, organize, coordinate, and carry out daily job duties: Load trucks, materials, read drawings, lay out jobs, teach proper planting procedures, and maintenance care. Drivers – All applicants MUST have valid driver’s license! Seeking out CDL drivers – Class A preferred, Class B OK. This is NOT a driving only position. Working with crews will be required when there is no driving to be done! If you would like to be part of our team, we would like to hear from you! Call 330-907-7654 to schedule an interview today.

CL A SSIFIED s c o n t i n u e d For an up-to-date listing of all classified/help wanted ads, please visit OPENINGS - ACCOUNT MANAGER + DESIGN/ARCHITECT/SALES + SALES + FOREMAN Moscarino Outdoor Creations is an award winning design company, a leader in commercial lawn maintenance/snow management and has exceptional opportunities to join our team of professionals as we expand our service line. LANDSCAPE ACCOUNT MANAGER Responsibilities include managing a portfolio of landscape maintenance contracts, providing excellent customer service and personnel management, recommend enhancements, prepare proposals, develop and train employees and deliver quality services to ensure maintenance contract renewals. Applicants with background in landscape management or horticulture and the snow industry are preferred. This position also requires excellent organizational, leadership, communication, and time management skills. LANDSCAPE DESIGNER/ARCHITECT/ SALES Seeking an industry professional with minimum 5 years landscape design/build and aggressive sales experience. Must have superb horticultural and construction knowledge as well as strong computer skills, including CAD (we currently use Dynascapes software). If you are up-to-date, energetic, computer savvy and love working with plants and hardscapes this is the dream job for you!! LANDSCAPE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SALES Essential functions of this position include: • Generate sales by obtaining leads from industry and community resources including calling on prospective clients, gathering and analyzing the client’s needs and then providing up to date information on product services and pricing. • Deliver and follow up on bid packages to ensure that clients have enough information to make an informed decision. Requirements of this position include: • Relevant business to business commercial contract sales experience in the service industry.

• E  xcellent oral and written communication skills. • Organized and able to manage time. • Proficient with computer software programs including MS Office suite. • Industry or local knowledge and contacts preferred. CONSTRUCTION & LAWN MAINTENANCE FOREMAN Please see website for this and other job positions and job descriptions Compensation packages will be tailored for experienced individuals. Valid Driver’s License Required. EOE/Drug and Smoke Free Workplace. Please email resume to: or apply online at job-opportunities/ PLEASE SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL LIST OF JOB POSITIONS AND JOB DESCRIPTIONS VIZMEG LANDSCAPE OPENINGS To be considered for any opening listed below, please send your resume to Jodi. Thank you! Vizmeg Landscape is one of the leading landscape firms in Northeast Ohio with over 90 team members. We have successfully been in business for over 20 years and each year continues to grow. Our expertise ranges from Landscape Design to Snow Removal and from Design/Build to Multi-faceted full service Landscape Maintenance. LAWN MAINTENANCE ACCOUNT MANAGER Vizmeg Landscape is searching for a hardworking and passionate team player to come on-board and help GROW and manage our Landscape Maintenance accounts. As an Account Manager you will need to know the Green Industry; from horticulture to managing a broad range of generations who are starting or ending their careers in the industry. We need YOU to help sell new jobs and HELP keep our clients LOVING US!

A beautiful landscape doesn’t happen by itself – Join our team to keep our accounts and clients GROWING and LUSH! Mission: Provides direction and leadership to the Landscape Maintenance Team. Maintenance services performed by the team are detail oriented and designed to provide only the highest level of service and profitability. Job Responsibilities and Duties: Sales to existing and prospective clients, both residential and commercial; • Assists with planning and scheduling of all phases of Lawn Maintenance work; Confirmation of quality in all field work performed; Managing human resources (selection, hiring, training, evaluations); Working with Field Manager to handle customer complaints and resolve any issues; Retain existing clients; Directs general operation of the Maintenance team; Efficiently schedules clients to routes; Ensures material are available for crews use; Implements training programs with Field Supervisors; Participates in weekly safety tailgate meetings; Trains team members on equipment and expectations; Makes recommendation to Division Manager; Up sells to clients for additional landscape work and services not currently provided; Ensures the satisfaction of clients with the services that are provided; Takes an active roll in weekly monitoring of actual man hours vs. budgeted man hours on the clients property and make suggestions to Crew Leaders and or clients on a solution Education/Experience: Associates degree in Horticulture or an equivalent combination of education and experience as determined by the hiring manager. A minimum of 3 year’s experience with similar job and scope. Maintain or acquire Pesticide License; Maintain or acquire CLT Maintenance. IRRIGATION INSTALL SPECIALIST Duties and Essential Job Functions: Ability to read and interpret blue prints and job specs for the lay out and installation of sprinkler systems; Repairs and replaces pumps, main feeder, sprinkler heads and clocks; Oversees sprinkler system preventative maintenance program; Responsible for electrical

continued on page 34 The Growing Concern x May 2014 x 33

CL A SSIFIED s c o n t i n u e d For an up-to-date listing of all classified/help wanted ads, please visit troubleshooting; Adjusts clocks and heads depending on the water needs and time of season; Solves problems such as fixing leaks, broken head replacement and other irrigation system concerns; Works with customer on ensure satisfaction with their system and adjust accordingly; Supervises employees who assist and need trained on areas of irrigation; Completes necessary paperwork including timesheets, work orders, change orders and materials used or needed for each job; Operates landscape equipment -- including but not limited to; trencher, skid steers and hand tools; Maintains a safe work environment.

LANDSCAPE OPERATIONS COORDINATOR Vizmeg Landscape Company is seeking a highly motivated Operations Coordinator who has a strong desire to be part of our well established and leading landscape firm. We are looking for a self-motivated person who is able to organize schedules, communicate with team, develop relationships and schedule drivers, material and equipment.

Other Functions and Responsibilities: Ability to work and communicate with all levels of the team.

Position Requirements Include: Reviews and approves purchase order placement; Develops relationships with vendors; Negotiates pricing and seeks best quality and price combination; Identifies new product demands and schedules needs; Forecasts product need and replacement; Purchase material and supplies needed for landscape; Issues and requests bid requests and reviews quotes; Schedules drivers to pick up material and deliver; Knowledge of job materials needed

Required Licenses/Certifications: Certified Landscape Technician; Valid driver’s license LANDSCAPE/HARDSCAPE FOREMAN A Landscape Foreman oversees and works landscaping projects, both commercial and residential; Responsible for Softscape tasks such as; planting, seeding, topsoil applications, mulching and pruning; Responsible for Hardscape tasks such as; patio installations, deck installations, walls, concrete applications, irrigation and lighting; Manages the creation of landscape features; such as flowerbeds, water features, ponds and fountains; The job requires heavy lifting, up to 70 lbs; Ability to operate heavy equipment used on the job; Skid steer, Excavator, Trencher, Tractor, Sod Cutter, Tiller, Tamper, Carpentry Tools and Hand Tools; Must have a broad knowledge of plants, shrubs and trees commonly used in the region; As the leader of a working crew, the foreman must have excellent communication skills – able to communicate effectively and able to listen to details of the job from other managers; Ability and confidence to initiate changes and improvements while maintain forward direction; Layout and installation experience of plants, hardscape, masonry, carpentry, and excavating, grading, drainage and snow removal; Ability to develop self and those reporting to you; Prepares soil, loads and unloads materials and equipment; Must have a valid driver’s license

We are a leader in the residential and commercial landscape construction industry that provides astonishing landscapes throughout our area.

Position Qualifications: Associates or Bachelor Degree in Horticulture or similar degree; 3 years of proven experience; Excellent interpersonal and leadership communication skills; Valid driver’s license; Ability to work with all levels of the team LAWN CARE APPLICATOR Duties and Requirements: Ability to identify weeds, lawn diseases and insects; Applies fertilizers and pesticides to lawns according to season, schedule and label instructions; Ability to safely handle and apply the appropriate amount of lawn fertilizer and herbicides; Ability to safely operate and maintain a work vehicle, must have a valid driver’s license; Communication with customers, responds in a timely manner; Measures lawns and provides estimate of service; Assures the timely and accurate execution off all service call logs and customer care notes; Ability to lift 20 to 30 lbs

34 x Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association

frequently and up to 50 to 80 lbs occasionally; Have an aptitude for grounds-keeping/landscaping; Ready to work in all types of weather; Thorough reports to both customer and manager on services provided; Perform other duties as required Licensed applicator preferred, but not required. MUST have experience. Must be able to pass criminal background check, have a VALID DRIVERS LICENSE and pass a pre-employment DRUG TEST. LAWN MAINTENANCE FOREMAN Duties and Requirements: Ability to run and manager a 2-man crew lawn maintenance route; Ability to work with lawn maintenance landscapers and instruct properly; Ability to perform daily tasks within budgeted man hours; Understanding of equipment and the proper pieces to use with the different weather conditions; Understanding of basic turf grass, weed and pests; Ability to look at and manager entire landscape for both turf and landscape beds; Conduct regular tailgate safety meetings; Proper care of tools/ equipment on job site and safety lock up tools when not in use; Develop and maintain motivated, effective crews; Ability to identify 50 common plants on CLT list by common and botanical names. Must have experience as a Foreman or Supervisor on a Maintenance Crew and have a Valid Driver’s License. Vizmeg Landscape is a Drug Free Workplace and Equal Opportunity Employer. We look forward to receiving your information and hope that you’ll be JOINING our TEAM SOON! To be considered for any of the Vizmeg openings listed above, please send your resume to Thank you!



JUNE 18-21, 2014




9240 Broadview Road Broadview Hts., OH 44147-2517


The Growing Concern - May 2014  

The Official Monthly Publication of the Ohio Landscape Association.