NO VEMB ER 2 0 1 7
A P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E O H I O L A N D S C A P E A S S O C I AT I O N
Sales Clinic with Marvin Montgomery
November 14, 2017 / Indiana Wesleyan University PAGE 22
Generational Differences in the Workplace
OLA Meeting / November 16, 2017 / St. Michaelâ€™s Woodside PAGE 7
Dormant Pruning Clinic November 28, 2017 / Northeast Ohio November 30, 2017 / Central Ohio PAGE 31
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PR ES I DEN T’S COLUM N
NOVEMBER A TIME TO BE THANKFUL – FOR MILLENNIALS November happens to occur in the heart of my favorite season – Autumn. To me, fall is a sensory delight that should be savored as much as possible. This year, it comes after an unusually hot, dry September, which lingered well into October. All the more reason to appreciate the cool, crisp air and crunch of leaves underfoot, as you hike about soaking in the colors and textures of the season. Maybe it’s just the landscape professional in me, but as we finally slow down a bit from a very busy, stressful summer, I am a bit torn between being thankful for the extended productive season we’ve just had – and that moment of relaxation I will have when my body accepts that there are no pressing deadlines looming on the horizon. As we enter this month, highlighted by a holiday that celebrates being thankful, I would like to share an important thought about appreciating our workforce within the landscape profession. In late September, Sandy Munley (OLA Director), Marie McConnell (OLA President Elect) and I attended the Great Lakes Nursery & Landscape Association’s 2017 Leadership
Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attendees include directors, presidents and presidents elect from the Landscape Associations of the eight states bordering the Great lakes, as well as Ontario. It is an opportunity to share problems, solutions and innovations based on important issues within the industry. While many topics were covered over the two-day event, one that stimulated one of the more heated discussions was how to find – and keep – more young employees in our profession. As always, this discussion generated many interesting “observations” regarding the specific generation of young people born between 1980 and 2000, or as most of us now know them – The Millennials. For some reason, it just seems easier to share these stories, especially when the media typically portrays them as lazy, narcissistic and entitled selfie-lovers. continued on page 6 The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 3
TAB LE OF CON TEN TS N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 WWW. OH I OLA N D SCA P E R S. OR G OH I O’ S P R OF E SSI O NAL G REEN I N D U ST R Y A SSOCI AT IO 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: www.ohiolandscapers.org and www.myohiolandscape.com EDITOR Rick Doll, Jr.
COVER: Landscape Ohio! Award’s Merit Award winner, The Pattie Group, for their Residential Installation submission.
3 PRESIDENT’S COLUMN
November: A Time to Be Thankful – for Millenials
5 WELCOME NEW MEMBERS 8 FISCAL FITNESS Year End Tax Planning
12 PERENNIAL FOCUS
Old Favorites, New Cultivars: 2017 Edition
14 FOR SAFETY SAKE
Winterizing Your Trucks: A Step-by-Step Plan
19 SPECIAL GUEST COLUMN
4 CORE Elements to Business Success: Law of the Good Deal
20 FEATURE ARTICLE
Standing Still Can Kill Your Business
24 PLANT OF THE MONTH
Salix Repens Var. Nitida: Silver Creeping Willow
28 DIRECTIONS 29 ADVERTISING INDEX 4 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
REGULAR WRITERS Michael J. Donnellan, King Financial, Inc. Jim Funai, LIC, Cuyahoga Community College Shelly Funai, Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Association Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, Bobbie’s Green Thumb Cathy Serafin, ASLA, RLA, Suncrest Gardens ADVERTISING INFORMATION Submission deadline: 10th of the month, prior to the month of publication. For advertising rates and ad specs, please call 440.717.0002, 1.800.335.6521, or email Rick Doll Jr. at email@example.com. DISCLAIMER The Ohio Landscape Association, its board of directors, staff and the editor of The Growing Concern neither endorse any product(s) or attests 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 Cathy Serafin, ASLA, RLA President – Elect Marie McConnell Treasurer Adam Capiccioni Immediate Past President Bryan Taynor DIRECTORS Brian Maurer, LIC Domenic Lauria Doug Ellis James Funai, LIC Michael T. Ahern, LIC Steve Moore
OLA STAFF Executive Director Sandy Munley Communications & Events Manager Rick Doll, Jr.
C AL ENDAR OF EVEN TS UPCO M I N G OLA MEETINGS , EDUC AT I ON SE MI N A R S, A N D OT H E R G R E E N I N D UST R Y EV ENT S
NOVEMBER 14, 2017 BE MORE THAN A SALESPERSON: BECOME A TRUSTED ADVISOR
DECEMBER 15, 2017 LANDSCAPE OHIO! AWARDS ENTRY DEADLINE
Marvin Montgomery, better known as the “Sales Doctor,” will conduct a one day sales training course that will provide participants with the necessary skills needed to build long term client relationships. Held at Indiana Wesleyan University, Independence, OH. Register online, or call the OLA offices. See page 22
Don’t miss the opportunity to become an award winning landscape contractor. Entries for the 2017 program are due in the OLA office by 5 pm on Dec. 15. For rules, regulations and entry information go to ohiolandscapers.org. landscapeohioawards.html. Questions? Contact OLA at 1-800-335-6521. See back, outside cover.
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 MEETING / NE OHIO MILLENIALS IN THE WORKFORCE Our industry has 4 generations working together for the first time ever. Hear from a Millennial about how we can all thrive! Presented by Steve Benzschawel, Generational Consulting, LLC. Held at St. Michael’s Woodside. For more info, call the OLA offices at 440.717.0002. See page 7
NOVEMBER 28, 2017 DORMANT PRUNING CLINIC / NE OHIO Dormant Pruning is a half-day, hands-on clinic and a timely training opportunity for you and your crews to learn proper pruning techniques. Instructed by Gail Reinhart. Held at Willoway Nurseries in Avon, Ohio. See page 31
NOVEMBER 30, 2017 DORMANT PRUNING CLINIC / CENTRAL OHIO Dormant Pruning is a hands-on clinic and a timely training opportunity for you and your crews to learn proper pruning techniques. Instructed by Gail Reinhart and held at Premier Plant Services in Hilliard, Ohio. See page 31
JANUARY 2018 JANUARY 15 -17, 2018 MGIX – formerly known as CENTS Tradeshow with educational sessions held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Visit OLA in Booth #1341. For more information contact the ONLA at 800-825-5062.
JANUARY 16, 2018 OLA HOSPITALITY SUITE (Central Ohio) Come network with others in the Green Industry. Hosted by OLA. Held at the Hampton Inn and Suites, 501 North High Street, Columbus, OH, 5 pm to 7 pm, across the street from the Columbus Convention Center at the close of MGIX for the day. For more information contact OLA at 1-800335-6521, or visit OhioLandscapers.org
JANUARY 25, 2018 OLA MEETING GreenMark Consulting Group is tentatively scheduled to discuss Hiring & Retention. To be confirmed. Held at St. Michael’s Woodside. For more info, call the OLA offices at 440.717.0002.
OLA’s NEW MEMBERS The Ohio Landscape Association is delighted to welcome the following new members to the association:
REGULAR MEMBERS Meers Landscaping, Inc. PO Box 95 Spencer, OH 44275 800-392-8744 Mark Meers
STUDENT MEMBERS Auburn Career Center Aaron Blaney Hunter Myers Mary Brent Shane Pepp Jeremyiah Cochran Sabrina Rahz Robert Couch Veronica Rollins Dylan Cozens Jessica Sharp Taylor Franz Jacob Toflinski Andrew Gandolf Deziree Toth Chaeli Hobson Nathan Urban Alivia Long Logan Van Cleef Maxwell Lyttle Christopher Willoughby Alec Miller Max Zugan James Miller N. Morales Botello Knox County Career Center Tommy Russell Nicolas Bolin Katie Priest Bryce Stillion Stephen Ocheltree Zachary DePew Ronnie Payne Hunter Pinyerd Tyler Severance Zack Rosinson Carissa Morgan Billy Coss Carter Gallagher Cassie Rine Brookanna Brentlinger Nathan Wilson Preston Arnold Ethan Rogers Garrett Carroll Samuel Foor Austin Elliott Brandy Thompson Gage Smith Lane Browne Joe Arms
The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 5
PR ES I DEN T’S COLUM N continued from page 3
As we shared our stories of how our millennial co-workers and customers traits can be sometimes irritating – sometimes intolerable – our associate from the north, Tony DiGiovanni (Director of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association), came to their rescue. Why not appreciate their unique talents and determine how to best utilize their skills to the benefit of our businesses, he asked. His comment made perfect sense. So, when I returned from Indianapolis and started to formulate my thoughts for this Thanksgiving-themed article – in true millennial fashion – I Googled “Traits of the Millennial Generation.” The following characteristics, found on the site Lucky Attitude, were actually researched and written by millennials themselves. Some of, if not all of these traits may give us valuable clues as to how we can appreciate their unique talents and best utilize them in our business and personal lives.
• Millennials are authentic and want to stay true to who they are, their values, and their individuality. Consequently, they want their employers to respect their individual differences and embrace the potential their unique qualities bring to the workplace.
• Being frugal is a common characteristic of millennials. They are aware of unemployment, stagnant wages and a lack of stable jobs. For this reason, most of them live within their means, save for emergencies and don’t buy things they don’t need. “Experiences” trump “stuff.”
• Millennials are also very confident. They were raised to believe they can accomplish anything. Parents, teachers, coaches and adults have emphasized to them that if they believe they can achieve it, they probably can. Their sense of “specialness” drives their confidence.
• As employees and customers, it is important to understand • Since 2015, millennials make up the largest share of the American workforce. In the future, this means they will dominate everything, just as the baby boomers have.
• They are the most educated generation in Western History with 34% of 25-29 year olds holding bachelor, masters, professional or doctorate degrees.
• Millennials are technologically savvy and adapt faster to computer and internet services because they have grown up with them. Their access to everything at a much faster pace contributes to their instant gratification penchant.
that millennials are practical and result oriented. They are team oriented, like working in groups and prefer a sense of unity and collaboration over division and competition. Wow, right? Millennials are actually a pretty interesting, definitely different, and probably – to most of us – still a bit controversial bunch! With that in mind, if you are interested in learning a bit more about millennials, not to mention sharing some laughs with ALL your fellow landscape associates, make sure to join us on November 16th for our Northeast Ohio meeting at St. Michael’s Woodside.
• They are a conscious group. 81% expect their employing companies to show commitment to their corporate responsibilities. This generation is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation in U.S. history. As a result, they have learned to embrace the differences in each other.
Our featured speaker is Steve Benzschawel (Bench), a millennial who pokes a bit of fun at his generation, as he explores all of our generations, shedding insight on our values and methods of operation. Steve’s portrayal of generational differences promises to be a memorable and entertaining experience for all.
• Also an entrepreneurial group, these are “start-up” kids who grew up watching Steve Jobs lead Apple and Mark Zuckerberg create a social media sensation (Facebook). They believe in the economy of “self ” where you are responsible for what happens in your life.
Hope to see you at the meeting! Your President, Cathy Serafin RLA
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OLA MEETINGS SERIES
OLA ANNUAL MEETING HELD AT ST. MICHAEL’S WOODSIDE 5025 EAST MILL ROAD BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, OH AGENDA (NOV. 16, 2017) REGISTRATION / NETWORKING FOOD / CASH BAR 6:00 PM TO 7:00 PM OLA ANNUAL MEETING & PROGRAM 7:00 PM TO 9:00 PM COST TO ATTEND OLA MEMBERS: FREE NON-MEMBERS: $30
GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN THE WORKPLACE November 16, 2017
SPEAKER: STEVE BENCH / GENERATIONAL CONSULTING, LLC
Today’s workplace is at a generational crossroads unlike any other time in our nation’s history. As the Baby Boomers continue their ride off into the retirement sunset, Gen X is left to manage an empowered Millennial generation raised with a new set of attitudes and expectations about their work-life balance. Steve Bench, founder of Generational Consulting LLC, tackles stereotypes and builds understanding between generations through a fun and humorous approach! His presentations deliver a refreshing perspective and deeper understanding of our generational differences, and foster an engaging discussion to help strengthen relationships and ultimately improve the culture of your workplace. Join us November 16th, at our Annual Meeting, to hear Steve’s insight as to how we can all work together to ensure the future success of our industry, for generations to come.
GOLD SPONSOR ABOUT STEVE BENCH BRONZE SPONSOR
Steve is founder of Generational Consulting, LLC which customizes keynote presentations and training sessions that deliver engagement strategies for attracting and retaining the next generation of workforce talent. Steve has shared his message with audiences across the country. Steve is also the creator of non-profit Badger Business Challenge, a Shark Tank-style business contest that puts kids in charge to create a new business and make the perfect sales pitch! Kids learn business concepts, practice soft skills and networking and compete for prizes!
SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR THIS YEAR’S MEETING SCHEDULE NOW AVAILABLE! CALL 440.717.0002 FOR MORE INFO.
QUALIFIES 2 CEU’S
RSVP TO ATTEND BY NOVEMBER 8, 2017. CALL THE OLA OFFICE AT 440.717.0002, OR REGISTER ONLINE AT WWW.OHIOLANDSCAPERS.ORG/MEETINGS/NOV2017
F I SCAL FI TN ESS
MICHAEL J. DONNELLAN King Financial, Inc.
YEAR END TAX PLANNING One doesnâ€™t have to search long for a reason why investors want to reduce their tax liabilities as much as possible, considering the tax ramifications of investing. Investment returns could be reduced by as much as 40 percent in any given year when factoring in federal income and capital gains, state and local taxes, and possibly the alternative minimum tax. Helping reduce your tax liability is instrumental to growing assets and helping achieve financial goals. The fourth quarter of the year is a great time to revisit financial plans. Year-end is a time to make sure required minimum distributions have been taken or retirement contributions have been maxed out, as well as rebalance portfolios and consider tax strategies.
TAX STRATEGIES TO CONSIDER Itâ€™s important to understand what type of investment is most appropriate for each specific type of account. For example, due to their high taxable yields, high-yield bonds are more appropriate to be in tax-deferred or tax-exempt accounts versus taxable accounts. Conversely, equity securities that are intended to be held for a long time period are more suitable for taxable accounts, as their gains are taxed at long-term capital gains rates.
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Tax-loss harvesting is a great strategy to help reduce taxable gains. Tax-loss harvesting offsets investment gains with their realized investment losses. We are currently in the midst of the second longest bull market in history, so it may be difficult to locate investment losses, but the timing might be right to sell them to offset the recent gains. An investor can use any remaining losses to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income each year. Investing is like tending a garden. You have to keep pulling the weeds by selling off losing investments. Portfolio rebalancing is vital to keeping the allocations in line with your risk tolerance, however, rebalancing a portfolio can also cause taxable capital gains. There are different thoughts on how often one should rebalance a portfolio; typically, annual rebalancing provides greater potential long-term performance, less trading fees and more tax efficiencies. continued on page 11
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The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 9
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FI SCAL FI TN ESS continued from page 8
INVESTMENT VEHICLES TO CONSIDER Mutual funds are required to distribute at least 90 percent of net investment income and 98 percent of net capital gains every year, which can be a tax liability for investors. Due to their low trading activity and minimal annual distributions, passive investments such as index funds and ETFs have gained in popularity for the tax-conscious investor. Harvesting losses can be easier when the investor holds the individual securities, such as stocks or ETFs versus a pooled mutual fund. When looking for tax-efficient investments, municipal bonds are first to come to mind. Municipal bonds typically provide income that is exempt from federal taxes; additionally, if you hold municipals specific to your state of residence, these bonds provide state tax-exempt income. Municipals provide a lower yield compared to most taxable fixed income products, so it’s important to look at the taxable-equivalent yield when comparing yields.
the strategies these managers employ include reducing turnover, investing in non-dividend paying stocks, and selling less attractive stocks at a loss. These strategies provide additional options when constructing a well-diversified, tax-efficient portfolio. Selling an investment for tax considerations is important, but one must balance the tax benefits of selling to the market opportunity of potentially selling low. When implementing tax strategies to help reduce your tax liabilities, it is important to keep your investment objectives in mind, and prepare a plan that best suits your needs. Make sure periodic reviews are conducted on your portfolio. Talk with your financial advisor to review and rebalance when necessary.
Michael J. Donnellan is President of King Financial, Inc. specializing in stock selection and retirement planning. Feel free to contact him with any questions or comments at the M3 Wealth Management office.
A strategy’s turnover ratio is a good indicator if the strategy is tax efficient due to its reduced trading of the underlying securities, which reduces the potential for taxable distributions.
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The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 11
PEREN N I AL FOCUS
BOBBIE SCHWARTZ, FAPLD Bobbie’s Green Thumb Helenium ‘Salsa’ provides outstanding fall color in the garden, blending with all the hues of autumn. Striking when planted in drifts or among ornamental grasses.
OLD FAVORITES, NEW CULTIVARS 2017 EDITION The perennial world is plastered with marketing for new plants, many of which have not been sufficiently trialed under consumer-like conditions. I may be a certified landscape designer, a long-time horticulturist, and a gardener, but I like to think of myself as a typical consumer, in that I am so busy, that plants – once installed – have to fend for themselves, albeit having the benefits of an irrigation system. Unlike many gardeners, I do keep records, so I can tell you that the perennials discussed in this article were planted in my garden in 2014. Astilbe ‘Sugarberry’ is a dwarf, growing only 12 inches high with soft, pink plumes that resemble a fluffy starburst. Part of the Short ‘n Sweet™ series, it blooms in mid-June for approximately three weeks. I still enjoy the deadheads as a structural element. The foliage is glossy green. Like most Astilbe, this one benefits from some shade. Mine are planted at the top of a south facing slope but are shielded by the taller foliage of other perennials and, in June, by the large heads of Allium christophii. The soft, pink plumes blend well with the soft lavender of the Allium and with the purple foliage of the neighboring Berberis ‘Concorde’, a sterile cultivar of Barberry.
12 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
Heuchera ‘Glitter’ has many incarnations, depending on its siting. Most catalogs show it as a silver-leafed cultivar with black veins. However, seen in full sun in April 2016 at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, it was a silver-burgundy. In my garden, facing east but also getting some afternoon sun, the leaves are purple with a silver glaze. This Heuchera blooms in mid-May with bright, pink clusters of tiny bells. The foliage is about 8 inches high and the flower stalks are 15 inches high. Although this bed is irrigated, ‘Glitter’ is at the edge, so the drip doesn’t always extend that far; thus, I will say that this Heuchera is relatively drought-tolerant.
I love garden phlox but only the ones that are mildew resistant. Many cultivars are supposedly in this category but few are the ones that actually deliver. However, add ‘Glamour Girl’ to your list of performers. Starting in midJuly, the coral-pink flower clusters will knock your socks off and they will continue blooming well into September. The foliage is always a clean green. Phlox ‘Glamour Girl’ grows about thirty inches high, perfect in my back garden to hide the yellowing foliage of Dicentra spectabilis as it temporarily goes dormant in mid-June. Of course, full sun and average moisture is essential. This is the only perennial in this article that is not deer-resistant but, happily, the deer have ignored it. When it gets really hot, it’s time for the next act in the garden and that’s when you want to feature Hibiscus ‘Heartthrob’. Just give it lots of water and it will bloom its head off, from late July/early August well into September. The dark red flowers are huge and even the deadheads are large and beautiful. Catalog photos show the flowers as more burgundy than mine and perhaps they would be in full sun. Most of my hibiscus are sited in full sun but this one doesn’t seem to mind being in partial shade. Only four feet tall, it easily fits into my landscape.
Moving now into mid-August, many gardeners forget to add perennials that are late bloomers in order to keep the garden fresh. For many years, Heleniums were tall and straggly but more recently, that has changed. Now we have Helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ about which I have already written and the new Mariachi series. Last year, I planted Helenium ‘Mariachi Salsa’ and I love it. It supposedly only grows eighteen to twenty inches high but this year, as a result of all the early rain, it is thirty inches high. Most of the cultivars that are described as red are actually orange but this one is as close to red as I have seen, especially when viewed up close. This is basically a native tall prairie plant that has been refined. Full sun is the ticket. These are some of the best of the new and I encourage you to use them. Bobbie Schwartz, FAPLD, owner of Bobbie’s Green Thumb in Shaker Hts., Ohio, is a landscape designer, consultant, freelance 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’s new book, Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams, will be published in November 2017 by Timber Press.
The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 13
FOR SAFETY SAK E
WINTERIZING YOUR TRUCKS: A STEP-BY-STEP PLAN As the weather starts to cool off, and everyone is about to be consumed with pumpkin-spice flavored everything, owner-operators should have something else on their mind: Winterizing their truck. Actively taking steps to prepare your truck for winter is crucial for keeping your costs down, and staying safe in the cold winter months. Follow these guidelines and get your trucks ready – winter is just around the corner!
STEP ONE: PREPARE AN EMERGENCY KIT Getting stranded in adverse weather conditions is far more likely in the winter months. Make sure you have adequate survival supplies in your truck, including:
• • • • •
Extra blankets First aid kit Flashlight and extra batteries Canned food and bottled water Gloves
14 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
• • • • • • • • •
Scarves Hats Snow boots Snow shovel Flares Radio Extra coolant, washer fluid, engine oil Extra fuel filter and fuel filter wrench Tire chains continued on page 16
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The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 15
FOR SAFETY SAK E continued from page 14
3 STEP TWO: CHECK THE BATTERY The best time to check the age and condition of your battery is just before winter settles in. Freezing temperatures drain battery life quickly. If the battery is close to the typical 48-72-month life cycle, then it’s best to replace it. If not, inspect the battery to make sure it is securely mounted and that all connections are tightened and clean. Perform a load test, and check on the alternator and starter as well. Inspect the electrical wiring for any damage or frays, and make sure there are no loose or exposed wires.
STEP THREE: CHECK THE FUEL FILTER AND WATER SEPARATOR Check to be sure the fuel filter is in good condition, and replace it if necessary. To reduce the risk of damage to the engine, monitor the water separator on a daily basis. Water is a common contaminant in diesel fuel and can shorten an engine’s life. If a large amount of water has been collected, it should be drained. Most separators are not self-cleaning, so you’ll need to locate the separator, near the fuel filter, and turn the drain valve to empty the water. This is especially important during winter months because condensation forms on the inside of a warm fuel tank as the outside temperature cools.
STEP FOUR: USE FUEL ADDITIVES Diesel fuel contains paraffin, a wax, which crystallizes at freezing temperatures. This causes water in the fuel to emulsify and the fuel becomes slushy and gel-like. The fuel cannot pass through the fuel filter and the problem only gets worse when temperatures continue to drop. This gelling of fuel can lead
16 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
to rough vehicle operation and in some cases, engine failure. To avoid this, check the cetane rating of the fuel at the pump – the higher the better, and add anti-gel fuel additives at each fill up to enhance performance. Check your owner’s manual for specific additive guidelines and always follow mixing procedures exactly, or you risk damaging your fuel system. Read more: Diesel Winterization.
STEP FIVE: INSPECT THE COOLING SYSTEM Proper maintenance of the cooling system is a major part of winterizing. Anything that’s worn, damaged or cracked is only going to get worse as the temperature drops. Perform a comprehensive inspection of the entire system, including the radiator, inspecting the hoses for any bulges, and checking hose clamps to ensure they are secure and not damaged. You should have a coolant test conducted to be sure that your coolant is at an optimum freeze point. Checking the additive levels to determine if the coolant needs to be changed or adjusted should become part of your regular maintenance plan. Last, it’s critical that you use the proper coolant for your truck, and never use aerosol ether starting fluid.
STEP SIX: KEEP THE ENGINE WARM Diesel engines require a higher cylinder temperature than gasoline vehicles, which means that they are considerably more difficult to start in cold weather. If you travel or live in a cold climate, you may want to consider installing an electric block heater to keep the engine warm while it’s turned off. Make sure that the block heater cord will accommodate a three-prong plug and ensure it is securely held in place.
FOR SAFETY SAK E
STEP SEVEN: INSPECT THE AIR DRYER
Story written & compiled by Susana Hatfield, Interactive Marketing Coordinator
The air dryer, installed between the compressor and wet tank, collects and removes contaminants from the air before they enter the brake system. This prevents water from freezing in the brake lines. It’s important to inspect the air dryer to ensure that it is functioning properly and to also replace the filter if necessary. Make sure to drain the air reservoirs periodically. Failing to maintain your air dryer can lead to extremely dangerous malfunctioning brakes.
for ATBS. ATBS is a trucking business solutions company located in Lakewood, Colorado. This story first appeared in September of 2017 in the KnowledgeHub section of their website, located at http://www.atbs.com/knowledge-hub/winterizingyour-truck-a-step-by-step-plan.
STEP EIGHT: PREPARE THE WINDSHIELD When snow and ice accumulate on the windshield, it makes driving difficult and dangerous. Just before winter hits, inspect your windshield wipers and replace them if needed. Make sure your windshield wiper fluid is filled and that you have switched to a cold temperature blend. Keep extra bottles of washer fluid in your truck in case you run out unexpectedly.
STEP NINE: CHECK THE TIRES Your tires must be in good shape to navigate through the snowy and icy roads ahead. Inspect your tires thoroughly and make sure they are inflated to the proper pressure rating. Find out which states require chains, and make sure you have the correct size and number of chains in your truck at all times. Inspect the chains for worn, twisted, or damaged links and replace them when needed. Finally, know your limits. Do-it-yourself maintenance is often very cost effective, however, you can easily get in over your head if you aren’t a mechanic. Don’t compromise safety! The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 17
YOUR MIDWEST GREEN INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE Presented by Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association
JANUARY 15–17, 2018 COLUMBUS, OHIO Start off the new year right. Get inspired, discover new products, build relationships, and make smart business decisions at Midwest Green Industry Experience.
Check out this year’s exhibitors, networking events, and 90+ education sessions www.mgix18.com • #MGIX18 • 800.825.5062
18 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
THE CORE ELEMENTS
TO BUSINESS SUCCESS
CORE #1 / GUIDING THE BUSINESS
LAW OF THE GOOD DEAL
Let’s bring CORE 1: Guiding the Business to a close. Over the last two issues, we’ve created a sense of purpose where everyone knows which direction they are going, what they seek to achieve, and how the game will be played. Once that future was declared, we set up a simple, yet comprehensive set of metrics necessary to measure progress and evaluate results. That leaves us here: How do you informally – and formally – recognize and reward the right behaviors or hold people accountable? Let’s start by preparing the ground. The Law of the Good Deal is based on the concept of what you stroke is what you get. A stroke is something positive, or negative, delivered to a person or group as a consequence of how they act. Take it a step further, positive strokes start, or increase, a behavior. Negative strokes decrease, or stop, a behavior. And finally, it is all in the eyes of the beholder. What others perceive as reality, you must deal with – not what you think it should be. Understand the person or work group so you can positively stroke positive behavior and negatively stroke negative behavior. Don’t get these backwards or you are in for real fun! Recognition is nothing more than how people informally treat each other. What you stroke can range from how well they live within the company’s values – covered in the Purpose article – or how they perform based on the elements in the Measurement article. However, without
defined values or a simple measurement system, it is hard to consistently stroke the right thing. Recognition comes in the form of praise and reprimand, used as tools to communicate the good deal. Remember, what you stroke is what you get. Your Rewards System is a formal process for taking Recognition to the next level. Usually a mix of Employee of the Month, days off, cash bonus, etc.… It is nothing more than going beyond saying thank you. You don’t have to do much if informal recognition is working; you just have to do something. Think of it this way, informal recognition is given as it happens. It can’t be planned – other than knowing it will happen. Formal rewards are usually scheduled and the events are predictable. So, let’s piece a basic Reward & Recognition System together. During your weekly supervisor meeting, have supervisors discuss best performers and how were they were recognized. Track this list every week, and at the end of the month, select the employee with the most mentions.
WILLIAM EASTMAN GreenMark Consulting Group
Purchase a gift card and present it during an all hands meeting. You have now captured the informality of supervisors looking for and praising good behavior with a more formal approach of rewarding performance in public. Make sure “why” they won is real, accurate, and has impact on the business, or you may devalue the whole process. Most ‘Employee of the Month’ programs fail because it is perceived as a joke. A few words of caution: Never forget that all rewards programs work! That said, keep in mind that what you stroke you will get more of – which can be a problem. If it is a poorly designed program, you will wind up paying for behaviors that hurt your business. Take for example a rewards program like sales compensation – people will do only what you pay them to do. All of this has one purpose – to communicate what is expected and make doing the right thing a good deal. On a related topic, and something that needs to be said in closing: Salary is a recruiting tool. Benefits are a retention tool. If you want more than minimum performance, reward for it!
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FEATURE ARTI CLE
STANDING STILL CAN KILL YOUR BUSINESS BY JOHN TSCHOHL
Ongoing training is an important part of staying competitive and keeping your workers fulfilled in their careers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics found that companies with fewer than 100 employees gave only 12 minutes of manager training every six months. Organizations with 100-500 employees provided just 6 minutes. The following statistic is even more proof that ongoing training is essential for employee development and the growth of a companyâ€Ś.A long-term research project commissioned by Middlesex University for Work Based Learning found that from a 4,300 workers sample, 74% felt that they werenâ€™t achieving their full potential at work due to lack of development opportunities.
The lesson here: invest in retaining and developing your present employees. After all, the cost of retaining present employees is much less than the cost of replacing them. Help employees expand their knowledge by offering more training options. Offer them the opportunity to move up in the company to a better position and a better salary. continued on page 23
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The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 21
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F EATURE ARTI CLE continued from page 20
WHY INVEST IN CONTINUOUS EMPLOYEE TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT? Many organizations ignore continuous training session for employees as they feel they are expensive and employees miss out on their work time while attending these sessions. What they fail to understand are the benefits of these continuous training sessions and how they contribute to the organization overall. Benefits of conducting these programs are far greater and longerlasting. Let’s take a look. Continuous Training takes care of weak links It helps to reduce weak links and ensure the same mistakes are not repeated. Continuous Training increases employee satisfaction It shows employees that they are valued. It helps them move up the learning curve and work harder. They will know that the training they do can take them into other positions with better growth opportunities and/or better pay within the organization.
Around the world, high performing organizations today are recognizing the need to use best training and development practices to enhance their competitive advantage. Take a look at companies such as Amazon, Costco, Metro Bank UK, and others. They look at training and development as an essential tool of their business and choose to value the potential of their people and grow them. Studies have highlighted the connection between a well-designed training program and the bottom line of the business. Your image is influenced by the extent and quality of staff training and development. That means it HAS to be continuous to achieve your goals. Regular training is well worth the investment because building up the skills within the business will effectively improve your company’s bottom line. John Tschohl is an international service strategist and speaker. He is founder and president of the Service Quality Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John’s monthly strategic newsletter is available online at no charge. He can also be reached on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. This article originally ran at www.forconstructionpros.com in October of 2017.
Continuous Training boosts employee performance Continuous training empowers employees. It gives them confidence and keeps them up to date on new developments. This confidence pushes them to perform better and think of new ideas to excel. Continuous Training should be done on your time Because employees are being trained on your time, they see that you value them enough to invest in them. Continuous Training helps you stay ahead of the competition Make sure your staff is constantly advancing and you will continue to move forward and be more competitive in the marketplace. Standing still can kill your business. It is recommended that organizations produce a training and development plan for all employees. Training and development are broadly defined as those activities aimed at raising the standards of employee practice and thus lifting the quality of the employee’s and customer’s experiences. The aim is to empower all employees to carry out their roles to the highest standards, and deliver high quality services to customers every day and every time. Spending money on something that pays off in profit should not be a sticking point for a business! The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 23
PL ANT OF TH E M ON TH
JIM FUNAI, LIC Cuyahoga Community College
SHELLEY FUNAI, LIC Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens Creeping Willow is a low-creeping shrub, which has twigs bearing flowers, before coming into leaf.
SALIX REPENS VAR. NITIDA SILVER CREEPING WILLOW Over the years, we’ve discussed a few different Willows that have found popularity in the landscape, including Dapple Willow (S. integra ‘Hakuro Nishiki’) and Peking Willow (S. matsudana). Someday, we plan to cover the myriad species falling under the common name “Weeping Willow,” but that will undoubtedly take some time to prepare. This month, we want to share a great Willow that has come into our repertoire thanks to Bill Hendricks of Klyn Nursery. When discussing plants to include in a rain garden soil study, Bill suggested Salix repens var. nitida. To be honest, neither one of us had any clue about this plant. It’s something we try not to beat ourselves up over, after all, there are easily more than 300 willow species in the world – and we’re pretty sure we’ve got a long way to go before we aren’t surprised by one. Salix is an interesting genus, with circumpolar distribution in the Northern Hemisphere. There are reportedly about 75 species native to North America alone. Humans have a long-
24 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
standing relationship with Willows, including a discovery by researchers at the University of Helsinki of a fishing net woven from young stems of a Willow dating back to 8300 BC. That’s over 10,000 years of history! Plenty of records exist of ancient cultures utilizing the flexibility of young Willow branches to make baskets, wattle fences, and walls for housing. The term “withy,” or “withe,” is Olde English for the long, straight, easily-bent branches of Willows. That term has found its way into other plants such as Witherod Viburnums (describing their long straight branches).
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Perhaps the greatest relationship between humans and the Willow dates back to ancient Sumerian culture, where the leaves were used as a pain-relieving agent. The leaves and bark contain Salicin, a glucoside chemical compound produced by the plant to reduce feeding after pest attack. As it turns out, chewing on the leaves and bark – thus ingesting Salicin – breaks down into acetyl-salicylic acid in humans. A modern product of this very chemical reaction is called Aspirin! With that in mind, we don’t suggest you run out and start chewing on your clients’ trees, but should you find you forgot to restock the first-aid kit on the truck, perhaps give it a try! Usually, when someone hears the word Willow, they are picturing the beauty and grace of the Weeping Willow, or perhaps the unique blooms of the many species of Pussy Willow. The species we have selected this month is far from those famous Willows in habit. Salix repens, in general, is a low-growing and spreading plant. Repens is derived from the Latin word repent, which means creeping or crawling. The most common creeping Willow on the market is Salix repens var. nitida. This naturally occurring variety – as opposed to a cultivated/made variety or cultivar – will stay around 3 feet tall continued on page 26 The Growing Concern | November 2017 | 25
PL ANT OF TH E M ON TH
continued from page 25 and send arching branches up and back towards the ground to cover about 5 or 6 feet. These branches will touch down, readily root in, and extend beyond this distance with ease. Leaves are small (<1”) with a bright, silvery-gray fuzz adding interesting foliage-color to the landscape. Stems are thin and arching, turning a great color of red for the winter. The overall habit of mounding over and being thick-as-thick-canbe is somewhat reminiscent of some tall ground-cover type Cotoneasters. Leaves being caught in the mounded branches may be a minimal concern if your client is a total clean freak, but we haven’t had any issues with this becoming unsightly on the plants we have.
as you don’t expect it to survive terrible soil and heat from a poorly-built parking lot island. Salix is a great genus to pick plants out of, and perhaps deserves a better understanding from the landscape industry, in general. While there are some Willows that have given the genus a bad rep, there are plenty of great options once you study their preferences and abilities. We hope you’ll give this silvery, tall ground-cover a shot in the proper design. We are certain it will not disappoint you, or your client!
Jim Funai is full-time faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, a NALP accredited associate of applied science in hoticulture degree program. He is
Now, back to the mention of the rain garden study… We are very pleased with the performance of this plant in all three soil blends – each with varying moisture content – through the seasons. With two full seasons of testing, the shrubs are all performing great in a wide range of soil types. While the plant – native from Western Europe to Western Asia – is often found in moister soils, it seems to tolerate drier sites, so long
26 | Official Publication of The Ohio Landscape Association
pursuing a PhD in Landscape Engineering and Forestry and is a Licensed Arborist. Shelley Funai is Grounds Manager at Stan Hywett Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio, which offers a historic estate designed by Warren H. Manning and a beautiful manor house museum. She is Landscape Industry Certified in Ornamental Plant Care. Contact Jim and Shelley via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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D I RECTI ON S
Executive Director The Ohio Landscape Association We are in the midst of a huge labor shortage, and unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there is any relief coming soon. I know this is not a surprising statement to many, if not all of you, because you are all living the reality of this shortage every day in your business. Last month, Rick and I attended NALP’s first ever Workforce Development Summit in Fairfax, Virginia. At this Summit, NALP brought together 40 state and national association leaders from across the United States and Canada. (Yes, Canada has the same issue.) Together, we discussed what is happening across North America, what programs are already in place, and how we can work together to help fix this growing problem. Moving forward, this will continue to be an ongoing focus for NALP and OLA.
If that is going to become our reality, than we need to start changing the way the general public looks at our profession. We need to replace the word “industry” with “profession.” We need to teach people that there are a lot of great careers – not just jobs – to be found here. And then, we need to live up to that promise! After that, we all need to take a good look at ourselves and ask these questions: “Would I want to work for me?” “Is my company a great place to work?” “Am I providing opportunities for my employees through training to help them improve their skills?” “Are my employees shown that they are appreciated?” In a time when we are used to instant gratification, the challenge is going to be that this will be a long, slow process. Interest in joining our profession will not happen overnight.
The question I’d like to ask you is: What are you doing about it? It has become increasingly apparent that we all need to address this problem. We all need to get involved with our schools and youth organizations. This shortage of workers is not just restricted to the green industry. It is a nationwide epidemic that has become a problem for even the high-tech, high paying careers. We are all fighting for the same thing: To staff our companies with qualified people – and to keep those people.
One of the first steps is, we need to be sure that our schools continue to teach horticulture. We have lost so many high school programs in the state and we are losing another one right now, as this will be the last year that Medina County Career Center has a landscape/horticulture program. If you do nothing else, please reach out to a high school or university near you that offers horticulture and see what you can do to help! We ALL need to work together to make this happen!
The goal of the Workforce Development Summit can be summed up with this one ideal: “To make the landscape and other green professions a career of choice, rather than a career of default.”
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Be sure you are taking full advantage of all the opportunities OLA has to offer to train your staff members. As always, we are looking forward to seeing you soon!
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COURSE INFO NOVEMBER 28, 2017 WILLOWAY NURSERIES 4534 CENTER RD. AVON, OH 44011 NOVEMBER 30, 2017 PREMIER PLANT SOLUTIONS 6981 SCIOTO-DARBY RD. HILLIARD, OH 43026 AGENDA REGISTRATION / BREAKFAST 8:00AM – 8:30AM CLINIC 8:30AM – 12:00PM
The most important landscape maintenance practice is the control of plant size by the correct method of pruning to retain the natural branching characteristics of the plants and integrity of the landscape design. Dormant Pruning of Landscape Plants is a half-day, hands-on clinic and a timely training opportunity for you and your crews to get back to the basics and learn the proper way to prune in time for winter and early spring pruning. GENERAL INFORMATION: This seminar will include a lecture as well as hands-on training. Attendees will need to bring their own notepad and pen, hand pruning shears, a small pruning saw, and long handle lopping shears, and will need to dress appropriately for outdoor practical training.
GAIL REINHART / HIDDEN CREEK LANDSCAPING
Gail joined the Hidden Creek Team in 2014, bringing with her over 15 years of experience in Horticulture, Sales, Project, and Operations Management, and Employee Development. She has an Associate’s Degree in Landscape and Turfgrass Management from Owens Community College and has spent time working out of state in Michigan and Delaware gaining knowledge of Golf Course and Retail Garden Center operations, and Residential and Commercial Landscape Management. Gail grew up on a 500acre farm in Northwest Ohio which cultivated her love of the outdoors.
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