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ILCA Promoting the Industry

ILCA Strategic Partnership with Chicago Flower and Garden Show by Meta L. Levin

From March 18-26, 2017, when Chicago is

hoping for spring, the annual Chicago Flower & Garden Show will bloom at Navy Pier, featuring a number of ILCA members. “We’ve done it for the last 12 or 13 years,” says Chris Hanson, construction team leader for Aquascape, which designs and installs water features, as well as manufacturing and distributing pond supplies. Now the Chicago Flower & Garden Show is working with ILCA to look at ways to collaborate. “So many of our exhibitors are ILCA members,” says Tony Abruscato, whose company, Flower Show Productions, Inc., owns the show. “It provides a consumer outreach for ILCA.” In the recent past a display has featured winners of the ILCA design awards and ILCA provided tours of the garden exhibits. Abruscato, who bought the Flower & Garden Show in 2007, already was familiar with ILCA and thought that it was a natural partnership. He worked on ways to make people aware of the advantages of using members when hiring a contractor. “It all

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comes down to educating the consumer,” he says. To that end Abruscato is working to make it easier for landscape contractors to participate, as well as to advertise the fact that many do get work. Last year when Diaz Group LLC, one of the smaller landscape contractors, approached Flower Show Productions about participating, it was too late, past the deadline. This was a part of Diaz Group’s push toward getting larger accounts, says Oscar Garcia, who heads business development for the group. Rather than send Diaz Group away disappointed, Abruscato connected them to a project at the Brookfield Zoo. “We like to see collaboration,” says Abruscato. Hitchcock Design Group had done the design work, Belgard provided the stonework and so on. Diaz not only worked on the project, but Brookfield Zoo contacted Garcia this year about another one. To make participation even easier for landscape contractors, the show provides and pays for teamster labor for loading (continued on page 30)

The Landscape Contractor July 2016

The Landscape Contractor magazine July 2016 Digital Digital Edition  

Illinois Landscape Contractors Association

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