Grimm’s Gardens Staff Returns from Green Industry Conference in Kentucky

Last week, seven Grimm’s Gardens staff members (including myself) traveled to Louisville, Kentucky.  As we embarked on the nine hour drive to the Green Industry Conference (GIC) sponsored by PLANET Landcare Network, we relished the change in terrain and plant species.  In the back of the van, Nadine Champlin and Andrew Mitchell marveled at the different native flowers that they could identify in the ditches, while up front, the rest of the guys talked about equipment and the finer points of driving semi’s.

The GIC is a showcase for all the new landscape products and equipment.  The place is packed with new grills, pavers, mowers, spreaders, excavators and many other types of equipment that we were able to trial. We are able to find the right equipment to make our jobs as efficient as possible.  Nadine Champlin, our lead designer, expresses her experience.

“What a great opportunity to spend time with the leaders at Grimm’s Gardens  and take time out of our busy work routines and attend the Green Industry Conference.    It was exciting to visit with other landscape professionals from all parts of the country, including Australia.  The speakers at the workshops are leaders in the industry and it was inspirational hearing them place such an importance on this profession that promotes outdoor living.”
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Left to Right: Kurt Grimm, Greg Strahm, Ted Grimm, Joel Schesser, Andrew Mitchell, Nadine Champlin, and Rebecca Bohling

As Nadine mentioned, another major portion of the Green Industry Conference is the workshops.  We all attended a variety of lectures covering topics such as marketing, employee management, personal and business motivation, and finance.  One such topic left lasting impressions:

 “The “Come Alive Outside” program was created within the industry to promote making lives more healthy and vibrant.  As Green Industry workers (Lawn Care Service, Landscape Designers, Nursery Workers, etc.)  we should place more value on our jobs.  We create and care for outdoor rooms that family & friends can enjoy and spend more time together, away from electronic devices.    Adding lovely landscaping and water features help stimulate our senses and increases our desire to be outside in the fresh air, cooking healthy meals, and enjoy staying active.   It is rewarding to be a part of this industry!” Says Nadine.

One of my favorite speakers encouraged me to look to the future and plan long term in my business decisions. I learned that one of the greatest assets that Grimm’s has is it’s diversity, both in people and in products offered. Another favorite, Steve McClatchy taught about conflict and conflict resolution. Try this next time you need to address a situation.  Start with “I’m concerned and I need your help…”  Then state the agreement and the agreement that was broken, and then finish with this phrase: “What do we do?” Here is an example: “I’m concerned and I need your help.  Our handbooks says that all employees must arrive at 8:00 a.m. You arrived today at 8:45. What do we do?” In most cases the person will respond with an apology.  Isn’t that awesome!  I absolutely love people and learning about the way they interact.  Anyhow, back to landscapes.

I guess, all in all, I simply want to express how much I appreciate being trained and encouraged to grow both in my personal life and in my business life.  I love what I do and am thankful that I have an opportunity to share that love with all of you.  I am also glad that we all made it home from the conference safe and sound (even if it was at 2 a.m.!)  

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