By John Crooks
Over the years as a member of NHLA I have met many of the past presidents and other folks that worked hard to start this organization. They always have great stories to tell from way back when, and all have different backgrounds in the landscaping business, giving a wide range of knowledge to the folks who meet them.
It is always so great to run into these people at our conferences, Twilight Meetings, and in passing at places we do business out in the field. I always feel honored to meet them. Anyone who works so hard creating and growing this organization, spending countless hours traveling and meeting with others all for a great salary of $0, must be passionate about landscaping and this organization.
Recently I received an email from one of the original founders of NHLA and the first business officer, event coordinator, and PR person. He spent 50 years designing, consulting, teaching and holding a radio program. Wow and Thank You! The reason I start out with this is to expand on some of what he had to say. He re-acquired cancer recently and had to endure chemotherapy and four weeks in the hospital and four weeks in a rehab center.
He received calls from some of the originals and a card signed by many of them and he said it brought tears to his eyes at such a down time. He stated that it was a good feeling knowing that after all the NHLA years there were still friends out there who cared even though they were competitors on many projects. Great job members—way to go!!!
It was so great to hear as this is what I have experienced over the years as a member of NHLA. Everyone is so respectful with one another and comes together when a member is going through tough times. Being a member of NHLA simply creates friends for life. They always wave, say hello and shake hands (sometimes even hug) each other. Don’t get much better than that now does it.
Now as the current president of NHLA I follow in the footsteps of such great people and wonder how on earth did I get here? Will I someday become as great as the people I have met along the way? Will I have those calls and cards some day if I should find myself going through tough times? I sure hope so, but in the mean time I will continue to enjoy the educational opportunities, Twilight Meetings and all the great people I meet along the way. I will always offer my workers the same opportunities so they continue to grow.
If you hear of any member going through tough times remember it simply takes a call and maybe a card signed by members to help get them through tough times.