December 15, 2015
By Dave Braun
LO President

Dave Braun When I started my term as Landscape Ontario president two years ago, I wanted the direction for the organization to be, “Growing Together.”  We sure have. I’m proud to report that thanks to the visionary leadership of volunteers and staff, our organization is the strongest that it has ever been.

Over the last two years, our membership has grown from just over 2,100 to just over 2,500 at the first of November this year. The increasing membership has allowed for LO to reinvest in members and chapters, while having continued surpluses.

Most importantly, a growing membership demonstrates that people in our industry see the value in our organization. Being a member of Landscape Ontario continues to be relevant to business owners and meaningful to the public who choose to work with us. Chapter events are better attended and our members more engaged than ever. There is a level of enthusiasm and excitement for our industry that I have never seen before, and LO is leading the way in bringing people within our industry together.

This past year we generated $9-million through the sale of 24 acres of our land. Thanks to the visionary leadership of past members who made this transaction possible, we have unprecedented financial strength.

The land sale puts us on course to have budget surpluses for years to come. The promise of our future is limitless. But, success is not guaranteed unless we continue to listen, engage and lead.

Unlike any other trade organization, our work directly contributes to stronger, more beautiful communities and a healthier environment. Although we are competitors, LO members recognize that we are always stronger when working together.

I know for certain that my term as LO President wouldn’t have been nearly as enjoyable, or as successful, without the help of many people. First and foremost, I would like to thank Tony DiGiovanni. Tony is a visionary, a team-builder, a diplomat and a selfless, hard-working leader. I will forever appreciate Tony’s generosity and friendship. I could not have had a more thoughtful, engaged and supportive executive and board of directors. I am so appreciative of your dedication.

The staff members who I have had the pleasure of working with are incredibly dedicated to our collective mission. We are so lucky to have you. To all of you who volunteer your time, energy and passion, thank you for all that you have done and for continuing to inspire others to get involved. To Allan Dennis, Landscape Ontario’s tireless editor, thank you for your encouragement and thoughtfulness. I, and the rest of Landscape Ontario, will miss you and we wish you the best of luck in your retirement.

I also want to congratulate incoming President, Paul Brydges. His wisdom, insights and leadership will undoubtedly help Landscape Ontario continue to thrive.

I have SO enjoyed being your President for the last two years. Meeting and interacting with our members has been an honour and a privilege. I have learned that the people and businesses that are the most successful are those who have the attitude of selflessness and generosity. When you plant a tree that you may never sit under yourself, you are contributing something much larger than right now.

Together, let’s continue to serve and strengthen the organization and the industry that we love.
Dave Braun may be reached at