December 15, 2016
Paul Brydges
LO President

Paul BrydgesThe 2017 Congress Guide just arrived in my mailbox. It is amazing how this winter’s agenda is filling up so quickly with many great opportunities to interact with members as well as to improve our business skills and knowledge base. I know there aren’t any members who could not benefit from the vast number of continuing education programs that are out there for all of us to take in. It is also inspiring to see how many members freely give their knowledge so other members can improve their business skills; and also professional balance.

I have written throughout the year on how busy the season has appeared to be for all LO members. It does not seem to be any different as this season comes to a close. The calendar says the year is almost over, but so far, the weather has not given us any indication that the construction season is at an end. Snow contracts are already set for winter, but thankfully, have not been acted upon yet. I know many of our construction sector members round out their year with snow removal, but I suspect they won’t mind waiting a bit longer to attach plows to the front of their trucks or having to kiss their family good night before heading out for the night shift.

Reaching the next generation

Jeff Hicks, LO’s Director of Education and Labour Development, who started with the association back in July, is quickly settling into his new role at home office and is adding valuable insight into so many of our diverse initiatives. I have spoken with Jeff several times, and I am extremely grateful to see someone with such energy as part of our association. With so many opportunities to speak to students — both at the secondary and post secondary level — Jeff will bring our message to our future workforce and leaders.

As I see more members reaching out to schools directly, it is very important that we all speak the same language. I welcome any suggestions about what our priorities should be when speaking to students. Your input is always greatly appreciated.

The revitalized LO Branding Committee (dubbed Branding 2.0), has been discussing strategies to put in place to reach out and connect with this new generation most of us really don’t even understand. The Millennials, we have been told, have a different value system than many of us who are now managers and business owners. I think we have a great opportunity to learn from them about a better work life balance and valuing some things that are more intrinsic than monetarily-based.

A shift is occurring in our client’s requests for some more environmentally-friendly solutions to their landscape designs; both in residential and commercial applications. The Fusion landscape initiative, in conjunction with several municipalities and conservation authorities, is an opportunity for our professions to showcase responsible design applications in many different aspects of our landscapes.

As we reach the end of another busy and successful season, I wish you all the best and hope you get time to relax, reflect and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Paul Brydges may be reached at