October 15, 2013
Late starter Peter Vanderley thrives on volunteer work
He started his own company, Pete Vanderley’s Lawn Maintenance and Landscape Services in Denfield, in 1985 after graduating from college in the horticulture program. “I immediately made application to join LO, as I knew it would be a worthwhile experience and investment of my time and money,” says Vanderley.
Before college, he worked from 1975 to 1978 for his uncle John Van Staveren, who had served as president of LO in 1977. In 1983, Vanderley began work for the Thibeaud family, owners of OGS in Brooklin. He was again influenced by the importance of association work, by seeing Marc Thibeaud serve as president of LO.
“I started helping primarily with the booths we had at the annual January London Home Show and the London Home and Garden Show in April. He became really involved in 2008, when he represented London Chapter on the provincial board of directors.
“As the provincial rep for our Chapter, I became aware of other opportunities such as Canada Blooms and the education committee. Over the past three years, I have been involved in tear-down of our Blooms garden,” says Vanderley.
One of his favourite memories during his time volunteering for the association is seeing 16 London Chapter members come together to tear down the Blooms garden in 2012. “Although we have worked together building and tearing down our own gardens for the annual shows in London, it was particularly exciting to see the enthusiasm our Chapter had for an event outside of our community.”
Like many volunteers in LO, Vanderley says he has found a number of benefits from his time spent helping the association. He lists networking, building friendships and education opportunities. “Volunteering has made me more aware of how great our association is, and how much we are doing to help each person and business become better at what we do. I regret not becoming more involved earlier.”
When asked what suggestions he may have to improve the association, Vanderley said, “LO does so many things really well and there is this constant awareness of seeking how to do things better. I am not sure what I could suggest, except for how do we convince the passive members to become more actively involved?”