January 15, 2014
Lexi Dearborn
Lexi Dearborn
Georgian Lakelands Chapter president Lexi Dearborn, of Dearborn Design and Associates of Barrie, became involved with Landscape Ontario after she witnessed the dedication of Chapter members involved in the Tranquility Garden project for the Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County.

Dearborn created the drawing for the project. “I really didn’t know much about LO, however, I just knew that if a group of people could come together to install a project for a women’s shelter, then that was the group I wanted to be with. I was so inspired by the Georgian Lakelands members’ dedication to the community.”

Membership: What’s in it for you?

  • Mentorship
  • Volunteer recognition
  • Connecting with local communities
Chapter members had installed the backyard project as a volunteer community project. “One of the board members suggested that I join LO as a member and I agreed to look into it. This was in 2006. It was the best agreement I have made in years,” says Dearborn.

Since joining the association, Dearborn became a member of the Georgian Lakelands Board in 2007, and in 2011 became the board secretary. In the fall of 2012 she worked with the board to set up the Chapter meetings for the spring of 2013.

Dearborn has also volunteered at Expo and Congress for the past couple of years. She was the guest speaker at Ottawa’s GreenTrade Expo last February, talking about the ins and outs of landscape design. She will return again as a speaker at this year’s event. “I continue to attend local garden club meetings and garden shows as a guest speaker, promoting LO and the Chapter.”

This year, Lexi Dearborn was named Chapter president. She says one of her goals as Chapter president is to connect LO members to LO members in order to support and build their businesses and the green industry. She is a member of the Landscape Ontario Trade Show Committee.

For over a year Dearborn has worked with Chapter members and LO staff to start the ball rolling to bring apprenticeship training to the Georgian Lakelands region.

Asked about her favourite memory during her volunteer experience with LO, Dearborn says, “There are so many, and I can only pick one. Planting trees at Cundles this fall. The kids were so excited to be getting trees. However, it was the reaction of the Chapter members that was the best. Everyone walked away knowing they made a difference for the children. It was the best feeling in the world. You can’t buy it, it has to be given.”

The Chapter president says volunteering gives more back than the volunteer gives. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with like-minded people. We don’t talk about the Leafs, that’s for sure.”  

Dearborn sees LO success depends on the whole organizing being inclusive. “As members, we need to let go and accept each other for where we are in the organization and in business. The Barrie business person says she believes that mentorship is something that needs to be pursued from chapter to chapter, where businesses are matched by size and sales dollars with other member companies in the province.

Dearborn is also a member of the Simcoe County Women in Trades in Barrie and the Barrie Business Network. As part of her promotion of the industry, Dearborn volunteers to write articles for local community magazines.

It’s all part of her dedication toward her industry, association, Chapter and business.