December 11, 2020
Technology connects members across the province
Over 130 landscape professionals from across the province attended Landscape Ontario’s first-ever virtual All-Chapter Meeting on Nov. 17, 2020. The two-hour Zoom event featured three informative and relevant speakers, plus break out rooms for participants to network and discuss relevant topics and issues.

First up, Nick McCullough, owner of McCullough’s Landscape and Nursery in central Ohio gave a 40-minute presentation on his growing residential design-maintenance company. The stunning images in McCullough’s presentation received a lot of comments from attendees, which McCullough also uses on social media to attract and win over new clients.

“Ninety per cent of my design clients viewed my Pinterest or Instagram pages before contacting me,” he said, “so when I meet with clients, I’m a 95 per cent close rate. It’s a great situation to walk into where they are showing you pictures of your jobs.”

The company also has a greenhouse that grows about 20,000 annuals each year, which enables McCullough to do a lot of large containers and offer unique plant material to construction and maintenance clients.

Windsor Chapter president, Jay Terryberry, commented: “Nick was great! Very entertaining, great photos and excellent information.” Durham Chapter president Jon Agg, was equally impressed: “Nick was inspirational. The greenhouse, the yard, the mulcher, my brain exploded at it all!”

Jon Durzi, Toronto Chapter Provincial Board Rep, attended the first half of the meeting and said, “It was nice to get his [Nick’s] eye on detail from his experiences, and the whole presentation was very well put together. It was a great way to involve all sector groups at one time. I think it was very successful.”

Next, Diana Rea and Vanessa Blount from Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) explained their organization’s Health and Safety Excellence program in which small businesses can earn significant rebates on WSIB premiums and stand out as a safe employer to attract employees and clients.

The framework of the program involves three stages with a total of 36 topics. For every topic implemented, a company receives a minimum $1,000 rebate, to a maximum of $50,000 per topic. The rebate factors in current premiums, company size and the company’s existing predictability rate. In general, a company can save up to 75 per cent of annual premiums. Using an example, Blount illustrated how a company paying $7,500 in annual premiums would receive $5,000 in rebates by implementing just five topics.

For the second-half of the meeting, attendees dispersed into break out rooms — one for each of the nine regional chapters. Some held brief chapter meetings to discuss things like budgets, new business or to plan projects and initiatives. The format also provided a forum for members to discuss trials and tribulations of the past year, including what sales were like in 2020, what sales expectations are for 2021, and what to expect from suppliers.

Kaneisha De Leon, LO membership engagement coordinator, says initial feedback is good. “It was incredible to see so many professionals tune in for the first-ever All Chapter Meeting. We received many compliments on the relevant content, event format, and the opportunity for members to reconnect after such a crazy year. It’s safe to say members can expect to see many more All-Chapter Meetings in the future.

A replay of the introduction and speaker presentations can be found online at