May 3, 2021
The next chapter
LANDSCAPE TRADES PUBLISHER LEE ANN KNUDSEN retired in January, after over 20 years with the magazine. Lee Ann and her husband Kerry, originally from the United States, moved to a stone cottage in the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania, where they plan to spend plenty of time enjoying the outdoors.
Lee Ann’s passion for landscape horticulture professionals was clear from the first day I met her. I’ll never forget the way she described Landscape Trades readers when we first met. She called the small business owners in the landscape horticulture profession “heroes,” and she absolutely meant it.
That was the fall of 2015, and I was working as a reporter for a community newspaper, the Woolwich Observer, based in Elmira, Ont. I met Lee Ann for a job interview for the open assistant editor position.
From my perspective, the role was a perfect fit. I was a journalist by training, but I also had a passion for landscaping.
My first experience in landscaping was a summer job in high school, on the maintenance crew at Highland Gate Golf Course in Aurora, Ont. Unfortunately, that course has been shuttered for a housing development in the (many) years since, but that’s a story for another day.
I loved that job, spending days on a mower or with a line trimmer in my hands. The 5:30 a.m. start times weren’t always easy, but the free golf after work certainly made up for it!
Then, in the summers during my undergrad degree and for the first few years after graduating, I worked for several landscape maintenance and landscape design build companies in the Greater Toronto Area. I have nothing but fond memories of those years.
It was deeply gratifying to build and care for outdoor spaces that enhance people’s lives.
But what really sticks with me the most is the passion and dedication my employers showed. “Heroes” Lee Ann had referred to them during that first interview, and now that I’m a bit older, I get it.
It takes guts to start a business. Business owners take on risk to create jobs and generate the economic activity that is the backbone of Canada’s economy.
Of course, Lee Ann hired me following that interview in 2015, and over the last five and half years, she became a wonderful mentor and friend. On page 54 of this issue, you can read my Q&A with Lee Ann in this issue’s Mentor Moment.
I have now moved into the Landscape Trades publisher role, and feel incredibly privileged. I feel a great deal of responsibility too. Landscape Trades has been serving the landscape horticulture profession in Canada for 40 years. My hope is that it will continue on for another 40 years.
The media landscape today is drastically different from when Landscape Trades launched back in 1979.
Going forward, our team is committed to telling stories and sharing news across both the printed page and electronic screens in ways that readers find compelling and engaging. This year, you will see enhancements to both the magazine and LandscapeTrades.com. We look forward to sharing more details soon.
Of course, it won’t just be me undertaking this process. Landscape Trades is produced by a passionate team of media professionals: Mike Wasilewski, our creative director, leads the design and layout. Robert Ellidge, our assistant editor, works on stories and copy editing; Angela Lindsay, our communications coordinator, serves as our administrative backbone; Adele Bedard is our digital marketing specialist who oversees our social media; and Greg Sumsion, our account manager, provides print and digital advertising solutions to our valued clients.
And none of it is possible without you, our loyal readers. Thank you for continuing to trust and value Landscape Trades.
Scott Barber is the publisher of Landscape Trades. He has been with the magazine since 2015.