Meet Shayne Newman, NALP’s New President

By Jill Odom

SHAYNE NEWMAN, LIC, IS THE PRESIDENT OF YARDAPES BASED in New Milford, Connecticut. He will assume the role of President of the NALP Board of Directors in October. While the thought of volunteering within the association was intimidating to him at first, he wanted to be a part of the positive change he saw happening. “I feel that NALP has certainly moved the needle regarding the public’s perception of our industry – something that I am certainly proud to be a part of,” he says.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CHOSEN AS THE PRESIDENT OF NALP? I feel honored to be chosen as the President of the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Shortly after I decided thirty years ago to make landscaping my career of choice, I promised myself that I would try my hardest to do my part to help improve the lawn & landscape industry for future generations. It is humbling for me to be in a position of leadership within an association that is doing exciting work to help improve the lawn & landscape industry. There have been so many amazing past Presidents of our association, leaders that I have respected, looked up to and learned from. I am both proud and humbled to be able to serve and follow in their shoes.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH AS THE PRESIDENT OF NALP? During my presidency I hope to accomplish a few things.

First, I would like to encourage mem- bers to get involved and volunteer within NALP. There are numerous committees within NALP that are doing great work towards improving specific special- ties within our industry. We are always looking for passionate lawn & landscape professionals who would like to be a part of the effort to improve our industry. The

24 The Landscape Professional //September/October 2020

association cannot accomplish meaning- ful change without the work of passion- ate volunteers. I am a firm believer in karma and have found that any amount of effort that I have put into volunteering and helping others has come back to me in one meaningful way or another. My volunteer involvement within NALP has been no exception. Every minute of my time that I have given to our association has come back to me and enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams. I would like others to take the step forward and enjoy the same positive experience that I have. It may seem intimidating and even a little scary taking the leap, but we all need to step out of our comfort zones in order to continue to improve. Secondly, I would like to make sure our members really understand all the resources that the National Association of Landscape Professionals have avail- able to help to manage our companies. There’s so much hard work performed by the staff and volunteers and sometimes I feel like some of the resources are un- derutilized by membership. The resourc- es that NALP has provided my company have directly contributed to us raising our standard of professionalism. Thanks to our involvement with NALP resources, we are more educated, more involved in our community and more aware of issues that will impact our industry. Additionally,

there are many ways NALP has saved our company money due to the many partnerships that NALP has established with lawn & landscape industry suppliers. Most importantly, NALP has inspired us to step out of our comfort zone and encouraged us to the be the best landscape professionals that we can be. NALP membership has contributed to us feeling full of pride in knowing that we have chosen an amazing industry to be a part of. Finally, I would like to do whatever I can to encourage NALP members to represent our industry in the best light possible and to be leaders in their communities. If we all represent the lawn & landscape profession in a positive light and become respected business leaders locally, then meaningful change can happen for our wonderful industry.

WHAT’S CHANGED THE MOST IN THE LAWN AND LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY SINCE YOU JOINED THE NALP BOARD UNTIL NOW? A lot has changed within our industry since I joined the NALP Board. It almost seems like more has changed in the past six months than has changed in the past six years. COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we live our lives and run our businesses. Prior to COVID-19, technology seemed to be gaining momentum and creating exciting efficiencies for our industry. I feel COVID-19 will continue to propel advances in technology as we are forced to adapt and change the way we do things.

One very exciting change I am seeing due to COVID-19 is a generally height- ened appreciation for being outdoors. As many of our clients have been more isolated working from home and limited to the amount of travel they can safely conduct, they have become more aware of their outdoor environments. Back- yards, landscapes of homes, golf cours- es and public parks are some of the few places people feel safe. Well-designed and properly maintained outdoor spaces provide a sense of relaxation and es- cape from the stresses of life. As lawn & landscape professionals, we have always understood and appreciated the benefits of a beautiful landscape. For the first time in my career I feel the public is really starting to understand the simple pleasures of being surround- ed by a beautiful landscape. This is an

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