“When a fellow CLCA contractor in San Diego was awarded a portfolio maintenance contract for a chain of senior retirement homes, he needed someone to maintain two properties in Los Angeles County and Ventura County — well outside of his normal operating territory. As a result of this CLCA connection, my company obtained an annual maintenance revenue of $24,600 and over $22,000 of enhancement work.”

— Chuck Carr, formerly of Carr Landscape Management, Inc.

“Being involved in the CLCA has given me great business connections. I can attribute over $100,000 in business due to contractors I have met at educational and social events. It truly brings a high level of professionalism to our industry.”

— Rick Zinn, division specialist, Construction and Water Management, Horizon

“Three years ago when we were struggling because of the economy and we had to lay off three employees in one day. We hadn’t had to let anyone go for lack of work ever. I wanted to make sure I was doing this properly for my employees and for my small company. I contacted CLCA’s HR hotline and they walked me through the process. The person on the hotline assured me that I was doing everything right and legally. This was a CLCA benefit that helped me during a tough time.”

— Javier Lesaca, Lesaca Landscape Company, Inc.

“As a supplier and associate member, relationship building is an important part of my job. The CLCA has helped me connect with some of the most amazing people in the industry. They are knowledgeable experts who understand their career, are eager to be a part of something big, and can be trusted to perform professional work every time. Being a part of this association has provided me with leadership skills unmatched by any business school book out there. Thanks for the friendships, too, that will last a lifetime.”

— Andrew Tuckman, Vision Recycling

“I came into the situation of working with some very large commercial projects. Without the experience in dealing with unions or prevailing wage, I knew I was out of my league. Unsure of how to bid or operate with these conditions, I turned to the CLCA peer counselors for assistance. They helped me bid properly and understand the total process. The advice given to me allowed me to sign the contract and understand the logistics and billing procedures. We had zero issues on collections and profited an additional $70,000 throughout the projects. Thank you CLCA peer counselors.”

— Eric Watanabe, Signature Pools and Landscapes

“The mentoring I have received from fellow CLCA members has helped me fast track my second career as a landscape contractor enabling my business to be successful, fun and profitable. An example of the benefits of being a CLCA member can be found in the mentoring and assistance provided by Javier Lesaca. He let me borrow/hire one of his landscape crews to meet a deadline on a large commercial landscape project that actually won the best landscape project in our Chapter’s 2009 Beautification Awards.”

— Richard “JC” Sheffield, Antioch Nursery Landscape and Tree Service

“Joining the CLCA was the best decision I could have made for our company. With the structure of the CLCA, we went from wanting to be a professional landscaping firm to one of the most recognized companies in the greater Monterey Bay area.”

— Regan Barry, president, Coastal Evergreen Co.

“After joining CLCA, we got to know a contractor in our area, and after a few months he recommended us to a customer of his for some maintenance work that he didn't provide. We worked with this contact for years and still maintain properties that came from this recommendation. This one referral has resulted in at least a million dollars in work. Since then, we consistently use this same contractor for work that we don’t do. This is only one example of how CLCA has helped us over the years. The mentoring opportunities are endless also.

— Eric Briner, Briner & Son Landscape Management

“CLCA offered a program for smaller contractors and I was fortunate enough to be a part of that. Through that business training, my company is in a healthy growth mode. There is no other organization or group that would offer that kind of training and I am grateful.”

— Larry Scott, Operations Manager, Integrity Landscape Services, Inc.

“We have a competitor who I have known for years. We do maintenance and construction and he just does construction. Once in a while he’ll get a call for maintenance. He referred us the other day and we ended up picking up an account worth about $1,000 a month. And this was from a referral from a competitor! We don’t all do the same things. So, it’s been a real plus being a member of the CLCA.”

— Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs Landscaping

“CLCA got me a viewing on Oprah Winfrey Network. A representative of OWN called CLCA headquarters and was looking for someone who understood sustainability and my name was given to them. After a background check and a four-hour interview over the phone, I was selected for the appearance. A date was set and on that date, three vans with 11 people pulled into my company shop for a 12-hour shoot. Included was a director from New York, a sound crew, a makeup artist, two cameramen, a number of grips, a representative from OWN and her assistant. A week later the camera crews, the sound crew and the director returned and shot additional footage. This eight-hour shoot culminated in a client interview and six weeks later my appearance was shown on national television. I received calls from across the United States with requests to design gardens or explain sustainable landscaping. The shoot went onto my website and it has brought me a significant amount of business and credibility.”

— Frank Niccoli, state president, CLCA, Certified EPA WaterSense Manager

“A few years back, the economy was slow, but we had a couple of projects where we were short on labor. We had a friend—who was a direct competitor— who was worried about his business. We made an arrangement where I subcontracted his labor for a period of time to get the project done. It was a win-win. He did it at cost so he didn’t make money on it. The idea was that he was keeping his guys busy, which meant they would stay with his company, and we were able to obtain temporary labor and get some work done when we were short. It was a real plus.”

— Steve Jacobs, Nature Designs Landscaping

“The world has changed a lot since I started in business 1975. It used to be that we (landscapers) were treated like second-class citizens when we went to a ‘plumbing supply store’ to buy irrigation parts. And when I went to a rock yard, it was called a ‘masonry supply yard’ and I was treated like a flunky. Now we have ‘irrigation supply’ yards competing for our business. Also, ‘landscape supply’ products are everywhere. CLCA has been a huge influence in these changes. Meanwhile, we have enjoyed great relationships through the association. I wouldn’t purchase from a company that does not support our industry as a member of the California Landscape Contractors Association.”

— Tim Pflueger, Integrity Landscape Services, Inc.

“I’ve been involved in CLCA activities for many years, usually in the background. Many times our local chapter and members stepped up and came to together to protect our industry and our clients’ best interests— i.e. property values during crises. Water, labor and plant material aren’t just overhead line items; they are also the lifeblood of our industry. A strong board is ready to protect its members when big issues arise.”

— Lawrence O'Leary, director of sales and marketing, Hydro-Scape Products, Inc.

“My first employer and mentor in this industry, Roger Fiske, was not only a member, but was very involved in chapter and state service his entire career. I could see from early in my career, that membership and—more importantly— involvement would benefit me. The networking opportunities in this organization are limited only by my level of involvement. And from this networking, I’ve gained the collective working knowledge of hundreds of like-minded professionals. I stay up to date on the latest market trends and new products. And, most importantly, I’ve developed friendships that will last a lifetime.”

— Tim Hendrickson, operations manager, Cagwin & Dorward

“Last year I received a call from Tom, a fellow CLCA member in Fresno. He said to expect a call from a director of facilities management for a hospital in Bakersfield. They had both worked together in the Fresno area for years. The director had moved to Bakersfield for a new position at this hospital. He wanted to improve the appearance of the landscape at the hospital so he called Tom and asked if he could recommend anyone. Well, the rest is history! I now have one of my largest clients. If I hadn’t been a CLCA member and got to know Tom, I may have never received the opportunity to get this work.”

— Javier Lesaca, Lesaca Landscape Co.