LM everywhere… almost all at once

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Illustration: Rob Dobi

After a month off from writing this column, I’m back. It was difficult for me to sit out last month — saying hello to our readership here and connecting with everyone is one of my favorite parts of my job. But, I took last month off so LM Editor Christina Herrick could utilize this space in the magazine to share what she learned in Hawaii after attending the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ annual Leaders Forum.

I think it was the right move for two reasons. One, she deserves the spotlight for the fantastic work she does for this publication every month. And two, I wanted to celebrate that LM is willing to travel to Hawaii to report on this industry for our readers.

You might think I’m joking. I’m not. Sure, Hawaii is a bucket list place for many of us, including me. But it isn’t cheap to travel there from Cleveland. And it’s a time commitment to travel from Cleveland to Maui. And then, keep in mind, just two days after flying back from Hawaii, Herrick and the team traveled to Orlando to cover another trade show.

That’s a lot of miles in a short time. But we are serious about covering this industry, and sometimes that’s what it takes. We want people to recognize the name LM instantly, like they do with their other favorite brands. We want to be everywhere, all the time (maybe not all at once). 

A lot of what went into Herrick’s cover story, “Get involved or get locked out,” comes from conversations and discussions she was a part of during those five valuable days in paradise … I mean, at work. (Now I’m kidding.) 

Grow! 2023 set a record with 750 attendees. (Photo: John Rossi Photography)
Grow! 2023 set a record with 750 attendees. (Photo: John Rossi Photography)

A few weeks after Herrick hit Hawaii, I went to some familiar stomping grounds: San Antonio, not too far from where my father-in-law resides. My recap of Grow! 2023, hosted by Marty Grunder, appears in our Need to Know section. 

It was a huge crowd at Grow!, to the tune of 750 people. We saw a lot of familiar faces and made new connections, including an introduction to Tony Distefano, owner and president of Angelo’s Landscape Group in Baton Rouge, La. Tony is the second straight source from my Grow! trip to make my 5 Questions Q&A.

I asked Tony a similar question to what I asked a lot of people at Grow! — what are your expectations for 2023? He’s cautiously optimistic for 2023. Everyone in San Antonio was there in a similar frame of mind. What I heard the most was, ‘yes, 2023 will offer its challenges, but at the same time I’m planning on double-digit growth this year.’

As we enter the busy season, I encourage you all to remember that, just like watching our kids grow up … these days go by fast. It’s a special time. Take lots of photos and save them to celebrate the victories when you have time … and share them with us! 

(Illustration: Rob Dobi)
LM April 2023 cover. (Illustration: Rob Dobi)

Finally, before I close my notebook on this issue, a special shout-out to Rob Dobi, the illustrator who created this month’s cover of LM. We sent Rob images of a crew member on a spreader-sprayer and gave him the vision that the applicator was being locked out of doing his job by a temporary fence. Rob turned in this stylish vision for our cover, and we’re thrilled with it. 

Rob adds Landscape Management to his illustrious list of clients. Some of his others? The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, to name a few media clients. But he also has worked with some musicians you may have heard of — including the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and the Black Eyed Peas. 

It’s work like this that gets us closer to Herrick’s stated mission: making LM the most recognized media brand in the industry. Or, in the way she says it: make LM the Beyoncé of turf publications.

Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Seth Jones is is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. A graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Seth was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. He has more than 23 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories.

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