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Quips and quotes from the 2023 LM Growth Summit

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The LM Growth Summit lasts two-and-a-half days at the Reunion Resort near Orlando. Beyond the one-on-one meetings, boardroom presentations and outdoor demonstrations, attendees also enjoy panel discussions, poolside meals and a casual 18-hole golf scramble. The unique meeting has taken place annually for over a decade. (Photo: LM Staff)
The LM Growth Summit lasts two-and-a-half days at the Reunion Resort near Orlando. Beyond the one-on-one meetings, boardroom presentations and outdoor demonstrations, attendees also enjoy panel discussions, poolside meals and a casual 18-hole golf scramble. The unique meeting has taken place annually for over a decade. (Photo: LM Staff)

The format is unique to any other event in the industry: for two-and-a-half days, personnel from 20 lawn care companies from around the country come to Reunion Resort near Orlando. Over those 60 hours, each company meets individually with each LM Growth Summit partner. (We also sneak in a round of golf and a poolside barbecue dinner, among other activities.)

Before the individual one-on-one meetings begin, partners make presentations to the group as a whole. What follows are some of the key messages from each partner.

The company: WorkWave
What: Coalmarch
Who: Jeff Davis, senior vice president and general manager
What he said: “Everything that we do is behind data. That’s what makes us a little bit different. We’re pulling from your databases, specifically within RealGreen. You all have the key. Everything that we do is around your client data, from building profiles to targeting and figuring out what markets you’re in, what markets you need to go after, where your target demographic is and everything around there. We use that for both digital and direct marketing purposes. This is the core of what we do.”

George Kinkead (far right) is the president of Turfco, a company that is over 100 years old and now in its fourth generation as a family-owned business. Kinkead personally gives the demonstrations to LM Growth Summit attendees and listens to their feedback. (Photo: LM Staff)
George Kinkead (far right) is the president of Turfco, a company
that is over 100 years old and now in its fourth generation as a
family-owned business. Kinkead personally gives the demonstrations to LM Growth Summit attendees and listens to their feedback. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: Turfco
Who: George Kinkead, president
What he said: “What’s been happening is that the industry is changing rapidly. We’re decelerating the growth that we are seeing over the last five to 10 years. Over that time, we’ve seen a rapid pace where some companies grew by 20 to 25 percent a year. We’re shifting now to a much different pace. That pace will be about productivity. What we want to do during this visit is explain how we’ll be the best partner you’ll ever have and show you what we will do in the future. Most importantly, we want to show how we’ll be a different kind of partner than anybody that you’ve spoken to here and how we are the true leading innovator to the way in which you really want to run your business, which is, ‘I need more productivity, I need easier ways to train my employees on equipment and I can’t have downtime.’”

The company: FMC
What: Durentis insecticide
Who: Kyle Richards, pest and nursery/greenhouse market manager
What he said: “What is Durentis? It is an FMC-proprietary technology. It is powered by the active ingredient chlorantraniliprole, which is an FMC molecule. FMC discovered it back in the early 2000s. Durentis has a really unique low-use rate formulation. 2.7 to 5.4 oz. per acre. It has control over all 13 species of grub, from fall armyworms, sod webworms or black cutworms. Great operational flexibility. Fast-acting mode of action. And the best part … no signal words. It’s safe for you. It’s safe for your customers. It has a favorable environmental profile and no pollinator impact, which is great safety for bees. It will be available in Q1 of 2024. I’m really excited to talk to you guys about Durentis and the capabilities it can bring to your program.”

The company: Greene County Fertilizer Co.
Who: John Perry, founder
What he said: “When we first started out, I was doing polymer injections. I was taking liquified polymer and putting down two to three inches into the root zone. It was highly painstaking and it worked okay. But now, there are better things out there and we’ve developed a few things, one in liquid form to work to retain moisture on the surface of the soil. We also have a granular version that’s out now as well that uses granulated compost. We’re feeling like this is going to be the next big push for a lot of people in our industry. On the production side out to you guys, it is about how we can make sure that your lawns can mitigate a lot of this damage that is happening from low water levels, water restrictions or droughts. And how you can continue to be able to do applications and have happy customers. That’s a big push for us.”

John Perry, founder of Green Country Fertilizer Co. (far left), sits down with LM Growth Summit attendees to discuss how the company’s products can maximize a lawn care company’s profits. (Photo: LM Staff)
John Perry, founder of Green Country Fertilizer Co. (far left), sits down with LM Growth Summit attendees to discuss how the company’s products can maximize a lawn care company’s profits. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: Nufarm
Who: Jamie Heydinger, lawn care segment lead
What he said: “Not only are we involved with Project EverGreen and
GreenCare for Troops, we’re also very involved in the National Association of Landscape Professionals and Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE) on the manufacturing side. We’re always working with EPA and other groups to support our industry for the future. There are people out there who don’t quite understand what we do. We spend a lot of time and money to support that and tell our story — that what we do is good and safe.”

The company: Albaugh Specialty Products
What: Triad
Who: Bret Corbett, product development manager
What he said: “Where our focus is in herbicides. That’s where most of our manufacturing comes from in the U.S. And Triad is our flagship product. We have specialty products featuring the same name as Triad. Triad QC has quinclorac for crabgrass. Triad SFZ is going to have sulfentrazone for speed. TZ is basically ‘t-zone.’ It’s going to have triclopyr and sulfentrazone. This is us trying to be different than other post-patent companies in the market.”

The company: Quali-Pro
What: Nimitz Pro, Suprado, Doxem Plus Fire Ant Bait, Prodoxaben SC & G
Who: Jeff Rampino, Florida territory manager
What he said: “It’s pretty fair to say we’ve always been known as a post-patent company. Well, we’re moving into more of a hybrid company. We have an innovative product focus. We have plenty of products that we’ve developed with our own active ingredients or reformulated. We will still always be a post-patent company at heart. That’s where we got our start. And, to be honest with you, everybody needs an affordable solution that they can go out and make sure they’ve got quality work.”

Tim Zech, CEO and owner of RightLine (far left), talks to attendees about how his company can help lawn care companies lower their herbicide spending. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: RealGreen
Who: Brian Wareck, senior account executive
What he said: “One thing that I think you guys will really like about us is that we’re a one-stop shop. We’re built for a lot of different industries. We’ve been around the block. We’re big into enterprise companies all the way down to mom-and-pop shops. We have companies that, when they come on board with us, have no customers. What really separates us is the marketing capabilities, the efficiencies in our software and the way that we can take things out of your office’s hands and make your technicians a lot more efficient on the field. People that use us from an upsell standpoint experience, in the first year, (they see) a 12 percent increase in upsells.”

The company: RightLine
Who: Cary Zech, sales manager
What he said: “My plea with you and my offer to you all is that you need to be better buyers. You need to contact companies, like mine or some of the other ones here today that bring alternatives to market. We will help you. I’ve got a portfolio of products that are good but there are, like I said, other companies that are bringing alternatives that are worth your while. There are no free rides. We’ve all had to pay to get into these markets. We’ve had to pay the big companies to be here. We have 18 products — a lot of herbicides that you get to use in the lawn care industry that are already available. Some of them you’ve probably not heard of before, but they are out there. If you are a good buyer, look for them and contact the manufacturer directly. That is what RightLine is about … bringing alternatives to the market.”

Scot Jones, co-founder and senior project specialist of Steel Green Manufacturing (far right), explains the finer points of the company’s SG45. (Photo: LM Staff)

The company: Steel Green Manufacturing
What: SGXL
Who: Caleb Myers, sales representative
What he said: “Getting into our newest machine, the SGXL, we’re seeing more of a trend of landscaping or commercial companies being contracted out to do athletic fields, golf courses and things of that nature. This machine was originally designed and conceived based on golf and sports turf specifically. It’s a 120-gallon, stand-on sprayer. It has a 14-foot rear boom and comes with five different options, like the foam marker; a 100-foot hose reel; an 18-inch LED lightbar; and what we call our ‘hillside assist kit.’ This also has a 27-gallon per minute centrifugal pump. This is not strictly limited to being a sprayer though. We have a 350-pound hopper attachment that is interchangeable with the tank.”

The company: Stinger Equipment

David Cook, CEO of Stinger (right), demonstrates the advanced technology behind one of the many machines he’s invented. (Photo: LM Staff)
David Cook, CEO of Stinger (right), demonstrates the advanced technology behind one of the many machines he’s invented. (Photo: LM Staff)

Who: Dustin McGehee, vice president of sales and marketing
What he said: “A little bit about Stinger Equipment is we don’t design a product unless it meets a strict criteria. It’s got to be easier to use, have less maintenance, be more productive and it’s got to have two or more defining features. If we can’t do that, we’re going to let someone else do it. We do multiple ride-on aerators, ground meter spreader-sprayer, walk-behind aerators and walk-behind power seeders.”

The company: The Andersons
What: CarbonCoat Technology
Who: Alan Hollen, territory manager, and Dave Louttit, territory manager
What they said: “As you guys know, during COVID, things got a little wonky. Things backed up. But we are definitely through that now. It was a tough couple of years. We weren’t sure there for a while if we would make it through. Now, we’re rock ’n’ rolling like we were back in 2019.”
– Alan Hollen

Alan Hollen, territory manager for The Andersons, likes to dedicate his boadroom time to giving a presentation on the state of the industry. (Photo: LM Staff)
Alan Hollen, territory manager for The Andersons, likes to dedicate his boardroom time to giving a presentation on the state of the industry. (Photo: LM Staff)

“CarbonCoat Technology has been a work-in-progress that really started about three years ago. A couple of years ago, we introduced HCU, which is our humate-coated urea. This year, we were proud to introduce HCAS, our humate-coated ammonium sulfate. The last one that came out this year was, what we call PCHCU, which is a polymer coating humate-coated urea. It gives us an extended control. And we’re going to have blends that you can buy individually or we’re going to put these into blends depending on where you’re at in the country and how long you want the product to last.” – Dave Louttit

The company: Tiger Payment Solutions
Who: Rob Fawcett, president
What he said: “We help small family businesses manage their cost of credit card acceptance. It’s not a glamour business, but we’re really good at what we do. We’re 10 people in an old schoolhouse in Kingston, Mass. We take our dogs to work and we answer our phones on weekends and holidays. We know clients in almost every state. We’re doing close to two billion dollars in total transactions across our portfolio of customers. We’re here to try to help you reflect on what your payment situation looks like.”

LM Staff

LM Staff

Landscape Management's staff brings together collective experience in journalism, research, writing, and editing. Our team stays tapped into the pulse of the industry, covering a wide range topics with a commitment to delivering compelling stories and high-quality content.

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