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Seth’s Cut: A year ago, we were …

February 16, 2021 -  By
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Photo: Seth Jones

Seth Jones

Now that the calendar is on February 2021, we’re in our last few weeks of that game where we whimsically talk to our loved ones about what we were doing exactly one year ago, before the coronavirus.

The whole, “You know, a year ago we were …” and fill in the blank with such things as “taking a vacation to wine country” or “seeing that band at the Midland Theater” or even something so simple as “celebrating your birthday at your favorite restaurant.”

Pretty soon, as March gets here, the news will start marking the significant dates in the COVID-19 timeline. The day the coronavirus was declared a national emergency, the day the NCAA tournament was canceled, the first thousand deaths.

We could also look back at the significant dates for our businesses: the first time we bought a bunch of hand sanitizer; the date we had team members go directly to job sites while we figured things out in the office; the date landscape and lawn care companies in Minnesota got shut down, and we wondered which state was next; the first time one of our employees tested positive …

Now that we’re approaching a year of this, there’s still plenty of uncertainty and a difficult road ahead, but I think there’s also the feeling that we know what we’re doing in 2021, compared to all the unknowns this time last year.

We’ve got a lot of useful, exciting content to share in this month, so I won’t dwell on this pandemic timeline thought that’s percolating in my head right now. But, I do think, after speaking with landscape and lawn care company owners, that our industry is on the verge of a booming spring season unlike any other, and my team and I are excited to keep an eye on it and report on it online, in our weekly e-newsletter and in these pages. You help keep us informed, and we’ll return the favor.

Now, let me cover the bullet points so you can move from this page to the rich content of this issue:

  • I was on the phone with Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI, recently. Among other things, we discussed the GIE+EXPO 2021 in October. Kiser told me that three of the biggest exhibitors are looking to make a big splash with the 2021 show. In fact, one company was in negotiations to double its exhibit space in Louisville for 2021, which is good news for the show, but also a logistical nightmare. “What it’s shown us is there is pent-up energy for both the exhibitor side and the attendee side,” Kiser said. “I would get my hotel reservations early, and that’s not a joke. There are very strong signals for the ’21 show if, God willing, this vaccine business is working.”
  • Good news from your friends at LM: You surely recognize the name Sarah Webb, who has been working diligently on the magazine for the last three years. She penned the cover story this issue and has written numerous other features and inserts, including doing some heavy lifting on our annual LM150 report. I’m happy to announce that Sarah was recently promoted to managing editor. Congratulations, Sarah! Now, readers — bombard her with story ideas!
  • Speaking of the LM150, if your company had revenue of more than $10 million last year, I’d like to encourage you to submit your company for our annual list of the top 150 companies in the industry, based on revenue. The LM150 appears every year in our June issue. We’re taking submissions now. The window to apply closes on April 1, and I know you’ll be busy with plenty of other projects in March and April!
Seth Jones

About the Author:

Seth Jones, a graduate of Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, was voted best columnist in the industry in 2014 and 2018 by the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association. Seth has more than 19 years of experience in the golf and turf industries and has traveled the world seeking great stories. He is editor-in-chief of Landscape Management, Golfdom and Athletic Turf magazines. Jones can be reached at sjones@northcoastmedia.net.

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