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Seth’s Cut: Seeing is believing

September 26, 2022 -  By
Ken Thomas welcomed attendees to Envision Academy 2022 in Memphisy before the group visited Michael Hatcher and Associates. (Photo: LM Staff)

Ken Thomas welcomed attendees to Envision Academy 2022 in Memphis before the group visited Michael Hatcher and Associates. (Photo: LM Staff)

Elevate is this month! I hope to see you in Orlando. And then Equip is next month! I also hope to see you in Louisville. But before we get to either of those events, I want to write about Envision.

Yes, Envision. Another e-word event to keep me and my team on our toes. Envision is hosted by Envisor Consulting. You might recognize that name; it is the creation of Ken Thomas and Ben Gandy, two longtime industry consultants we’re proud to have as columnists for our magazine.

Ben and Ken invited me to Memphis to attend this year’s consulting seminar, where attendees got a look behind the curtain at Michael Hatcher & Associates. Located in Olive Branch, Miss., Michael Hatcher & Associates has been in operation since 1986 and offers commercial and residential landscaping and recently added lawn care. The company came in at No. 117 on our 2022 LM150 list, reporting $21 million in revenue in 2021, a 55 percent increase from 2020.

We spent an entire day at Michael Hatcher & Associates, going from room to room, learning about how the company handles its production management, account management, finances and overall strategy and structure. It was a lot of information to take in.

Michael Hatcher & Associates utilizes the Green Dot Operating System, a business template created by Ben and Ken. Green Dot identifies the key components of organizational development and then combines business theory and industry experience with processes and key performance indicators to offer business owners a path to success. Ben and Ken were kind enough to send me a few slides from their PowerPoint on this system they’re happy to share with our LM readers. If you would like to see them, send me an email.

One of the best things I saw at the event had nothing to do with the presentations. I loved observing the attendees and how thirsty they were for knowledge. It reassured me that this industry is indeed hungry for information — which is the business I’m in.

One attendee who stood out to me was William Cruz, director of operations for Koehn Outdoor, located in Jacksonville, Fla. Cruz furiously took notes throughout the day, burning through notebook page after notebook page. After lunch, I asked Cruz why he was so enthusiastic about attending Envision.

“I wanted to come to this event because I wanted to bring my team and staff to be around like-minded individuals,” he told me. “To see some of the people in the industry who are hitting their margins and give them a realistic look at what true culture is.”

Seeing is believing, right? See my video interview with Michael Hatcher himself on why he welcomed Envision at his facility, some recent successes they’ve enjoyed and his favorite part of being in the industry for almost four decades. And this month’s issue also features my 5 Questions Q&A with Russ Sneed, CEO of Michael Hatcher & Associates.

Back to the other events starting with the letter e. In this month’s cover story, I share six ways the new Equip Expo will be different from the old GIE+EXPO. A few of these new events I’m particularly excited about (see No. 3 and No. 5.) but many things will be the same. Of course, being together in person will be the best part of it all.

Whatever E-vent you attend, whether it’s this month’s Elevate, next month’s Equip or a meeting like Ben and Ken’s Envision, it’s all about being present. Be like William Cruz and fill up that notebook with great ideas. And then let us know what you thought was the biggest game-changer for your business so that we can, in turn, learn more and report back.

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.

1 Comment on "Seth’s Cut: Seeing is believing"

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  1. Stephanie Leveling says:

    Great comments. No better way to learn and understand what a great culture can look like than seeing one in person. We all talk about what a great culture should have, but many people are visual learners. To bring your team and let them see it for themselves and see that their takeaways are really helps bring it home. And the bonus is it probably reenergizes them to want to be better.