NALP announces award winners

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) presented its Lifetime Leadership Award, and its Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award at its executive-level conference, Leaders Forum, in St. Thomas on Jan. 13.


NALP presented its Lifetime Leadership Award to Jim McCutcheon, Landscape Industry Certified, CEO of HighGrove.

McCutcheon is a former president of NALP, and its Foundation. He has served on many committees at NALP including the Crystal Ball Report committee, chairing the National Collegiate Landscape Competition, as well as many other committees at NALP and at other professional associations as well. He is an NALP Trailblazer and a mentor. He has spearheaded major fundraising efforts for the Foundation and has been driving the association’s programs to attract new people into the industry. He is a founding member of the Industry Growth Initiative and is the current chairperson of NALP’s Public Affairs Advisory Council.

“Jim has been an incredible asset to NALP and its members and this award is greatly deserved,” said Sabeena Hickman, CAE, CEO of NALP. “Through his leadership, the Foundation has raised millions of dollars, and he leads the charge on workforce development. He has given countless hours to make the association and the industry stronger.”

NALP’s Lifetime Leadership Award is presented annually to a member of the association who has demonstrated leadership, service, and commitment to both NALP and the landscape industry. It honors individuals who have improved the landscape industry, inspired others throughout their careers with their pioneering spirit and inventiveness.



NALP presented its Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award to Abby Santos, Owner of No Ka Oi Landscape Services.

NALP’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes an outstanding female entrepreneur in the landscape industry who has demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit and initiative, ensures the advancement of the landscape industry by her actions and endeavors, and serves as an example to current and future female entrepreneurs in the industry.

Santos and her husband Frank started No Ka Oi Plants in 1977 on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii, and built the business into the premier commercial installation and maintenance company on Kauai, managing the landscapes of many of the top resorts and commercial properties on the island and her company makes many contributions to the community.

“Abby has shown great entrepreneurship building her company and she is a great example for the young women who are coming up in the industry,” said Sabeena Hickman, NALP CEO.


The awards were presented at the Breakfast for Business Success sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts. For information about the NALP awards program, visit