The Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET’s) recent Executive Forum at the ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, opened to record attendance and, as part of the meeting, saw the installation of PLANET’s 2010–2011 board of directors. “This was a great meeting,” says Gerry McCarthy, president of Mac’s Landscaping in Burlington, Massachusetts. “Every session had excellent take-home value. I especially enjoyed the ‘PROFIT: Winning in the New Economy’ workshop and the ValleyCrest facility tour. In the workshop, Kevin Kehoe was right on target when describing the marketplace. The tour was tremendous, and I really enjoyed the Q&A session with company founder Burt Sperber. When I asked him what his advice would be for smaller landscape contractors, he said, ‘Be consistent with what you do.’”

This year’s Forum incorporated the Summer Leadership Meeting to provide members with the best of both events in one grand location and focused on providing attendees with the tools to master and be successful in the current economy and beyond. Featured speakers included Jeff Thredgold, CSP, of Thredgold Economic Associates, whose keynote address examined topics such as how better economic performance will impact the green industry and the outlook for residential and commercial real estate; and a broad spectrum of industry experts, including founder, CEO, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ValleyCrest Landscape Companies Burton S. Sperber; author and consultant Kevin Kehoe; author and astute construction economist and financial consultant Frank Ross; financial consultant Jeff Harkness; CEO and partner, Highgrove Partners, LLC, Jim McCutcheon, Landscape Industry Certified Manager; and founder and head harvester of The Harvest Group Bill Arman, along with fellow harvesters Ed Laflamme, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, and Steve Cesare.

Attendees were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the ValleyCrest Landscape Companies Las Vegas facility. The company did all the landscaping for the ARIA, as well as the city’s new CityCenter development project. As always, there were dynamic breakfast roundtable discussions, plenty of opportunities for networking, not to mention ample time to enjoy the fabulous resort amenities and other Las Vegas attractions. 

The stellar line up of speakers and educational workshops at this year’s Executive Forum were made possible by the generous support of our sponsors that included Caterpillar Inc. at the Platinum level, Vermeer at the Gold level, and JOHN DEERE at the Silver level.

PLANET is the association of members who create and maintain the QUALITY OF LIFE in communities across America. With more than 3,500 member companies and affiliates, these firms and their employees represent more than 100,000 green industry professionals. Some of these professionals have taken the extra step of becoming certified through PLANET and bear the distinction of being known as Landscape Industry Certified.