Sharon McGuire, executive director of the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA), has announced her retirement, effective June 9, 2013. Executive director since 1986, Sharon has over 30 years of service to the association and began her career with the association back in 1980. During their May meeting, the Board of Directors promoted assistant executive director, Larry Rohlfes, to interim executive director, effective June 9, and voted to hire a search firm.
As executive director, McGuire has overseen the expansion of the association from four staff members to nine in house staff members. Her financial management, analytical skills and long term vision have allowed the association to survive and thrive throughout her tenure, despite some tough times through droughts and recessions.
During her tenure, CLCA has significantly increased its governmental affairs presence, expanded member benefits, which include human resources and legal hotlines for members, educational resources and legal contracts on-line. CLCA’s communications have expanded to include multiple publications, a website and a strong Internet presence.
McGuire was instrumental in starting the Landscape Educational Advancement Foundation dedicated to raising funds for industry educational scholarships, and the Landscape Industry Show has grown large enough to be housed at the LA Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles.
Under her administration, the need for reducing outdoor water usage was realized, leading to the creation of CLCA’s Water Management Certification Program, which is now a WaterSense labeled program. CLCA also became a sponsor and co-producer of the documentary Rock the Boat, a film about the controversial tale of a group's 51- mile boating expedition down the cemented canals known as the Los Angeles River in 2008.
It has won four awards so far and was recently included in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, the largest US environmental film festival. She also served as chair of the Association Executives Committee with the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) from 2008 – 2010. She was also recognized as Executive Director of the Year by PLANET in 2010 and inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame the same year.
"It will be tough to fill Sharon's position," said CLCA President Frank Niccoli. "Her dedication and commitment to the association and the industry are legendary. She is the heart of our association."
"Sharon McGuire has dedicated her professional life to the betterment of CLCA and the landscape contracting industry. My success, and the success of my company, are closely tied to my involvement with CLCA and Sharon. She will be dearly missed. We all wish her a wonderful and happy retirement," said long-time CLCA member and past association president, Jay Tripathi of Gardenworks.
“I can’t believe the time has gone so fast,” McGuire said. “It has been a pleasure working with so many wonderful people all these years, many whom have become personal friends as well. Thank you for the support and guidance you have provided me during my time at CLCA. Even though I will miss my association with you, I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and grandson who is growing too quickly.”