Giving back to the green industry

Here is how to get involved and reap the benefits of associations.

September 22, 2011
Kristen Hampshire
Industry News

There’s more to business than business. For Rick Doesburg, involvement in the green industry and other trade organizations has provided the personal and professional satisfaction that helps him lead Thornton Landscape and mentor other landscape companies.

Anytime Doesburg has an idea, a question, a concern, he simply picks up the phone and calls a friend at PLANET or the National Homebuilders Association. And he returns the advice and perspective by offering his expertise in marketing, design/build and sales to peers who want to learn.

“Being involved in associations has played a big part in our maturing as a company and our ability to lead, watch others and learn from others,” Doesburg says. “In the beginning years, I was learning constantly – still am. And it’s nice at some point in time when you can be the teacher. All of that has added to our ability to grow a better, stronger business with solid employee relations.”

Here, Doesburg offers some pointers for getting involved and giving back to the green industry, because, he says, “We owe it to our industry – we get a lot out of it and we have a responsibility to help repay that.”

Take initiative. “It’s as simple as picking up the phone,” Doesburg says. There isn’t a single association with too many volunteers. Start small and choose a committee. Show up at events. Get to know your peers. Network and learn “There are numerous industry veterans that we have bounced ideas off of,” Doesburg says. “Learning from their victories and failures has helped get us where we are today.”

Do what you love.  Consider your strengths, then give some of your talent to a green industry organization. If you enjoy what you’re doing for the association, you’ll volunteer with sincere interest in helping.

Give first. You don’t get to cash in on the benefits of being involved in an association unless you’re willing to share your talent and give your time. Focus on what you can do to help others. How can you teach? How can you make the organization stronger? How can you make the industry better? All of this takes little things – really. There is so much to be done to keep a professional association running. “You will get far more out of the association than you give,” Doesburg assures. “Go in for the right reasons and over time, (your involvement) could reap financial benefits.”


This story is one of three that appeared in Lawn & Landscape’s Business Builder e-newsletter. To continue reading about Thornton Landscape:

Moving into maintenance:
Thornton Landscape celebrates 50 years in business and shares how the firm has evolved to meet market demands.
Maintenance pointers:
Andy Doesburg offers three tips for adding the service.