Thursday, March 26, 2009

On Parr with ANLA 2009 Management Clinic

I was lucky enough to score a ticket to this year’s ANLA 2009 Management Clinic in Louisville, KY. After having reflected upon my experience, I will be writing a short series of blog posts on this event in the coming days, but I wanted to start off by saying… WOW!

This was my first time attending the Management Clinic, and while I had heard from many of you about how great this conference is, nothing could have prepared me for the amount of information and creative ideas that were shared in a mere matter of days! After a few “sprained” fingers from note-taking and some Red Bulls to keep me moving, there was one theme that resonated the entire weekend: (Do you remember this?)

“Head down; keep your eye on the ball; swing through.”
“Head down; keep your eye on the ball; swing through.”
“Head down; keep your eye on the ball; swing through.”

These are the wise words spoken by John Kennedy the first Saturday morning at the Clinic. For those of you whom were unable to attend, this phrase was used to suit two purposes – supporting the golf theme at the Clinic this year and pushing the mindset we all need to grasp during the roughest economy most of the attendees have ever witnessed.

And, even though one of John’s hit golf balls barely missed shattering the hotel’s chandelier, the meaning behind his words touched us all. Times are hard. We need to keep our minds concentrated on what is important, be creative, and work harder than ever before.

In fact, Aaron Davis, one of the incredible speakers over the weekend, kept repeating during his presentation on Leadership Made Simple that we must focus on our “Why” in order to succeed. Whether you are in this industry because you want to better the World one plant at a time or because you are part of your family’s company legacy, you must hold onto your “Why” in order to make the best of 2009. This is what will drive us to survive and grow as an industry.

So, everyone, even if you need to write it on a sticky note or type it on your screen-saver to serve as a reminder… keep your “Head down; keep your eye on the ball; swing through.”

Do you know your “Why?”

More to come…

~ Leslie

Monday, March 9, 2009

Asian Fascination

A Portland local has been selected to speak at the Annual Plant Fair at the Classical Chinese Garden in Portland, Ore. As president and co-owner of Oregon-based nursery, Terra Nova Nurseries, Dan Heims has helped introduce over 600 new plant varieties to gardeners all over the United States. Heims also shares a unique love of the environment and plants as do so many in the Portland area, and now he hopes to share some of his knowledge during this education-based lecture on March 21, 2009.

If you are interested, and will be in the Portland area, the details include the following:

What: Dan Heims will cover the horticulture marvels of Asia, how to collect plants and bring them home, and an overview of Asian nurseries and “wacky” collectors in his lecture called “Asian Fascination.” Slides will be presented of incredible plants from this region in cultivation and in the wild.

When: March 21, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. and again at 2:00 p.m.

Where: The Chinese Garden on NW 3rd & Everett, Portland, Oregon.

Web Sites of Interest:;

Hope to see you there!