I, Steven Thoms, APLD am currently waiting at the Philadelphia airport for my connecting flight to Harrisburg, PA to attend the annual chapter symposium. This year the event was limited to only one member of each chapter, preferably the president but the vp could attend if the president wasn’t available. I hope to bring back some great knowledge in how I can help the chapter under my last year of leadership. Stay tuned for more details on my return tomorrow evening.
Returned from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania late last night after attending the APLD Chapter President’s Symposium. It is also great to put faces with e-mail names and to put the great people involved with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. I defiintiely got a lot of great ideas for our Michigan Chapter and the 2013 APLD International Design Conference that will be held right here in Detroit, Michigan. Surprisingly there was A LOT of EXCITEMENT within this group of 20 or so people. There were a few members who stated their hesitation about coming to Detroit, but that was good to know for marketing purposes. I think we will always find that challenge being from Detroit. Look forward to our Local Site Committee meeting this month and our membship meeting in March to share my experience.
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I have been honored to have received this pleasure of leading the Michigan Chapter of the APLD since it was formed in 2009. I have a great team whom are willing to put the time in to make this organization one that the landscape industry can benefit from. I thank each and every one of you who have put in time to make this possible.
If you are not a member, you should really consider joining us. Why? you are asking. I know many of you already belong to some or many other associations/organizations. I know the economy is very difficult and you have to watch every dollar. I know you are wondering what you can benefit from joining our group.
I joined APLD way back in 2001. When times were good. The only real reason I joined was to attain my Certification for Landscape Design. I desired this certification mostly for marketing purposes. Now after being a member for 10 years I have realized many more benefits. Here are the benefits that I have received from both the International and chapter level.
- Clients. The “new” APLD.org is great for consumers looking for landscape designers in a specific area. International has worked really hard over the last year to make the new site very easy to navigate, especially for consumers looking for a professional. Not only does this site list your name, but you have a lot of control over what other information is provided about yourself. This is especially helpful for designers who do not have their own website.
- Education. Let’s face it, the world is moving extremely fast and the competition is always getting greater. We need to do everything we can do to maintain or move to the top. We need to know the hottest plants, the latest construction material, and what the next fad is. Sometimes we as designers can get stuck, creating the same type of designs over and over. APLD’s annual conference can inspire creativity to new levels. This week-long event brings some of the industry’s biggest names along with some amazing first hand visits to gardens. 2010’s conference was in Dallas in which I was unfortunately unable to attend. I definitely am planning to be in Cleveland in June 2011. Along with this conference, APLD International and APLD-MI offer other events. Please visit www.apld.org and the Events page of this site.
- Networking. I totally got this benefit once the Michigan Chapter was formed. I gain so much by being in a same room with other designers for a few hours bi-monthly. This benefit would only expand with more members taken part of events.
If you get one new client a year, it is worth the membership fee. Plus with all the other benefits mentioned above, you will definitely get a good return on investment. Please consider joining us. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.
Steven D. Thoms, APLD, CLP, CGIP