Show Your Support for Industry Advocacy

By Matt Edmundson, 2023 CNGA Board President

CNGA Board President Matt Edmundson, CGG

Every season is unique, especially in Colorado. This spring 2023 was wet and cooler than normal, or at least our recent normal as we shift into El Niño. In our industry, we face not only weather challenges, but labor challenges, business climate issues and uncertain economic conditions. There are only so many factors we can control and countless we cannot. Within our businesses there is a certain level of freedom to create the culture, systems, brand image and product line we desire. This makes our lives as interesting or challenging as we choose them to be.

There are many challenges for which any of us individually lack the resources, skills or competency to overcome alone, and this is why a trade association exists. We are blessed that CNGA is one of the strongest in the nation and I, for one, am grateful for all the committed volunteers from the past who chose to come together and collectively create an association whose focus and culture is to benefit its members. Our membership is as diverse as they come and the stakeholders in our industry are even more diverse. This has not always been the case, yet membership continues to expand opportunities despite historical and current obstacles.

I was taught early on in my association volunteer experience that the ultimate foundation for any effective trade association is commitment to serving the greatest number of members the most amount of the time. This is certainly a departure from running your own business, but it makes sense that a collective endeavor like ours would function like this. Not every member will always get what they want nor will their world views be shared by all other members. Despite this, there are issues and programs about which we can, and do, align for our common good, that empower us as an industry in ways we couldn’t individually accomplish. One area of major importance that is easy to underestimate is advocacy. CNGA is a member of GreenCO – Green Industries of Colorado. Recently, the focus of that alliance has been about representing our industry before the legislature and government agencies to promote and, more importantly, to protect our industry as a viable way to provide opportunities for our stakeholders (employees, customers, vendors and members) to enjoy a great lifestyle.

It’s easy to ignore advocacy but advocacy is not free. CNGA’s support of GreenCO does not come from our membership dues. It its funded largely by individual contributions from a minority of the firms whose associations form GreenCO. Today I am asking for more of our membership to step up and support GreenCO with financial contributions so we can maintain our strength in advocacy and, ideally, position GreenCO to be prepared when the next and inevitable drought crisis emerges. As the climate is a constant threat in our industry, we as stakeholders must stay aware, and invest in and mitigate challenges even when things seem fine and we are busier than we might have expected. There is no minimum level of support so please consider making an investment in GreenCO, it’s very affordable insurance at the very least. To contribute, send a check to: GreenCO, c/o ALCC, 1355 S. Colorado Blvd. Suite C-608 Denver CO 80222.