Sometimes the seasons of this job are joyful and happy, sometimes they are challenging, and sometimes they are sad. It was a very sad day in early February when I had to call board members and let them know that our board president, Mandy Gerace, had passed away unexpectedly at age 46. We are all still in shock. I greatly enjoyed getting to know Mandy better this last year when she was president. She had lots of stories about the big Gerace family and their gatherings, and especially the wonderful Italian food. We heard at her Celebration of Life that she touched many, many people. She was not one to sit at home alone – but would rather be watching TV with a friend, going on a trip, going to concerts, and making memories. She went out of the way to seize the day. I think Mandy would say, “Take the job, join the board, go on the trip, enjoy the lasagna, and eat the cannoli. Maybe eat two cannoli.” And let people know you love them – you never know when it is your last time to do so.
As I write this, our industry is on the precipice of the busy season. New Mexico members are already well on the way to being ramped up for spring, and Colorado is not far behind. We have had our meeting season – ProGreen and Think Trees were both very well-attended and successful. Much learning and networking was done. It was good to see many of your smiling faces. Now, the GreenCO legislative committee and I are in the legislative season – keeping a close eye on new bills filed at the legislature. Our big one this year will be the reauthorization of the Pesticide Applicator’s Act. Great thanks to Tom Halverstadt and Al Gerace who have already testified at the initial hearing. The bill is not even drafted yet, and we have been in many conversations with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) and our other GreenCO partners, as well as Coloradans for Responsible Pesticide Application (CRPA), ensuring that you have the tools to maintain plant health and employee safety.
And, our CNGA staff in the office will take advantage of the industry being busy to prepare for this summer and fall – when things aren’t so busy for you – as we start up with our CNGA activities. As usual, we will have a full slate of member BBQs and other events, so keep an eye on our website calendar.