Editor Horticulture Review
What is your basic job description at LO?
I am editor of the magazine you are currently reading, Horticulture Review
. The job involves more than simply editing the association’s membership magazine. I also track down issues and write the articles that concern our membership in areas of business information, skills development, chapter and association activities. As editor, I work with our team to create a magazine our association can be proud of. I also gather, compile and edit the weekly LO e-newsletter, as well as post news stories and coming events on www.hortrades.com
and assist in editing Landscape Trades
What is your background before coming to LO, and when did you begin work at LO?
I worked for over 30 years as an editor at a community newspaper in northern Ontario. As one of the last independent newspapers in Ontario, we published two regional newspapers each week, Wednesday and Friday editions. When one of the large conglomerates bought out the paper, I decided it was time to move on. Fortunately an opportunity at LO came available in July of 2007. My philosophy has always been that if you don’t love your work, then it’s time to find another occupation. Life is too short to stay in something you dislike. I am very fortunate to have found such a great organization as Landscape Ontario, where I am able to live my philosophy while working with such a great team. My enjoyment of gardening and journalism makes for an ideal combination.
When not at work, where can you be found?
I’m basically a homebody. I enjoy working around the house that my wife and I purchased in Waterdown. Gardening, cooking and renovating, along with a great interest in jazz, sports, wine country and spending time with my two children and three grandchildren take up most of my spare time.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very young I wanted to be a minister. Later, when I played in a variety of sports, I thought that maybe I could earn a living in hockey or baseball. When reality hit, and I realized I wouldn’t be playing professionally, I decided that I could write about it. Now I use those skills required by both professions, which I once thought about as a child.
What inspires you during your time at LO?
I have always admired people who bring passion to their work. It didn’t take long for me to observe that LO has an abundance of those very people. Our association is filled with members who live, work and play with that emotion. I see busy owners volunteer countless hours, giving of their creativity and energy to improve the industry through this association. From chapter work to sector involvement, large numbers of members regularly answer the call. It is indeed very inspiring. The same holds true of staff members who serve the association. It truly is a team of skilled and creative people who really care about what they do.
Name your all-time favourite movie, musical group and TV show.
It is very difficult to name just one in the following categories, but my all-time favourite movie is True Romance
, with Avatar a close second. When I was a teenager, I played drums in a band that played mostly Rolling Stones music. I got to know the band’s early music very well. Even though I am now a big jazz fan, the Stones are still number one. If I need a good laugh, I’ll put in one of my discs to watch an episode of Two and Half Men
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
My first choice would be Italy. My father was there during the war. He always raved about what a great country it was, despite the ravages of war. It’s got great food, wine, scenery and weather. What more can one ask for? One of these days...
Tell us one thing about you that few of your colleagues know about you.
There’s not much to know. Many colleagues may not know that my son, Sgt. Mark Dennis, is about to deploy to Afghanistan for his third tour. It is something I don’t talk about very often, but it is always on my mind. While I fear for his safety, I am moved to truly appreciate the fact that there are men and women who have the fortitude to step into very dangerous situations that few of us would dare face. Military personnel are highly motivated to do the right thing. They also know first-hand what a great country we live in. To answer the question, let my colleagues know how greatly proud I am of the members of our armed forces who continually put themselves in harm’s way, because they care and believe that what they do has a real purpose. They truly deserve our support. We should all be so inspired.