Director of public relations
What is your basic job description at LO?
Following a directive from the provincial board, I am now in the position of director of public relations. I work with help from the Branding Committee and the entire LO staff to ensure that our Green for Life message is shared with as many organizations and media connections as possible. Our goal is to connect the public with our website and ultimately our members.
What is your background before coming to LO, and when did you begin work at LO?
I graduated in horticulture/landscape design from Surrey, England. After moving to Canada, I started working as a landscape designer for Weall and Cullen Nurseries and eventually became manager of the Landscape Division, which in the early 1980s had 22 designers and 15 authorized contractors. During that time I also got married to Elaine, and we have two wonderful children Gillian and Chris (who today are in their mid-20s and both avid gardeners). I managed the Landscape Division for Weall and Cullen Garden Centres for 15 years, and was the chair of the LO Garden Centre commodity group for four years at the same time. I handled many media enquiries, which eventually led to an offer from HGTV to host a show called, The Indoor Gardener. This was followed by One Garden, Two Looks. In total, I spent 10 years as a TV gardener. During the winter months, I also taught at Humber, Seneca and Conestoga colleges. This experience proved useful when Tony DiGiovanni approached me to coordinate a youth training program at Landscape Ontario. I followed this by becoming manager of membership services, which I served for five years.
When not at work, where can you be found?
On the fairway, or more accurately, in the trees beside the fairway. And, of course in my own garden.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A teacher. I guess that kind of happened.
What inspires you during your time at LO?
I enjoy running into successful members, who I remember when they were young people starting in the industry. Being involved with members on community projects, the generosity, commitment and humility always amazes me.
Name your all-time favourite movie, musical group and TV show.
Movie, Peter Sellers as Chauncey Gardener in Being There
; music, Leonard Cohen, Stéphane Grapelli, The Beatles; and TV, Fawlty Towers
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Tell us one thing about you that few of your colleagues know about you.
I have participated in a wide variety of sports and activities including squash, dragon boating, soccer, cricket and moose calling. I would love to see Landscape Ontario form a team to compete in dragon boat racing.