July 15, 2011
Michael LaPorte
Michael LaPorte

Supervisor at Clearview Nursery in Stayner, Show Committee director, past president of Georgian Lakelands Chapter

Michael LaPorte was recognized for his major contribution to Landscape Ontario, when he was presented the Frank Ewald Junior Award at Congress in 2010. The award goes to a member of Landscape Ontario or one of their employees under 35 years of age, who is considered to have made an outstanding effort in the promotion and betterment of the association. Following the presentation, a loud round of applause showed everyone in the audience felt Michael LaPorte was well deserving of the award.

What inspired you to join Landscape Ontario?

I have always worked for member companies, but was interested in being involved to take more control of my career. I also wanted to network with the many people in our industry, and be part of a community that fosters both.

Where do you volunteer within the association?

I am past president of the Georgian Lakelands Chapter, and a member of the show committee. I have also sat on the recent by law committee, and am currently working with a committee working on a membership payment policy.

Do you have a favourite memory during your volunteer experience?

I have many great memories. I love discussing issues with other members such as how to strengthen our association and industry. The most energizing moments are when we put on a successful event, with lots of excitement generated by the people taking part. On the chapter level, it seems to be gaining momentum and that gives me great satisfaction.

What benefit do you receive from volunteering?

I receive knowledge, networking and leisure time with friends and colleagues within the industry. It also provides me with the ability to help guide the future of my career, and I have great enjoyment at the many events.

What suggestions do you have to improve the association?

I feel we need to target the employees of our member companies. There are many people in our industry who have not become engaged, because they don’t understand that they are part of the organization. The owners need to help encourage their employees’ participation. These are the people who can help take our association to the next level.

Do you perform other volunteer work outside of Landscape Ontario?

I also sit on the Healthy Community Network of Wasaga Beach. Our mandate is to create events and programs that encourage healthy lifestyles, a sustainable environment, and pride in our growing and changing community. I would also like to note how grateful I am to everyone who has helped me grow in the association, and express a great appreciation to my employers Kevin and Gail Elwood with Clearview Nursery, for their support with my many volunteer commitments.