November 15, 2013
Neil Bouma’s positive belief in industry leads him to volunteer
Neil Bouma
Pride in his trade, a strong belief in education and desire to see his industry thrive are all reasons Neil Bouma, of Picture Perfect Landscaping, Belleville, has such a long history of volunteering with Landscape Ontario.

Bouma says that early on he was inspired by other members who were willing to put in the time to get a Chapter of LO started in our area. “We had a group of contractors and associates who could see the benefits that an accessible trade association could bring to the level of quality and prosperity to the landscape industry in the area. It was clear to me that LO meant access to mentorship programs and education that was not available elsewhere.”

The Upper Canada president feels that LO is a unique trade association. “When I discuss LO with other trades people they are shocked by the level of open communication and support that the landscape trade has through LO.” Bouma is committed to education, which he believes is one of the keys to gaining the respect that other trades enjoy.

Beside serving on the Upper Canada Board since 2006, Bouma and his wife Elaine have both enjoyed volunteering with the Canada Blooms set-up and take-down for the past several years. “We jokingly call it our yearly vacation.” The couple has also volunteered with several Upper Canada Chapter community build projects.

Some of Bouma’s best memories come from working side by side with associates from LO on community builds, and from round-table discussions at local chapter meetings. “I like to see the younger members develop their business and find success in this industry,” he says.

He is sure that he is not the only member who is concerned with seeing the industry thrive in the community. Bouma continues to work toward accessing education for himself and his employees.

Bouma says he is disappointed from time to time to see a lack of participation in his local chapter meetings. “We discuss so many great topics at the meetings. Participation is something I have thought about at length over the past year. It’s a complicated topic. Members have such different expectations. How can we be all things to all people?”

Bouma also volunteers within his community. He currently sits on the building and grounds committee at a local Christian school, and he often participates in other local build programs. “I enjoy these positions for many of the same reasons I enjoy LO, working with friends for a common goal and an opportunity to learn from other skilled trade and business people.”