June 25, 2020
tony digiovanniMany of you were touched by John Paul Lamarche of JPL Consulting. He helped hundreds, if not thousands of companies become successful by helping them develop financial competency. JPL passed away on June 8.

I first met Paul Lamarche around 1990. He had a big personality, infectious enthusiasm, boundless energy and a friendly smile. He also had a very strong handshake, a signature handlebar moustache and very strong opinions. He was always the strongest presence in a room. At the time, Paul served as a volunteer on the Canadian Garden Council alongside some industry pioneers and past presidents of Landscape Ontario. The purpose of the Garden Council was to promote the joys and benefits of gardening. Paul was a huge contributor to the group. He was always full of ideas and worked hard (and selflessly) to generate and execute programs  that inspired and educated the public about gardening. The meetings were always lively and fun. I remember when he single-handedly decided to host a 50th birthday party for fellow council member, Marc Thiebaud. Paul was a good and caring friend to many.

Landscape Ontario asked Paul on hundreds of occasions to speak at various events. His talks were consistently popular. He was articulate and funny, but always had a serious message. His focus was on helping members understand the financial aspects of their business. He sincerely cared about the success of his clients. Paul was also a frequent contributor to our magazines.

Years ago, our contractors sector group decided the best thing they could do to promote prosperity was to focus on helping contractors know their costs. If contractors understood their costs, they could better manage their business, make larger profits and recover overhead. The contractors decided to evaluate the programs and strategies of the top North American consultants with the hope of endorsing one. After a detailed and lengthy process, they decided to endorse Paul Lamarche of JPL Consulting. Paul was so thankful. He made the cover of Landscape Trades magazine.

Paul was also very popular in the United States. On numerous occasions south of the border, I was asked if I knew Paul Lamarche. He made a positive difference in the lives of industry members across North America.

Paul continued helping members until January 2017 when he officially retired. Even in his retirement he was a frequent contributor to various social media groups. His posts were always helpful and encouraging.

Earlier this year, during the heart of the Covid crisis, Paul decided to offer his expertise and experience free of charge to anyone who needed it. This gesture reflects Paul’s caring and generous nature. Here is one of his latest posts: “A short while ago, I felt that I might be of help to the 8,000 plus members in my professional LinkedIn network. I came out of retirement to offer my horticultural business services completely free of charge, to one and all. It was the least I could do for all I had received in life. Well here we are, and all of you are back to work. And just as importantly the golf courses are opening up. How wonderful. I was not surprised at the questions! The most common: How can I do my pricing for the year, when I most likely will not meet expected sales? This came up a lot: With my sales going to be down, and my costs of business going to be up, what can I do to balance this? Another: How do I deal with clients asking for a discount as they are experiencing an unexpected sales forecast as well? Lastly: My cash flow is at the worst it has ever been. People are not paying their winter accounts, especially commercial, and I can’t get any more money from the bank, to see myself through ‘til summer? It is going to be a very interesting year to say the least. Thank you all. Respectfully. JPL”
Paul was helpful and caring to the very end. The horticulture profession has lost a true friend and contributor. Landscape Ontario plans to plant a tree in recognition of Paul’s immense contributions to the lives of so many.

View Paul’s obituary, which unsurprisingly, he wrote himself:

Tony DiGiovanni CHT
LO Executive Director