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View Full Version : Why have you not joined the AOLP yet????


JoeyD
01-30-2008, 09:12 PM
So who here on Lawnsite that reads and participates and has a lighting buisness weather your a Contractor, Designer, Distributor, or Manufacturer has not yet joined the AOLP and WHY??

What is holding you back from making the decision to join??

indylights
01-30-2008, 10:59 PM
Because we know it's business, not buisness, whether not weather, and you're, not your. Other than that, no reason. (Just kidding. I was an
English major, so yes I am a geek)

irrig8r
01-30-2008, 11:32 PM
Hey Joey, don't you use Firefox as your browser? It has a spell check (plug-in or came with the program, can't remember which) that underlines misspelled words in red so you can correct them.

As far as joining... sorta been there and done already that with other organizations over the years. I was president and/or education chairman and/ or delegate to the statewide org. for a gardeners' association for about seven years back when I was doing landscape maint. in the 80's.

You know how they say 10% of the people do 90% of the work? Well, I was always in that 10% until I got burned out.

I've also been in and out of CLCA two or three times, but didn't like it as much. All the emphasis on awards that seemed to go to the same people who didn't really deserve them - I know because one of my maint. accounts (when I took a break from self-employment) got an award we didn't merit... and just too much personal politics.... lots of ego clashes among self-employed contractors, ya know?

So I'm still reluctant to join. I'll probably soften my stance though...

eskerlite
01-31-2008, 08:00 AM
Plus Bill L. Doesnt approve!
Sean C.

JoeyD
01-31-2008, 09:00 AM
I always forget to spell check. I tend to type too fast!

Thanks for your response Gregg........so answer the question Indy.........

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 10:42 AM
Plus Bill L. Doesnt approve!
Sean C.

Well, Sean...

I notice the website doesn't have a public page yet entitled "History of the AOLP" or "Our Background" or "How The AOLP Came To Be", now does it?

I'm not impuning anyone's integrity, but I suppose in some ways I'd prefer an organization that was more true to its founder's intents and purposes...

But then, of course, I wasn't there and rely only on hearsay, so how about those of you who were there in the early days... write that page.

JoeyD
01-31-2008, 11:01 AM
Hey Gregg why not focus on the present and future of this orginization instead of picking apart its past. The AOLP is not the LVLIA anymore in so many ways. The industry has progressed tremendously since the time the LVLIA was originally founded. It is time to take this associating to the next level and welcome all people in the outdoor lighting realm. Sure having a history and time line is cool but why would you let the lack of history on the website or the fact you were apart of OTHER associations that forced you to do all the work keep you from joining an association dedicated to what it is you do?

I know you split your time between irrigation and lighting so you have more associations like CLCA and others to consider but for lighting guys this association is really the only one around. If this advice is truly some that would make you more comfortable with joining then I commend it, but in my opinion new members should be more focused on where this association is going and what the purpose of it is today and how it will help them today. To focus attention on the history doesn't always encourage progression. Again I think the AOLP should have something that shows who and why it was founded, but I wouldn't let the lack of it keep me from joining? But I do appreciate and acknowledge the saying you cant know where your going if you don't know where your from!

Just sparking conversation I suppose.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-31-2008, 11:31 AM
Plus Bill L. Doesnt approve!
Sean C.


Sean really.... showing a bit of respect for the Man, his life and his accomplishments once in a while would be nice, and professional.

If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.

How much time did you spend in personal contact with Bill Locklin back then? Did you even know the man? Do you really have any understanding of what his 'vision' for the Association was? Don't be so quick to pass judgements or form opinions based solely upon second hand information.

irrig8r
01-31-2008, 11:35 AM
Sorry Joey...

Sean's comment pushed a button with me, just as I suppose my reply did with you.

Sometimes contractors and manufacturers' and distributors' interests are the same, like when it comes to opposing some local or state restrictions that would prevent us all from doing business.

Other times our interests naturally diverge, like when one discovers that certain (at least two AOLP member) distributors decide to offer products to DIYs and consumers online at a significant discount from list.

If we as contractors/ designers/ installers should happen to let manufacturers and distributors dictate the direction of the organization, then we just might get screwed on our own dime.

Just sayin', ya know...

JoeyD
01-31-2008, 11:36 AM
Sean really.... showing a bit of respect for the Man, his life and his accomplishments once in a while would be nice, and professional.

If you don't have anything nice to say then don't say anything at all.

How much time did you spend in personal contact with Bill Locklin back then? Did you even know the man? Do you really have any understanding of what his 'vision' for the Association was? Don't be so quick to pass judgements or form opinions based solely upon second hand information.


I did not see any disrespect to Bill in what Sean said. Maybe it was opinonated and maybe it was incorrect but disrespectful for the man and his accomplishemnts is pretty harsh to say.

JoeyD
01-31-2008, 11:45 AM
Sorry Joey...

Sean's comment pushed a button with me, just as I suppose my reply did with you.

Sometimes contractors and manufacturers' and distributors' interests are the same, like when it comes to opposing some local or state restrictions that would prevent us all from doing business.

Other times our interests naturally diverge, like when one discovers that certain (at least two AOLP member) distributors decide to offer products to DIYs and consumers on line at a significant discount from list.

If we as contractors/ designers/ installers should happen to let manufacturers and distributors dictate the direction of the organization, then we just might get screwed on our own dime.

Just sayin', ya know...


I gotcha. I agree. I am trying really hard to extend our hand to the AOLP to allow us to offer our advice and expertise in training and education without making it look like we want to control the association.

I always try to let customers know that we really do have the contractors best interests at heart, sometimes business goals can cloud those interests but at the end of the day we have to always ask ourselves, "how is this decision going to effect our customers". whether that's a product change, an educational piece, an advertisement, a promotional piece, etc... If it does not benefit our customers it is not something we want to do. Our success is dependent on your success therefore we want all of you to succeed!

But there is some merit to your fear of a manufacturer controlled association, there could be some benefits but the AOLP is not and should not be controlled by anyone other than its installing and designing members. But lets not forget how much Manufacturers can bring to the table. Some just offer products, some can offer both products and advice, some offer products, advice, and education, and then you have companies like Unique who can offer all of the above including experience in installing, designing, selling, bidding, and marketing.

I encourage all of you if you have not yet joined to at least go to conference next year and then decide if it is worth it or not. You owe it to yourself regardless of affiliation.

extlights
01-31-2008, 11:48 AM
I haven't really done enough research on it to see how it would impact myself and our company.

NightScenes
01-31-2008, 12:51 PM
I know that there have only been a couple of respondents to this query but so far I don't see any valid reason not to join the association. As more and more states adopt legislation regarding this industry it will become more obvious to people why they "should have" joined. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of guys out of business before they get the picture. There is only one national association that is ready to go to battle for the contractors but without adequate membership the association will not be taken seriously by the state governments that are setting these regulations.

This may sound like some kind of scare tactic but it's very real. Ask Steve P from CAST what is going on in New Jersey right now. Look at the fines that are being handed out. Look at RI, FL, GA, CT, etc, these states have all passed legislation regarding our industry and guys are feeling the pinch. We contractors tend to look at what an association like the AOLP can do for them financially but fail to look at the big picture. I don't know how many times I've said this but those of us in this business of outdoor lighting need to stop looking at what the AOLP can put in our pockets directly and start looking at what the AOLP can do for us on a larger scale. It might not put any cash in your pocket right away (the membership "package" is worth more than the price of membership) but it may insure that you stay in business in a couple of years.

I could go on and on about this but I have an AOLP board meeting to get to. I think those that attended the conference this month can understand what is going on and can see far enough into the future to know that the AOLP is a much needed association. I appreciate those who have joined and those that will because I know that I am going to need those voices in my state some day.

eskerlite
01-31-2008, 01:38 PM
No disrespect Gregg or anyone else who was taken back by my comment. Bill was not an advocate after his slighting. I dont blame him.as long as we all know the truth.
Sean Curran*trucewhiteflag*

Eden Lights
01-31-2008, 09:46 PM
I know that there have only been a couple of respondents to this query but so far I don't see any valid reason not to join the association. As more and more states adopt legislation regarding this industry it will become more obvious to people why they "should have" joined. I have a feeling that there will be a lot of guys out of business before they get the picture. There is only one national association that is ready to go to battle for the contractors but without adequate membership the association will not be taken seriously by the state governments that are setting these regulations.

This may sound like some kind of scare tactic but it's very real. Ask Steve P from CAST what is going on in New Jersey right now. Look at the fines that are being handed out. Look at RI, FL, GA, CT, etc, these states have all passed legislation regarding our industry and guys are feeling the pinch. We contractors tend to look at what an association like the AOLP can do for them financially but fail to look at the big picture. I don't know how many times I've said this but those of us in this business of outdoor lighting need to stop looking at what the AOLP can put in our pockets directly and start looking at what the AOLP can do for us on a larger scale. It might not put any cash in your pocket right away (the membership "package" is worth more than the price of membership) but it may insure that you stay in business in a couple of years.

I could go on and on about this but I have an AOLP board meeting to get to. I think those that attended the conference this month can understand what is going on and can see far enough into the future to know that the AOLP is a much needed association. I appreciate those who have joined and those that will because I know that I am going to need those voices in my state some day.

Excellent comments, I will admit I am not a member because I just haven't been able to make the conference happen and I didn't see any other real benefit. My supplier will pay for my membership and I would be willing to send even more money if I knew that AOLP could protect the future of Landscape Lighting in my area. Let's just say that my local town was pushing a dark sky ordinance that would eliminate all uplighting, how would the ALOP respond? How about a requirement that required a hard to obtain license for installation, how would the ALOP respond? How does the ALOP plan to educate our future customers of it's great certification program and who has obtained it? These are some very important issues and they will take a lot of power and knowledge to influence.

Lite4
01-31-2008, 10:57 PM
I am starting to see some DS requirements showing up in some of our outlying communities around here which is a joke when looking at the downtown area. My puny little uplighting is no comparison. I need to educate some people around here.

NightScenes
02-01-2008, 08:01 AM
Excellent comments, I will admit I am not a member because I just haven't been able to make the conference happen and I didn't see any other real benefit. My supplier will pay for my membership and I would be willing to send even more money if I knew that AOLP could protect the future of Landscape Lighting in my area. Let's just say that my local town was pushing a dark sky ordinance that would eliminate all uplighting, how would the AOLP respond? The AOLP could help you educate your local officials in the proper use of light. There is nothing wrong with up lighting when used properly. Remember that the IDA is a member of the AOLP.How about a requirement that required a hard to obtain license for installation, how would the ALOP respond? I would suggest demonstrating to that governing body what the AOLP certification is and why it is superior to any local "low voltage" license.How does the ALOP plan to educate our future customers of it's great certification program and who has obtained it? This is too far in the future for me to speculate. Maybe when you become a member you can head up that committee.These are some very important issues and they will take a lot of power and knowledge to influence.

These are just some thoughts but I think you get the idea. Remember though, an organization is only as strong as it's members. As long as the mentality is "what are you going to do for me" this association will be doomed. It took MANY years and thousands of members before anyone knew who the AAA was.

JoeyD
02-01-2008, 03:50 PM
Bump........Comeone guys, help us out here. Keep the responses coming!

Eden Lights
02-01-2008, 05:02 PM
I am really counting on the Big Boy's: Hadco, Kim, Kichler, and etc. to take care of these issues we are talking about. It will take deep pockets: lobbyists, lawyers, and etc. and they have the most to loose and the best resources to prevent it.

Eden Lights
02-01-2008, 05:06 PM
An example: Genlyte lineup


Alkco
Allscape
Ardee
Bronzelite
Canlyte
Capri
Chloride Systems
Crescent
d'ac Lighting
Day-Brite
Emco
ExceLine
Entertainment Technology
Forecast Gardco
Guth
Hadco
Hanover Lantern
HighLites
Hoffmeister
Horizon
LAM Lighting Systems
Ledalite
Lightolier
Lightolier Controls
Lite-Energy
Lumec
mcPhilben
Metrolux
Morlite
Nessen
Omega
Quality Lighting
Shakespeare Composite Structures
Specialty Lighting
Stonco
Strand Lighting
Translite
Thomas Lighting Residential
Thomas Lighting Canada
Vari-Lite
Vista
Wide-Lite

Annual Sales in excess of 1500 Million.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-02-2008, 01:53 AM
I would not hold my breath waiting for the "Big Guns" of the lighting industry to come to our rescue. These "Big Guns" have already 'seen the light' and are squarely focused on promoting their LV outdoor lighting lines to the very established electrical contractor industry. I see it and read it everywhere. From print ads to wholesale distributor promotion programs. Ours (the green industry and LV outdoor lighting contractors) is but a tiny blip on their radar screens.

Even some of the niche LV lighting manufacturers like Vista, Nightscaping, Focus, etc are promoting directly to the EC market.

If you care about your business, care about your industry, and care about your niche. I would encourage you to stand up and fight for it. Nobody else will carry your torch for you friends.

Regards.

TPnTX
02-02-2008, 07:16 AM
I am certainly considering it. The Main reason for not joining you ask is that I've just began in the business and at this point I am not aware of any issues that would compel me to join.

Having said that, reading this message I went to the website. Actually I went the "Academy of Our Lady Of Piece" website, then did a google search to find www.lvlia.com.

My first impression based on the website is that this is not only a volunteer(which usually equates to budget limitations) organization but it must be a very young organization.

The website isn't very user friendly(I can explain) and is clearly still under construction. The member list is a broken link. The "Leasership Executive link works though"...

Other than the member list, if you are going to put a button and a website, make it do something. There are too many non functional buttons. It's a waist of time and you know a person only has so many mouse clicks in a lifetime.


Speaking of compelling reasons to join, this should be front and center. You do have "Goals and Objectives" but if there is a true threat this industry, in my opinion, that should be clearly conveyed, more direct and at first glance.

Some of these issues should be cleared up asap so that when you do get the attention and spark and the interest of a newcomer they don't have a disappointing experience visiting the flagship of the organization. Being the website.

A lot of folks in another thread pounced on a simple question regarding website design. Well this is an excellent website to illustrate the advise given.

A direct question was asked ,I hope that I've given a useful answer. No offense intended. I'm here to learn and become a comrade.

TPnTX
02-02-2008, 07:30 AM
pardon the grammer :)

NightScenes
02-02-2008, 10:15 AM
So you're saying that you wouldn't join because the web site is under construction? It is currenty being completely rebuilt (if you had only seen it a few months ago)!!

I see this response as another of those "what can it do for me?" answers.

Eddie, just so you know the manufacture members include, Kichler, Hadco, HK, Vista, Coppermoon, Unique, RUUD, Hinkly, etc. More and more manufactures are joining all the time.

TPnTX
02-02-2008, 10:42 AM
I wasn't trying to offend anyone. Its an objective thing.

If the goal is to promote it then there is an observation. Yes it is an what can it do to help me learn, promote my business and ultimately make more money. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Your question was whether my decision would pivot on the appearance of the website. No, but only because I can hopefully get a clearer picture by virtue of this website and other discussions with people like yourself.

The point is if someone is looking at the website and trying to make a business decision if they should invest 170.00 into the organization, there isn't enough information there to base the decision on and since the bar is raised these days on website presentation, the current state of things is certainly to the detriment of organization....

Again it's some objective criticism intended to help. I read this post, started to look into it. Thats what I found.


BTW what can it do for me? :)

TPnTX
02-02-2008, 11:05 AM
whoops, with a little more attention paid I noticed the "what can it do for me subject precedes my involvement" I could be a little more prudent with my comments even if they are light hearted.

You mentioned steve p., where can I go to learn a little more about the subject regarding regs, laws and potential threats to the livelihood of the industry? between conferences.

jana
02-02-2008, 11:06 AM
I agree with Eden Lights fully. Will take lots of lobbying, have they even begun this? The mfrs. will need to be involved too, it is there best interest also.

Suggestions, they should group all members together and offer liability and life insurance to the members also. This would change the dues from annually to a monthly fee. Well worth it to companies paying high coverage costs.

Maybe there should be region or even state meet-ups, still keep the annual one for the new year kick-off. Local reps and vendors could be at the meeting offering support and maybe some training, show off there products, etc.

Just my .10 ......

My vote for Paul as Texas region prez !!! :clapping:

NightScenes
02-02-2008, 11:30 AM
I wasn't trying to offend anyone. Its an objective thing.

If the goal is to promote it then there is an observation. Yes it is an what can it do to help me learn, promote my business and ultimately make more money. I'm not ashamed to admit that.

Your question was whether my decision would pivot on the appearance of the website. No, but only because I can hopefully get a clearer picture by virtue of this website and other discussions with people like yourself.

The point is if someone is looking at the website and trying to make a business decision if they should invest 170.00 into the organization, there isn't enough information there to base the decision on and since the bar is raised these days on website presentation, the current state of things is certainly to the detriment of organization....

Again it's some objective criticism intended to help. I read this post, started to look into it. Thats what I found.


BTW what can it do for me? :)


I do understand what you are saying but the web site IS under construction right now. It was VERY dull and has a very long way to go. A website committee is currently being assembled and I am certain that the new site will be everything that you would want it to be.

The membership fee of $175 is really nothing when you look at it. It's the cost of a couple of fixtures. The membership package that comes with the membership has coupons and offers that are worth far more than that anyway.

In Texas they are now adding an applience installers license. This will not effect our industry but it's getting closer. We could be the next Florida or New Jersey.

NightScenes
02-02-2008, 11:38 AM
I agree with Eden Lights fully. Will take lots of lobbying, have they even begun this? The mfrs. will need to be involved too, it is there best interest also.

Suggestions, they should group all members together and offer liability and life insurance to the members also. This would change the dues from annually to a monthly fee. Well worth it to companies paying high coverage costs.

Maybe there should be region or even state meet-ups, still keep the annual one for the new year kick-off. Local reps and vendors could be at the meeting offering support and maybe some training, show off there products, etc.

Just my .10 ......

My vote for Paul as Texas region prez !!! :clapping:

We are looking into regional groups but we need more members before it will be practical. Texas currently has the most members with about 17 which is good but how many do you think would come to a meeting?

Thanks for the vote, I was just elected Vice President of the AOLP and I am looking forward to serving our membership.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-02-2008, 12:29 PM
Care to run down the entire list of Exectutives for us Paul?

I am not sure I am very keen on the "new rules" for elections to the executive or the board for that matter, but hey, I am just a newbie, so what do I really know?

Regards

jana
02-02-2008, 01:29 PM
We are looking into regional groups but we need more members before it will be practical. Texas currently has the most members with about 17 which is good but how many do you think would come to a meeting?

hmm, since everyone is spread out, quarterly meeting and a requirement of attending a min of 2, which the annual counts. If not maybe a fine for the 1st missed and none attended insurance terminted. This is also dependent upon group insurance coverage.

Right now we pay $57 monthly for 3 mil liability/ 5 mil aggregate . Each employee has a lesser due of approx 34 a month.

Just some suggestions/thoughts.

irrig8r
02-02-2008, 01:33 PM
We are looking into regional groups but we need more members before it will be practical. Texas currently has the most members with about 17 which is good but how many do you think would come to a meeting?

hmm, since everyone is spread out, quarterly meeting and a requirement of attending a min of 2, which the annual counts. If not maybe a fine for the 1st missed and non attended insurance terminted. This is also dependent upon group insurance coverage.

Not yet having joined, I'm not sure if you mean this is the current meeting requirement or suggestions...???

BTW, anyone know how many members are Californians?

NightScenes
02-02-2008, 05:42 PM
Care to run down the entire list of Exectutives for us Paul?

I am not sure I am very keen on the "new rules" for elections to the executive or the board for that matter, but hey, I am just a newbie, so what do I really know?

Regards

President - Matthew Broyles
Vice President - Paul Gosselin
Secretary - David Homansky
Treasurer - Mike Southard
Membership Director - Gerry De La Vega
Certification Director - Chris Mitchell
Marketing Director - Oscar Welch

The "new rules" are just the usual "Roberts Rules" for incorporation. These are standard for normal operation of corporate boards.

NightScenes
02-02-2008, 05:45 PM
Not yet having joined, I'm not sure if you mean this is the current meeting requirement or suggestions...???

BTW, anyone know how many members are Californians?

These were suggestions for insurance and regional groups. It's worth a thought. As for California members I'm not sure but I'll see if I can't find out for you.

Chris J
02-02-2008, 07:44 PM
At conference, we were told who won the vote for the two new positions. Why was it not disclosed what the new hierarchy of the executive board would be? As I understand it, the membership no longer votes on the executive seats; the board does. Did the membership not have a vote in this decision?

seolatlanta
02-02-2008, 09:02 PM
Chris

You did vote on the 2 open positions at the Saturday luncheon. One of those was for president. Our by-laws lay out the rules for us - after conference we vote on the positions left via conference call. These are rules laid out in by laws that were made out years ago and are open to change- by the board-if they arent working or need tweaking. It is not up for open vote who is going to be secretary, treasurer, or vp. We vote on those positions as per who has the best personality/skill set for the position.

Please keep in mind that we are learning as we go , so to speak. Maybe for next year we will make it easier to put your name in the hat for a position but as a brand new member you wouldnt know what you were signing up for , know what I mean?

We (the AOLP) would absolutely LOVE IT if we had enough members for health insurance, 401k, workers comp etc. But we need more members!!
If all of you who came made it your mission to ask one friend to join and come to conference it would make a huge difference.

Think about it - in 5 , 7, 10 years from now we have a lobbyist on Congress , a conference a huge as the IA and incredible member benefits- but its baby steps.

If you are not a member , I beg of you to join if you want to better your industry. The changes we have made in the past month will make a difference. we have someone focused solely on the website now, we have a marketing director to attract new members to the organization as you would to your business. Grow with us!

Chris J
02-02-2008, 09:38 PM
Chris

You did vote on the 2 open positions at the Saturday luncheon. One of those was for president. Our by-laws lay out the rules for us - after conference we vote on the positions left via conference call. These are rules laid out in by laws that were made out years ago and are open to change- by the board-if they arent working or need tweaking. It is not up for open vote who is going to be secretary, treasurer, or vp. We vote on those positions as per who has the best personality/skill set for the position. Thanks for the info. I've never been on a board of directors so I really don't know how all of this works. I would think, however, that all positions would/could be voted on by the majority of the membership. just my opinion.

Please keep in mind that we are learning as we go , so to speak. Maybe for next year we will make it easier to put your name in the hat for a position but as a brand new member you wouldnt know what you were signing up for , know what I mean? Obviously you are still getting over your virus. I've been a member for several years now, but my comments made no mention of me putting my name in the hat. If I did put my name in that hat, I would be fully aware of what I was signing up for. Thanks anyway, but take some more medicine and get better.

We (the AOLP) would absolutely LOVE IT if we had enough members for health insurance, 401k, workers comp etc. But we need more members!!
If all of you who came made it your mission to ask one friend to join and come to conference it would make a huge difference.

Think about it - in 5 , 7, 10 years from now we have a lobbyist on Congress , a conference a huge as the IA and incredible member benefits- but its baby steps.

If you are not a member , I beg of you to join if you want to better your industry. The changes we have made in the past month will make a difference. we have someone focused solely on the website now, we have a marketing director to attract new members to the organization as you would to your business. Grow with us!

Please see my response in red above.

Chris J
02-02-2008, 09:55 PM
And by the way, I believe in a more democratic approach. I don't know what "Robert's Rules" are, but I believe that in any organization the board members should be elected by the members of the organization (not the fellow board members). That's just like having the President of the United States elected by, for instance, the congress instead of the citizens of the USA!
Robert sounds like a jerk.

irrig8r
02-02-2008, 10:22 PM
Actually Chris, it wouldn't be the Congress, or the popular vote of the electorate, but the Electoral College that picks our President... for better or worse... except of course when the Supreme Court has to step in to settle the matter...

Pure democracy is also known as mob rule... and tends to extremes, like during the French Revolution. What we live under is a constitutional republic or what we sometimes call "representative democracy"...

But Roberts Rules do a pretty good job of setting up a framework for an organization... the more knowledgeable you become about the rules, the more you can use them to your advantage when you have some plan or idea you want to see acted upon.

seolatlanta
02-02-2008, 10:28 PM
Hey Chris

I wasnt referring to you there at all. Sorry if it came off that way. Wrong wording-

I meant a lot of people are coming for the first time and we continue to strive for new membership-so new people coming in wouldnt know who they were voting for -sorry for the mix-up I wasnt pointing fingers at you by any means.

seolatlanta
02-02-2008, 10:34 PM
Actally Chris what I mean is like the POTUS picks the Sce of State and his cabinet members , not the voting public.

The members of the AOLP did vote for the existing board membership just not the positions inside the board. We choose those like I said , based on skill set and personality.

Chris J
02-02-2008, 10:34 PM
Gregg, you seem to be an intelligent man. Me? I'm a simple guy with simple philosophies. If I had a club made up of 20 friends and we were trying to elect a leader, I would listen to all 20 votes (not just the top 5). I think this would be more conducive to the dynamic of any organization. Simple stuff huh?

irrig8r
02-02-2008, 11:32 PM
Chris... it would be nice if it was all that simple and honest.

Seems like any organization I've ever joined has a couple guys who do a lot of the work and don't care about who gets credit for it, and others who are in it for the credit and glory and don't do the work... Then there are those who are just in it for the social events, and others who want the organization to serve the greater good of the membership (as they see those needs).... but have a particular axe to grind or project in mind...

Not saying these match up to anyone in particular in the AOLP... but it's one thing to join and another to become active and make sure the organization stays on track...

NightScenes
02-03-2008, 09:13 AM
Chris, the membership has never elected the officers of the association. The elections are for directors and from those director positions the officers were named by the directors. The difference now is that instead of an automatic succession of officers (vice president automatically becoming the president once that term was finished) the officer positions are elected every year. This keeps someone from just climbing the ladder without doing anything. I don't know of any board of directors that has it's officers elected by general membership vote. When the membership votes on directors they should be voting on people that they trust to be able to make all of the decisions required to run the association, including who the best people among them are for each officer position.

I hope I'm making this clearer instead of muddying the waters even more. I would love to talk to you about this if you have any questions. Just pick up the phone, you have my #.

seolatlanta
02-03-2008, 10:46 AM
That is what I was trying to say and I think I made it more mucked up.

Please feel free to contact me personally with any questions you may have regarding the AOLP.

Az Gardener
02-03-2008, 11:12 AM
I joined AOLP at the conference and have not got so much as a receipt to show for my trouble. The conference was very helpful and I am confident I will see a return on my money several times over. I have heard there is a members only website and a members package of some sort and I have not been contacted by the mother-ship. Maybe next week?

NightScenes
02-03-2008, 12:10 PM
I joined AOLP at the conference and have not got so much as a receipt to show for my trouble. The conference was very helpful and I am confident I will see a return on my money several times over. I have heard there is a members only website and a members package of some sort and I have not been contacted by the mother-ship. Maybe next week?

Send me an email or PM with your full information so I can check on this for you. During the conference all kinds of things are going on and we were also in the middle of changing management so the confusion was multiplied.

I want to thank you for your support of the association and I'm sure that you will not be disappointed.

JimLewis
02-03-2008, 09:35 PM
Why haven't I joined?

For the same reasons I haven't joined most of the other landscape related organizations, I guess. And those reasons are;

1) I don't think our customers care. I've never been asked about which associations I belong to or am certified with in 12 years and probably 2,000+ install jobs over the years.

2) There are too damm many associations and/or certification programs. There's are two for landscape contractors from our state, three for irrigation, one for hardscapes, several for retaining walls, one for water features, several for landscaping in general, one for lighting, one for golf putting greens and synthetic turf, and another dozen I am not remembering. I simply don't have time to take all those tests, attend all those meetings, and pay all those dues even though we do a lot of volume in each of those areas.

3) I am tired of broken promises from such organizations. Specifically, once you are "certified" in such and such, you'll start receiving leads from consumers in your area wanting that service. This almost never happens.

Az Gardener
02-03-2008, 11:15 PM
Jim I am surprised by your answer especially considering how much you contribute to lawnsite. I am guessing you have had some bad experiences with an association.

I joined our local L/S association mostly for the camaraderie. Its like local lawnsite except you have to call other members or wait for a monthly meeting to ask your question. Here there are a bunch of great people involved and they are a lot of fun to be around and are always willing to help.

I joined AOLP because it was going to be the same cost to send my guys to the classes. Join and pay less for the classes or pay the equivalent of the membership in higher conference fees. We learned a lot and I expect about the same benefits as I receive from my L/S association. The lighting guys seem like a great bunch.

The benefits are intangible in some respects and very tangible in others. I would not go in expecting to receive some type of % of R.O.I. Join because you are curious about what others are doing in the industry. Join because you have an interest in the field and like to have intelligent conversation with others in your area.

NightScenes
02-04-2008, 07:36 AM
Join so you will have a voice when it's needed.

Chris J
02-04-2008, 02:29 PM
Thanks for the explainations guys. I'm a little more clear on this subject now.

NightScenes
02-04-2008, 03:29 PM
Chris, I'll see you in a few days when we're soaking up the sun (and beverages) in St. Thomas!!

Chris J
02-04-2008, 07:33 PM
Amen to that. I just got off the phone with Gerry DeLavega about the offshore fishing trip. Man I am looking forward to that!

cduncanf
02-04-2008, 09:28 PM
Paul is right about this. Ontario was considering banning severly limiting landscape lighting - such as no secondary over 5. Landscape Ontario, the provincial landscape trade association, formed a commodity group for landscape lighting and worked with the provincial Electrical Safety Authority to come up with standards. LO and ESA continue to work proactively to develop standards that will allow legitimate contractors to continue installing landscape lighting.

Contrast that with Connecticut. The electrician's lobby was able to get the legislature to pass enforcement teeth on the existing law requiring a limited electrician's license for low voltage. Effective last October, a new law was passed which allows state inspectors to arrest a contractor doing landscape lighting without the correct L-5 license. This was snuck into law without anyone even noticing until it was already in effect.

It's important that all of us monitor legislative changes before it's too late.



This may sound like some kind of scare tactic but it's very real. Ask Steve P from CAST what is going on in New Jersey right now. Look at the fines that are being handed out. Look at RI, FL, GA, CT, etc, these states have all passed legislation regarding our industry and guys are feeling the pinch.

Lite4
02-04-2008, 11:25 PM
Has anyone ever gone to legislature on behalf of our industry to secure some of our rights before being subverted by the electricians community? Cutting them off at the pass so to speak. I would like to see some form of a limited certification or license to install low volt lighting, but not have it so stringent that it limits it to only fully licensed electricians. I think there should be some degree of protection for the homeowners from inexperienced landscapers or other trunk slammers out there.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-04-2008, 11:35 PM
Tim

We are currently working on that right now here in Ontario. We have submitted a LV outdoor lighting "standards for installation" to our ESA and they seem quite happy with it. Next we will be working towards getting a special permit arranged to allow for inspections of all LV outdoor lighting systems. Following that we intend to develop a training program which will teach to the standards. Getting that program approved by the ESA and the Ministry of Colleges and Training will lead the way to us applying for a specialized installers license. Maybe somewhere down the line we will get a section of Code in the CEC.

Working hard to protect the future!

Lite4
02-04-2008, 11:39 PM
James,
That sounds perfect. I wish I knew where to start here to get something like that going. I wouldn't know who to contact in the gov. to get the ball rolling.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-04-2008, 11:45 PM
Tim, I would advise you to start locally. Start small. Get a core group of lighting pros together who have concerns. Make sure you have at least one or two EC on that group! Then get organized.... make a presentation to your local safety authorities... if local doesnt manage then go to state level. It is a process but by being proactive and making the changes yourself, you are better served then having to react like they are doing in other states now.

Regards.

Lite4
02-05-2008, 12:24 AM
James, if I get some ECs involved, do you think I will just be making them aware of a market they are missing and wind up opening a bigger can of worms?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-05-2008, 12:33 AM
Tim I mean get some EC's involved who are already focused on installing LV outdoor lighting systems. There are some good EC's out there! A few of our larger LV lighting companies here are licensed EC's or they employ them on staff. They are an excellent resource!

Regards.

NightScenes
02-05-2008, 07:59 AM
Has anyone ever gone to legislature on behalf of our industry to secure some of our rights before being subverted by the electricians community? Cutting them off at the pass so to speak. I would like to see some form of a limited certification or license to install low volt lighting, but not have it so stringent that it limits it to only fully licensed electricians. I think there should be some degree of protection for the homeowners from inexperienced landscapers or other trunk slammers out there.

We tried to submit ideas to Florida when they were working on their legislation but we were too late and didn't have enough membership to be taken seriously.

I'm afraid that most guys in this industry won't wake up and smell the coffee until it's poured on their heads though. The argument that "what is it going to put in my pocket?" and "my clients don't care about my affiliation with some association that they have never heard of", won't mean a thing when the clients don't call them at all because they are not licensed and can't do the job to begin with. This is just looking out for your future and not just looking at today. You might be fine today, but do you KNOW what tomorrow brings? Is your state or electrical unions looking to make some changes? Just think about it.

Pro-Scapes
02-05-2008, 08:00 AM
Tim I mean get some EC's involved who are already focused on installing LV outdoor lighting systems. There are some good EC's out there! A few of our larger LV lighting companies here are licensed EC's or they employ them on staff. They are an excellent resource!

Regards.

I would be worried the EC companies or the ones that have EC's will want guys to be electricians to install it. This will only work if they 100% agree you dont have to be a full EC to do this. This is why I am going to get my electricians license but man it is a TON of studying!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-05-2008, 08:20 AM
Billy. Go for it if you can.... Here the idea of becoming a Master Electrician is beyond my patience at this point. 3 years of school Full Time, 10,000 hours as an apprentice, then 2 or 3 years as a journeyman, then the Masters training and exam... It would take me almost 15 years to do this on a part time (winter only) basis. No thanks, that window has passed me by.

There are good EC's out there, ones who understand and appreciate the LV outdoor lighting industry. Team up with them, they are an excellent resource.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-05-2008, 08:29 AM
We tried to submit ideas to Florida when they were working on their legislation but we were too late and didn't have enough membership to be taken seriously.

I'm afraid that most guys in this industry won't wake up and smell the coffee until it's poured on their heads though. The argument that "what is it going to put in my pocket?" and "my clients don't care about my affiliation with some association that they have never heard of", won't mean a thing when the clients don't call them at all because they are not licensed and can't do the job to begin with. This is just looking out for your future and not just looking at today. You might be fine today, but do you KNOW what tomorrow brings? Is your state or electrical unions looking to make some changes? Just think about it.

Paul you are right about a couple of things on the legislation / regulation issues.... The time IS now and regulation and licensing is on its way.

Unfortunately I think the AOLP is woefully weak in this area and might not even be ready to play catch-up yet. The talk is strong but I have not seen or heard of one successful initiative or program devised, developed, launched or instituted by the AOLP or its members in the area of legislation or regulation.

This really needs to be priority one for the Association in my eyes. Focusing on technical certification, design programs, and the like is putting the cart before the horse if you are in a market that is being regulated out of existence with no organized voice.

There is some really good, strong, positive forward motion on this issue here in Ontario. We have formed a good association, attracted strong leaders, and have our feet on the ground working alongside the Authorities to ensure the future of our industry and those who follow.... Stay tuned and see how things progress, you might just find this model being copied and used in States near you soon.

Regards.

JoeyD
02-05-2008, 11:35 AM
I am certainly considering it. The Main reason for not joining you ask is that I've just began in the business and at this point I am not aware of any issues that would compel me to join.

Having said that, reading this message I went to the website. Actually I went the "Academy of Our Lady Of Piece" website, then did a google search to find www.lvlia.com.

My first impression based on the website is that this is not only a volunteer(which usually equates to budget limitations) organization but it must be a very young organization.

The website isn't very user friendly(I can explain) and is clearly still under construction. The member list is a broken link. The "Leasership Executive link works though"...

Other than the member list, if you are going to put a button and a website, make it do something. There are too many non functional buttons. It's a waist of time and you know a person only has so many mouse clicks in a lifetime.


Speaking of compelling reasons to join, this should be front and center. You do have "Goals and Objectives" but if there is a true threat this industry, in my opinion, that should be clearly conveyed, more direct and at first glance.

Some of these issues should be cleared up asap so that when you do get the attention and spark and the interest of a newcomer they don't have a disappointing experience visiting the flagship of the organization. Being the website.

A lot of folks in another thread pounced on a simple question regarding website design. Well this is an excellent website to illustrate the advise given.

A direct question was asked ,I hope that I've given a useful answer. No offense intended. I'm here to learn and become a comrade.

I have to agree with you on the website. A bad website only hurts you, I would rather have no website. But like Paul said the website today is much better than it was a few months ago. It is improving but I think we the AOLP should be putting an emphasis on getting the website up to par and working for us instead of working against us. You are not the first person outside nor within to stress this. I am sure the Board will hear this and address it.

irrig8r
02-05-2008, 12:22 PM
Billy. Go for it if you can.... Here the idea of becoming a Master Electrician is beyond my patience at this point. 3 years of school Full Time, 10,000 hours as an apprentice, then 2 or 3 years as a journeyman, then the Masters training and exam... It would take me almost 15 years to do this on a part time (winter only) basis. No thanks, that window has passed me by.

There are good EC's out there, ones who understand and appreciate the LV outdoor lighting industry. Team up with them, they are an excellent resource.

Here in California there is already a LV specialty license and it does include LV lighting in its scope. I find it odd that it specifically mentions it and the LC license I work under does not, but it also encompasses a lot of other "LV" specialties, up to 91 V.

I've been thinking about adding it, "just in case". A full EC license would be nice to have, but there's so much I'd have to study for that I'd never have any intention of doing... and all the time it would take.

C7 - Low Voltage Systems Contractor

A communication and low voltage contractor installs, services and maintains all types of communication and low voltage systems which are energy limited and do not exceed 91 volts. These systems include, but are not limited to telephone systems, sound systems, cable television systems, closed-circuit video systems, satellite dish antennas, instrumentation and temperature controls, and low voltage landscape lighting. Low voltage fire alarm systems are specifically not included in this section.

Total Landscape Solutions
02-05-2008, 01:28 PM
Anybody know where I could find out which of my reps voted for the laws keeping me from doing low-voltage installs in CT.

Other than the obvious of using my vote to be heard, anybody have any ideas on what I could do about it?

cduncanf
02-05-2008, 05:03 PM
I don't know where to find who voted for it but it was apparently slipped quietly into the FY09 CT budget starting 10/1/07. Rumor has it that the electricians pushed for it. Go figure. How many electricians pick up a shovel?!?

Any of you who do work in Connecticut, please email me, because I am starting to collect names of CT contractors who want to change the law. The only way we're going to change this is if a bunch of us get together and work with the state in order to come to an acceptable solution.

Right now, CT requires an L-5 Limited Electrical Contractor's license in order to install LV lighting. That wouldn't be so bad except that the L-5 exam is primarily geared towards wiring alarms, etc. and there's very little on LV landscape lighting, which makes it very difficult for green industry contractors to apply for the license.

Thanks
Duncan Fuller






Anybody know where I could find out which of my reps voted for the laws keeping me from doing low-voltage installs in CT.

Other than the obvious of using my vote to be heard, anybody have any ideas on what I could do about it?