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RLDesign
02-01-2010, 08:49 AM
Hello All,

My opinion is that the to San Antonio for the AOLP conference was the best investment I have made for my lighting business in 7 years. In addition to the connections made, the information/training/speakers was the best I have been exposed to in my lighting career. I was very imipressed with many pieces of the conference, specifically learning tips from George Gruel. I started my COLD (Certified Outdoor Lighting Designer) certification. The presenters and sharing of tips/techniques was exactly what I expected. The annual meeting discussed many important issues, with the first and foremost being the growth of the AOLP as a group. I feel that the group is a solid group and I was proud to be a member. I would suggest that more contractors, manufacturers, distributors join this organization. It will only make the industry as a whole a better place to do business. The connections I made will last a lifetime. Everytime I had a conversation - I learned something so very valuable. On day one, I kept writing item after important item, until I was blown out of the water with Naomi Miller and the Caliper program. I am eager to see the testing of LED retrofit lamps in fixtures (not just bench tested in the lab). The relevant round table discussions and personal attention given by Jan and all others made this something I will remember for the rest of my life. I will attend in the future and I think the future will also include the starting of state/regional chapters (specifically to make it easier to participate and become certified). I am eager to hear what others have to say about conference.

Best, Tanek Hood

S&MLL
02-01-2010, 05:27 PM
Tanek next year I will have to make the trip with you. I have had the application on my desk for 2 years. Just a pain in the butt to fill out.

RLI Electric
02-01-2010, 07:19 PM
I think that I was looking too much at the short term when I decided not to go. I now regret it. I plan on being there next year plus I think Arizona in January would be nice.

RLDesign
02-02-2010, 09:03 AM
Tanek next year I will have to make the trip with you. I have had the application on my desk for 2 years. Just a pain in the butt to fill out.

Fill out the application. I became a member a few years ago, but waited to attend conference/meeting this year. Although difficult to coordinate the travel, this year was worth it for me.

Talk soon. Tanek

niteliters
02-02-2010, 02:55 PM
Tanek next year I will have to make the trip with you. I have had the application on my desk for 2 years. Just a pain in the butt to fill out.

2 years is a long time. I think they have made it possible to fill out and pay for online.

niteliters
02-02-2010, 03:07 PM
I am going to make an effort as a member to get 100 contractors at next years event. I have been a member for many years and have volunteered many hours. It seems this year that the cart, so to speak, is at or nearing the top of the hill. this organaztion is helped by volunteers but the group that helps us take care of all the "day in, Day out" very important things is starting to sync with the members freeing those up who want to improve and grow the organazation to do just that. It's starting to feel exciting and fun. timing is perfect in this economy when you need tools to make your company different. One other point. You no longer have to wait for next years conference to get involved. Join now, get your packet of info. get linked into the other members, find out who's in your state. Contact them, get to know them. talk to the home office about what you need to do to start a chapter. If that sounds like too much there are many comittees to serve on that would you give you a flavor of the organazation but most importantly, help you make the first step towards getting involved today and be well engaged by next years conference. lots of bad sentence structure but hopefully my points get across. This is something you can do today that can positively impact your business this year.....if you use the information and get involved

NightScenes
02-02-2010, 03:09 PM
Tanek, it was very nice meeting you and I am very glad that you had a wonderful experience at this year's conference. I feel that the association has made huge strides in the right direction over the past year and it's really starting to show.

The board and management company are working hard to make the AOLP a strong and valuable association for our members. I feel like this year will bring more benefits for our members as well. We actually met with an insurance provider while we were in San Antonio to see if we can get a group rate policy for our members.

We strongly encourage everyone who works with landscape lighting to become a member of the AOLP which will build a strong foundation for our industry. We would like to be a strong advocate for our members in state and/or local governments as well but we need a lot more members to be able to do that. We are starting to establish state chapters in California and Texas so if anyone is in either of those states, please let me know and we'll get you the information on your local chapter.

Once again Tanek, thank you and we are here to help you in any way we can.

RLDesign
02-02-2010, 04:49 PM
Paul and Chris,

Likewise, this year was a better year for the AOLP in all areas. Both you and Chris, Mark C., Matthew, Pam, Nels, Keith, Andy, Jan, Naomi, Tom, and list goes on - all helped me grow my business with a simple conversation. I like to say that the economy dropping has made many of us realize the strength in members and industry friends. I think Jan's presence and positive input (free contribution of her time) reassures me that this organization has the potential to legitimize our profession as designers. I personally feel that it should not be an association for everyone, but like IES there should be someone checking that you have solid business and design practice before admittance... or it may hurt some contractors by allowing the trunk slammers.

Many spoke on growing the organization, which I feel is the most important piece, but I still feel selective growth is better than growth in general. Just my opinion as I can think of few contractors in my area that are having negative impacts on our trade by using poor product, design, and ethics.

Here are the pics from this year, located on snapfish.com
http://www5.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=1028571028/a=696294028_696294028/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

Please purchase She Paints with Light Volume2, which has already influenced my designs and future work. For the snapfish gallery, I did not provide Georges detailed masking and post production, but I will work on a select few images to see what I garnered. His time and training were so valuable to myself.

Talk soon. Tanek AOLP IES IDA

msouthard
02-02-2010, 11:07 PM
Tanek

Unbelievable pictures.....the cave tour looked awesome, sorry I had to miss it. Thanks for posting all these, they were greeat. We have to make sure the office gets a link to this. I will send over to them.

RLDesign
02-03-2010, 10:10 AM
Could you access the snapfish gallery?

Best regards,

Tanek

msouthard
02-03-2010, 02:34 PM
Absolutely, great pictures of all aspects of the conference plus some sights I did not see. Of course you have to have a snapfish account and I do. I send the link to Stacy at the office. She maybe contacting you do get certain photo's sent to her because on snapfish she would have to pay for them. Thanks again!

NightScenes
02-03-2010, 03:32 PM
I agree with you on several points Tanek and thanks for sharing the photos. It looks like you may have picked up a few pointers from George Gruel.

seolatlanta
02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
I hate it so bad that I wasnt there this year.

As a former board member I can say without a doubt , the AOLP has changed my business for the better so much. The relationships I have made and people I have met have made me really enjoy the world of landscape lighting. It is a small world for sure!

I will be there for sure next year for sure although I have been to Scottsdale so many times I wish it were somewhere else. But the hotel there is great and it will be fun for sure.

It is fun to come home and try out some of the ideas you pick up there and see how they work for you.

NightScenes
02-03-2010, 04:16 PM
Hey Dave, it's good to see you and I'm looking forward to seeing you again in Scottsdale next year. I'm sure that the next conference will be even better than this year but it's going to be hard to top!!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-03-2010, 04:35 PM
Scottsdale .... But the hotel there is great and it will be fun for sure.

Just be sure you don't drink the water at that hotel!!! (looking for a 'sickness' avatar right about now :laugh:) Just ask me and about 12 others from the 2008 Convention!

Honestly, can the AOLP not find a better Hotel/Resort in all of Scottsdale/Pheonix area? There must be dozens better than that place. Perhaps there is a 'relationship' between the owner and someone at the AOLP? It just doesnt make a whole lot of sense to me why you guys keep going back there.

seolatlanta
02-03-2010, 05:19 PM
Hey James,

The reason we have to go back is because of previous commitments promised by a previous administration. Once that is over I am sure it willl move on .

I got deathly ill when I was there that time when we met also. I dont think it was from the water though. I didnt even go to the last nights awards or the day before as I was in the bed begging for my Mommie....lol.

I wish you would at least consider coming next year , you have a lot of knowledge to give.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-03-2010, 05:50 PM
Hi David. I actually am re-considering joining the AOLP and attending the 2011 Conference. Not sure I will stay in that hotel mind you (fool me once... you know how it goes) I lost about 12 pounds last year after getting sick there ( I was on the toilet for the better part of a week following)

Perhaps Paul G. could update us on the Leadership/elections and who sits on the board this year? Specifically, who oversees memberships? My 2009 membership renewal was paid for in late 2008, but somehow mysteriously lost and thus early in 2009 my membership and privledges were revoked. That didnt sit very well with me for a long time and none of my contact with the admin or board was replied to after that point.

Tanek tells us that the administration was much improved across the 2009 year, and I am willing to let bygones be bygones so to speak.

msouthard
02-03-2010, 09:49 PM
sJust fyi, the reason we have to go back to the Chapparell Suites is because last year we committed to a certain number of rooms and because of the terrible turnout we had to pay for those room nights. We negotiated that amount to 50% of what we owed if we would come back for another year. I am sure this will be the last year that we will be there. I think the hope is to change it up every year. I think I heard Matthew talking about Orlando in 2012.

As for the Board, it now conisists of

Mathew Broyles
Gerry De LaVega
Chris Mitchell
Paul Gosselin (Reelected for another term)
Paul Welty (Just elected new this year)
Vince Nolletti (Reelected for another term)
Alexandra Taylor (just electected new thsi year)

James,
I am on the membership committee and we have a meeting next week and I will bring up your comments and concerns.

David, will be glad to see you back...hope the lighting buiness is going well in Atlanta.....

NightScenes
02-05-2010, 11:05 AM
I was also one of the sick people in 2008 and was diagnosed with the FLU and nothing more. I spent almost my entire time at conference in bed. After talking to others who were sick it tuned out that the flu was going around. I actually caught it on the flight there.

steveparrott
02-05-2010, 05:14 PM
I'm sorry no one from CAST could attend this year. We all had a prior commitment for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at our new foundry in Columbia. Here's a couple pics.

NightScenes
02-05-2010, 06:10 PM
I heard about that, I'm glad to see that everything turned out well. I'm sure we'll see you guys next year in Scottsdale.

Tomwilllight
02-05-2010, 10:09 PM
I thought the deadly flux the knocked out so many in 2008 sounded a lot like the flu. Sure am glad my flu shot was still active. Last time I had it, I laid on the couch for 5 days expecting to die.... it's nasty.

I think I'll enjoy one more conference in Phoenix. The board is going to have to really work it to best our meeting in San Antonio. Are there any caves in Phoenix?

Tom

seolatlanta
02-05-2010, 10:31 PM
Hi Steve ,

Which one are you in the picture? Just trying to put a face with the great posts!

Can you go into any detail as to why CAST is in Colombia? Is it due to the bronzing methods? Just wondering why , not trying to put you on the spot at all.

Lite4
02-06-2010, 10:45 AM
I thought the deadly flux the knocked out so many in 2008 sounded a lot like the flu. Sure am glad my flu shot was still active. Last time I had it, I laid on the couch for 5 days expecting to die.... it's nasty.

I think I'll enjoy one more conference in Phoenix. The board is going to have to really work it to best our meeting in San Antonio. Are there any caves in Phoenix?

Tom

They may not have many caves in Phoenix, but I do know first hand there are some pretty sweet golf courses.....just sayin. :rolleyes:

klkanders
02-06-2010, 01:03 PM
I was also one of the sick people in 2008 and was diagnosed with the FLU and nothing more. I spent almost my entire time at conference in bed. After talking to others who were sick it tuned out that the flu was going around. I actually caught it on the flight there.

Paul was one of the first guys I shook hands with after arriving at the conference of '08. I made it through the week but was sicker than a dog and do not remember much on my flight home. Coincidence? I think not! :)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-06-2010, 01:22 PM
Well if that was a flu I caught it was like no other flu I have ever known! I was sick ( and I mean REALLY sick) for 7 full days and nights, I lost 12 pounds, and felt like I was going to die.

I dunno, maybe it has something to do with your private health care down there (is the medical industrial complex boosting potency whilst subduing immunity? hmmmm?) but I know that we up here in the Great White North are a super hearty bunch, have our share of flu and colds, and I swear that I never want to go through anything like that again!

irrig8r
02-06-2010, 01:31 PM
Well if that was a flu I caught it was like no other flu I have ever known! I was sick ( and I mean REALLY sick) for 7 full days and nights, I lost 12 pounds, and felt like I was going to die.

I dunno, maybe it has something to do with your private health care down there (is the medical industrial complex boosting potency whilst subduing immunity? hmmmm?) but I know that we up here in the Great White North are a super hearty bunch, have our share of flu and colds, and I swear that I never want to go through anything like that again!

I wasn't there, but I have had something similar once. What people commonly call "stomach flu" is often caused by Norovirus.

Influenza can be either airborne or surface contact tranmitted...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Influenza

Norovirus is often transmitted through poor hygiene and contaminated food...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norovirus

Tomwilllight
02-06-2010, 02:29 PM
James,

It sounds like flue to me... based on my experience and Paul's diagnosis. Now you know why it kills so many children and elderly. It's a serious illness that MOST survive.

I do believe in getting the yearly flu vaccine.

I'll be sure to wash my hands next time I shake hands with Paul G!

{;-)

Tom

steveparrott
02-07-2010, 11:59 AM
Hi Steve ,

Which one are you in the picture? Just trying to put a face with the great posts!

Can you go into any detail as to why CAST is in Colombia? Is it due to the bronzing methods? Just wondering why , not trying to put you on the spot at all.

Dave,

You won't find me in the pic since I'm behind the camera. Briefly, our first foundry was in Venezuela but the political situation there got a little dicey. We built this new foundry in Columbia from the ground up, making it one of the largest foundries of its type in the world. It's located next to the port of Baranquilla - our products ship from there directly to NJ in a few days. This gives us fast and reliable transport. It's also close enough so we can fly back and forth frequently. I'll be posting pics and videos on our website soon.

RLDesign
02-07-2010, 09:26 PM
Hello Steve and All,

I saw the construction photos that Dave B and Jeff H showed me, and I was quite impressed. It really seems like you crossed the Ts and dotted the Is. I can say that Dave has really impressed me with his ability to modify fixtures and create cool product that my clients need. I found him to be a very good listener - his creation of the telescopic stem is the best stem in the industry. I really have enjoyed working with CAST and getting to know your company. I see things a little different on certain aspects of the design and fixture options, but Dave's respect and open mind are convincing me that your company will have more and more pieces that fit my arsenal. And seeing that dedicated factory behind your company is a huge positive piece.

I look forward to those posting pics. Congrats on the new factory!

Talk soon.

Tanek
Reynolds Lighting

seolatlanta
02-07-2010, 09:48 PM
Telescopic Stem?

Steve , can you post pics or is it available for sale yet? I would like to see it.

I looked on the CAST site but I couldnt find it.

steveparrott
02-08-2010, 09:33 AM
Dave,

I'll send you a private msg with the link. This thread has gone way off topic and I'm not supposed to be promoting CAST here.

RLDesign
02-08-2010, 11:08 AM
Sorry Steve. That was my fault. I was just citing my positive experience in dealing with Dave.

Talk soon.

Tanek

niteliters
02-08-2010, 12:13 PM
I'm sorry no one from CAST could attend this year. We all had a prior commitment for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at our new foundry in Columbia. Here's a couple pics.

Steve, I know we talked about this some on the phone last year. I am hopeflu you can attend in 2011. congats on your ribbon cutting.

niteliters
02-08-2010, 09:55 PM
Hi David. I actually am re-considering joining the AOLP and attending the 2011 Conference. Not sure I will stay in that hotel mind you (fool me once... you know how it goes) I lost about 12 pounds last year after getting sick there ( I was on the toilet for the better part of a week following)

Perhaps Paul G. could update us on the Leadership/elections and who sits on the board this year? Specifically, who oversees memberships? My 2009 membership renewal was paid for in late 2008, but somehow mysteriously lost and thus early in 2009 my membership and privledges were revoked. That didnt sit very well with me for a long time and none of my contact with the admin or board was replied to after that point.

Tanek tells us that the administration was much improved across the 2009 year, and I am willing to let bygones be bygones so to speak.

James, thanks for taking a second look. would look forward to seeing you in AZ.

irrig8r
02-08-2010, 11:36 PM
I am hopeflu you can attend in 2011.

Is there such a thing as a "Freudian typo" ? :)

niteliters
02-09-2010, 09:45 PM
Is there such a thing as a "Freudian typo" ? :)

that's funny, I saw my mistake and thought of correcting in another reply but I thought....maybe no one would notice. Freudian slip, bad typist...either way, I will have cases of bottled water available and bags of gronola bars for all who might be concerned:clapping:

David Gretzmier
02-12-2010, 10:22 PM
given all the praise heaped on this thing I may have to drop the 1-2 grand plus to belly up to the bar on next years meeting. I guess I am spoiled by the dozens of conventions I have went to in the past that were free or virtually so.

It seems as though everyone talks about the art and the creativity, and the connections with folks and the product, photography etc.
my goal for going would be in the realm of growing the landscape lighting business into a business. what do you do and how do you take this part time hobby to a level that is full time work for 2-3 guys, capitalizes assets and provides middle to upper middle class income for a family of 6?

I am all about learning how to light a tree better, but my problem with this business is finding clients to let you light that tree. That is truly valuable info that you can take to the bank, literally.

RLDesign
02-13-2010, 08:45 AM
Hello David,

The round table discussion was an open round table forum, meaning that you could stay at whatever round table you wanted and each round table drove their own discussion. It allowed really detailed discussion into as much as the contributors provided, and I was blown away. The marketing pieces and info that some members have is amazing... I could not imagine how much I gained in such a short period time. I stayed at the LED table for 2 rotations and then to sales and marketing, but the discussion diverted or stayed as much as the group asked questions or put in their input and experience. I consider it the best decision I have made for my business since I started. The bigggest thing I learned was how to creatively market myself. I also learned that there are pockets of this country that allow some of us to be better lighting designers because we have bigger budgets to work with, and thus design more creatively to fit the landscape, home, and space.

The money invested has already paid for itself and I am in the middle of winter. I already sold one project and have 3 leads based upon some tactics I gained at AOLP meeting. I am really pumped to see James Solecki and Tommy Herren in Ariz. next year, plus a few others who missed this year!! It should be a good time!! The press that James and Tommy and Jan and others bring to our industry legitimizes our trade. It is definitely hard to make a living if you do not have a pocket of wealth in your area or if you are oversaturated with lighting contractors. I try to set myself apart by being a lighting designer, and starting my COLD certification YEAR 1 will set me apart. I saw that John Higo discussed his landscape lighting certification program at Jame's lighting symposium. That is what we need locally and regionally. It is hard to pony up the money to get that certification when it is also offered only one time per year, but that also keeps the trunkslammers out. Ah, who knows - it better to have educated competition (I guess).

Best regards,

Tanek

msouthard
02-13-2010, 05:09 PM
Tanek

I know John Higo from Turf care. What kind of certification program does he have? Is this his own companiy's or is it through Landsdcape Ontario?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
02-13-2010, 05:17 PM
The certification program that Tanek is referring to is a program that we are developing in the Lighting Group at Landscape Ontario. We are just putting the finishing touches on our Education Manual now. We will then develop the training program and hope to deliver our first certification program for late 2010 or early 2011.

John Higo is the Chair of the group and I am the Vice Chair.

msouthard
02-13-2010, 05:25 PM
James

Thanks for the clarification. I thought it would be tied in with Landscape Ontario.