NHLA offering dealer breakfast session in expanded seminar program at GIE+EXPO

Attendees at the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO) will have the opportunity to attend Latino Link — a series of seminars presented by the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA). GIE+EXPO, scheduled for Oct. 21-23, 2015, at Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center, draws more than 18,000 participants to see the latest innovations and attend first-rate education programs.

The number of Hispanic Americans working in the landscape industry is growing. With that in mind, NHLA has expanded its seminar offerings during the trade show to include a breakfast session for dealers, three seminars for owners and managers of landscape businesses, and two Spanish-language sessions for members of the Hispanic workforce.

Wednesday, Oct. 21

8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Latino Link Dealer Breakfast

Growing Your Business by Better Engaging Local Hispanics in English

Pre-registration is required. Cost: $25 includes breakfast.

The growing wave of Hispanics in the landscape industry is the opportunity that wise dealers are riding to achieve higher sales and profitability. Dealers will learn why landscape industry jobs are appealing to U.S. Hispanics, why the significant landscape industry market penetration by Hispanics is likely to grow, and what Hispanics most value in a dealer relationship. In addition to the presentation, this seminar will include small group discussions.


Juan Torres, principal & consultant, Next Step Solutions, and president, National Hispanic Landscape Alliance

Thursday, Oct. 22

Seminars for Lawn & Landscape Contractors — Free to GIE+EXPO attendees

9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

Building Business by Developing the Latino Workforce in English

Wondering what it takes to get members of your team to the next level? Want your employees to take greater ownership of jobs and to motivate each other? In this panel discussion, landscape contractors will learn what skills and experiences that Latino leaders believe are keys to advancement. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and gain advice.


Raul Berrios, owner, RulyScapes, Centreville, Va.


Rafael Diaz, vice president, Diaz Group, Chicago, Ill.

Robert García, account manager, Heaviland Enterprises, Vista, Calif.

Mari Medrano Mejia, human resources director, CoCal Landscape, Denver, Colo.

Domenic Chiarella, consultant, 7 of 7 Best Business & Life Strategies, Southbury, Conn.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Staffing up for Success in English

This panel discussion will offer landscape contractors advice on the following:

* How to read body language.

* Hiring employees locally for full-time or part-time needs, including college graduates, via referrals, at community organizations, etc.

* Meeting seasonal needs through the H-2B Visa program.

* Recognizing the keys to hiring smart by using the right interview questions.

* Understanding the benefits of using pre-employment testing and background checks.

* Using referral/retention bonuses to get the whole company involved in recruitment.


Pam Berrios, owner, ALS Services, Alexandria, Va.


Mari Medrano Mejia, human resources director, CoCal Landscape, Denver, Colo.

Carmen Zayas, VP, human resources, Clean Scapes Landscaping, Austin, Texas

Josh Denison, vice president, operations & HR, Denison Landscaping Inc., Fort Washington, Md.

Juan Torres, Next Step Solutions, East Haven, Conn.

3:00 – 4:15 p.m.

Bridging the Cultural Gap in English

In this session, landscape contractors will learn how to bridge the cultural gap. Topics of discussion will include:

* Avoiding misunderstandings by training groups to respect and accept others’ ways.

* Examining how technology is helping or hurting the cultural gap.

* Learning how to clarify uncertainty regarding cultural behaviors that can be confusing.

* Learning what companies are doing to assist employees in becoming more fully bi-lingual.

* Recognizing and successfully sharing important cultural norms.


Julio Ramos, owner, Ramos Power Equipment Repair, Baltimore, Md.

Carmen Zayas, VP, human resources, Clean Scapes Landscaping, Austin, Texas

Friday, Oct. 23

Spanish-Language Seminars — Free to GIE+EXPO attendees

9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

What Owners Want from their Latino Leaders in Spanish

In this session, participants will learn the keys to becoming successful leaders. Topics of discussion will include:

* Displaying confidence — “Fake it ’til You Make it.”

* Leading and disciplining crews fairly.

* Why accepting and supporting company changes is important.

* The keys to positive assertiveness and gaining the comfort to speak to customers and senior managers.

* Using motivational skills to build enthusiasm and keep morale high.


Ivan Giraldo, president, Clean Scapes Landscaping, Austin, Texas

José Arroyo, president, Jose’s Landscaping, Greenville, S.C.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Winning over Challenging Customers in Spanish

Everyone has experienced the frustration of customers with difficult behaviors. You can learn ways to win them over by communicating in an assertive yet empathetic way. The more you improve and strengthen relationships, the less conflict you will encounter. This session will cover:

* The magic of empathetic listening and validation.

* The extreme importance of body language and positioning.

* Persuading customers to see what you want them to understand by using “I statements.”

* Understanding how to conceal your emotions and manage anger.

* Using open-ended questions to get to the bottom of the customers’ issues.


Raul Berrios, owner, RulyScapes, Centreville, Va.

Angel Mora, production coordinator, Mariani Landscape

The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance is an association that facilitates and promotes the advancement of Hispanics as landscape industry professionals and leaders and provides the nation’s half million Hispanic-American landscaping professionals a voice in the national dialogue on environmentally responsible landscape practices, as well as a means through which to advocate on behalf of their businesses, the livelihood of their employees, and the quality of life in their communities. For more information and membership registration, visit masverde.us.

GIE+EXPO’s 2015 dates are Wednesday, Oct. 21, Dealer Day; Thursday and Friday, Oct. 22-23, for all industry participants. The annual event is sponsored by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Inc. (OPEI), Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) and National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). Hardscape North America (HNA) is sponsored by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI).

An early-bird registration discount is available through Sept. 9. For information and online registration for the trade show and education program, go to www.gie-expo.com. Other contact points: Facebook, info@GIE-EXPO.com, Twitter @GIE_EXPO and (800) 558-8767/(812) 949-9200.


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