Inside Scoop

April 2024
In This Issue

Loren McIrvin

Loren McIrvin
Allied Landscape

GROW – Simple concept that all landscape professionals encounter. We grow plants; we grow as individuals; we grow our teams and companies. 

At my company, Allied Landscape, our team adopted the word GROW as one of four core values with a commitment to being a “Learning Organization” as a primary strategy to grow our company. One of my industry mentors recently reminded me just how important and strategic this concept is and I hope the quick overview below might help you.

A “Learning Organization,” is one that encourages and facilitates learning at all levels, from individual employees to entire teams and departments. It’s about cultivating an environment where curiosity, innovation, and improvement are not just encouraged but part of company culture.

Peter Senge popularized the concept in his book “The Fifth Discipline,” and revolve around five key disciplines:

Systems Thinking – This discipline emphasizes the interconnectedness of various elements within an organization and how different parts of the organization impact each other. I find this can be a company’s biggest weaknesses and source of frustration – not having the right support or “hand-offs” are critical.

Personal Mastery – Team members need to continually develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities to reach their full potential.

Mental Models – Team members throughout the company need to be self-aware and work together to challenge bias driven assumptions in order to embrace new perspectives.

Building Shared Vision – In a learning organization, leaders work collaboratively to create and communicate a compelling vision that aligns everyone and serves as a guiding force for decision-making and action.

Team Learning – Teams must engage in open dialogue, share knowledge and experiences, and collaborate towards collective goals.

Adopting the concepts of a learning organization will provide your company:

Adaptability & Resilience – The landscape industry in the San Francisco Bay Area is competitive and has a rapidly changing environment. Companies need to be agile and adaptable to stay ahead of the curve and navigate challenges.

Innovation – Continuous learning & improvement fosters a culture of innovation, where new ideas are encouraged, and experimentation is embraced to “raise the bar” of the industry

Employee Engagement – When employees are given opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute to a shared vision, they are more engaged and motivated. This leads to higher job satisfaction, retention, and performance.

The CLCA East Bay Chapter is working hard to provide meaningful trainings and networking opportunities, and I encourage you to find the time to invest in yourself or your team members by participating. Our next event will April 26. Hope to see you there.

2024 Beautification Awards Call for Entries

The Annual Beautification Awards Entry Form is now available. A prestigious Beautification Award reassures your clients that they have made the right choice in choosing you for their landscape installation or maintenance project and sets you apart from other companies as an expert in the field. Winners are featured on the chapter website and the e-newsletter The Scoop and future chapter awards program promotions.

You may drop off your entries at Plank in Oakland on Friday, April 26th at 6pm. Entrants are encouraged to stay for bocce ball. The cost is only $15. CLICK HERE to register. Or mail your entries to the CLCA East Bay Chapter at 3130 Balfour Rd. Suite D #215 Brentwood, CA 94513. Mailed entries must be received by 5pm Friday, April 26th.

You may mail or drop off a check with your entries. If you prefer to pay by credit card please contact Laura Leuer at to receive an e-invoice. No payments or entries will be accepted after April 26th. Judging will be May 9th and 10th.

Award winners will be announced at the Awards Presentation and Dinner on Friday, June 7th at Bay Club Crow Canyon in Danville. Details will be announced soon. There is a 2 dinner minimum purchase requirement at $125 each included with the entry fee. Additional dinners may purchased at a later date.


Irrigation Best Practices in Design Build and Maintenance Lunch and Learn

Irrigation Header

Thank you to those that attended the Irrigation Training Lunch and Learn for field crews with Eric Santos on March 21st at Las Positas College. Eric discussed best practices for design build irrigation projects and reviewed the top 10 most common irrigation mistakes made on design build projects.

Irrigation Event
Todd Gerrow - A-G Sod Farms

Upcoming Events

CLCA East Bay Chapter Events for 2024
  • Networking and Bocce Ball
    April 26th
    Register Here
  • Beautification Awards Presentation and Dinner
    June 7th
    The Bay Club Crow Canyon
    Register Here
  • Annual Battle of the Bay
    Oakland A’s vs. San Francisco Giants Baseball Game
    Sunday, August 18th
    Tailgate: 11:30am
    First Pitch: 1:07pm
View Our Calendar
Landscape Contractors Insurance Services, Inc.
L.H. Voss Materials, Inc.
Monarch Truck Center
West Coast Turf

Partner Spotlight

Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery
Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery

Custom Grows
A custom grow with Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery ensures that the plants you need are available when you need them, at a guaranteed price, and grown to your specifications. Whether you need large quantities or something unusual, we will work to provide quality plants for your project. We are licensed growers of the Sunset Western Garden Collection, Encore Azaleas, and Proven Winners plant lines, and these too are available for custom grow. The typical lead time can range from several months to more than a year, depending on the plant varieties and finished sizes, which range from 4” plants up to 132” box trees.

Devil Mtn Trees

Contact your local representative today:
John Serviss
Phone: 877.PLANTS.5

Devil Mountain

Partners for Success

CLCA East Bay Chapter Invites you to become a partner

Read about the chapter’s 2023 accomplishments and sign up to Partner with us in 2024 today!

Become a Partner
Become a CLCA Member
Pacific Nurseries
California Truck Centers
Delta Bluegrass - Jeff Henninger