Inside Scoop

July 2023
In This Issue

Kristin Gallego
Artistic Landscape

As we make our way through summer and the many unknowns; our economy, never ending inflation, new state mandates looming on the horizon; there’s still mainly one thing that has me reflecting on not only our company’s future, but the present as well. That is the backbone of our company, our employees! Without them, the wheels in my head may be turning, I may research and implement all the right processes, but still nothing would get accomplished. This past week I did a “cross member presentation” in a networking group I’m a part of. The goal is to meet one-on-one with another member and cross present their business to the group in order for everyone to gather a greater understanding of who the other person is and what their business does. I find that’s it’s always both interesting and helpful to see someone else’s perspective of your business. Like most feedback, it can help you grow both personally and professionally.

But, I was taken back when the member presenting about me stopped and said, “she doesn’t know what I’m going to say next.” Which by any stretch of the imagination I didn’t know what they were going to say the entire time, but you figure they’re going to try to introduce you personally, tell a little about the history behind your business and highlight what your business does. Then they proceed to say, “they change the lives of their 17 employees and their families on a daily basis.” This made me smile. My husband and I talk about it on an ongoing basis. Our employees are like family, and we always want them to feel that way. We feel a sense of obligation to them. We know their livelihoods are in our hands, they trust us in that capacity, and we don’t take it lightly. When building our business our clients and our employees are our number one priority and the rest stems from there.

When growing any business, having processes in place and knowing your finances (especially profitability) helps to dictate your growth and in particular what you can afford to pay when it’s time to hire. This can be a loaded question in and of itself (and really not what I’m trying to talk about or expand on today). But, what I wanted to touch on today is really a quick overview of some of the things we try to consider when hiring the right employees.

First off, every employee is different. Every employee has a different lifestyle, different goals, different skill sets, different wants and needs. So, while there are some things within a company that are across the board policies when hiring, when it comes to incentives, we like to get to know our employees and tailor an incentive program to help them succeed. Like in all life relationships, employee/employer relationship being no different, the most successful ones are the ones that go both ways. An employer can’t be a dictator and expect their employees to come to work each day with respect and eager to work just the same as dictating to your children will only get bad attitudes and rebellion. (I know firsthand as a mom of 4. I started out with my first thinking, “I’m the mom, you’ll do what I say” was how it worked. However, I quickly learned differently. Doesn’t mean I’m not still a “tough love” mom, but I learned it’s all in the approach and respect goes both ways.)

Do you know if your employee:

  • Is driven by money (raises, bonuses, commission, etc.)
  • Is driven by time off (they give you 200% of themselves at work, money may be great, but they’d rather have PTO to take a vacation)
  • Appreciates extras like coffee and donuts once a month, an unexpected lunch or a gift card to show your appreciation
  • LOVES to work hard and loves what they do but knows their limits (I know this firsthand while working for a previous employer. I didn’t care about additional time off. I wasn’t even asking for a raise. I wanted them to use that additional money to hire another person, because the load was just too much for one person no matter how much I was being paid and vacation wouldn’t help, that would only add more stress.)

These are just a few things to think about. So, when it comes to your employees, I encourage you to get to know them better and remember, the right employee does truly become the backbone of any company.

July is Smart Irrigation Month

by Loren McIrvin
SIM Logo

Smart Irrigation Month is an annual event organized by the Irrigation Association, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of efficient water usage and conservation in various sectors. In California, where water scarcity is a pressing concern, organizations like the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), Contra Costa Water District (CCWD), and Zone 7 Water Agency actively participate in promoting sustainable irrigation practices.

As a state facing chronic water shortages and a semi-arid climate, California recognizes the need for responsible water management. With a significant portion of water usage attributed to irrigation, implementing efficient practices becomes imperative. Several organizations collaborate to promote sustainable irrigation and maximize water conservation efforts.

MWELO: Advancing Water Efficiency

The Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance (MWELO) is a California state law that sets guidelines for water-efficient landscaping and irrigation. MWELO requires new landscape projects to meet certain criteria, such as using drought-tolerant plants, utilizing efficient irrigation systems, and employing water management techniques like proper soil preparation and mulching. By adhering to MWELO standards landscape professionals contribute to water conservation efforts during Irrigation Month and throughout the year.

CLCA Water Management Program: Training for Efficiency

The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) Water Management Program plays a significant role in promoting water efficiency and sustainable irrigation practices. This program trains landscape professionals on the latest techniques and technologies to conserve water while maintaining vibrant landscapes. By educating contractors on efficient irrigation methods, such as using weather-based controllers, drip irrigation, and proper scheduling, the CLCA Water Management Program empowers industry professionals to make informed decisions that benefit water conservation efforts during Irrigation Month and beyond.

Other Resources: Water Providers Like EBMUD, CCWD, Zone offer the East Bay educational programs, incentives, and rebates to residential and commercial water users that can play a critical role in pushing water conservation projects across the finish line.

Irrigation Month serves as a platform to promote water efficiency and conservation in California. Collaborative efforts between organizations such as EBMUD, CCWD, Zone 7, MWELO, and the CLCA Water Management Program play a crucial role in driving sustainable irrigation practices. By implementing efficient irrigation systems, adhering to water-efficient landscaping guidelines, and educating professionals and the public, these organizations contribute to the long-term goal of preserving California’s water resources. During Irrigation Month and throughout the year, it is vital for individuals, businesses, and communities to prioritize water conservation and embrace responsible irrigation practices for a sustainable future.

Are You a Builder or a Destroyer?

A railroad crew was working in the hot August sun replacing railroad ties and adjusting tracks. As they labored in the blazing heat, an engine pulls up with a fancy caboose all decked out with company colors, and stops a short distance from the crew. A man in a sharp pinstripe suit steps out of the caboose and yells toward the crew, “John. John Hayes. Is that you?”

To the laborers’ surprise, John yells back, “Yeah, Tom, it’s me. Good to see you.”

“Well, come on in and visit for a while,” Tom yells back.

The labor crew stared on in amazement as John laid down his shovel, wiped the sweat from his forehead and walked toward the caboose. The man in the pinstripes gave him a big handshake and a slap on the back as they disappeared into the caboose. After a short time, John came walking back out to once again pick up his shovel and take his place on the crew.

Everyone stopped working and stared up at him. “John?” someone finally spoke up. “John, wasn’t that Tom Miller, the president of the railroad?”

“Yep,” came his lonesome reply.

“Well, John, how do you know Tom Miller?” the man continued to pry.

“We both started working for the railroad on exactly the same day over 20 years ago.”

The man couldn’t help but ask the obvious question. “John, if you both started working on the same day, how come Tom Miller became president of the railroad and you’re out here in the hot sun laying ties?”

To which John stopped working, leaned forward on his shovel with a look that seemed to instantaneously play back the past 20 years and said, “20 years ago Tom went to work for the railroad. I went to work for $1.20 an hour.”

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Annual Planning Meeting


Annual Planning Meeting

August 3rd
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Location: Zoom

Now more than ever it is important for us to come together and exchange ideas on how we can support our members. CLCA Members are invited to attend the East Bay Chapter’s Annual Planning Meeting virtually on August 3rd at 11am. If you have been a long time member or are new to the association, please join us to exchange ideas on how we can support our members learning and growing in 2024.

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Battle of the Bay

A's Stadium

Oakland A’s vs. San Francisco Giants

Sunday, August 6th
11:30 AM Tailgate
1:07 PM First Pitch

Bring your family, friends and crews Sunday, August 6th to the Oakland A’s and the San Francisco Giants baseball game! The co-hosted Ewing tailgate party will begin at 11:30am and will include delicious food and refreshing beverages.

Awesome field level tickets are only $75 for CLCA members and MUST BE PURCHASED by Friday, July 28th. Tickets are limited and will sell out quickly- CLICK HERE to purchase yours today. Don’t miss this great opportunity to socialize with your CLCA colleagues.

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Upcoming Events

CLCA East Bay Chapter Events for 2023
  • Board of Directors Annual Planning Meeting
    August 3rd
    Zoom Meeting
  • Oakland A’s vs Giants
    August 6th
    11:30am Ewing Co-Hosted Tailgate
    1:07pm Baseball Game
    Purchase Tickets Here
  • Smart Controller Training
    with Fernando Terrazas of Ran Bird
    September 14th
View Our Calendar
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Partner Spotlight

Imperial Sprinkler Supply


At ISS our Customer Assurance is based on a genuine commitment to our customers. We believe this to be one of the most important criteria you should use when making your supplier choices. Providing customers an assurance of exceptional service from product selection through after-purchase support and holding ourselves to the highest standard because we understand that is what our customers deserve.

CLICK HERE for Imperial Sprinkler Supply the July discount special.

Contact your local Imperial Sprinkler Supply representative today:
Paul Wong
Mobile: 925-518-6331

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CLCA East Bay Chapter Invites you to become a partner

Download the flier below for the 2023 Partners for Success Program and mail your payment today.

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