Tim, please share with us what you do professionally.
Following 30 years of working in the field of landscape horticulture (contracting; resource conservation; and park and recreation management), I am currently focused on the fields of education and workforce training and development. Serving on the education committees of multiple professional landscape organizations, I work to develop programs to support certification and professionalism. I also act as an advisor to Regional Occupational Programs, local high schools and community colleges to strengthen industry and academic relationships.
What do you find most rewarding about your career?
In addition to having spent most of my career as a ‘practicing horticulturist’, I have had the privilege of working as adjunct faculty for four local community colleges teaching various aspects of horticulture. My personal experience has also included a great deal of public outreach on water conservation and other ‘Green Industry’ topics. It has always been rewarding to share information with others.
What is one of your favorite training and development tips or techniques?
I have always found that establishing an initial rapport with ‘learners’ is most helpful. Understanding their expectations, background, and interest in a subject establishes a basis for open communication and dialogue. So, I always try to arrive early to a training event and learn more about the audience so that I can personalize the training or presentation.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I would have to say that I am inclined to do a fair amount of gardening. Over the years, I have managed to create quite a horticultural collection of greenery that provides both exercise and enjoyment. Since I also enjoy reading I have designated one shady section as The Garden of Readin’.
What was the last book you read?
The Checklist Manifesto-How to Get Things Right, by Atul Gawande. The book recounts the personal story of how Dr. Gawande, a physician and surgeon, found that the use of a simple tool – the checklist – is often the most overlooked and under-utilized approach to preventing errors. From the surgery room to high-rise construction and even airplane cockpits, the book illustrates how any endeavor can benefit from the low-tech use of a checklist.