Lynda Wightman

Hunter Industries

Lynda Wightman has worked for Hunter Industries (irrigation equipment manufacturer) since 1984. During the 31 years, she has held positions in sales, education and training. Lynda is currently Hunter’s Industry Relations’ Manager, assisting with the company’s specification efforts worldwide; education opportunities; allied association representation (strength being focused on water conservation and sustainable landscapes, specification and sports turf). Her education background is in Ornamental Horticulture, Landscaping and Irrigation.

 

She is involved in various industry associations including ASIC, STMA, NALP, ASLA, Irrigation Foundation, IA, NIAAA, NRPA, ASBA, MNLA, and many regional chapters of these associations. Lynda lives in Missoula, MT and enjoys teaching others about efficient irrigation practices.

Allen Mark Chariton

Tierra Verde Landscape

Taken from us far too soon, the footprints Allen Chariton leaves behind make a mark that endures beyond his years.  A simple man, of great diversity, Allen was the devoted husband of Ellin for 41 years, the loving father of Sheryl and her husband Bruce, and the adoring PA to Mia, age 7, and Ava, age 3.

 

Allen became interested in horticulture as an elective class at Granada Hills High School and soon established a robust gardening route. He went on to Pierce Junior College and then Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  As the first college graduate of his family, Allen earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Ornamental Horticulture in 1974.  He then turned a summertime job with Environmental Care into his after college career opportunity, where his first boss, Robert Scofield became his lifelong friend and mentor.

 

February 1976, Allen founded Tierra Verde Landscape, Inc. and served as its president and chief operating officer until his sudden and untimely death, July 24, 2015.  Tierra Verde Landscape, Inc. has been a consistent Chapter and State CLCA Beautification Awards winner over many years.  Allen forged his business dedicated to enhance and preserve each client’s investment for generations to come, with the motto:  “Neat, Clean and Green!”

 

During his nearly 40 years of involvement with the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) at the state level, Allen played an active role in the committee that developed and implemented the first Landscape Industry Show. He served three years as state treasurer. He was also an active member of the committee that re-wrote the C-27 license language.  Allen was honored by CLCA with the Allegiance Award in 2007.  Allen served on several CLCA committees and task forces, including Events, Immigration and Trophy Awards, and was a leader in the Orange County chapter, where he served as President in 1981 and continued to mentor members while helping develop the future of the association.  Allen never hesitated to assist others, his way to grow the professionalism of the industry.  Since 2005, Allen served as trustee of CLCA’s Insurance Trust, now an independent entity known as Golden Oak Cooperative.

 

An avid fisherman, Allen lived life passionately, with purpose and conviction.  And he lived by the maxim, NO woulda, coulda, shoulda!  Allen’s footprints are forever imprinted in the hearts of his family and friends and his impact on the California green industry.  Allen leaves a legacy of a life well lived.  He would be humbly honored to be inducted posthumously into the Green Industry Hall of Fame.

 

Dennis Pittenger

UC Riverside

Dennis is a respected educator and nationally recognized expert in landscape water management, palm management, and care of woody landscape plants.  In over 34 years of employment with the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), he has worked closely with UCCE colleagues and the Green Industry to carry out educational programs and research studies that address important industry issues.  Dennis has conducted noted field research studies on landscape plant water needs, transplanting specimen palms, tree root management, tree selection, and groundcover management, and he has organized and taught numerous workshops, seminars, and field days on these and other topics.

 

During his career, Dennis has authored or co-authored over 225 research articles and educational publications reporting and applying research results to help the Green Industry and related audiences.  He is the technical editor and co-author of the award-winning California Master Gardener Handbook, the University of California’s comprehensive basic horticulture reference, now in its second edition.  He also serves as the Irrigation Associate Editor for Landscape Contractor Design/Build/Maintain/Supply Magazine, and he leads UCCE’s Web-based Center for Landscape and Urban Horticulture that provides technical information on landscape water conservation and other topics.

 

In both 2010 and 2011, Dennis received the Arboriculture Research Award from the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.  More recently, he served a three-year appointment on a national technical committee of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) that developed the content for the new ANSI/ASABE S623 standard method for determining landscape plant water demands.

 

Dennis earned a B.S. in Agriculture and a M.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University.  In addition, he completed graduate course work in Soil Science at the University of California Riverside.  He joined UCCE and UC Riverside’s Botany and Plant Sciences Department as the statewide Urban Horticulture Extension Specialist in 1981 following four years of urban horticulture extension work with The Ohio State University in Columbus and Cleveland.  In 1994, UCCE appointed him to an Area Environmental Horticulture Advisor position serving Southern California from the UC Riverside campus.  Dennis is a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance, and the California Landscape Contractors Association where he has served on their Resource Management Committee for over 25 years.

 

When Dennis is not working, he enjoys running, biking, hiking, playing golf, gardening, woodworking, and pursuing culinary experiences with his wife of 42 years.

Robert Scofield

ValleyCrest Tree Co.

Robert (Bob) Scofield was raised in Watsonville, California. He graduated from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo with a BS in Ornamental Horticulture in 1953. At Cal Poly SLO, he participated in many activities including the Cal Poly band. While at Cal Poly he fell in love with one of the local town girls, Martye who became his wife.

 

After graduation, he went to work for the J. Harold Mitchell Company in San Gabriel as an Arborist and Pest Control Applicator. At this same time, he went back to school and received a California Certificate in Turf grass Management from UCLA in 1955. He worked for the OM Scotts Company from 1959 – 1964 as a field research technician and Agronomist covering the 7 western states doing new product development for the golf and landscape industries. From 1964 until 1970 he worked as a supplier representative to the horticulture, turf and landscape industries for Bar-C-K Inc. and Robinson Fertilizer Company.

 

In 1970, he went to work for the newly formed division of Valley Crest Landscape Companies; Environmental Care Inc., which later became Environmental Industries.  Bob was instrumental in the development of this, the maintenance division of Valley Crest Landscape. Mr. Scofield opened the first ECI maintenance branch office and served in many capacities including the senior management capacity of Vice President of Corporate Relations throughout his many years with the company.

 

 He served as an agronomist and managed contracting and maintenance for both municipal and private golf courses in his 38 year career. Mr. Scofield oversaw the golf management operations of ECI and worked closely with clients, helping them meet their goals. Bob’s contributions to the Green Industry came with his involvement and his development of industry professionals that he came in contact with. Higher education in the green industry continued to be important to Mr. Scofield throughout his career. He was an ever present face at recruiting events at the colleges and universities encouraging students and young people to build a career in this business.

 

  It did not matter if the individual ending up working for ECI or not, Bob took an interest in the people he met and gave each an opportunity to get involved. He followed up with them. He served as a mentor to many women and men in the Green Industry. Bob’s friendly persona was a staple at many industry events.  The depth of his interest in people was evident by the number of attendees at his retirement party. His commitment to Valley Crest and Environmental Industries was codified with his company’s endowment of a scholarship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Bob’s name. Many students in Ornamental and Environmental Horticulture have and will continue to benefit from this scholarship.

 

Mr. Scofield’s passion for higher education was shown in his service to several institutions and their educational landscape councils, including;

University of California, Riverside - Chancellors Agriculture Advisory Council, California Polytechnic State University – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, Dean’s Advisory Council California State Polytechnic, Pomona - Ornamental Horticulture Advisory Committee

Associated Landscape Contractors of America - Curriculum Committee

 

 

John Culbertson

Pacific Sod

John Culbertson was born in 1938 in Glendale California.  He attended South Pasadena High School and was a graduate of Orange Coast College. John was an avid golfer and baseball player and lover of life. John Culbertson worked for Pacific Sod for over 27 years in the landscape industry as a salesman, sales manager, director of marketing and golf division manager.

 

During his decades of employment with Pacific Sod, John was involved in a number of associations including the CLCA, STMA, ASLA, CAN and numerous local chapters during his employment with Pacific Sod. John’s dedication to the Green Industry in California was immeasurable. John’s enthusiasm for involvement in the Green Industry was contagious and many remain involved today because John got them to attend and participate.

 

John Culbertson passed away May 15, 2009 while living in Costa Mesa, California.  He had been the recipient of a heart transplant shortly after his 50th high school reunion at South Pasadena High School.  He fought a heroic fight for nearly two years prior to his passing and will continue to be dearly missed by his family, friends and numerous business associates. He is survived by his wife Cecil and two sons.

 

Larry Rohlfes

CLCA / Industry Advocate

Larry Rohlfes joined the Green Industry in 1985, when he was hired by the California Landscape Contractors Association.

 

He started out as CLCA’s communications director. As the editor of California Landscape Magazine, he was the staff member responsible for expanding the publication from a quarterly with a circulation of 2,000 to a bi-monthly with a circulation of 15,000. He also supervised membership communications, directed the association’s public relations and marketing programs, and supervised all membership communications. While serving as communications director he additionally managed the association’s Certified Landscape Technician program for two years and its Trophy Awards program for the best contractor-installed landscapes in the state for three years. He garnered 17 regional and national communications awards for his CLCA work between 1986 and 1991.

 

Larry became the association’s first director of governmental affairs in 1991. This was an opportunity to create an advocacy program more or less “from scratch,” although CLCA previously had established a political action committee in the 1970s and had hired its first contract lobbyist in the late 1980s. As director of governmental affairs he managed the activities of the contract lobbyist and administered the political action committee. He also represented the association before regulatory agencies, lobbying coalitions, and other groups, always fostering a strong network of relationships with a diverse array of leaders. Additionally, he worked with CLCA members to build a strong grass roots network. These grass roots activities included distributing legislative alerts to help members communicate industry positions on specific legislation to their elected representatives, coordinating an annual legislative conference in Sacramento, and arranging meetings with lawmakers in their Sacramento, Washington, and district offices. A big part of his job also involved writing issue position statements and monthly newsletter articles to keep the industry up to date on new and pending legislation and regulation.

 

As his knowledge and expertise broadened, he became the “go to” staff resource for members on licensing, construction, legal compliance, business, and technical issues–a role he already was playing by the mid-1990s.

 

In 2000 Larry was promoted to assistant executive director. In that role he somehow found time to do all of the above plus numerous special projects. Among other things, he planned and coordinated industry surveys and studies, developed a Water Management Certification Program, organized and coordinated an Environmental Research Funding Program, provided website information on how to report unlicensed contractors or contractors otherwise operating illegally, created an Operation Helping Hand program for unlicensed individuals, oversaw a major building renovation, managed the association’s contract-related business forms for members, created a non-profit foundation, and managed the Internet Knowledge Bank. He also hired and supervised association support personnel.

 

Larry was CLCA’s interim executive director for several months in 2013 after Executive Director Sharon McGuire retired.

 

Along the way he served as president of both the California Green Industry Council and the Construction Industry Legislative Council. He was treasurer of the California Urban Water Conservation Council for two years and co-chair of the council’s Landscape Committee for many years. He represented CLCA on California’s AB 2717 Task Force in 2005. This body made recommendations that have led to many comprehensive actions to improve landscape water use efficiency in California. He participated in meetings leading up to the state’s first Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance in 1992 and submitted detailed, formal comments on behalf of CLCA during the update efforts in 2009 as well as last year. For nine years he represented the landscape and construction industries on the Public Advisory Committee for the important 2005 and 2009 California Water Plan updates.

 

He became a Certified Association Executive in 1999.

 

In 2008 he received a certificate of appreciation from the Contractors State License Board for work on combating unlicensed and fraudulent construction activity.

 

Larry worked closely with CLCA’s contract lobbyists on many different issues, including construction law, water efficiency, comprehensive immigration reform, workers’ compensation reform, and leaf blower equipment and use. He is especially proud of his work on expanding the scope of the C-27 landscaping license, as he was very active in successful legislative proposals to allow landscape contractors to sign contracts for swimming pools and spas, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, and rainwater capture systems.

 

Larry and CLCA parted company in November of 2015 as a result of the latter’s financial and budgetary issues. He currently serves as the lead staff member for the Independent Review Panel for the Department of Toxic Substances Control. This panel was created by 2015 legislation to review the department and make recommendations to improve it. Since leaving CLCA, Larry has made presentations on the current California drought at Irrigation Association and Utah Nursery and Landscape Association events.

 

Prior to working for CLCA, Larry was the communications specialist for the Louisiana Credit Union League in New Orleans.

 

Larry has a Ph.D. in Latin American history from Tulane University. Between 1997 and 1983 he taught history on a part-time or temporary basis at Tulane University, Loyola University of New Orleans, Xavier University of Louisiana, and La Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico.

 

He was born in San Francisco and has a B.A. degree in history from Saint Mary’s College of California. He is married to Beth Rohlfes, whom he met when she was a graduate student at Tulane University. The couple has three grown children. He loves to read, watch soccer, hike, run, swim, and cross-country ski on overnight trips with his ski club in Yosemite.

 

 

Jacquie Williams-Courtright

Alden Lane Nursery

Jacquie Williams-Courtright is the owner of Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore.  Her parents Jack and Ruth Williams founded the garden center in 1955.  Jacquie’s grandparents came to Livermore in 1919.

 

 Jacquie is the host of The Valley Gardener airing on community access television seen locally or online at TV30.org.  The monthly program features seasonal gardening topics and has been on going for 25 years.

 

 Jacquie earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ornamental Horticulture at California State Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.   Jacquie became one the first in the state to become a California Certified Nursery Professional and is a great proponent of the program.  She was the third woman to serve as State President of the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers founded in 1917.  She was the first woman to serve as the American Nursery and Landscape Association Retail Division president based in Washington, DC.

 

After graduating from Cal Poly Jacquie came home to the family business where she focused on marketing and advertising.  She enjoyed working in every department and now heads the 61 year old company.  Her involvement in the community and nursery association has been a constant in her life as it has for her husband Tom.

 

 Jacquie married Tom Courtright on July 4, 1990.  Tom is a second-generation garden center owner also.  He owns Orchard Nursery & Florist is Lafayette, California.  The couple chose the date as both garden centers were closed which enabled their garden center family to attend the nuptials.

 

Jacquie and her husband Tom were co-recipients of the Pacific Coast Nurseryman Award.  Both she and Tom received the California Nursery Association’s CCN Pro and CANERS Hall of Fame awards,  the first for promoting on going education through the certification program and the latter for supporting the state endowment for education and research.  Jacquie was named the county’s 2008 Outstanding Agriculturist by the Alameda County Farm Bureau.    The most recent honor, Jacquie will be the Grand Marshall in the Livermore Rodeo Parade this June.

 

 Jacquie served as the 2007-2008 Livermore Rotary Club President.  The club is made up of 150 community leaders.  She has served on the Livermore Chamber of Commerce, Alameda County Fair Board and was elected to Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.  Jacquie currently is a member of the Las Positas College and Livermore High School horticulture advisory committees and the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers, Central Chapter board.  Wanting to advocate for her customers during the drought Jacquie will run for a Water District seat this June, 32 years after serving the same board.

 

Tom Courtright

Orchard Nursery

Tom is a 2nd generation garden center owner.  Tom’s parents founded East Bay Nursery in the 40s.  Tom along with his father designed and installed flower shows during the summer including the State Fair in Sacramento, Oakland Flower Show and many at Northern California county fairs.   His flower show earnings paid for his college education at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where he studied horticulture and met his future wife Jacquie Williams.

 

After graduation Tom purchased Orchard Nursery and Florist in Lafayette in 1971 and settled into a life of community and industry service.  Tom is member of the Rotary Club of Lafayette and Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and has led both organizations.  Tom was honored as the City of Lafayette’s Businessman of the Year and Citizen of the Year for his many civic contributions.

 

Tom was named the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Center’s Young Nurseryman of the year in 1979.  He served and currently serves as our local nursery association chapter president. Tom was elected to state leadership and served as the State President in 1992-1993.

He led the Garden Centers of America and received its highest honor the Jack Schneider award named for the man Tom bought his nursery from.

 

 Tom served on the board and as president of the American Nursery and Landscape Association in Washington, DC, the industry’s national trade association. In 2004 he and his wife Jacquie were the co-recipients of the Pacific Coast Nurseryman award.

 

Tom is currently on the board of the Master Nursery Garden Centers Cooperative and served as its president.

 

And since he knows no boundaries and is an advocate of travel to learn from the great retailers around the world, Tom has been very involved with the International Garden Center Association having served as its president, the only American to do so.

 

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