Hall Of Fame Inductees
The individuals nominated should have made a significant impact or positive influence that assures the future of our industry in the lives of generations to come.
Once nominated, an individual’s biography and photo are updated on the site, and he or she is placed in the polls for voting. At the end of the year the committee takes into consideration the votes and decides which candidates are inducted.
- Person with integrity and passion
- Minimum 20 years in industry
- Someone who has developed or invented new technology
- Has made contributions that resulted in change
- Contributed to mankind’s needs in his field
- Provided education and encouragement with self-sacrifice
- Changed the industry
George Schmok graduated in 1981 with a B.A. in communication theory from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.
After applying and being interviewed seven times by Hester Communications, George was asked if he played golf. When he replied, “Yes,” he was told he’d be put on the landscape magazine, Western Landscaping News (WLN). From February 1982 to December 1984, he rose to the position of National Sales Manager.
At the end of 1984, WLN was sold to Denne Goldstein. However, George and Bob Stover had been working on approaching the then untapped landscape architectural market. While working as the advertising agency for SeaTrees Nursery of Laguna Hills, George was approached by about a dozen vendors at the CLCA Show in 1985. They said if he started a magazine for landscape architects they would support it. And so, George, with the help of Marty Smith and the first generation Macintosh (400k disk drive and 128K of internal ram), launched in July of 1985 his first publication, Landscape Architect and Specifier News (LASN). The new magazine began with a California only circulation of a little more than 2,000.
There were some in the publishing industry who told George that they did not believe LASN would be successful. If you know George, and want him to do something, tell him he can’t. Today, LASN is the industry’s leading publication, with a circulation of more than 32,000, and is received by virtually every licensed landscape architect in the nation.
In 1987, following in the footsteps of Hester Communications, Landscape Publishing launched the Landscape Architectural Technical Exposition (the L.A.T.E. Show) in Las Vegas, followed up in 1989 in Irvine, Calif. The first show lost $60,000. The ’89 show made it back, but put such a drain on the little company of four employees that events were put on hold. The focus was shifted back to the magazine, and the launch of Landscape Construction and Maintenance magazine. That, though, only lasted a few years and was replaced by a new invention . . . the Internet.
In the early ’90s, LASN hooked up six phone-line modem ports to the back of a state-of-the-art Apple-II computer and LandscapeOnline.com was successfully added to the Worldwide Web. At that time, if someone was around to hear the phone ring, they would answer it by moving the receiver to the modem port, then typing, “Welcome to LandscapeOnline.com. How can we help you today?”
Today, LandscapeOnline.com is the largest landscape-oriented database on the Internet.
In 1998, Landscape Communications, Inc. (LCI) launched Landscape Contractor/Design Build Maintain (LCDBM) magazine. That magazine also started as a California-based publication, but today is sent to more than 45,000 landscape contractors across the nation.
The next step for George was creating an e-newsletter, LandscapeOnline Weekly, which encompassed the goings-on of LASN and LC/DBM. By 2004, LandscapeOnline Weekly was a reality. Today, it is received by almost 50,000 landscape professionals every Tuesday.
In 2006, just before the recession, Landscape Communications, fulfilling a long-term plan, purchased the Turfgrass and Landscape Expo from the SCTC. At that time, the trade show had no exhibitors, no attendees, no educational program and not even a contract to continue holding the event at the Pomona Fairplex. By 2009, the show had grown exponentially and was relocated to the Long Beach Convention Center, a venue that more adequately suited the needs of the trade show. At that time, the trade show was rebranded as The Landscape Expo (TLE). Last year, TLE drew attendance of more than 2,500 professionals, had 240 plus exhibitors and one of the most complete educational programs in the nation.
In 2011, TLE was thriving and attended by thousands of landscape contractors and maintenance professionals, as well as landscape design professionals and landscape architects. Landscape Communications decided it was time to expand once again, and launched The Landscape Architects’ Expo (LA Expo) in early 2012, a show geared to landscape architects and specifiers. This year, the Landscape Expo-San Mateo is also being launched, bringing three annual trade shows to the now officially named “Events Division” of LCI.
After more than 32 years in the landscape industry, George oversees two industry-leading print publications, a Weekly E-Newsletter, the largest landscape website, and three trade shows. In all, the publications, e-newsletter, website and events reach some 300,000 landscape professionals throughout the year.
George has been happily married to his wife, Kim, since 1988. They have three children, two in high school and one attending college. Mr. Schmok resides in Orange County, with his family. He enjoys golfing, skiing, biking, fishing, hiking, waterskiing, music producing and boating around Newport Harbor in their 40-ft. Jersey Sportfisher.