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
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.