Posted by LNA Master Landscapers Association
on 21 September 2016
The 2016 LNA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was a landmark meeting in the association's history marking some significant changes for the LNA and its future, it was also hosted for the first time by our newest Platinum Corporate Partner, James Hardie. We would like to extend our gratitude to James Hardie for generously hosting this meeting and catering this event and officially launching the HardieDeck product for our members. This exciting new product provides a fast, easy-to-install, modern alternative to traditional timber decking. We would also like to thank our Platinum Corporate Partner, Andreasens Green, for supplying the amazing selection of plants.
The AGM was well attended by members who took the opportunity, to witness the resignation of the 2016 board and the announcement of the new 2017 board. As a testament to the health of the association and its leadership all reports were approved and a vote for constitutional change was passed unanimously.
Commencing the meeting, Matt Leacy, our outgoing LNA President, welcomed all attendees, special guests and announced new approved members to the association. Matt also reminded members that the next LNA event was the prestigious 2016 LNA Excellence Awards Ceremony to be held on the evening of Friday, 28th October and encouraged all members to secure their tickets for this industry night of nights.
With these formalities out of the way, there was an invitation to take questions from the floor about the previous minutes from the 2015 AGM and financials concerning the LNA that had been circulated before the meeting through the LNA website. No questions were forth coming and the minutes from the 2015 AGM were first and seconded by members as accepted.
At this point, Matt formally announced the recent resignation of the LNA CEO, Joanne Aquilina. Matt gave a detailed speech outlining the many achievements of the LNA under the executive leadership and guidance of Joanne over the past six years. He made reference to a number of Joanne's milestone achievements, including achieving a 30% growth in membership in 2016, the LNA growing to over 300 members for the first time, a Continued Professional Development programme, an increased presence and influence in all relevant private and public sectors, and the most successful Corporate Partnership programme in LNA history. On a personal note, Matt thanked Joanne for her help and infectious enthusiasm during his tenure as the LNA President and how much he had enjoyed working with her.
Joanne then gave a heartfelt response to Matt and the members about what an honour and privilege she felt it had been to be the CEO of the LNA. Joanne made special mention of past and present presidents, board members, members and staff who have helped her over the past six years as CEO. Whist Jo expressed some regret to leaving, she is pleased that the LNA is financially secure and has its largest membership ever. Jo stated that this lays a strong and sure foundation for the LNA for whatever direction the association takes. Joanne stated that it was time for a new direction in her life, to follow her dreams and launch her new business in the landscape industry, an industry she is passionate for.
The next item of business was a vote on significant changes to the LNA Constitution which had undergone a complete and thorough revision for the first time since the LNA's inception as the LCA in 1979. This was done on the recommendation of expert Legal and Corporate advice that the constitution needed to be updated to be in line with modern corporate governance. The changes have been circulated on the LNA website before the AGM for membership review. The vote was held and the motion to adopt the new constitution was carried unanimously.
One significant change to the LNA constitution was the recommendation to have a smaller board. The new board would have 8 elected positions plus a past presidents position. As a consolation to the members, Matt Leacy then announced that not only had Joanne Aquilina's new venture been accepted into the LNA as a member, but she had also been nominated for the 2017 board. In the interest of continuity and to support the corporate partners that she has valuable relationships with, Joanne readily accepted. With that, Matt announced the other members of the Board who were all elected to their positions unopposed. They are:
Phillip Antcliff of Antscapes Enjoy Outside
Joanne Aquilina of Therapeutic Gardens
Judy Bates of TAFE NSW Ryde - Northern Sydney Institute
Matthew Beckett of Reflective Gardens
Ron Berkelmans of Good Manors Pools + Gardens
Josh Harrison of Harrisons Landscaping
Matt Leacy Past President's Position of Landart
Mike Platt of Design Landscapes
Chris Richardson of Skyline Landscape Services
Resigning Board members, Greg Soster, Martin Rolfe and Craig Conway were all thanked for their hard work, dedication and contribution to the LNA Board and the LNA as a whole during their time as Board members.
The formal proceedings of the AGM concluded at this point and Matt invited Allan Kerr, Territory Manager for James Hardie, who introduced the LNA to HardieDeck, a fiber cement decking board that has water, fire, and termite resistant qualities and presents a super quick and efficient decking alternative to timber. Ultramodern HardieDeck was launched just over a year ago and has already enjoyed significant sales in the construction industry. James Hardie identified that the LNA was the best organization to associate with to engage with the Landscape industry and Allan's presentation sparked lively conversation and questions about HardieDeck and possible applications for it.
To bring some excitement to the presentation a small deck building competition was held between LNA members, Joel Basha and James Torpey of BTM Trades and Matt Hook and Sebastian Kender of Outdoor Establishments. Each contestant had a James Hardie staff member to assist them in constructing a small 3m x 1.5m deck on premade frame. It was neck and neck with BTM Trades just edging ahead to win, with each contestant finishing their deck in just under 6 mins. From being shown how to install and then constructing a finished deck within 10 minutes shows what an impressive and valuable product HardieDeck will be for our members. We are lucky and thankful to have James Hardie as part of the LNA Corporate Partners.
The conduct and spirit of the 2016 LNA Annual General Meeting was extremely positive and vibrant, with members saying that they found the evening enjoyable and useful. Many expressed how glad they were that they attended, to be able to network with our Corporate Partners and industry peers.
We encourage members to attend our future workshops as they are both informative and extend their continued professional development.