The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) announced Feb. 25 that the organizations have decided to defer continued discussions on unification at this time. They will continue to pursue partnership opportunities and explore ways to work together to further the interests of both memberships and the green industry as a whole.
“While the two organizations have many similarities, including similar goals, the members of each organization have expressed concerns that unification into one organization could diminish the culture, identity, or industry sector benefits that each offer separately today,” stated Bill Hildebolt, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, and president of PLANET. “The two boards were certainly aware of the issue of identity during their discussions. In fact, it is a primary concern that the boards believe can be addressed with the proper organizational structure. Nevertheless, we have seen discomfort around this issue among segments of the memberships that clearly need more time to digest such a big step. For that reason, the two organizations have decided it’s best to partner on projects and programs and further explore how the two organizations can best interact with one another.”
“We remain very excited about the synergies that exist between our organizations,” explained Randy Owen, chair of the TCIA board. “During our talks we noted the similarities between us and the close alignment of our goals. The potential for extremely productive collaboration still exists. However, at this time it was also apparent from the strong feedback we received that more needs to be done to be sure that cultural differences would not undermine a formal union. The boards have had the benefit of working with one another closely during this process and it has opened our eyes to some remarkable possibilities.
“Safety, for example, is a top priority for both associations,” Owen added. “One of our first collaborative projects under consideration is to partner on safety programs, specifically the pursuit of joint grant-funded projects. If we are successful, we can create the best safety programs the industry has ever seen.”
“We will continue to keep all members of the green industry informed on our collaborations,” said Hildebolt. “As we evaluate ongoing projects and the process of collaboration, we want all members to enjoy the best possible programs and benefits for their businesses.”