Registered Master Landscaper’s signature events – the Young Landscaper of the Year and Landscapes of Distinction Awards – have continued to grow, in both number of entrants and quality of competitors. RML chair Janet Clarke reiterates the key role sponsors and partners play in this success, and thanks them for their ongoing support
Hosted by Nichol’s Garden Centre in Dunedin the day before the Landscapes of Distinction Awards, industry support was not found wanting at the 2023 Young Landscaper of the Year, where nine of the nation’s top emerging leaders went head-to-head in a variety of tasks that showcased every element of their landscaping talent.
Considered by some industry spectators as demanding “more than many experienced landscapers would know”, the tasks ranged from written and practical tests to public speaking.
Several sponsors were on hand to offer guidance, while long-term RML partners Prebble Seeds Turf World, Firth, PlaceMakers, Resene, Allied Concrete and Husqvarna, together with sponsors Readylawn, Simpro and Luijten Landscaping, provided financial support and/or helped judge the event.
Supporting stellar talent
The competition proved to be hungry work, and long-term key sponsor PlaceMakers made sure that didn’t detract from anyone’s performance. The PlaceMakers Dunedin team, including Branch JV Justin Macready, Trade Sales Manager Luke Kendrik and Key Account Managers, jumped on the BBQ to dish up a hearty lunch to demonstrate their ongoing support to the region and show off true Dunedin hospitality.
Theresa Davies, Landscape Category Manager at PlaceMakers, said it was an honour to be involved in the competition.
“We are so privileged to have such amazing emerging talent and future leaders in landscaping, and PlaceMakers is proud to support them in their careers,” said Theresa. “To witness such skill, talent, passion and camaraderie is a true demonstration of champions. I can see how these 'Best of the Best of 2023' came to be competing for the grand title – everyone was a winner in my eyes.”
Futureproofing the industry
Prebble Seeds Turf World has been the major sponsor for the Young Landscaper event for the past six years and involved in the competition for around nine. Prebble Seeds Upper South Island manager Bruce Lowe said the company is happy to sponsor the event to show support for RML and the future of the industry, and agreed that choosing the winner was no easy task.
“The quality of entrants is improving each year and selecting a clear winner is getting harder and harder. To see this growth in entrants’ skills and confidence completely reiterates the importance of the event and our involvement. The young landscapers coming through the system are the future for RML – and the future is bright.”
Husqvarna New Zealand has also become a staple of the event, which Marketing Manager Tania Kragner sees as a valuable opportunity to interact with – and be impressed by – some of the most promising young landscapers in the country.
“The Young Landscaper of the Year competition allows talented young landscapers to test their skills against like-minded entrants from around New Zealand. The competition is designed to showcase and improve the skill base needed to succeed in business today. By helping to provide a platform for our young landscapers to learn and improve, Husqvarna is doing its bit to help futureproof the industry.”
The meaning of partnership
A more recent RML sponsor, software provider Simpro has jumped in headfirst over the past year to support the organisation. The company’s Senior Vice President of Partnerships Ryan Murden believes it’s a step in the right direction.
“We inherently believe that, for us to really stay connected to our customers, we need to not only engage with them directly, but become part of their community,” said Murden.
“To be more meaningful to our customers, we need to learn about them and the challenges they face – and one of the best ways is to work with the entities that advise and support them, such as Registered Master Landscapers. They can help us be more relevant.”
Murden said that partners can sometimes offer insight that might not otherwise be heard, and that sponsorship is meant to be mutually beneficial.
“As experts in the industry, RML can help us understand our landscaping customers better and, as experts in field service management software, we can provide thought leadership and knowledge, as well as financial support to ensure the good work the association does can continue.”
Backbone of success
RML chair Janet Clarke said the Landscaper of the Year competition and the Landscapes of Distinction Awards wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of sponsors.
“Industry sponsors are crucial to the survival and growth of RML as an industry advocacy organisation,” said Clarke.
“Without this support, we couldn’t offer these types of crucial learning experiences to the young people in our industry – nor would we be able to judge LOD entries and host our annual awards night, which is a vital celebration of the fine body of work our members undertake.”
Registered Master Landscapers is committed to supporting landscape professionals and young future leaders.