I’ve been traveling to industry and supplier events for the past two years as an associate editor here at Lawn & Landscape. It’s great to see the familiar faces, and spend a minute or two chatting with those I’ve met at different functions. But it’s always more encouraging for me to run into a fresh face who is looking to make positive impact on the industry.
At PLANET’s Renewal & Remembrance, I met Zack Kline, CEO and founder of A.I.R. Lawn Care. I didn’t ask Zack his age, but he didn’t look a day older than 20, although I’m guessing he’s about 23. Zack was sitting a few seats down from me at PLANET meeting discussing Legislative Day on the Hill issues. He was dressed professionally, with his company logo on his shirt, something some veteran companies haven’t figured out (branding, people!).
When I asked for his business card, he whipped out his card holder immediately while I fumbled through my pocket hoping not to bend any corners (maybe a card holder for Christmas for me). But I could pick up that it wasn’t all style with Zack. There was substance and enthusiasm behind his ironed wardrobe and fancy pocket accessory. Now, I’m a pretty even-keeled guy, so I always appreciate someone who is genuinely excited about something, especially something that is going to take a lot of hard work.
Zack’s running a very small company now, but he’s hoping to get financing this summer, hire a crew and then, who knows. But my guess is he’s going somewhere. And that’s a good thing for the industry – an industry that needs more hungry business owners like Zack. – Brian