And the award goes to…A highlight of the recent GPGB Cocktail Party Fundraiser held during Plantscape Expo August 14 was recognizing some star quality Registered Trainers for the most presentations given during the year. Mike Lewis, GPGB President, presented a plaque to three of its most productive GPGB Registered Trainers, celebrating their contribution to spreading the message of the benefits of indoor plants to the people responsible for building design and performance: Kathryn O’Donnell, Botanicus, New York; Joe Zazzera, Plant Solutions, Arizona; and, Jim Mumford Good Earth Plants & GreenScaped Buildings, California. Who are Registered Trainers? These Bronze-level plus GPGB Supporters have taken special training at one of GPGB’s Train the Trainer Seminars. As Zazzera explains, “GPGB’s Registered Trainer program has given me the tool I need to get in front of architects and specifiers. The fact that there is a CEU award for those participating in the program serves to enhance professionalism of the program, and gives me additional credibility as the ‘go-to’ guy for living walls and roofs in my area.” GPGB maintains status as an approved education provider with the AIA, ASID, USGBC, BOMI and ASLA. In 2012-2013, GPGB developed and received approval for its two newest presentations, Living Walls and Green Roofs. Mumford, one of the volunteers who helped create the new courses, is thrilled with the business his company is attracting. “In the past, when I attempted to have a conversation with an architect or landscape architect about indoor plants, they were rarely interested. Now that we have CEU programs about living walls and green roofs they are very interested. And of course, during the conversation I always sprinkle in something about indoor plants. I find that pointing out that we are experienced in growing plants in containers relates to growing plants on roofs and walls – differently shaped and configured, but containerized plants nonetheless.” GPGB’s most enthusiastic Registered Trainer is also one of its newest: Reaching over 60 building specifiers in a dozen presentations this year, O’Donnell explains how she got started: “I became a Registered Trainer in January 2013. Botanicus sent out an email invitation to the architects, engineers, and landscape architects in Western New York. We scheduled 1 to 3 training seminars per week in Buffalo and Rochester, which allowed us to present new ideas and promote the use of plants in a fun, informative setting. The training seminars were very well received and new friends and colleagues were developed.” An additional surprise occurred for O’Donnell when her name was announced as winner of the raffle drawing. She commented on the prize, donated by the National Interiorscape Network, which consisted of a $450 travel voucher and $550 for NIN business consulting. “Botanicus has benefited in every way from our membership in NIN. From benchmarking to best practices, learning from the most professional and successful companies is great fun and profitable! Now I will get Dick Ott one on one to take the next step to success!” Other sponsors who made GPGB’s Cocktail Party Fundraiser possible included Olive Hill Greenhouses, Architectural Supplements, Plants in Design, and Sunborne Nursery. No previous speaking experience is necessary before becoming a Registered Trainer. If anyone is interested in taking advantage GPGB’s Registered Trainer Program to grow their business, please contact GPGB at email@example.com or visit the website at www.gpgb.org.
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Top performing Registered Trainers, pictured left to right: Joe Zazzera, Kathryn O’Donnell, and Jim Mumford.