Green people: Hispanic landscapers welcome new board members

nhla-logoThe National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA) recently announced the election of two new members and re-election of three current members of the organization’s board of directors.

New members are Rafael Gonzalez Arnau of GALA Services Inc. in Escondido, California, and Wilmer Ventura of Yellowstone Landscape in Atlanta.

Re-elected to a second two-year term on the NHLA board were Jose Arroyo of Jose’s Landscaping in Lyman, South Carolina; Domenic Chiarella of 7 of 7 Best Business & Life Strategies in Southbury, Connecticut; and Ivan Giraldo of Clean Scapes Landscaping in Austin, Texas.

Arroyo also serves as secretary of the board, while Chiarella is board treasurer.

“The growth of the NHLA over the last five years can be largely credited to the passion that our directors have exhibited for the NHLA’s mission and the engagement of leading manufacturers that have joined our association as supporting members,” said Ralph Egües, executive director of the association. “None of our young association’s achievements would have been possible without the positive energy these leaders have brought forward.”

Other officers and board members of NHLA include:

President: Juan Torres, Next Step Solutions, East Haven, Connecticut.

President-elect: Pam Berrios, ALS Services Inc., Alexandria, Virginia.

Immediate past president: Raul Berrios, Rulyscapes Inc., Centreville, Virginia.

Omar Cordero, LC Landscape, Denver.

Rafael Diaz, Diaz Group LLC, Chicago.

Josh Denison, Denison Landscaping Inc., Fort Washington, Maryland.

Mari Medrano Mejia, CoCal Landscape, Denver.

Ken Taylor, John Deere, Cary, North Carolina.

William H. Walton, Honda Power Equipment, Alpharetta, Georgia.

Torres, the organization’s president, said that while he’s proud of NHLA’s accomplishments, “I’m much more excited about our prospects for doing even more in the coming year and beyond. It is an honor to serve with such great professionals that are also incredibly caring individuals. I would also like to recognize the contribution of our supporting member companies to the NHLA which has greatly contributed to the professional development and success of Hispanics in our industry, helped to draw greater numbers of Hispanic Americans into the broader community of industry leaders, and enabled our association to successfully leverage Latino political power to advance industry positions.”

NHLA supporting members include Briggs & Stratton, Cub Cadet, Echo, John Deere, Honda Engines, Hustler, Kawasaki, Kohler, Rotary, and Toro.

North Carolina landscape group adds staff

The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association Inc. (NCNLA) has named Kathryn Stansbury as the organization’s new director of business development.


A native of Florence, South Carolina, and graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Stansbury joins NCNLA after more than 10 years with the North Carolina Home Builders Association, a nonprofit trade association with more than 13,000 member firms.

After beginning her work with the homebuilders group as manager of political operations, Stansbury served as the organization’s director of membership services for the past nine years. In that position, she supported the operations of 60 local building associations across North Carolina, coordinated the association’s regional awards program and assisted with the planning, coordination and execution of the 21st Century Building Expo and Conference.

As NCNLA’s director of business development, Stansbury will be responsible for the development and growth of both organizational revenue and member profitability. Stansbury will also be responsible for creating and implementing high-value supply chain development opportunities for NCNLA member companies.

Stephanie SchaeferStephanie Schaefer

Meanwhile, NCNLA also announced that it has renewed and expanded its relationship with an industry sales veteran, Stephanie Schaefer.

Schaefer, who worked with NCNLA on Green & Growin’ 16 exhibit sales, has again been retained by the organization as an independent contractor for 2016-2017.

Schaefer previously served as an independent sales contractor for the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association, the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association and the Pennsylvania Landscape & Nursery Association.

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