The President’s Corner: “Just when I thought I was out…”

The President’s Corner
By Scott Hollister, TOCA Board President

"Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in." - Michael Corleone

When I first heard the news that two great green industry friends and two stalwarts on the TOCA board of directors were moving on, I was immediately reminded of this quote from "The Godfather, Part III." It's a truly great line from what in this reviewer's mind was an otherwise ho-hum movie (hot take: "The Godfather, Part II" is the best film in the series).

I have had the privilege to work with both Lacy Ravencraft from Ewing Irrigation and Marisa Palmieri from North Coast Media and Landscape Management magazine for many years, most notably through TOCA board service. And as I wrapped up my two years as TOCA president and chairman of the board of directors in May 2017, I was excited that Lacy would be following me into the association's presidency and that Marisa was right behind as our vice president. The future, I knew, was in good hands.

But as we all know and have all likely experienced in our careers, things change. So earlier this year, when the TOCA board learned, in relatively short succession, that Lacy was leaving Ewing in search of greener pastures and that Marisa was leaving North Coast to spend more time with her family, I was not shocked. I was sad and disappointed that two friends were leaving the business, to be sure, and also really happy that they both were about to embark on new adventures in life, but definitely not shocked.

It was as that news settled in and I began to think about how losing our president and vice president midway through their terms would impact TOCA that the great line posted above started to come to mind. Because I quickly realized that just as I was about to wrap up my board service to the association, it was very possible that TOCA was going to pull me back into a leadership role.

And that's exactly what transpired, as TOCA's executive management – Den Gardner and Kristy Mach – asked if I would consider serving in an interim role as board chairman while we sorted out how to fill those two vacancies. But unlike Michael Corleone, who reluctantly returned to the family's fold when asked, I was more than happy to accept their offer, which is why you're reading my words once again in this space (really, I'm sorry about that).

As I noted several times during my earlier stint as TOCA president, this association has been very important to my growth and development as a professional in green industry communications. To be able to give back in any way was the least I could do to help pay back some of what I have received through involvement in this association, whether that was in a regular role on the board of directors or through these interim duties.

And you'll be happy to hear that this current setup is indeed temporary. During the TOCA board's most recent meeting at GIE+EXPO in Louisville, Ky., we put in place a plan that we're confident will keep the association on the upward trajectory that it has enjoyed over the past decade. We're excited to unveil those plans to the full membership during the TOCA Annual Meeting in Charlotte, N.C., this May, where I'll happily turn over the reins to new leadership and resume my transition back to the rank and file.

But should the call ever come again to serve TOCA at another level, I'll be ready. If there is one organization that I don't mind being pulled back into, it is most definitely this one.