The Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) has announced that Donna Hibbs, CGM, director of landscaping and grounds at the Masonic Homes of Kentucky in Louisville, has become the 169th grounds management professional to successfully complete its Certified Grounds Manager (CGM) program.
PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Hibbs: I am so proud of where I work and I want to share our beautiful campus with everyone! I have wanted to become a CGM because I am always looking for opportunities to continue my professional development. Everything else has been on a local or state level and the CGM is a nationally recognized certification that raises the bar and gives another level of expertise to my position as Director of Grounds for Masonic Homes of Kentucky. Having challenges, such as becoming a CGM, keeps me passionate, motivated, and inspired!
PGMS: How has the CGM program helped you further your career?
Hibbs: The CGM designation, and PGMS, allows me to broaden my knowledge to be a better leader, set a good example, and hopefully, become a mentor to those around me and to others who choose to go into this field or the CGM program.
PGMS: What do you feel is the biggest challenge green industry professionals are facing today?
Hibbs: I feel the biggest challenge to the green industry right now is how to attract and retain the younger generations into this rewarding career of horticulture. It is definitely a “hands on,” be outside job, and you must enjoy doing it. A lot of kids are happy being inside and sedentary.
PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Hibbs: The best advice I received, and took to heart, was to space out the sections of the open book portion of the CGM test and work on at least one per month. My personal advice would be to constantly take pictures of every aspect of your operations, such as your crew working on a project, daily tasks, and changes to your property, etc.
PGMS: What are your favorite aspects of working in the green industry?
Hibbs: From a young age I have always loved being outdoors. It was a natural transition into this career path of horticulture due to the constant changing seasons and beauty and there was something different to do every day. Specifically for my position here at Masonic Homes, it is the beauty we create for all the residents who live here to make their quality of life better.