PGMS Announces Mark Baldwin as CGM #184

PGMS: Why did you want to become a CGM?
Baldwin: I wanted to validate my 40 plus years of experience in the Green Industry. I also wanted to be able to network with a group of peers and hopefully gain additional insights.

PGMS: What inspired you to pursue a career in the green industry?
Baldwin: I have always been interested in trees and plants. I was attending University but wasn’t enjoying it. I started as a laborer at a landscape company as a summer job and enjoyed the work. I attended St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario and graduated from their Landscape Technology program. I worked for various landscape contractors until I started a business in 1987. We did Landscape Construction, Maintenance and Snow/Ice Management. I was able to sell to another local company in 2014. I came to Oakland County FM&O Grounds Department four years ago.

PGMS: What advice do you have for aspiring CGMs?
Baldwin: The advice I would give is to keep learning and growing. Grounds Maintenance is such a diverse undertaking. We deal with Horticulture, Arboriculture, Turf Management, Snow and Ice Management, Storm Water Quality, Pavement Maintenance just to name a few. Also, use this group as a resource of information. There is an abundance of knowledge here.

PGMS: What challenges have you faced in your professional career that helped you through the process?
Baldwin: Working to a deadline, whether finishing plowing and salting a parking lot by 7am, completing a landscape project for a wedding reception, or preparing an Estimate/Bid for a large Maintenance project, has always been a challenge. Soon after submitting the CGM application, my wife was diagnosed with a health issue. After her recovery, I had to devote several hours a week to this project to get it completed on time, along with preparing this years’ Capital Budget at work. Both were due at the same time.

PGMS: What are your favorite aspects of working in the green industry?
Baldwin: All the different projects and processes we deal with every day. It’s gratifying to watch a job come together and then watch it grow and mature. Also, watching people grow and mature. Four years ago, one crew member referred to all conifers as “Pine Trees”. Last week, he correctly identified a “Serbian Spruce” he had planted and has cared for.

PGMS: How do you see the future of the green industry?
Baldwin: The future will be exciting but also challenging. Equipment will change. Battery operated equipment is much more prevalent. Robotic mowers and other mechanization will address the labor shortage. What will be the next invasive pest we will have to deal with? It will become more and more critical to keep expanding our knowledge base. The COVID-19 pandemic will greatly affect our future. Our budgets are going to be affected for the next few years. This will mean cutbacks on flowers, mulch, fertilizer, etc. Our work processes are being affected by having to deal with one crew member per vehicle and trying to stay six feet apart while working.

To learn more about how you can obtain the Certified Grounds Manager certification click here or e-mail us at info@pgms.org.

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