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If I asked you the following question - visualize a group/organization or person who you see as an eco leader, could you identify an eco leader? Recently during a workshop, I solicited an answer to this question and received what I consider to be a disturbing response, an answer that should be a wake-up call to the Industry as a whole. Solicited as a workshop instructor for National League of Cities conference held in DC, my topic was change/green America's landscape. As part of the 3-hour workshop, I presented individual, business and community eco commitment examples and tips/strategies. At the end of each section, attendees actively participated with opinion and input. In fact, there were representatives from the 'eco progressive' state of Oregon, California, mid-west states and east coast area, too. So, workshop attendees were a diverse array of representation. Then, as a final exercise, I asked the group to 'pause' and visualize a group/organization or person who they saw as an eco leader. After reading a list of compiled eco leadership characteristics, I asked if my list matched their visualized person/group. But instead of initiating a chatty discussion, you could ‘hear a pin drop’. Finally, a representative from Texas spoke up and said when he 'paused to visualize' an eco leader, he could not visualize a person and/or group. His candid response opened the door for further discussion and the remaining nation-wide city/community leadership reps also stated their inability to identify a person and/or group considered to be eco leaders. So, my question is what are we doing as Industry participants to not be seen as eco leaders, people who green America's landscape? Most of you are aware that in addition to being a person who 'digs in the dirt' and advocates others to join in, I participate as an Industry writer and communications advocate/instructor. In fact, a few years ago, a local Dean of Horticulture asked if I'd combine personal skills plus my 20 years of Corporate experience with 'living green' Industry requirements to create a college level communications course. As a result, I published a book - The ABCs of Green Industry Communications, http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-abcs-of-green-industry-communi... , provide ongoing workshops/speeches and publish articles and columns. Still, I feel like I've made minimal Industry impact. So, to enable a discussion of how to fix the issue of ‘not being seen as eco leaders’ I’m going to share ‘Sylvia’s opinion’. I think we need to first and foremost mandate communications education and include college level communications courses in both 2 and 4 year Industry programs. During every Industry educational event at least for the present, have a keynote focus as well as workshop on the topic of effective PR/marketing communications. Include in media publications a tips and strategies communications, marketing and/or PR column. Although at one time there was talk of organizing some type of combined Industry effort to improve consumer visibility but I'm not aware of an effort - are you? And, to be candid, I personally think the present issue is more of a lack of individual participant visibility than the Industry as a whole. On the personal side, I plan to work with the sponsors of the 'all cities' educational conference to provide additional eco education workshops; and perhaps, through ongoing events enable a forum for eco leadership discussion. I also plan to create an e-book format of my communications book and perhaps, this format will help enable its availability, visibility and distribution. And, of course as an advocate for the Industry, I'll continue to write columns/blogs and do whatever I can to create consumer awareness of the Green Industry's value. Why? To be candid during a future workshop when I ask the question 'who do you visualize as an eco leader’, I'd prefer to hear regional stories of eco-goodness - greening America's landscape instead of hearing - 'I can't visualize an eco leader.' What do you think we - as an Industry - need to do to be recognized individually and as a whole by our Nation's leadership as eco leaders? To share comments, ideas or strategies related to this subject or other communication topics, contact me at Sylvia@TheWrightScoop.com .