Bruce Wilson casts one of the longest shadows in the landscape industry, so I knew a lot about him before I finally met him. After a couple of harsh winters as a tree trimmer in New York, he moved to California and spent a long and illustrious career growing ValleyCrest Landscape Co., into a giant in the industry.

He retired for a cup of coffee, then got into consulting, starting the industry’s first peer groups. (He also helps run a highly successful landscape company in Palm Springs in his spare time).

Nearly half of our almost 100 Leadership Award winners have either worked with or for Bruce Wilson, or been mentored by him. I was lucky enough to write about him when we gave him our 2015 Leadership Award, and I’m even luckier to say that he’ll be joining Lawn & Landscape this month with his own column to teach you to better understand, develop and manage your most valuable resource – your people.

Bruce joins an already stellar group of columnists at Lawn & Landscape. Marty Grunder continues to share superlative sales and marketing advice, and Jim Huston still shares his best practices on better understanding your numbers.

Landscapers and lawn care operators haven’t yet solved the growing labor crisis, so we’re continuing Hire Power, our recruiting and retention column, where a rotating panel of writers share first-hand experience on how they have done a better job hiring talented employees and keeping them on board.

Also new this year is Green Guides, a lawn care-focused column written by industry greats like Bob Mann from Lawn Dawg, Jen Lemcke from Weed Man, Brad Johnson from Lawn America (now Swingle Lawn, Tree & Landscape Care) and Keith Freeman from Greenview Partners. They’ll be sharing insight and perspective on what makes a company great – everything from top technical knowledge to software solutions to training and customer engagement.

2017 is a year full of possibilities and of good things waiting to happen.

And starting later this year is our new Spanish-language e-newsletter and print section. We’ll be profiling Hispanic contractors and sharing the same great information for readers, but in Spanish. You can sign up for the newsletter at bit.ly/lawnspanish. If you’d like to be featured in this new section, or have ideas about what you’d like to see covered, please contact me.

2017 is a year full of possibilities and of good things waiting to happen. I’m grateful to work with the best team in the industry, and we look forward to continuing to help you grow and learn. Here’s to a successful and prosperous new year! – Chuck Bowen