LatiKnow Leadership Committee kicks off Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Luis Estrada, account manager at Metco Landscape, Inc., Aurora, sees Latinos as an underutilized resource in the green industry and he is not alone. This year, ALCC has made it a priority to attract and engage more Latinos, including both Latino-owned businesses and Latino employees across the industry, and established a committee. Estrada is the committee chairperson. Originally called Latinos in Green, during the first meeting the group named themselves the LatiKnow Leadership Committee.

“There are many Latinos who could have careers in the landscape industry,” he says. “But they need more training and education. Training will elevate the Latino community and provide needed support for the industry.”

Marisol Medrano, human resources director at CoCal Landscape, and a member of Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) fellowship understands the issues companies face with the labor shortage and how engaging the Latino community is important. “We are glad we can bring our voice to the table,” say Medrano. “Many Latino businesses are small and business owners could use information to help scale their businesses.” Medrano is also on the LatiKnow Leadership Committee.


Both Estrada and Medrano agree that information and education are key to helping grow Latino businesses and encourage more to see the opportunities available in the green industry. They believe that lack of exposure of Latino landscape businesses to others in the industry is both a challenge and the opportunity. The Latino community will be stronger when people grow together by networking and partnering with others.

Medrano has worked at the national level for several years and was director of National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA), which became the Latino Landscape Network (LLN) and part of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) in 2020. “What we have to do with this committee is take what has been learned at the national level and apply it to Colorado,” she says. She envisions that what is learned in Colorado could be a model to be taken nationally.

“We need to establish a cohort in Colorado and work together, not competing against each other,” says Medrano. “We are stronger when we grow together.”


She thinks that lack of exposure to others in the industry is an opportunity for this committee and ALCC to find ways to support them. She admits that some small businesses are too busy getting their jobs done to know that there are resources to help them. “More networking is important. If we can raise awareness to these resources, maybe more will join ALCC.”

Estrada believes “the sky is the limit in this industry.” The challenge is helping fellow Latinos realize what he believes to be true about the industry. He wants to see more employees take on bigger challenges, to become supervisors and project managers. He knows they are bright and capable but need support including mentors and training, especially in Spanish. “I want to help prepare people to take on more,” says Estrada. “For example, there should be more classes in Spanish at ProGreen EXPO. Things have to change. Educating Latinos is a win-win for the people and the industry.”

The first meeting of ALCC’s LatiKnow Leadership Committee was held last week. Committee members in addition to Estrada and Medrano are: Manuel Calderon, Ball Aerospace, formerly at SiteOne; Brian Carlson, Green Landscape Solutions LLC; Oscar Chacon, Designscapes Colorado; Jorge Gonzalez, BrightView and Roberto Nuanes, Keesen Landscape.

The committee plans to get the issues on the table and propose ideas to bring back to the ALCC board or directors. ALCC’s CG NOW and Colorado Green magazine will cover updates in the coming months.

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