Recently Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO attended the The National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Leaders Forum 2024 at Conrad Punta de Mita / Litibu, Nayarit, Mexico.

 “The venue was outstanding. Impeccable service, super friendly staff.  Great food.  Punta de Mita is a great place and NALP did an outstanding job,” said Tom. ”It was a wonderful networking event. Met lots of industry folks. Can’t say enough about it.”

Some of Tom’s takeaways from the forum include insights provided by the Keynote speaker Taylor St. Germain, ITR Economics.  “They have a 94.7% accuracy as economists.  They are a top tier firm and it was very smart of NALP to engage them for this event.  Quite impressive, actually,” said Tom.  Some insights from the keynote and others include:

  • US generally goes thru some level of a recession every 10 years. 
  • Pandemic does not count; short with a swift recovery; aberration.
  • 2024 is expected to be a bit flat.  Slight downturn/correction in the stock market.  Consider some reallocations.
  • Key takeaway was don’t hunker down and get conservative. This is the classic soft landing downturn.  Invest for 2025 and good growth.  Make sure you have the people, talent and infrastructure to take advantage. If not, a good year in 2025 will pass you by. 
  • ITR projects 5 years of good growth.  Next recession around 2030.
  • Labor:  We have .7 people for every job.  Baby boomers retiring.  You have to bank and count on Millennials.  They are our 100M workforce of the future.  Focus on enticing and attracting them to your companies.  As employers, you must figure this out.
  • Immigration.  Won’t get figured out anytime soon.  Andrew Bray; NALP said 2024 will be the best year ever for obtaining H2b Visa’s, for those that utilize foreign workers.  For those that participate in the H2b program, you should get all of your Visa’s.
  • Interest Rates:  As predicted, rates will fall in 2024.  Probably 3rd and 4th Qtr but maybe a little sooner.  5 – 5.5% in 2024.  Down to 5% in 2025.  Won’t see 3 – 3.5% again until maybe 2036.
  • Housing market decline is over.  No inventory and rates are declining.  Very robust housing market ahead of us.

“The speakers were insightful. The networking so, so valuable. The PAC industry event raised $125K for advocacy. And the beach party closing night was great. Lots of fun,” said Tom. “Next year is in Costa Rica. Get this on your calendar. I will for sure be attending Leaders Forum 2025.”