Tag Archives: ILCA

February Newsletter 2022

A Message from our President
I humbly welcome you to a happy new year.  Humbly because it has been a journey for many of us.  There is something about adversity that brings out the best in people.  I feel that way about our team.  They have continually come to work during a pandemic, following our strict safety rules.  It wasn’t easy.

What I found so enchanting is that we focused on building comradery.  We instituted weekly meetings, headed by one of our trusted coordinators, that attempted to bring people together and create a sense of community when it felt like there was not one left.

This is the company you employ.  We strive for the best, so you are elated with your services.  But we also strive to make a safe place of health and happiness for our hard-working employees.  Coming from immigrants, I know their struggles and their fears.  It is our pleasure to combine service to you with the service to them.

We look forward to a new year with you.  We thank you for your business.  Most importantly, we thank you for helping us to make the world better for our environment, which includes our employees.

Donna Vignocchi Zych

Landscape Maintenance Update
Can you believe that April is around the corner?

Monthly, we will inform you of what you can expect on your property, generally.  I say generally because nature is a living thing.  Conditions change, plants die for little to no reason and diseases can be prevalent.

For February you should have received your landscape management renewal if you have one.  You should have received a site improvement proposal as well as an irrigation proposal if applicable.  If you don’t have one and would like to request an estimate please let us know.  The contact information is at the end of the email.  If you are not certain whom to call…call me!  Donna Vignocchi Zych at 847.613.5102.

Other than that know that we are very diligently preparing for spring 2022 and cannot wait to see all of you again.

Reminder of a great project

On a personal note
This year we experienced the passing of Carol Asher.  It had a profound effect on those of our staff that worked with her and personally within our ILT Vignocchi family.

For anyone that knew her she was a force…elegant and intelligent.  My memories of her are her love of plants and gardening.  She appreciated it as art, which most people do not.  Her and her husband, Mr. Asher, have been so generous and influential in the lives of my father and I as well as our staff.  For us at this time, it feels as though there isn’t enough gratitude.  But with gratitude for people that think selflessly, there is responsibility.  To perpetuate beauty of nature and kindness of spirit.  I for one will take this to heart and try to disseminate it to our work family.

We will miss her deeply and hope that there are the most beautiful gardens where she is now.  But those tending those gardens be assured she might know more than you.

Peace to you Mrs. Asher.  You will always be in my prayers, Donna.

Many of you might not know that we own a wholesale perennials groundcover nursery…here is our plant spotlight of the month!

Viburnum carlesii ‘Spice Baby’

Viburnum carlesii Spice Baby is an improved substitution for Viburnum carlesii ‘Compactum’. Standing at 4 feet tall and 4 feet wide, this petite shrub is an excellent selection for smaller landscapes.  This is a personal favorite of mine.  People love the smell of lilacs, but they can be problematic with blooming and disease.  This is a lovely alternative.  Happy planting!!!

Governor Pritzker Signs HB269 – WORKERS’ COMP-ABILITY TO PAY into Law

On July 12, 2019, after six months of persistence and lobbying, Governor Pritzker signed HB269 into law. HB269 introduces a series of sweeping reforms to worker’s compensation insurance enforcement and puts a target on the back of all illegal operators who jeopardize their employees’ well-being for fatter profits.

 ILCA took the lead on drafting this landmark piece of legislation aimed at ramping up worker’s compensation enforcement. HB269 was filed this past January and was sponsored by Rep. Jay Hoffman, the Chairman of the House Labor Committee in the House and Senator Linda Holmes in the Senate. The bill had massive bipartisan support as well as the support of numerous business and labor groups. HB269 is about protecting legal businesses and hundreds of thousands of Illinois workers and their families.

 Most notably, HB269 will:

  1. Allow for a single commissioner to open up an enforcement action (down from three which was the primary reason for slow or no enforcement)
  2. Allow a commissioner to authorize a work-stoppage if the company cannot demonstrate proof of insurance
  3. Create a 90-day timeline for all enforcement actions
  4. Allow an IWCC investigator to write job site tickets for up to $10,000 for companies working without comp (used to be $2,000)
  5. Bar serial violators from self-insurance

 ILCA thanks the dozens of members who let their voices be heard about the realities of interacting with the black market every day. Your stories opened the eyes of legislators to the problems our industry has been wrestling with for decades. Every year, 9,000 bills are proposed in Springfield and only a tiny percentage are passed – making this a historic achievement. ILCA thanks our lobbyist Dave Manning, staff, and our Regulatory and Legislative Committee and Political Action Committee for their efforts.

For the past few years, ILCA has been a leader on worker’s compensation insurance enforcement in Illinois. It is estimated that as many as 30% of landscape companies are operating without worker’s compensation insurance for their employees. That is unacceptable and puts thousands of trained and qualified landscape professionals and their families at risk.

A few years ago, ILCA debuted The Empowerment Packet because we want 100% compliance in our industry. This was a collaborative effort with the Illinois Worker’s Compensation Commission (IWCC) to identify and stop illegally operating businesses. An ILCA member can look up the company’s insurance status and submit a claim using a tailored form to the IWCC. Many ILCA members have taken advantage of this. ILCA has also shared information regarding the fines levied in our industry that range from thousands to millions of dollars.