MAA NEWS MAA NEWS SpringSummer2017_w

NEWS SPRING/SUMMER 2017 CLEAVES HONORED WITH VISTA AWARD Lenny Cleaves, MCA was presented with the VISTA Award on April 25, 2017. The VISTA Award was established by MAA in 2000 to recognize lead- ers in our industry. It is given to an individual whose actions serve as a guide and a challenge to other members. The VISTA award recognizes truly out- standing tree care professionals. The award’s title – VISTA – is an acronym for Vision, Integrity, Service, Talent, and Action – the leadership qualities inher- ent in all award recipients. It is the highest honor MAA bestows on a member. More than 120 members, old friends and colleagues gathered at the April meeting to support Lenny as he received his VISTA award. Lenny was sur- prised when Virginia Wood was called to the podium to make the presenta- tion. The following is an excerpt from her speech that evening. “I am here tonight, not as the Executive Director of MAA, but as a friend and neighbor and because I believe Lenny Cleaves is truly one of our industry’s ‘unsung heroes’. Not only has he run an outstanding arborists supply com- pany for more than 30 years, he has quietly worked behind the scenes to help the MAA, and many other worthy organizations, achieve success. He doesn’t do it for the accolades – of that I am sure – he does it because he truly cares about this industry and the people in it. Let me tell you a little more about our VISTA award winner: Right out of high school, during the height of the Vietnam war, Lenny enlisted in the Navy. He served our country well for more than four years. After his deployment, he had a hard time finding work (those were tough times). To earn a little cash, he took a part-time job plowing snow for someone we all know …. Bob Greymont! Although Lenny had no experience in the field, Bob recognized talent when he saw it and hired him full time back in 1970. To this day, Lenny considers Bob his greatest mentor. To hear him tell it, ‘Bob was extremely tough on me, but he taught me about arboriculture and he taught me about business. He taught me well and prepared me for future success.’ Lenny started at the bottom at Greymont Tree. He dragged brush, sprayed trees, and ground stumps. The company grew to become Hartney Greymont, and –– as Bob predicted –– Lenny learned to love arboriculture! Over the course of 15 years, he moved from the field into the shop where he helped maintain the company’s fleet of trucks and equipment. MAA President, Jay Ippolito, MCA , MCLP (left) and Executive Director, Virginia Wood congratulate Lenny Cleaves, MCA on his VISTA Award. In 1985, Lenny struck out on his own. He opened Cleaves Company with one part time office person in a small two bay garage on Hillside Avenue in Needham. Fast forward 30 plus years and Cleaves Co. is now one of the largest and most successful suppliers in the Northeast. All of which has been accomplished through Lenny’s endless hard work, (continued on page 3) PROUD FOUNDING PARTNER OF Where the best in the tree industry come together. NewEnglandGROWS.org