Our Trailblazer program matches you with an expert that has a proven record of success, and who will guide you through solutions to your business dilemmas.


New Trailblazers are nominated by NALP members who submit a Nomination Form. Nominees must be a NALP member at the time of nomination and have a minimum of ten (10) years in the industry. The nominees are vetted through a review process by the Education Advisory Council. Those that are selected are presented to the Board of Directors for final approval.

Now Accepting Nominations for New Trailblazers.

Nomination Form

Have you ever wished you could sit down for a full day of mentoring with a seasoned industry leader who has experienced the ups and downs of running a business just like yours? Now you can!

Our Trailblazer program matches you with an expert that has a proven record of success, and who will guide you through solutions to your business dilemmas. You’ll gain new knowledge that has been tried and tested, helping you to build your business and achieve long-term success.

You and your Trailblazer will take a deep dive into your business, digging into things like where you are or are not making money, strategic planning, people planning, succession planning, and SWOT analysis. You’ll learn years worth of material in just days!

This in-depth, personalized networking and mentoring program is a unique way for emerging and established companies to gain insight and advice on developing and growing their businesses.

Trailblazer Application

Trailblazers is a members-only program. Not a member of NALP? Join Now


Have a pressing business or technical question that you need an immediate answer to? The answers are at your fingertips. Through Trailblazers on Call you'll get a response within 72 hours.


Trailblazers are an elite group of landscape industry leaders who were nominated by their peers for making significant, long-term contributions to the industry. They’ve worked hard and learned from their experiences, and now they want to give back by sharing their knowledge and helping companies like yours achieve similar success. Choose from experts in design/build/installation, interior plantscaping, irrigation and water management, landscape management, and lawn care.

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Review the bios of our Trailblazers and select five that match your needs. Complete the Trailblazer application by January 31, and we’ll match* you with one of your preferences by mid-February (notifications are sent shortly thereafter). You have one year to arrange your Trailblazer visit.

Contact between you and the Trailblazer should be initiated immediately by phone and/or email to determine the date and place of the face-to-face visit. If the Trailblazer travels to your facility, you agree to reimburse the Trailblazers for their travel expenses. During your initial discussions, the Trailblazer will assess your needs and will likely request documents to prepare for your meeting.

*There is no guarantee that you will be matched as the demand often exceeds the number of Trailblazers available, but in the event that you are not matched, we will keep you in the applicant pool for the next year.


Our Trailblazer visit was a great experience! I really enjoyed meeting his team, and he had a whole day planned out very well - I received some great tips. I would do it again and again with other companies too. I feel it is going to really help advance my company moving forward. I would recommend this program to everyone and anyone that may be even slightly thinking about it.
— Mark Langan, Blue Ridge Property Services, Warrenton, VA

After learning about the program, be sure to download and complete the Trailblazer Application and fax to the NALP office at 703-736-9668. For more information email trailblazers@landscapeprofessionals.org.

New Trailblazers

Barry Schneider

Surrounds Inc.
Sterling, VA
Years in the Industry: 38 years
Specialty Areas: Design Build and Landscape Management

John Puryear
John Puryear

Puryear Farms
Gallatin, TN
Years in the Industry: 28 years
Specialty Areas: Design/Build/Installation/, Lawn Care, Irrigation&Water Management

Michael Prokopchack
Michael Prokopchack

Walnut Hill Landscape Company
Annapolis, MD
Years in the Industry:
Specialty Areas: Design/Build/Installation/, Lawn Care, Irrigation&Water Management

Alan Richmond
Alan Richmond

Southern Botanical
Dallas, TX
Years in the Industry: 18
Specialty Areas: Irrigation & Water and Human Resources

Michael Prokopchack
Brian Edwards

Brentwood, TN
Years in the Industry: 13
Specialty Areas: Lawn Care, Landscape Management, Irrigation & Water Management, Seasonal Color and Snow and Ice Services

Marc Funderburk
Marc Funderburk

LandPatterns Inc.
Dallas, TX
Years in the Industry: 41
Specialty Areas: Design/Build/Installation and Landscape Management


My Trailblazer was simply awesome and I think his help and his openness about how he runs his company will help us get to the next level. Definitely one of the best experiences I have had in the industry.
— Joe Markell, Landscape Industry Certified, President, Sunrise Lawn/Landscaping Services, Inc., Sterling, VA