MIAMI, Fla. – The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA) has announced its new Board of Directors for the 2013-2014 term.

In addition to continuing to help members confront obstacles to their success and that of others in the industry, the NHLA looks forward to providing new educational offerings targeted at helping Latinos in the field advance. As part of this vision, the NHLA is surveying owners, key employees and suppliers among its members and other stakeholders across the country to gauge what topics are of greatest need and interest. 

The NHLA’s new leadership reflects the wide geographic distribution and diverse national origins of Hispanics in the landscape industry. This team includes: President, Raul Berrios, president of Rulyscapes, Inc., Centreville, Va.; President-Elect, Juan Torres, vice president of operations for Total Tree Care, Cheschire, Conn.; Secretary, Pam Berrios, president of Alexandria Lawn Service, Alexandria, Va.; Treasurer, Veronica de Hoyos, director of operations and HR, Lawn Management Company, Houston, Texas; and Past-President, Jesus Chuy” Medrano, owner of CoCal Landscape, Denver, Colo.

Additional directors that will be joining the NHLA Board this year include: Arnulfo Lopez of Nature Safe Landcare (Gresham, Ore.) and Jose Cantu of Saw House, Inc. (Houston, Texas). Other members who will resume their position as directors over the next term include Josh Denison of Denison Landscaping (Ft. Washington, Md.), Chance Lee Castillo and Frank Garza of Greener Pastures Landscapes (Dallas, Texas), Roger Phelps of STIHL, and Bill Behan of John Deere. Ralph EgÙes will continue to serve as the organization’s executive director.

Newly elected president, Raul Berrios, is a native of Bolivia and the owner of Rulyscapes in Centreville, Va. Berrios founded the company nine years ago after 25 years as a successful entrepreneur in other industries and describes his venture into landscaping as the perfect marriage of his skills as an entrepreneur and marketer with his passion for nature and the environment. Prior to pursuing a path in landscaping, Berrios had various business ventures which included a retail shop, a catering company, and an international trade business that was active in the U.S. and in various South American countries. 

Since its formation in 2011, the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance has proven itself an important industry advocate. Notable accomplishments include its playing an active role in persuading the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) to remove a 40 percent turfgrass limitation on landscaped areas from its WaterSense Specifications for Single Family New Homes, and blocking proposed rule changes to the seasonal foreign worker visa program (H-2B) that would be especially harmful to the landscape industry.