Jim Martin has served as President of James Martin Associates, Inc (JMA) since the company’s founding in 1977. Today in his role as President, Jim is actively involved in business growth and strategic direction; selection and development of current and future associates; JMA’s emersion in waste elimination through lean management and continuous process improvement; and the company’s commitment to and involvement with charitable and community philanthropy.
“Looking back over almost forty years in the landscape industry, I know I am one of the fortunate few who find a career and industry as a young person that allows them to succeed and thrive for a lifetime. On top of that good fortune, the challenge and stimulation of creating a successful organization is in many ways equally fulfilling to creating a beautiful landscape….it offers opportunities to be endlessly creative, to work with wonderful human beings and to enrich lives every day.”
During the early years of JMA from 1977 to 1983, Jim wore many hats as sales person, landscape architect, business manager, construction superintendent and even laborer from time to time. As the company moved out of survival mode, Jim was able to spend time recruiting and developing wonderful young landscape professionals – some are still with JMA and some have gone on to start and grow successful landscape industry firms. Inspired by some of Chicago’s finest older landscaping firms, the early work of Jim and the team began to be recognized at the state and national level, with JMA’s first national award being earned in 1981.
From 1983 to 1995 the company maintained a steady growth, continued to win recognition for its outstanding work and hired three of the six members of JMA’s senior management team.
Since 1997, the quality and commitment of these three great associates (Heidi Sibert, Tom Bolas, and Shari Dalziel) has allowed Jim the privilege to get involved with promoting the work of world-renowned sculptor, Frederick Hart; to write the first book on lean management in the green industry; to serve as a board member and then as President of PLANET, the largest national landscape industry association in the United States; to organize and become Managing director of Chicago Snow and Landscape Partners, LLC, a partnership of four Chicago region professional landscape firms serving clients throughout the Chicago region; and to consult with landscape industry firms throughout the United States.
Significant Career Accomplishments
Visiting Instructor at University of Illinois 1987
Board Members of ILASLA 1987-1989
Publisher of The Landscape Management System, 1986
Publisher of In-Site, Landscape Management Newsletter 1986-1992
Member of University of Illinois President’s Council, 1995
Exclusive Representative of Fredirick Hart to the landscape Industry 1997-2002
TEC Member, then Vistage since 1999
Founding Donor ILCA’s Scholarship Program, 2001
PLANET’s Scholarship Foundation, Ambassador Scholarship, 2003
Board Member 2004-5 ALCA
Author, Crystal Ball Report #26, Lean Management for the Landscape Industry
Board Member 2005-2006 PLANET
President 2007-2008 PLANET
28 National Awards including ASLA, ALCA, ANLA, PLANET,
49 State Awards ILASLA and ILCA
Career and Education before JMA
University of Illinois, BLA with Honors, 1972
Winnetka Park District, Superintendent of Maintenance and Development, 1973-1976
Brief Personal Information
Third Generation Family Member from the Chicago region
Father of three exceptional daughters
Global Wild-water River Rafting, Support of Regional Natural Areas Preservation and Restoration, Gardening, Tennis, Travel, and Continuous Learning
Philanthropy with Chicago and national organizations