3_3.jpgThe U.S. Department of Labor defines a non-traditional field as one in which less than 25% of those employed are women. Such is the case in the green industry. In this traditionally male-dominated industry, it is refreshing to see more and more women climbing the ladder of success in the landscaping field. Many are reaching the top. No longer the woman behind the man, these ?Gals in Green? are making their mark. A number of them have entered the landscape industry by joining a family business; some by starting their own companies, and some by being in the right place at the right time.

Some are doing interiorscapes, while others have gone into design/build, or turf maintenance. Still others are involved in the manufacturing and distribution end of the business.

You don?t have to look very hard to find women who are making their mark in all areas of the landscape industry. But the person we?re featuring today is one of my favorites.

She?s a favorite of mine because of her devotion to our industry. It?s one thing to do a job, but another to do it as a labor of love. Carol Dilger fell in love with the landscape industry, and it shows.

Like many people, Dilger didn?t ?plan? her career. Sometimes an opportunity just presents itself, and then you know the difference between a job and a career.

Dilger began in the marketing department of a furniture manufacturer, where she worked for fifteen years. She heard about a marketing position that was open at Stens, applied for and got the job. Stens services the after-market with replacement parts, and it was a great way to learn the business. This is where her job ended and her career began.

Through the marketing department, Dilger developed a relationship with not only the distributor and dealer network, but with the landscape contractor as well. Evidently, she was good at her job, because when Stens was acquired by the Ariens Company, she found herself doing work for Ariens as well as the Gravely product line.

Today, Dilger is corporate media manager of the Ariens Company. The Ariens philosophy of honesty, ethics and integrity filters down from its CEO and permeates the entire company. This philosophy fits Dilger?s persona to a T. Dan Ariens, president and CEO of the Ariens Company, says, ?Carol Dilger is the personification of our vision statement, ?Passionate People . . . Astounded Customers!? She loves her work and we?re very proud to have a great leader on our team.?

With that mandate from top management, Dilger set a path for the company to get more involved with the landscape contractor. The company has made a commitment to help educate the industry, and Dilger seems to be the point person. Ariens works closely with PLANET and other organizations, and sponsors a number of PLANET?s events. Dilger is often seen at PLANET meetings, and sits on several committees.

Carol Dilger can be seen at trade shows, distributor and dealer meetings, and contractor events. However, not one to pound her chest, she tries to downplay her role in making every Ariens event a success.

A tireless worker, Dilger spends 50 to 60 percent of her time traveling, so when she has the opportunity to stay home, she really enjoys her leisure time. She is married to Ken, who works for a wholesale grocery distributor, and whenever time permits, Ken will travel with Carol, so he now has a pretty good feel for our industry. Dilger loves to spend her spare time reading; she also loves playing golf.

Our industry is blessed with many great people who make a contribution and help this industry grow. Carol Dilger is one of those people