Professional Mentor Program

The Irrigation Association recognizes that all businesses face numerous challenges.

The goal of this pilot program of the IA is to help our members and their businesses navigate and overcome some of the roadblocks to increased growth and success.

Through 2022, this pilot program will focus on the landscape segment and take a limited number of IA member mentee applicants to meet with mentors for up to four hours. These volunteer mentors have diverse industry backgrounds and offer expertise and a wealth of institutional knowledge to be paired with specific challenges.

Quite often, just having a fresh set of eyes and a willing pair of experienced ears analyzing an issue will result in a productive solution that can overcome a difficult challenge.

The Professional Mentor Program is free and not intended as a long-term resource. If there is interest, the mentor can provide a list of IA member companies that can provide further consultation on a fee basis.

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How does the mentor program work?

IA mentors are entrepreneurs and business leaders, including but not limited to practicing entrepreneurs, startup veterans and other professionals with practical business experience. They are there to guide you as you work to address your top business challenges.

Mentorship sessions provide you with the opportunity to contemplate resolutions that you will implement after the mentorship. The IA will accept a limited number of applications on a first-come, first-served basis during the pilot program. The main IA contact for the applicants company will be notified of the submitted application. Those accepted into the program will meet with their assigned mentor virtually in one-on-one sessions throughout the mentorship period (up to four hours). Before meeting with a mentor, mentees will complete a Business Challenge Assessment worksheet, and these business challenges will be discussed during their mentorship meetings.

How do I apply for the program?

To participate in the IA Professional Mentor Program as a mentee, follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Complete and submit the online application via the SmarterSelect platform. On the application, you will be asked to identify two business challenges you are experiencing. Review the Business Challenge Assessment worksheet to help identify two business issues to include when completing the application.
  • Step 2. Submitted applications will be reviewed on the first of each month with notification via email within two to three weeks after submittal.
  • Step 3. If you are selected to participate in the IA Professional Mentor Program, you will be asked to complete the Business Challenge Assessment worksheet and submit it to your mentor prior to your first meeting. The worksheet is available for download. It can be completed online, saved and sent to your mentor via email.

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Meeting with your IA mentor

The total time of your mentor meetings will be at least four hours over the course of the mentorship. Mentors will coordinate the dates and times for these meetings based on when you are both available. All meetings will be conducted virtually in one-on-one sessions. Meeting with your mentor may require additional flexibility to accommodate both of your busy schedules.