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SNA News

Welcome to SNA's News Center – designed to provide you with timely and relevant information about the Southern Nursery Association, press releases and industry news alerts.
  • 03 Aug 2012 11:08 AM | Danny Summers (Administrator)

    Saving $$ on Your Company’s Phone Bill

    Every business today needs to continue to cut costs wherever possible and at the same time do a better job communicating with customers (or prospects). The following two questions will determine if this article can help you…

    1.     Do you have (or is it available) high-speed internet service at your business? (Most require DSL, cable or fiber-optic service.)
    2.     Are you still paying a local phone company for regular phone lines, including fax lines?

    If you answered yes to both of these, the following information could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year … and give you new options to give your customers the best service possible!

    Voice Over IP or “VoIP”

    This is a relatively new type of voice communications that has been expanding over the last 10+ years. VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol.” Because your voice and fax service rides over your internet service, it is very important to have high-speed internet. Of course, this rules out many in rural areas (sorry folks).

    Here’s an overly simplified explanation of how this works. You subscribe to a VoIP service (there are a number of companies available to choose from today (see end of this article for a comparison of just some). You can elect to have both your voice and fax service all tied into the same setup. Or, you could just shift your fax service over.  The more you switch, the more you will save. With the service, the VoIP supplier gives you an internet connection to their phone/fax system. They may supply you with a small modem-style device that hooks into your internet and you can connect regular phone or fax to it, or you can buy new VoIP-ready phones (even multi-line devices) that are programmed to connect to their system. The VoIP supplier becomes your phone network, including voicemail, call forwarding, etc., all controlled by you over a web page interface. It's really pretty easy. We all have seen the “Magic-Jack”  or Vonyage ads on TV in recent months. That’s an example of a single line version VoIP for home or small business use.

    Here’s a Few Examples of VoIP that has helped us: 

    We, here at Summers & Associates, decided to go with a company called VOIPO (  Here’s what we paid and what we get:  We were able to take advantage of a special offer of around $130 (plus tax) for a two-year service. We get one phone number. It can be either a local number you choose, an 800 number you choose, of your current phone number (if it can be “ported” to take with you… the service will check for you). With the one phone number we actually get two voice lines riding on the same number, that means two calls can happen at the same time, in or out.  This includes unlimited calls (in/out) to USA/Canada. For another $36/year we get a “virtual number” which becomes our fax number. All in-bound faxes are sent to an email address of our choice as a PDF attachment.  So, in this case our cost for two (2) voice lines and one (1) fax line was less than $180 for THE ENTIRE YEAR. For our clients such as SNA or the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, we have 2 virtual lines for each, one for voice and one for fax at $36 each per year. The voice line is routed to our regular Summers & Associates number and the fax is emailed to the email of our choice. That’s $72+ tax FOR ONE YEAR. That includes unlimited minutes and faxing. What a deal! And (we sound like a “vegi-matic” commercial here...), checking the VOIPO website today reveals they are again offering a limited time special… GET 2 YEARS for $129! (A similar offer to what we got.)

    Another example is one of our wholesale nursery clients that needed a better way of faxing their availability list to about 40% of their customers. They have DSL for internet service and have been paying both a monthly charge for their regular fax line and extra for so many long-distance minutes per month.  For this company, we chose RingCentral’s ( fax service. They paid $49.99 plus tax for a new unlimited fax service with an 800# and also “ported” their old number to RingCentral. With this setup, they will email their availability to their fax customers by sending one email with the availability as an attachment through RingCentral’s fax server. They subscribed to an unlimited fax minutes offer, so no extra per page costs. And now, when they receive a fax on either their new 800 number or their old fax number it is sent to an email address within the company. In this case, more than one person sees the email, even on their smartphone. Oh, by the way, the grower has now cancelled their regular fax line with their old phone company nearly offsetting the $50+ monthly cost. Net results: saving over three (3) hours of fax preparations per week, all fax customers get the availability quickly and better customer response on receiving their faxed orders or inquiries… all this while saving $$ monthly.

    Your challenge:  How much are you spending (in labor or costs) for your phone and fax systems today? These are just a couple examples of VoIP services out there today. Which one you choose depends on your needs; however, you should consider moving at least a portion of your communications to VoIP and save some dollars!

    One additional note:  The old saying “you never want all your eggs in one basket” applies here too for your business phone/fax communications. So, best practices would guide you to have at least one regular phone line, in case your internet service goes down. With VoIP services, if your internet services goes down, your receiving system (voicemail and fax) for receiving, just like your email servers, are in the cloud and not at your office, so when your internet is back up, any messages or faxes will be there waiting for you. And, if the system options allow, you may have gotten all this on your smartphone already!

    For more information: Following are links to a couple of comparison charts on just some of the VOIP providers. Be sure to check out each site for special offers! If we can share more details of what we have done for Summers & Associates or SNA, just give us a call at the SNA Office: 678-809-9992.  And remember, when you call you will be experiencing the SNA’s $36/year voice line!

    NEXT's VoIP Services (Review) - 10 best VoIP Service Providers  

  • 25 Jul 2012 11:05 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Dr. Bonnie Appleton, retired professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, Extension nursery specialist for the Virginia Cooperative Extension and author, passed away on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

    Appleton received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Delaware and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. She joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1985 where she was based at the Hampton Roads Agriculture Research and Extension Center. She was instrumental in the development of the department’s off-campus graduate degree program. She was an instructor of many graduate classes and a major advisor to more than 60 master’s degree students.

    In 2006, Appleton was recognized for her dedication to teaching excellence and her positive impact on students’ lives by sharing her love of horticulture with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

    In 2010, she was honored with the "professor emerita" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The title is conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President.

    Appleton's passion for horticulture was recognized throughout her career. Her list of honors (since 2000) can be found at

    Bonnie was an active contributor to the SNA Research Conference for more than 20 years, presenting numerous research papers (1991 - 2010).

    Her family is honoring her wishes. There will be no memorial service and her ashes will be scattered over the Chesapeake Bay. Her Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension family will plant a tree in her honor at the AREC this fall. Correspondence can be addressed to her parents.

    Fred and Bobbie Appleton
    100 O'Brien Court
    Suffolk, VA 23434

    Donations in her memory can be made to the Master Gardener Coordinator Endowment or a charity of your choice.

    Virginia Master Gardener Coordinator Endowment
    under the MG Program tab

    VNA Horticulture Research Foundation, Inc.

    Related Links:
  • 20 Jul 2012 3:08 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    After a long, courageous battle with cancer, Susan Smith, age 61, Owner of Rennerwood, Tennessee Colony, TX, passed away July 14, 2012 peacefully with her family and friends by her side.

    Susan was born in Palestine October 15, 1950. She had a colorful life and personality and impeccable work ethics. She walked with purpose and never met a stranger. She had many friends and loved her many employees. Through hard work and dedication she started and maintained a successful business. Through the 25 years of operation her tree farm is known across the U.S. for growing quality trees.

    Services will be held Wednesday, July 25 in the Tennessee Colony Community Center at 4 pm. 

    In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the BARC-Humane Society of Palestine, PO Box 63, Palestine, TX 75802, or online at, or a charity of your choice.

    Expressions of sympathy can be mailed to:  Rennerwood, 1025 AN CO Road 2810, Tennessee Colony, TX 75861.

    For more information on Susan, see the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association Memorial Article at

  • 16 Jul 2012 6:54 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    The American Nursery and Landscape Association's (ANLA) board of directors voted this week to explore the joint formation of a new trade association with OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals. The vote was prompted by a recommendation from a joint working group of elected ANLA and OFA leaders whose recommendation is that a new organization be established no sooner than July 2013 and no later than January 2014. The new organization will replace both ANLA and OFA. Read more...
  • 09 Jul 2012 11:45 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    The ever-popular SNA Best Management Practices (BMP) Guide is currently being updated and enhanced and is scheduled for release this fall. The BMP Guide, v 1.0 was published in 1996, with an updated v 2.0 released in 2007. Version 3.0 will feature an enhanced Irrigation section including a new section on Constructed Wetlands, as well as information on the RMA Crop Protection Insurance Program.

    Version 3.0 will be featured on the SNA website as a reference tool – free to the industry – as soon as the project is completed.

    The BMP Guide is designed to help growers identify and promote exceptional management practices, methods and procedures. These management practices can be implemented regardless of nursery size or location and empowers both container and field grown plant producers to operate at a higher level of efficiency and effectiveness while implementing proactive management practices necessary to produce plants with minimal environmental impact.

    The SNA Best Management Practices Guide has become recognized as the undisputed benchmark for horticultural BMPs in the U.S. with more than 6,000 copies in use today.

    Funding for this project is made possible by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the USDA's Risk Management Association (RMA). RMA's mission is to promote, support, and regulate sound risk management solutions to preserve and strengthen the economic stability of America's agricultural producers. As part of this mission RMA operates and manages the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC). RMA was created in 1996; the FCIC was founded in 1938.
  • 05 Jul 2012 12:17 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Atlanta, Ga., July 1, 2012 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced preliminary plans for an event in 2013. Scheduled for August 5 - 7, 2013, at Atlanta's Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), this event will combine the SNA Research Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA State Officer's Conference, and the Annual SNA Business Meeting to deliver one unparalleled event – all under one roof.

    The GICC, conveniently located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and minutes from downtown Atlanta, is Georgia’s newest and second largest convention center featuring more than 400,000 SF of meeting space – all on one level. The ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train linking the GICC to the airport, the rental car center and the GICC station, as well as a wide array of affordable nearby hotels (including two new Marriott properties on the GICC campus), and restaurants, coupled with excellent transportation connections from across the U.S., will offer participants added convenience.

    This new regional event will bring together the most forward thinking leaders, researchers, growers, manufacturers, distributors, landscapers and retailers from across the southeast to share ideas, learn new techniques, address key industry issues, and locate new products.

    Meister Media/Today's Garden Center will be the official media sponsor of the event and will offer an educational program geared specifically to retail garden centers. In addition to the educational and networking opportunities another component of the event will provide industry growers and suppliers an opportunity to promote and showcase their products through various levels of sponsorship including a variety of channels of advertising, product presentations and display space. If you are interested in gaining exposure to a regional audience through sponsorship, contact the SNA office at 678.809.9992 or Click Here to download the Sponsorship Opportunities form.

    Already, a number of industry members have committed to participation and expectations are high. “The response to this long-awaited event has received widespread positive reaction,” said Karen Summers, Executive Vice President of SNA. “This clearly indicates a strong industry need and a high level of confidence. SNA has a long history of producing successful events, and I am confident this will be another formula for success. We are excited about working with Today’s Garden Center to bring this event to the industry,” she added.

    The Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. Established in 1899, the SNA strives to provide educational, marketing and networking opportunities essential to the survival of the horticultural industry.

    More details will be released in the weeks to come. For further information, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992,, or visit the SNA Website at


  • 03 Jul 2012 3:30 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    We have received the following news from Tidwell Nurseries' Bo Tidwell giving details of his father's passing this past Sunday.  Funeral details are provided at the bottom of this memorial:

    Pierce Boadman Tidwell, Sr.

    August 23, 1921 - July 1, 2012  

    (by Bo Tidwell)

    I am broadcasting this to all my email buddies. Some of you may know by now that my father, Pierce, passed away in his sleep last night. He always said that this was how he wanted to go and the Good Lord worked it out for him. I think it was my friend Philip who said today that this was his reward from God for all those years he took such good care of Mom. Maybe it was Philip; maybe it was someone else. It's been kind of a blur today, but whoever said it was really on the mark.

    Pierce had a typical great day yesterday (Saturday). In fact, every day was a great day for Pierce. He made it that way. He told me that he waked up at 5:15 AM because he knew he had to be at the Methodist parsonage at 8 AM to show the volunteers how to prune the azaleas (the ones he planted over 40 years ago). So he said he just went ahead and got up. Then he proceeded to his morning appointment at the parsonage; later got the mail and brought it to me at the office.

    Next, he volunteered to get lunch for us, and he and I split a salad at the office together. I wish I had known that it would be the last time I would see him. 

    Then last night, he and friend Ann Garner went to their weekly get together at the concert in Hollonville. I guess that's a pretty full day for most people, not to mention a 90 year old. But Pierce was not your average guy and certainly not your average 90 year old.

    The day before, he had picked a "mess" of butterbeans (that he had grown this spring), shelled them, and cooked them plus some corn bread to go with them, to send home with Pam and me that night. He did things like this so often that we sometimes forgot to even thank him because it was so routine with him.  We will never know how many bluebird houses he built and gave away or how many tomato plants he grew and gave away, or how many baskets and bushels of the surplus from his annual mega-garden he delivered to friends and little old ladies around town.  Only God knows because Pierce didn't keep score. 

    I guess what I am trying to say is that Pierce had a very fulfilling 90 years on this earth, up until his last breath. He showed us how to live and he showed us how to give. He was the very best Father anyone could have ever asked for. And the best husband.  And the best Grandfather. And the best neighbor. And the best friend. He and Mom were certainly my best friends and the two finest people and role models I have ever known.


    I will close with a toast I proposed a few years ago:

    Here's To My Father,

    A Great American and a member of the Greatest Generation, who sacrificed 

    the hearing in his left ear in WW II and never complained one second or asked to be compensated in any way;  the finest Coast Guardsman  who ever walked the streets of Shanghai or talked his way out of the brig  on the coast of Morocco (the night he accidentally filled his canteen with cognac instead of water), or sneaked his bed sheets out (somehow concealing them under his uniform) to sell to the Arabs for cigarette money; a man shrewd enough to buy a used Harley when he came up short of enough money to buy a car, who then learned how to ride it on the 360 mile trip back to port in Charleston, and a man wise enough to make the right  choice when he had to decide between his Harley or Virginia.  A man who  was in the Top Ten in his 11th grade graduating class (of five) and who then proceeded to graduate Magna Cum Laude from the School of Hard Knocks, as he and Virginia used their initiative and sweat  and self-education to build a respected business from scratch.

    Here's to you and here's hoping that more of us from the Boomer Generation might live up to the high bar that has been set before us.




    In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations may be made in honor of Pierce to the Wounded Warrior Project, or the Greenville United Methodist Church,   Either one would make Pierce very happy.

    Thank you all for being my friends and family and for keeping us in your prayers.



    Services for Mr. Tidwell are planned for Friday, July 6 at 2 PM at the Methodist Church on the square in Greenville, GA with reception following at the Tidwell home on Forrest Road (8 miles north of town). 

  • 03 Jul 2012 2:49 PM | Danny Summers (Administrator)
    Bloomberg's BusinessWeek has just released an article titled "Home Sales Show Bernanke’s Low Rates Are Gaining Traction" that highlights May home sales in the US posted a 9.6% increase over the year prior and 15 percent jump in an index of contracts to buy existing homes that same month suggests the market will continue to improve.  Overall, we are seeing slow but improving indicators.  Here's a link to the complete story: CLICK HERE
  • 19 Jun 2012 1:55 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    June 19, 2012, Acworth, GA – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) announced today that the proceedings of the 57th Annual SNA Research Conference Proceedings has been compiled and is now available online at This 381 page proceedings is searchable, downloadable and printable, and is provided free to the industry.

    The 2012 proceedings includes thirteen sections of the latest horticultural research on Container Grown Plant Production, Economics and Marketing, Engineering, Structures and Innovations, Entomology, Field Production, Floriculture, Growth Regulators, Landscape, Pathology, Plant Breeding and Evaluation, Propagation, Water Management, and Weed Control. Seventy-five titles were presented by 197 authors from 15 states and Mexico. A complete list of titles can be found in the Covers and Introduction section, page viii.

    The SNA Research Conference, which began in 1956, provides a forum for horticultural researchers to communicate relevant and recent research findings to the industry. Its origin cannot be traced to any one individual but the roots were planted by several SNA board members recognizing the need to consolidate duplicate research programs throughout the region. From an informal effort of compiling papers gathered from several horticultural research centers and assembled and printed, this two-day conference is held annually and has become world-renowned for quality research. Participants are the top horticultural research and educational leaders from across the county. Hundreds of topics in thirteen categories are shared in presentations that run approximately seven minutes each. A printed agenda and the conference format permits selection of research topics of special interest for those interested in attending. All industry members are invited to attend.

    The annual publication SNA Research Conference Proceedings, from 1991 to current, are available on the SNA website at in Portable Document Format (PDF) for downloading and viewing or printing (more than 11,208 pages).

    The Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. Established in 1899, the SNA strives to provide educational, marketing and networking opportunities essential to the survival of the horticultural industry.

    Details of the 58th Annual SNA Research Conference will be released soon. For further information on the SNA Research Conference, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992, or visit the SNA Website at

  • 03 May 2012 10:35 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Caroline Bailey Brinson May passed away at her daughter’s home in Quincy, Florida, on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. Carolyn was the wife of Fount May, Sr., SNA past president, FNGLA past president and active member of IPPS Southern Region. 

    Carolyn was born December 7, 1918, to Dr. John Bradford Brinson and Martha Bailey Brinson at their family home in Monticello.  She was a fifth generation Floridian and descendant of some of Florida’s earliest settlers including John Branch, Florida’s last territorial governor.

    She graduated from Jefferson County High School in 1936 and Florida State College for Women and taught for a short time in the elementary schools of Jefferson  and Gadsden Counties. She married Fountain Howard May, on March 18, 1944. From this union of 63 years she had three children, Fountain Howard May, Jr., Martha Brinson May Sapp, and John Bradford May. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church, Quincy, Florida.

    Carolyn taught Bible in the public schools of Gadsden County for 20 years and for 35 years at Robert F. Munroe Day School where she was loved and fondly called ‘MaMay’ by her students.  The school auditorium bears her name and her favorite Bible verse, “Be ye kind, one to another, tender hearted, loving, forgiving one another.”

    She was a member of the Tallahassee Town Committee of Colonial Dames, Kappa Delta Sorority, the Quincy Garden Club, was a recipient, along with her husband, of the 4-Way Test Award of the Quincy Rotary Club, recipient of the Book of Golden Deeds of the Exchange Club of Quincy, an Honorary Life Member of Women of the First Presbyterian Church, Letter of Recognition from Governor Jeb Bush for her dedication and service to Robert F. Munroe School and the Gadsden community,  recipient of a Letter of Appreciation from Congressman Allen Boyd for her passion and commitment to teaching the Bible and High Morals to students in Gadsden County, and recipient of other awards from Gadsden County Public Schools.  She was a Girl Scout leader and assisted several members in achieving the Curved Bar.

    The Lord was always first in her life followed by her family.  The epitome of a true Southern Lady, she lovingly served them dinner every Sunday after church.  Her devotion to her children and grandchildren was a blessing of life lessons, a strong faith, and love for one another.

    She is survived by: her children, Fountain H. May, Jr. (Beth) of Quincy, Martha May Sapp (Bill) of Quincy, John Bradford May (Crystle) of Quincy;  her grandchildren, Ashley May (Beth) of Quincy, Richard May (Melissa) of Quincy, Elizabeth May of Quincy, Carolyn Sapp McIntosh (Josh) of Savannah, Hunter Sapp (Lee Anne) of Atlanta, Andrew Sapp, Marcelle May Rhodes (Billy), all of Quincy, and John Bradford May, Jr., of Tallahassee; her great grandchildren, Lachlan and Hunter McIntosh, David and Jessie May, Lawre Bradley, Lucy, and Fountain May,  Georgia and Gracie Rhodes, and Anna Gray Sapp;  her sisters-in-law Joyce Curry Brinson and Beulah Laslie Brinson, both of Monticello, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

    Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband, Fountain Howard May, her brothers, Dr. John B. Brinson, Jr. and Edward Bailey Brinson, both of Monticello,  her brother-in-law Donald Ferris May and his wife Addie Belle May of Quincy,  her sister-in-law Lawson May Curry Griffin and brothers-in-law John Curry and Dr. John Mettaeur Griffin, all of Quincy.

    Visitation will be at the First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall at 2 P.M with the memorial service following at 3 P.M., Friday, May 4, 2012.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Carolyn B. May Scholarship Fund at Robert F. Munroe Day School, 91 Old Mt. Pleasant Road, Quincy, Florida 32352 or to Big Bend Hospice.

    Expressions of sympathy may be mailed to Fount May, Jr., May Nursery, 178 Nursery Road, Havana, FL 32333.

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