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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.
  • 02 Jun 2015 3:12 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    On Saturday, May 30, 2015, Wayne K. Sawyer, President and CEO of Bennett’s Creek Nursery passed away peacefully. He was 59 years old.


    Wayne was born to the late Clarence M. Sawyer and Shirley G. Sawyer Mebane. He is preceded in death by his brother Clarence Sawyer, Jr.


    Wayne is survived by his step-father, Robert A. Mebane, Sr. and spouse Jessie; previous spouse, Sharron D. Sawyer; children, Matthew W. Sawyer and fiance Melanie Kam and her son Elijah; Kathryn M. Sawyer Simmons and spouse Brandon and their son Reese; his brothers, Kenneth Sawyer, Kenneth Mebane, and Robert Mebane, Jr. and their families. He was also survived by close friend Penny Wolford.


    Wayne has been part of Bennett's Creek Nursery since its inception in 1974 under the mentorship of Arthur J. Lancaster Jr. and he became President and CEO in 1994. His nursery employees were like his family and they will continue to carry on his vision for the company.


    Wayne lived a life of community service that included being involved in many organizations.

    His service began at the Bennett’s Creek Rescue Squad as a teenager and has continued on to Towne Bank, AAA, and the Richard Bennett Trust currently.


    Wayne served on the SNA Board of Directors from 2000 - 2006, serving as president in 2005. He also was a recipient of SNA’s David E. Laird, Sr. Award, received in 1988 as Young Professional of the Year. Wayne was a committed supporter and volunteer of our industry associations. He was very involved in the VNLA, MANTS and SNA. He gave freely of his time and his resources to move the industry forward, all the while positioning Bennett’s Creek Nursery in a unique position as a leading producer.


    The family will welcome visitors on Friday, June 5th from 6-8 PM at Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennetts Creek Chapel, 2690 Bridge Road, Suffolk, VA 23435


    Wayne’s memorial service will be on Saturday, June 6th at 2 PM in Believers Church 4500 Peek Trail, Chesapeake, VA 23321.


    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Virginia Tech Foundation and designate to the Hahn Garden in memory of Wayne Sawyer;


    Gift Accounting, University Development (0336), 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061 or the TowneBank Foundation; 6001 Harbor View Blvd., Suffolk, VA 23435.


    Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Sawyer family and Bennett’s Creek Nursery.


    Bennett's Creek Nursery is committed to honoring the wishes of Mr. Sawyer by continuing his vision and moving forward with the business he dedicated his life to and worked so hard to cultivate. They will proudly continue serving their customers with the same level of care, attention, and detail that Wayne worked diligently to ensure through his daily leadership, guidance, and mentoring. His family and our extended family of staff and friends, wish to express appreciation for all of the condolences they have received.


  • 06 May 2015 11:44 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    ROBERT PAUL WARHURST -  December 8, 1938 - April 29, 2015 

    On Wednesday, April 29, 2015, Robert Paul "Bob" Warhurst, 76, passed away at his home in Fairfax, Virginia, after a long battle with cancer. On the last full day of his life, Bob was surrounded by family and friends before he passed peacefully early the next morning under the care of Hospice.


    Bob Warhurst was the co-owner and co-founder of Merrifield Garden Center, a large garden center, nursery and landscaping company with three locations in Northern Virginia. Bob started the garden center in 1971 with his good friend and neighbor Buddy Williams. In the beginning, there was a quaint red barn, a small store and less than an acre of plants. Over the next 44 years, Merrifield grew to become one of the largest independent garden centers in the country. 


    Bob was born on December 8, 1938 in Russellville, Alabama. He was the fourth of eight children born to Claude and Mary Warhurst. Growing up in the rebuilding years that immediately followed the Great Depression, life was hard on the family. To help make ends meet, Bob got his first job at the age of seven years old at the corner grocery store in Russellville. He was hired for 50 cents a week. When he was in the middle of the eighth grade, Bob quit school and moved to Northern Virginia to make his way in the world. He became an apprentice bricklayer for his older brother Lee, who owned his own contracting business. 


    Two years later, he met Billie Jean Allgood and fell in love at first sight. They were married on January 16, 1957. He was 18 and she was 14. It was a happy marriage that lasted 58 years. 


    While laying brick in the booming suburban developments around Northern Virginia, Bob noticed there was a need for trash pick-up service, so he started the Warhurst Trash Company in 1963. In running the trash business, Bob saw that many customers were throwing away items that still had value, so he began selling those items at The Tradin' Post, a second hand store he started in the Kamp Washington section of Fairfax. Later, Bob decided to start selling plants at The Tradin' Post. That was so successful he decided to open a nursery to sell plants full time, and the following year he opened Merrifield Garden Center. 


    Although his life was defined by hard work, Bob led an adventurous life, riding horses, driving fast cars and flying airplanes. He earned his pilot's license in 1977. Bob was very active in the local business community and helped start two banks - The Horizon Bank of Virginia, which was founded in 1990 and then sold ten years later to Southern Financial Bank, and Virginia Heritage Bank, which was founded in 2005 and sold in June of 2014 to Eagle BankCorp. Throughout his life, Bob improved - and often changed - the lives of many people. Not only was he able to do this by having a successful business, but by the enormous generosity of his heart. 


    In 1998, Bob bought a seven acre piece of property at historic Hope Parke in Fairfax, Virginia, where George Washington often visited many years ago. He built his dream house, which became the center of the family's activities. Bob was very active in the community and gave generously to many charitable and civic organizations. Bob's fascinating and inspirational life was chronicled in a recent book, The American Dream: The Rags to Roses Story of Bob Warhurst and the Founding of Merrifield Garden Center. 


    Bob was preceded in death by his father Claude, mother Mary and brothers Charles, Jim, Claude (Tracy) and Lee. Survivors include Bob's wife Billie Jean Warhurst; children Debbie Warhurst Capp (husband Rob; children Danny and Sarah), Robert Warhurst, Jr. (wife Lynn; children Lyndsey, Ashley and Bobby), Larry Warhurst (wife Leslie; children Chance, Jake, Whitney and Harley), Donny Warhurst (girlfriend Karen Velehoski) and Kevin Warhurst (wife Chris; children Madison and Grace); sisters Margene Scruggs and Jane von Pingel; brother Carl Warhurst and many extended family members. 


    A viewing will be held on Sunday, May 3, at Fairfax Memorial Funeral Home, 9902 Braddock Road in Fairfax, Virginia from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. 


    The funeral service will be held on Monday, May 4, at Vienna Presbyterian Church, 124 Park Street NE in Vienna at 1:30 p.m., followed by an interment at National Memorial Park in Falls Church. 


    In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the American Cancer Society or Capital Caring Hospice Services. www.fmfh.com

  • 06 May 2015 10:26 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced GIE Media will be a Media Sponsor for SNA 2015. GIE Media, through their industry publications (Nursery Management, Garden Center, Greenhouse Management, and Lawn & Landscape) will provide promotional support for SNA 2015.


    Scheduled for July 21-23, 2015, at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC), SNA 2015 is a fusion of The Southern Plant Conference (July 21), the SNA Research Conference (July 21-22), the 117th Annual SNA Business Meeting (July 23), the SNA State Officer's Conference (July 24), and the SNA Regional Marketplace (July 22-23) and provides the perfect platform for networking, learning, sourcing, launching new products, and cultivating new business relationships.


    The SNA Regional Marketplace will feature the best plants and related garden products. The product mix will include ornamental trees and shrubs, color, related landscape and outdoor living products, garden gifts and accessories, seasonal products, and more. The event is expected to draw more than 2,000 breeders, growers, retailers, landscapers, researchers, manufacturers, distributors, and service providers from across the Southeast.


    “SNA has a long history of uniting the green industry, much like GIE Media. We are excited to partner with SNA giving the show heightened visibility, and our readers access to top quality programming and products,” GIE’s Publisher, Jim Gilbride, said.


    SNA’s Executive Vice President, Karen Summers said, “We are very excited to have GIE Media join Meister Media as a sponsor of SNA 2015! Their multi-dimensional reach will no doubt help us engage a broader audience through their print and digital media readership of more than 100,000 industry professionals.”


    Dr. Charlie Hall, economist and professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the Texas A&M University and also holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, will deliver the keynote at SNA 2015 presenting a preview of economic and structural trends impacting the green industry in 2016. Special educational sessions, presented by the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) will include topics on collections law basics, breeding landscape plants with ecological function, how to get the employees you need, invasive non-native plant control, how to take advantage of free horticultural, and wireless sensors research.


    Other components of education will be the SNA Research Conference, spotlighting the latest horticultural research on hundreds of topics in thirteen categories, and the Southern Plant Conference, offering a unique opportunity for growers, landscapers, and retailers to learn from other industry professionals and discover new production techniques and the hottest new plants coming to market. This year’s speaker lineup includes 17 of the industry’s top plant experts from across the country.


    The purchase of an SNA 2015 Name Badge will provide retailers with a special opportunity to access AmericasMart Atlanta during SNA Day @ AmericasMart on Tuesday, July 21. AmericasMart Atlanta is the nation’s only global wholesale marketplace housing the world’s single-largest collection of home, gift, area rug and apparel merchandise. Located in downtown Atlanta, the AmericasMart complex contains more than seven million square feet of space and more than 1,400 showrooms.


    The GICC, venue for SNA 2015, offers convenience for attendees. A world-class airport, connected to a world-class convention center, surrounded by leading brand hotels, at the edge of a world-class city. And, the ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train, links the GICC to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and car rental center.


    SNA 2015 is sponsored by Georgia Green Industry Association, Meister Media (Today’s Garden Center), GIE Media (Nursery Management, Garden Center, Greenhouse Management, and Lawn & Landscape), R.A. Dudley Nurseries, Haviland Plastic Products, Martin’s Nursery, Nursery Supplies, HIP Labels, Plant Development Services, GreenForest Nursery, Bennett’s Creek Nurseries and Lancaster Farms.


    Founded in 1899, the Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southeastern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. The SNA strives to unite and advance the horticulture industry through educational, research and marketing efforts.


    The SNA 2015 Brochure, including all program information is available on the SNA website at www.sna.org. For further information, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992, mail@sna.org.


    ###

  • 01 May 2015 10:40 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., May 1, 2015 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced details of the special educational sessions that will be held during SNA 2015, scheduled for July 21 - 23, 2015, at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC). SNA 2015 combines the SNA Regional Marketplace with the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA Research Conference, the SNA Annual Business Meeting, and the SNA State Officer's Conference, and will feature special educational sessions, presented by the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) designed specifically for the grower, landscaper and retailer. The event is expected to draw more than 2,000 industry professionals from across the region.


    This year’s sessions will include:


    Collections Law Basics, Pearson Beardsley, Beardsley, P.C.

    Breeding Landscape Plants with Ecological Function, Dr. John Ruter, Carol Robacker, Dayton Wilde and J.C. Poythress,  University of Georgia

    Looking for Better or More People?, Tony Bass, Super Lawn Technologies

    Invasive Non-Native Plant Control, Bodie Pennisi, University of Georgia and Brian Arnold, SongBird LandCare

    Horticulture Resources at Your Fingertips!, Dr. Matthew Chappell, University of Georgia

    Increasing Profitability Using Sensor-Based Precision Irrigation, Dr. Paul Thomas, University of Georgia


    Cost of these sessions is $59 by July 17 and $69 after July 17. An SNA 2015 trade show badge is included with registration. Conference center parking is free for all attendees. Simply mention SNA 2015 to the parking attendant. Those registering by July 17 will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win an iPad. Program, registration and hotel information can be found on the SNA website at www.sna.org. Three (3) GGIA Pesticide Applicator CEUs available for am and pm sessions – a total of 3 hours. CEUs applied for with ISA, NALP, FNGLA, TXNLA, VNLA and other state associations within the SNA region.


    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 and rental car center, coupled with excellent transportation connections from across the U.S., and a wide array of affordable nearby hotels and restaurants offers participants added convenience.


    SNA 2015 is sponsored by the Georgia Green Industry Association, GIE Media (Garden Center, Greenhouse Manager, Lawn & Landscape, Nursery Management), Meister Media (Today’s Garden Center), Hackney Nursery Company, Haviland Plastic Products, Martin’s Nursery, Nursery Supplies, R.A. Dudley Nurseries, Classic Groundcovers, HIP Labels, Plant Development Services, GreenForest Nursery, Bennett’s Creek Nurseries and Lancaster Farms.


    Founded in 1899, the Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southeastern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. The SNA strives to unite and advance the horticulture industry through educational, research and marketing efforts.


    For more information on SNA 2015, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992, mail@sna.org, or visit the SNA website at www.sna.org.


    XXX

  • 01 May 2015 10:39 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., May 1, 2015 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced final details of the 14th Southern Plant Conference, scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, 2015, during SNA 2015, at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC). Each year, the speaker lineup somehow seems to top the last – and this year is no exception.


    Sixteen of the industry’s top plant experts are slated to share their knowledge and expertise during this eight-hour conference. Don Shadow, SNA Past President and internationally recognized plantsman, will moderate the fast-paced sessions featuring an impressive list of authors, botanical garden directors, garden communicators, landscape designers, professors, researchers, and world travelers – all with the goal of expanding knowledge and use of new and improved plants for the landscape. 


    The conference, sponsored by HIP Labels, Inc., and Plant Development Services, Inc. (PDSI), provides the perfect platform for the grower, landscaper and retailer to come together for a glimpse of exciting new plants coming to market. This unique conference provides an opportunity to discover new production techniques and a vast array of new plants, with focus on new and superior cultivars, the most resistant, prolific blooming, superior shape or habit, and the most interesting flower or foliage.


    The 2015 speaker lineup and sessions include:

    Brie Arthur, Growing a Greener World, Fuquay-Varina, NC – Foodscaping

    Dr. Andrew Bell, Curator, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL – Windy City Winners

    Talon Buchholz, Buchholz & Buchholz Nursery, Gaston, OR – Maple Introductions from Buchholz Nursery

    Tom Cox, Cox Arboretum & Gardens, Canton, GA – Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast

    Dr. Michael Dirr, Plant Introductions, Watkinsville, GA – Viburnums Past, Present and Future

    Brent Heath, Brent & Becky’s Bulbs, Gloucester, VA – Best Bloomin’ Bulbs for Sexy Southern Landscapes

    Joseph Hillenmeyer, Joseph Hillenmeyer Garden Design, Lexington, KY – Plants of Inspiration:  A Garden Designer’s Perspective

    Ozzie Johnson, ItSaul Plants, Alpharetta, GA – Breeding Adventure from Asia to My Own Backyard

    John Malone, Summershade, Madison, GA – Lifting the Veil on Underutilized Tree Species and Growing a Successful Market

    Matt & Tim Nichols, Nichols Nursery, East Flat Rock, NC – Ornamental Obsession

    David Parks, Camellia Forest Nursery, Chapel Hill, NC – Camellias from China

    Karen Perkins, Garden Vision Epimediums, Templeton, MA – Epimediums:  Jewels of the Shade

    Ron Rabideau, Rare Find Nursery, Jackson, NJ – New and Useful Plants

    Dr. John Ruter, University of Georgia, Athens, GA – Landscaping with Conifers and Ginkgo for the Southeast

    Alan Shapiro, Grandiflora, Gainesville, FL – Cool New Herbaceous Plants


    Registration for the conference is $199 (by July 17) and $219 (after July 17) and includes continental breakfast, lunch and breaks, as well as a chance to “mix and mingle” with speakers after the conference. An SNA 2015 Name Badge is included with registration. Speaker bios, session titles and description, schedule and registration information can be found on the SNA website at www.sna.org.


    SNA 2015, scheduled for July 21 – 23, 2015, combines the SNA Regional Marketplace with The Southern Plant Conference, the SNA Research Conference, the SNA Annual Business Meeting, and SNA State Officer's Conference to deliver one unparalleled event – all under one roof.  The event is expected to draw more than 2,000 breeders, growers, retailers, landscapers, researchers, manufacturers, distributors, and service providers from across the Southeast. 


    The GICC, venue for SNA 2015, offers convenience for attendees. A world-class airport, connected to a world-class convention center, surrounded by leading brand hotels, at the edge of a world-class city. And, the ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train, links the GICC to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and car rental center.


    For more information on the Southern Plant Conference, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992, mail@sna.org, or visit the SNA website at www.sna.org.

    XXX

  • 24 Mar 2015 2:16 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Gene Mathews Dyke, age 60, passed away on March 13, 2015. Gene was a resident of Dacula, Georgia, and previously lived in Cairo, Georgia. Gene was the son of Colonel Samuel E. Dyke and Betty S. Dyke, who preceded him in death. Gene is survived by Gwyn Dyke, his wife of 34 years; his sons, Mathew Dyke and wife and grandson Lauren and Samuel Dyke, of Lafayette, LA and Philip Dyke of Brookhaven, GA; his daughter Rayna Dyke of Dacula, GA; his brothers Bill Dyke of Norman, OK and wife Paula, David Dyke of Greenwood, SC and wife Patsy, and Sam Dyke of Roswell, GA and wife Christine; brothers in law Scott Lewis of Buford, GA, Mark Lewis of Houston, TX and wife Bridget; sister in law Lynda Neal of Buford, GA and husband Randy; nieces Kelli Satness of Norman, OK and husband Adam, Victoria Lewis of Buford, GA, Callyn Harvey of Okeechobee, FL and husband Weston, and Adelaide Lewis of Houston, TX; nephews Billy Dyke of Hollywood, CA, Shannon Adams of Ninety Six, SC, Charlie Mac Adams of Charlotte, NC, and Tyler Neal of Brookhaven, GA. Gene is also survived by many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

    Gene was a member of Hebron Baptist Church and the Hamilton Mill Golf Club. He was employed with Gulf Atlantic Sales and Associates, LLC, and previously was involved in Wight Nurseries and Monrovia. He attended college at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA and the University of South Alabama in Mobile, AL, where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and played on the University of South Alabama golf team.


    The family will be receiving visits from friends and family on Sunday, March 29, 2015, from 2:00pm until 5:00pm at Apalachee Farms Clubhouse, 1001 Dacula Rd, Dacula, GA 30019.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Autism Speaks

    www.autismspeaks.org

    888-772-9050
    In Honor of Samuel Dyke, Gene’s Grandson

  • 06 Mar 2015 9:48 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Peter Christian van der Giessen, December 22, 1924 - March 5, 2015 (90)

    Peter was born December 22, 1924 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and departed from this life on March 5, 2015. After escaping from a labor camp in occupied Holland during World War II, Peter made his way to Scotland with the help of the Dutch underground and joined the Dutch Marine Corps. He trained at Camp Lejeune, and while there he met Billie Ruth Springfield, his future wife and the love of his life. After serving two tours of duty in Indonesia, Peter returned to settle in Texas. 


    A lifelong passion for horticulture led him to Texas A&M University and a career in the Nursery Industry. After retiring as Manager of Cottage Hill Nursery in Mobile, Alabama, Peter founded van der Giessen Nursery with his son Maarten. 


    Peter was a Fellow in the International Plant Propagators, and earned the Lifetime Achievement award from the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association. He was a dedicated father, horticulturalist, and friend. Peter was larger than life. He never met a stranger, and, until proven otherwise, every man was his friend. 


    He is survived by his brother, Henk van der Giessen, his children Nella (David) MacRae and Maarten (Colleen) van der Giessen, and his four beloved Grandchildren; Ian MacRae, Anna MacRae Thomas, Alec MacRae, and Andrew MacRae. 


    A memorial service will be held at Christ Church Cathedral for Peter and his wife, Billie Ruth Springfield van der Giessen on Saturday March 14th at 11:00 for family and friends. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Mobile Botanical Gardens Aromi Garden.


    Billie Ruth van der Giessen, August 5, 1928 - February 17, 2015 (86)

    Billie Ruth van der Giessen was born in Dallas, Texas on August 5, 1928. She passed away after a courageous battle with ALS in Providence Hospital in Mobile, AL while surrounded by friends and family on February 17, 2015.

    She was a creative soul who enjoyed participating in the arts and made the world more beautiful throughout her life. She was gracious, kind, and deeply beloved by her family, who knew her as "Oma".

    Billie was predeceased by her mother, Cozette Springfield and her father Louie Springfield, as well as her sister Kathaleen Springfield. She is survived by her husband of 65 years, Peter van der Giessen; her daughter Nella MacRae and her husband Dr. David MacRae; her son Maarten van der Giessen and his wife Colleen Keleher; as well as her brother Louie Springfield. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Ian MacRae, Anna MacRae Thomas, Andrew MacRae, and Alec MacRae.

    The memorial arrangements are to be announced to friends and family.

    The family requests that any memorial contributions be made to the Mobile Botanical Gardens Rhododendron Garden.

  • 26 Feb 2015 11:30 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    It is with a sincere sense of loss that the GGIA Board announces its acceptance of Sherry Morris's decision to resign as Executive Director of GGIA. After investing and devoting 28 years of her professional life to the association and to the betterment of our industry, Sherry has made the choice to step down from her leadership role with GGIA.

    Sherry has been responsible for the day to day operation of GGIA since the inception of our organization. She has been the one single common ingredient in the success of GGIA through the years. The staff has changed. The Board has changed. Other state and industry leaders have changed. Her presence, however, has been constant. Her personal commitment and dedication to our work will no doubt be missed.

    We find ourselves at a loss to find words adequate to our expression of thanks for her service to GGIA. We would not be where we are and would not have to our credit the successes we share without Sherry. She deserves our deepest gratitude and our unending appreciation for all that she has meant to us both personally and professionally.

    Please join the entire GGIA Board as we express our regrets and our best wishes to Sherry for the future. We know that her strength of character will carry her forward with other great successes.

    And while change of any sort has inherent uncertainties, we are working hard to continue the work of the association with minimal disruption to our membership. The strength of our association is derived from the cumulative support of our membership. Likewise, our mission as a group is to protect and advocate for the industry recognizing that we are stronger when we speak with one voice. Our goal is to maintain our level of responsiveness while moving forward with the work of GGIA.

    We are pleased to announce that Jennifer Addington and Sarah Mickens will remain with the association in their current roles. They are joined by Chris Butts, who has agreed to serve as Interim Director during this time of transition. GGIA's Board of Directors will be meeting next week and are expected to announce details of a search committee whose aim will be to secure a new Executive Director for GGIA.

    Sincerely,

    Donal Nichols
    Chairman, Georgia Green Industry Association

  • 24 Feb 2015 4:53 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) announced that it has expanded its reach to become The Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association or MNLGA. The approval for such action was granted by the membership at the MNLA’s annual meeting in January.

    The change comes as a result of the planned dissolution of the former Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association and the invitation for those members to join the existing and renamed association.

    “The greenhouse association has collaborated with the Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association on events, education, and industry issues and a myriad of other projects for the past 15 years or more,” said MNLGA Executive Director Vanessa Akehurst Finney. “Inviting them into the renamed association is not only complimentary; it makes the Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association or MNLGA an even stronger industry voice than it was previously,” said Finney.

    “The upcoming 12th annual Chesapeake Green Horticultural Symposium or “Chessie Green” as it is commonly known is a perfect example of our collaborative efforts,” she continued. Held annually at the Maritime Institute in Linthicum, this pesticide recertification event has educated and accommodated the recertification requirements for over 1,000 industry members throughout the years. This year’s symposium will be held February 19 and 20th.
    The MNLGA will benefit by adding even more voice to legislative and regulatory issues which affect the horticulture industry in general. Horticulture is the number two commodity in the state of Maryland under the Department of Agriculture with annual sales in excess of $1 billion dollars. There are not nearly enough citizens or elected officials who know this and the MNLGA welcomes the additional voices to help spread that message.

    The Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association will introduce its revised logo, updated website and publications over the coming months. In the meantime, for the latest information, visit the website or call (410) 823-8684.

  • 24 Feb 2015 10:41 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out to the Hawkins Family

    It is with regret and sorrow that we announce the death of Graham E. Hawkins, Jr., retired secretary of the South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (SCNLA), SNA Honorary Member (1996), and husband of Elizabeth "Betsy" Hawkins, died Sunday, February 22, 2015.

    Graham was born to Kitty and Graham E. Hawkins Sr. on December 21, 1926, in Richland County, SC, and spent most of his childhood in Greenwood. He was a graduate of Greenwood High School and Clemson University with a degree in Agriculture – Dairy. He served in the US Army and was a veteran of World War II.

    Graham owned and operated a dairy farm, and later, a landscape nursery. He served as president of the South Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association, and then as the association's permanent secretary, a position he held until his retirement.

    Graham was active in local politics in Greenwood, and enjoyed serving his community. He was an elected member of the school board, and was appointed county auditor by the governor. A person of strong opinion and personal involvement, Graham loved to share his views in the editorial pages of the Index-Journal.

    Although deeply rooted in his local life, Graham loved to travel the world. His adventures included Japan, Greece, New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, and Russia. He was fascinated by the relationship of people to their culture, and the relationship of the culture to the surrounding landscape. He tirelessly annotated volumes of photographs, captioning them with his own observations. He enjoyed maps and travelogues, and took great pleasure in reliving his past adventures and planning his future ones.

    More than anything else, Graham derived the greatest pleasure and satisfaction from his connection to his friends and family. A man of many successes, Graham defined his own personal success in terms of family relationships and lifetime friendships. He adored Betsy. He was enamored of his children and grandchildren. Their loves became his, and he and Betsy opened their home and their hearts to embrace a large extended family.

    Graham was predeceased by his parents, his brother Ramsay Hawkins, and his sister Mary Susan "Sue" Hawkins. He is survived by Betsy, his wife of 65 years; his children (and their spouses) Claudia, Ed, Suellen (Jonathan), Jody (Pam), Al (Mindy), and Diane; his grandchildren, Jason, Sarah, Brian, Jasper, and Elise; along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

    Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial service at noon on Saturday, February 28 at the James A. McAlister funeral home, 1620 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407. Visitation will follow the services.

    In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (SCNLA) Research Endowment Fund, 4661 Crystal Dr, Columbia, SC 29206.

    The family would like to express our gratitude and deep appreciation to The Palmettos Assisted Living and Caris Healthcare for their wonderful care.

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