Serving the Horticulture Industry Since 1899

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.
  • 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 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,, or visit the SNA website at


  • 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

    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,, or visit the SNA website at


  • 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

    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.


    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.

  • 13 Feb 2015 1:04 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out to the Boyd Family

    It is with regret and sorrow that we announce the death of Joe T. Boyd, Flower City Nursery, McMinnville, TN, who died Thursday, February 12, 2015, at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville.

    Joseph Tallman Boyd, Jr. (Joe T.) was born May 24, 1931. He was a son of Sara Ramsey and Tallman Boyd. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Martha Boyd Barnes and brother Thomas Ramsey Boyd. He was a fourth generation nurseryman and received an honorary lifetime membership in the Southern Nursery Association and Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association. He was owner of Flower City Nursery. He served as a commissioner with West Warren Viola Utility District and served as chairman for a number of years. He was a volunteer fireman and worked to establish the Smartt Fire Station that became part of Morrison Fire Department. He served four years in the United States Air Force. He was a member of United Methodist Church.

    Survivors include his wife of 62 years Mary Jo Boyd, two sons Charles Tallman Boyd (Deborah) of Manchester, TN and William “Bill” Joseph Boyd (Neva) of Smartt, TN, two daughters Mary Kate Boyd of Smartt, TN and Eleanor Clay Bryan (Steve) of Morrison, TN, sisters-in-law Charlene Hart (Walt) of Denver, Colorado, Kathy Boyd of McMinnville, TN, six grandchildren Natalia Hope Boyd and Natalie Faith Boyd both of McMinnville, TN, Stevie Elizabeth Bryan of Knoxville, TN, Tallman Boyd of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Harrison Boyd of Chattanooga, TN, and Jimmy Joe Bryan of Morrison, TN. Three nieces, a nephew, uncle Herbert P. Boyd and aunt Mrs. F. C. Boyd, Jr. also survive.

    Services will be held Sunday, February 15th at 2:00 PM at the McMinnville Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. Thomas Hart of Star, South Carolina and Larry Boyd will be officiating. Burial will follow at Gardens of Memory Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 PM until 8 PM Saturday and again from 12:00 noon until the time of service at 2 PM Sunday at the parlors of McMinnville Funeral Home.

    Memorial donations may be made to Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association Memorial Scholarship Fund, Meals on Wheels, or to the Morrison Fire Department.

    Online condolences may be made at
    24-Hour Obituary Information Line is 931-473-5700.
    McMinnville Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

  • 11 Feb 2015 8:23 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Home Depot. Target. Sony. It seems data breaches are on the rise and the most recent hack into Anthem's computer network may have compromised as many as 80 million customers. It appears credit card or medical information was not the target, and names, birthdays, social security numbers, street addresses and employment information (including income data) were obtained. 

    Anthem is the country's second largest health insurance company and the parent company of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Amerigroup, Caremore, Unicare, Healthlink and DeCare. The company is still trying to determine how many customers may have been affected and will offer credit monitoring and identify protection services free of charge.

    This news comes as Intuit's TurboTax, the nation's largest seller of tax preparation software, announced Friday that it would begin accepting electronic submission of state tax returns after taking a 24-hour pause to beef up security measures due to reports of taxpayers in a number of states logging in to submit their state tax returns to discover that some had stolen their identity and already filed in their name. It is reported that a third-party security expert found the fraudulent activity did not result from a breach of Intuit's system. The company says the information used to file fraudulent returns was obtained from other sources outside the tax preparation process. There have been no reports of federal filings being affected. Both the IRS and states have sophisticated software to detect and prevent identify theft, but it seems no system is perfect.

    With people on edge, due to all of the recent data breaches and fears of fraud, this is a prime time for scammers using "phishing" emails to trick consumers into sharing personal data. These "fake" emails appears to be from a legitimate company asking their customers to log into their accounts to verify or update your information to protect their data or often offering free credit monitoring services by clicking on a link that asks for personal data. Phishing comes in a variety of forms such as "Immediate Action Needed", "Update Notification", etc. Since companies do send out legitimate emails to their customers for these purposes it's often hard to decipher what is legitimate and what is a scam.

    Virtually everything is electronic these days and cybersecurity has become a massive issue. Lawmakers are currently debating legislation to require companies to notify customers within a set time period when their information has been exposed through a breach in security. The legislation would also create nationwide data security standards. The effort to pass a federal data breach bill has received more momentum with recent high-profile data breaches at companies like Home Depot and Target. And, the recent cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has certainly brought more attention to this issue.

    Even President Obama, in his State of the Union address, has called for a uniform national data breach notification standard. This should certainly be a top priority for our new Congress. While notification laws deal with what happens after a data breach, the National Retail Federation (NFR) has has been working on a range of proposals intended to improve credit and debit card security and avoid breaches. NRF has insisted that new credit cards being issued this year should require use of a secret personal identification number in addition to a computer microchip, and supports other options including retailers storing only authentication codes rather than card numbers.

    With potentially 80 million Anthem customers affected in a country with a population of 318 million, 25% of Americans may have been exposed in this most recent hack. Now is the perfect time to take a look at your company's exposure.

  • 11 Feb 2015 6:59 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    During the recent membership meeting at the Gulf States Horticulture Expo in Mobile, James Harwell, Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association's executive director for the last 10 years, officially announced his retirement effective in early 2016. James has devoted many years to our industry, and to the association specifically. He has served humbly and willingly for many years, and not just as executive director. His leadership and hard work has advanced the industry in Alabama more than will be realized for a long time. James and his wife Libby will both be missed as they begin to slow down and enjoy retirement. 

    The ALNLA Board of Directors has been working diligently for almost a year developing a succession plan for this very moment and they have full confidence in the planning and processes that have been established that they will find the right individual to fill this role. A formal search committee has been formed and approved by the board that will lead them through this process and make a recommendation on a potential candidate(s) to the board for final approval. The search committee members are as follows:

    Bryan Word (chairman)

    Phillip Hunter

    Bethany O’rear

    Bill Turk

    Carol Barton

    Randy Bounds

    Tom Fennell

    This will be a slow and deliberate process that the Board will monitor closely. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of the Search Committee members or any of the Board of Directors.

    To view the Job Announcement and Employment Application, CLICK HERE.

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