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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.
  • 20 May 2014 12:28 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    While Michael Steinhardt, coined Wall Street’s greatest trader, financier, investor, newspaper publisher and philanthropist, is talking plants at The Southern Plant Conference we couldn’t miss the opportunity to get his insight on the economy and how to position our businesses moving forward. All SNA 2014 attendees are invited to attend this casual interview, hosted by Carol Miller, Today’s Garden Center, on Wednesday, July 23, 8am – 9am, the opening day of the SNA 2014 Regional Marketplace. 

    The SNA 2014 General Session, sponsored by Today’s Garden Center, is included with an SNA 2014 Name Badge registration. 

    Watch for more details in the coming weeks.
  • 20 May 2014 11:10 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Ellicott City, MD, May 19, 2014 – The Garden Center Group has announced it will host its Retailers’ Choice Awards™ at three leading trade shows this summer: Cultivate’14 in Columbus, OH, SNA 2014 in Atlanta, GA, and 2014 Farwest Trade Show in Portland, OR.

    All retailers are invited to participate with The Garden Center Group’s Sid Raisch and Danny Summers to help discover the best new products for retail at each event. Danny Summers, Managing Director of The Garden Center Group said, “It is an exciting experience to join other retailers in this challenge to find the hottest new products. Participants gather together at the opening of each show for instructions before they peruse the show floor individually at their own pace to find and evaluate new products. Later in the afternoon the evaluation group meets to compare and combine notes for award nominations. Participants have the benefit of many perspectives, much more than they could do on their own. Plus, the added bonus of networking with other retailers in the process.”

    Dates for the Retailers’ Choice Awards™ are: Cultivate‘14 – July 13, SNA 2014 – July 23, and Farwest – August 21. For more details on participating in the Retailers’ Choice Awards™ visit each event’s website or email Danny Summers at

    The Garden Center Group focuses on business solutions designed to help garden centers increase sales, improve operations and retain more profit. With a support team of leading industry professionals offering business management, financial, marketing, HR services and more. The Group offers retailers innovative resources to maximize their potential to succeed.

    For information about The Garden Center Group and the services it provides visit or call Danny Summers at 404.996.0041.

    For more information on the subject trade shows, see their websites at:


    SNA 2014

    2014 Farwest

  • 01 May 2014 2:58 PM | Danny Summers (Administrator)

    The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is reminding all horticulture students who are residents of the 16 southeastern states, application deadline for 2014 awards is May 30, 2014. The fund is expecting to award as much as $18,000 through $1,500 scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded July 23 during Southern Nursery Association’s SNA 2014 in Atlanta, GA. Complete eligibility requirements and applications are available through the fund’s website at: or by calling the fund office.


    Created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is a 501 (c) 3 charitable foundation providing academic scholarships to students in the sixteen southeastern states. Since its inception, the fund has awarded $419,000 in scholarships and today the Fund’s balance is now over $800,000.


    For more information contact the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 801513, Acworth, GA 30101, Tel 678-813-1880, Fax 678-813-1881,,

  • 08 Apr 2014 6:23 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Ronald Joseph "Ron" Kabool, 64, of Awendaw, SC, owner & operator of Lowcountry Nursery Company, died March 30, 2014 at his residence. 

    Mr. Kabool was born October 1, 1949, in Kingsport, TN, a son of Joseph S. Kabool and Hilda Olterman Kabool. He was a graduate of the University of Tennessee and was a Navy veteran of Vietnam. After serving in the Navy, he became actively involved in horticulture and eventually moved to Charleston where he has resided for the last 30 years. He was formerly a co-owner of Carolina Nurseries and was a co-founder of Acres of Discovery Child Developemnt Center. Mr. Kabool enjoyed fishing, boating, the ocean, and his horses, but most of all, he loved his work as a landscape artist. The family is very appreciative for all of Mr. Kabool's many wonderful friends and devoted employees. They would also like to express their appreciation to Amedisys Hospice for all of their help in his final days. Surviving are, his companion, Tammy J. Roberson of Moncks Corner; two daughters, Shelly West of Goose Creek and Claudia Roberson of Moncks Corner; three sisters, Robin K. Carter, Patty K. Rotenberry, and his twin sister, Connie K. McKinney all of Kingsport, TN; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. 

    In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the American Cancer Society , Moncks Corner Relay For Life , 5900 Core Rd., Ste. 504, Charleston, SC 29406.

    Online condolences may be sent to the family via

  • 28 Mar 2014 6:17 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Robert Meyer Hollings, Jr., 63, of Mount Pleasant, died Friday, March 28, 2014. He was the husband of Karen Williams Hollings. Robbie was born in Charleston on November 2, 1950, the son of Mary Fernhout Hollings and Robert Meyer Hollings. He attended Charleston Day School, Porter-Gaud School, and graduated from Clemson University in 1973. Following his graduation, Robbie was a co-owner of Carolina Nurseries, one of the largest commercial nurseries in the eastern United States. In later years, Robbie became an agent for Carolina One Real Estate. 
    He was a member of The Charleston Top Producers' Club, Preservation Society of Charleston, Charleston Horticultural Society, Hibernian Society, South Carolina Society, Charleston Club and a past member of The City of Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals and The Town of Mount Pleasant Board of Zoning Appeals. 

    Robbie was a master gardener and loved "playing in the dirt." He would start and end each day in the garden that he so carefully and thoughtfully designed. Many referred to him as "Nature Man" and he considered it the utmost compliment. Robbie was passionate about being outdoors in the Lowcountry or in the mountains surrounding his family's home in Highlands, NC. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, hiking and traveling. He and his wife, Karen, recently enjoyed a "bucket list" trip of a lifetime on a guided rafting trip through the Grand Canyon with family and several friends. Robbie was known for his enthusiasm and sense of humor. He was a gentleman, a friend, a spirited soul, and devoted father. 

    Of all Robbie's life accomplishments, he was most proud of his children. Robbie loved and embraced their personalities, talents, and unique qualities. He was looking forward to welcoming his first grandchild. 

    Robbie is survived by his wife, Karen Williams Hollings; two children, Robert Meyer Hollings III (Stacey) of Charleston and Emily Hollings Carley (Paul) of Naperville, IL; three step-daughters, Kelly Lesser Espinoza (Joaquin) of Washington, DC, Marianne Lesser of Mount Pleasant, and Katie Lesser of Charleston; brother, Peter F. Hollings (Mary) of Walterboro; two sisters, Julie Hollings Bower of Charleston and Pamela Hollings McConnell (Bright) of McClellanville; uncle, Senator Ernest F. Hollings of Isle of Palms; two aunts, Barbara Hollings Siegling of Charleston and Marie Hollings Epps of Fountain Inn; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; and his "adopted son", Edward Polekhin of Kiev, Ukraine. 

    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Charleston Horticultural Society, 46 Windermere Blvd. Charleston, SC, 29407.
  • 03 Feb 2014 9:21 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)


    Our Deepest Sympathy Goes Out to the Alexander Family and Simpson Nurseries

    Last week's winter storm that hit the Southeast unleashed drenching rain, debilitating ice and snow, stranded motorists, and shut down some parts of the area for days. But even worse, there were at least a dozen deaths been blamed on the storm including Donald Alexander of Bainbridge, GA, a 49-yr-old truck driver for Simpson Nurseries of Monticello, FL. Donald was on his way to Mobile, AL to deliver the Simpson Nurseries booth at the Gulf States Horticultural Expo on Tuesday night traveling on I-10 where a multi-vehicle accident occurred on the Blackwater River Bridge in Milton and caused him to loose control of his 18-wheeler and crash into the river.

    Simpson Nurseries has created a memorial fund in honor of Mr. Alexander and to assist his wife and children he leaves behind. Please see the details below.


    Hello from a somber Simpson Nurseries,

    We have received a large number of requests for information on where to send donations for our truck driver Donald Alexander that was tragically killed Tuesday night on his way to deliver Samples to the GSHE show.

    We have setup a memorial fund to help Donald’s wife and 2 children.

    Please send donations to:

    Simpson Nurseries Memorial Fund in honor of Donald Alexander
    PO Box 160
    Monticello, FL 32345

    Donald was 49 years old and had been a dedicated employee and always had a great attitude in any job that was asked of him. I think many of you might have met him through the years. He will be missed by all.

    Please keep Donald and his family in your prayers.


    The Simpson Nurseries Team
  • 07 Jan 2014 2:54 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The SNA Research Conference has enjoyed over 50 years of success. This success can be attributed to the enthusiastic support of the conference by the nursery industry and university research and extension professionals. 

    An integral part of the conference is the role of Section Editors. These individuals receive initial manuscript submissions to the conference, review them for appropriateness and editorial quality, and coordinate final submissions with authors. To provide continuity in the research conference, Section Editors serve SNA in three-year terms. In addition to providing a needed service to the SNA, being a section editor keeps you abreast of the latest research in your field and provides the opportunity to enhance your professional network. 


    We are currently seeking section editors in the topic areas listed below. Please consider serving as an editor. If you would like to volunteer your services, have questions concerning an editor’s role, or questions about the SNA Research Conference, please contact SNA ( or Nick Gawel (  


    Section Editors are needed for:


    Container Grown Plant Production

    Economics and Marketing

    Engineering, Structures and Innovations


    Field Production


    Growth Regulators 


    Plant Breeding and Evaluation


    Weed Control

    The 59th Annual SNA Research Conference will be held July 22 - 23, 2014 in conjunction with SNA 2014 at the Georgia International Convention Center, College Park, GA. For more details on the conference visit the SNA website at or CLICK HERE.
  • 07 Jan 2014 10:57 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Frances Panter Hobbs
    January 29, 1925 - January 5, 2014

    McMinnville, TN resident and Warren County, TN native Sarah Frances Panter Hobbs, age 88, was born January 29, 1925 and died January 5, 2014 at St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital in Murfreesboro, TN following a brief illness.

    Mrs. Hobbs was the co-founder of Warren County Nursery and bookkeeper for 63 years. She was named Tennessee Nurseryman Association's honorary life-time member. She was an avid bowler and member of the Gold and Silver League, and was also named as a Woman of Achievement in 2006. She was a life-time member of the Hebron Church of Christ.

    Mrs. Hobbs was the daughter of the late Art and Alma Clendenon Panter. She was married June 29, 1946 to Leslie Richard Hobbs who preceded her in death July 19, 2003. In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by siblings, Lovisia Harris and Billy Panter.

    She is survived by five children and their spouses, Richard and Kaye Hobbs, Michael and Margaret Hobbs, Phillip and Denny Hobbs, Jeffery and Tina Hobbs, and Elaine and Steve Wade all of McMinnville; fourteen grandchildren and spouses, Ricky Hobbs, Chris and Desiree Hobbs, Brandie and Mike Mansfield, Kristy and Mark Wright, Ashley and Adam Barnes, Jennifer Hobbs, Kyle Hobbs, Jason Hobbs, Derek and Ashley Hobbs, Emily and Davey Britton, Megan and Jon Paz, Travis Hoover, Grant Hoover, and Noah Hoover; ten great-grandchildren, Trey Hobbs and wife Shelby, Chance Hobbs, Mia Hobbs, Carter Mansfield, Lauren Mansfield, Ian Barnes, Elliot Barnes, Natalie Hobbs, Alec Hobbs and Felicity Buttram; great-great-granddaughter, Keleigh Hobbs; sister, Jo Eva Davis of McMinnville; sister-in-law, Willie Mae Carr of Altamont, TN; and several nieces and nephews also survive.

    Funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, January 9, 2014 at Hebron Church of Christ with Chris Perry and Wayne Cantrell officiating. Burial will follow in Hebron Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Wednesday and from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Thursday at High's.

    Memorial donations may be made to Hebron Cemetery Fund, Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association or the American Diabetes Association.
  • 02 Jan 2014 9:33 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    After some weakness in mid-2013 the homebuilding recovery now seems to be back on track.
    According to USA Today, housing starts rose almost 23% in November 2013, their highest level in more than five years and further demonstrating the housing market's growing strength. 

    This is not necessarily a national resurgence as various markets came out of the housing recession earlier while others still lag behind. One such area is the Atlanta housing market which has shown a slower recovery than markets such as Austin, Houston, and Phoenix. According to Metrostudy’s proprietary “boots on the ground” third quarter 2013 field research, Atlanta new home starts increased by 76% annually, and closings were up by 37% in 2013. Third quarter quarterly starts were up by 71% year over year and even increased above last quarter by 10%. Quarterly new home closings were up by 46% year over year and jumped above the previous quarters closings by 19%.

    David Ellis, executive vice president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association
    says, "While the final numbers for single family home starts in 2013 are not yet in, it is expected to be nearly 14,000 units, up from 8,000 in 2012. Projections for 2014 are in the 18,000 to 22,000 range. Right now, our builder members are having a hard time keeping up with the demand," he added. Ellis explained that with the increase in home starts there are several challenges builders are facing to get their operations going. Unlike pre-recession times, contractors are not building spec homes. It is a build-on-demand environment due to bank funding and building loan restrictions as well as avoiding an over supply of inventory. In addition, they are dealing with a diminished number of sub-contractors, laborers and suppliers.

    So what does this mean for the our industry? With this housing market resurgence the nursery industry is certain to see a resurgence as well. However, trends seen in the housing industry normally impact our industry 12 to 18 months downstream. 

    Dr. Charlie Hall, industry economist, poses the questions that just because some economic indicators are back to where they were before the recession, it that necessarily a good thing? Well it depends. In his Charlie's Angle Season 3 session titled "Look Out for the Pothole" he shares his perspective and suggestions for positioning your business for the expected "pothole" in the road ahead. Although some adjustments (or corrections) are predicted mid-year 2014, he says it will be nowhere near the downturn we saw during the Great Recession. This correction will mainly stem from the drawdown anticipated by the Federal Reserve who is currently injecting 85 billion dollars a month into the economy - a big shot in the arm. Hall suggests that around 2018 or 2019 when they begin drawing this economic support back we may see the next sizable recession, but in the interim we will see modest growth. For a look at this informative video go to

    Housing Growth Reports and Resources

    USA Today
    Nov. housing starts highest since Feb. 2008
    Housing starts rose almost 23% last month, touching their highest level in more than five years and further demonstrating the housing market's growing strength. Housing starts hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million undefined topping October's revised estimate of 889,000 undefined and rising about 30% from the year before, the Commerce Department reported. November's rate was the highest since February 2008 and marked only the second month in the past four years that the annual rate cracked the 1 million mark. Single-family home starts reached their highest level since March 2008 at 727,000 undefined still far below normal undefined but up almost 21% above the revised October figure. READ MORE

    U.S. housing starts surged to their highest in nearly six years in November
    U.S. housing starts surged to their highest in nearly six years in November, a sign of strength in the economy that underscores the Federal Reserve's decision to start cutting back its monthly bond purchases. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday housing starts jumped 22.7 percent, the biggest increase since January 1990, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units. That was the highest level since February 2008. READ MORE

    November Housing Starts Up 22.7% To Five-Year High
    Groundbreaking on new homes was 26.9% higher in November than one year earlier, and 22.7% higher than in October, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday, indicating that the housing market continues to recover. READ MORE

    Wall Street Journal
    US Housing Starts Up 22.7% in November
    A key gauge of home construction surged in November to its highest level in nearly six years, the latest sign of renewed momentum in the sector's recovery. U.S. housing starts rose 22.7% from October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,091,000 in November, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. That was higher than the 952,000 forecast by economists and brought the average pace of starts for the past three months to 951,000. READ MORE

    BuildingOnline eUpdate
    Overall Housing Starts Jump 23 Percent in November
    Privately-owned housing starts in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,091,000, according to numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The figure is 22.7 percent above the revised October estimate of 889,000 and is 29.6 percent above the November 2012 rate of 842,000. Single-family housing starts in November were at a rate of 727,000; this is 20.8 percent above the revised October figure of 602,000. The November rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 354,000. READ MORE

    MetroStudyReport - Atlanta Market
    The Atlanta New Home Market Continues to Accelerate
    The temporary Federal government shutdown will prevent September employment figures from being released until November 21st but as of August, Atlanta employment grew by 57,100 new positions year over year (up 2.4%) and currently ranks as the fifth best MSA in the country in terms of annual employment gains. The biggest gains were in the construction sector, up a whopping 9.2%! “It’s no surprise that construction jobs jumped by such a large percentage since new home construction starts rose significantly as well, up 71% in the third quarter compared to the same period one year ago,” said Eugene James, Regional Director for Metrostudy, a national housing intelligence and consulting firm that maintains the most extensive primary database on residential construction in the US housing market. READ MORE

  • 02 Jan 2014 7:38 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    USPS Rolls Out Increases This Month. The Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC), the governing body that approves U.S. Postal Service rate increases, has approved a special "exigent" rate increase for USPS market dominant products. When the new Postal Service Shipping Services prices take effect, customers will see an overall price increase of 2.4 percent. How will these new rate increases impact your business?

    Market dominant products include First Class Mail letters, First Class Mail flats/large envelopes, postcards, Standard Mail (bulk mail), periodicals, Media Mail and Library Mail. Don't miss the discount for METERED mail.

    2014 USPS Postage Rates
    Market Dominant Mail Classes

     MAILPIECE  2013  2014  CHANGE
     First Class Mail - 1 oz. letter  $  0.46  $  0.49  $ 0.03
     First Class Mail - 1 oz. letter
     Printed from Online Postage/Meter
      N/A  $ 0.48  NEW!
     First Class Mail - Letters
     Additional Ounces
     $ 0.20  $ 0.21  $ 0.01
     Postcards  $ 0.33  $ 0.34  $ 0.01
     First Class Mail - Flat/Large Envelope
     $ 0.92  $ 0.98  $ 0.06
     First Class Mail - Flat/Large Envelope
     Additional Ounces
     $ 0.20  $ 0.21  $ 0.01
     Media Mail  - 1 lb.  Starts at $2.53  Starts at $2.69  $ 0.16
     Library Mail - 1 lb.  Starts at $2.40  Starts at $2.56  $ 0.16
     First Class Mail International - 1 oz. letter  $1.10  $1.15  $ 0.05

    The new rates will go into effect on Sunday, January 26, 2014.

    For more details of the increase see the article on website or CLICK HERE.

    For direct USPS announcement CLICK HERE.
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