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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.
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  • 13 Feb 2019 1:51 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., February 13, 2019 Five students from four universities were presented cash awards totaling $1,800 for their presentations at the Bryson L. James Student Competition held during the 63rd SNA Research Conference. The awards were presented on Tuesday, January 8, at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference.

    The competition, sponsored by Bennett’s Creek Wholesale Nursery and Lancaster Farms, is named in honor of Dr. Bryson L. James, McMinnville, TN, a researcher and consultant who served as SNA Director of Research for more than 30 years. Any student of a university or college having researchers that participate in the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference and not more than a one academic year has passed since their graduation and whose research was completed prior to graduation can participate in the competition. Judging is based on paper preparation and oral presentation. The competition is divided into three categories of Ph.D., M.S., and B.S.

    First place winners of $500 each included:


    Jenny B. Ryals, Mississippi State University (Ph.D.)
    Title:  Soft and Semi-Hardwood Cutting Propagation of Shumaka™ Crape Myrtle

    Mary Lewis, University of Georgia (M.S.)
    Title:  Hybridization of Native Asclepias Species for the Creation of Novel Cultivars

    Second place winners of $300 each included:

    Lauren Garcia Chance, Clemson University (Ph.D.)
    Title:  South Carolina Irrigation Source Water Use and Concerns for the Specialty Crops Production Industry

    Ian Howard, University of Maryland (M.S.)
    Title:  Modifying Green Roof Substrates for Nutrient Retention in Urban Farming Systems
    Note:  Accepting for Ian Howard is John Lea-Cox.

    Third place winner of $200 included:

    Kaitlin Barrios, University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
    Title:  Flurprimidol and Paclobutrazol Drench Applications Influence Growth of Helianthus simulans

    In addition to the cash awards for excellence in written and oral presentations for their respective research projects, each student was presented with a plaque.

    The SNA Research Conference, which began in 1956, is the country's longest running woody ornamental research conference and 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 its roots were planted by several SNA board members that recognized 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 Horticultural Research Conference is held annually and has become world-renowned for quality research. Participants are the top horticultural research and educational leaders from across the country.

    Research presented at the SNA Research Conference is published in the annual "SNA Research Conference Proceedings" available on the SNA website at www.sna.org. Proceedings from 1991 to present are available with 3,101 titles comprised of 12,184 pages. The 2019 SNA Research Conference Proceedings will be available soon on the SNA website at www.sna.org.

    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, 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

  • 13 Feb 2019 1:38 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    NEWLY-ELECTED PRESIDENT’S REMARKS

    Following is Joseph Napoli's remarks as SNA President at the SNA Annual Business Meeting on January 8, 2019.


    Joseph Napoli (right) fulfilled his first duty as SNA President by presenting Norman Cole (left) with the SNA President's Plaque and thanked him for his service before making his President's remarks as newly-elected SNA President.

    Newly-elected President Napoli said he wanted to tell three short stories about SNA:

    My first story begins when I moved to Athens, GA in 1984 from Florida. The first year I had a booth at SNA was 1985. I was so happy to have a booth at the SNA show, but I ended up in the back corner near the Alabama state line and felt like no one would ever find me. I stood there the first day waiting, and it wasn’t until the second day a man stopped by looking for Hosta and asked if I could ship them to him. I said certainly I can ship them to you. I had made a $300 sale and I thought that was incredible. I thought I was a captain of industry. I had spent $700 or $800 on the booth, a couple of hundred on the room and meals, When the man left my booth my wife asked me how I was going to ship the Hosta. I said I have no idea. I didn’t know how to ship plants. But then I remembered next door to my business is Classic Groundcovers and they certainly know how to ship plants. So, I carried my plants over to Classic and they boxed them up, and I was in the shipping business.

    My next story moves on to 1995 when one of the legends of our industry, Buck Jones, was the president of SNA that year. He came to my booth and talked to me and I was so overwhelmed that he was asking me questions. I realized then that one of the strengths of this industry is the free exchange of ideas from a person of more experience to a person less experienced (just like we had yesterday during the SNA Synergy Session). There are always ideas to share. Buck stood there and talked to me and never looked around to see anybody else. He made me feel like I was the most important person in the world. At that point I thought I would one day like to be in a position like. So the seed was planted and when we had shows in 2013 – 2015, even though I had just come on the board, I made a point to go to every booth at the show and talk to people and thank them for being there. I wanted each person to know that they were important and we valued them.

    My third and final story is in 2013, when I got a call from Danny Summers who said, Joe I would like to talk to you about being on the SNA board and I said, “Yes. I would like to very much. Thank you” Danny asked me if I needed to take some time to think about it. I said no Danny, I have been thinking about it for 20 years.

    So, I am so grateful to be elected to be SNA President. Thank you for confidence in me. This job is about hard work and service, and I know how to do both. If you have an event in your state and you think having the SNA President would be of benefit ask me to come, and I will come at my expense.

    And now I want to give you some background… I have developed customers over the years at the SNA show, but there are four customers that I have done business with for 15 to 20 years with sales between $10,000 and $20,000. If you average $15,000 a year in sales with four customers and multiply that you’ve got $60,000 and multiply that by 20 years you’re looking at more than a million dollars. Considering I invested $800 to a $1,000 on a booth for a few years… if Warren Buffet got a return like that, he would say I’m genius.

    There may be a cynic out there that may say we’re not having a show anymore so how is SNA helping me… I am so glad you asked! Last year I came to the SNA plant conference for the first time and I found four plants that I thought our customers would like and we could easily grow and we could do well with. Some of them started selling this fall and the rest are all booked for this spring. Those four plants will bring me about $10,000 in sales this spring. I bought my own ticket last year at $229 so I’ve done it again. I have a very minimal investment and a maximum profit. So, I have, like many of you, a big balance sheet with SNA. We have benefitted greatly. How do we give it back? One of the ways you can do it is when you renew your membership dues instead of just signing up as an active member at $125, consider being a silver member at $250. That’s like gaining a new member but with no additional costs. Or, consider being a gold member at $375. You can afford it. Everyone in this room can afford it. Or better yet, you can be like me and some others and be a platinum member at $500. When my membership is due for renewal and I write a check to SNA, I consider it an investment in the industry, the association and my business. I am happy to do it and I urge you all to do it.

    Thank you all for being here at The SNA Conference and this meeting. I have learned so much from so many people. When I first started in this business in Tampa, FL, I’d ask someone a question and they’d tell me, and I’d ask someone else and they’d tell me – but often something different. As we know, somewhere in the middle lies the answer.

    Again, thank you for electing me and for your confidence, and I look forward to serving as SNA president this year. And at the end of next year, after I have served a year, I hope to be the best president SNA has ever had. And at the end of two years, I would like to say that Rickey Minton was the best president SNA has ever had. And the year after that, I would like to say that Todd Ellefson was the best president SNA has ever had. And I will be rooting for them and supporting them in their efforts.

    XXX


  • 13 Feb 2019 1:23 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)


    2019 SNA Board. Seated (left to right) Immediate Past President – Norman Cole, President – Joseph Napoli, Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3 – Rickey Minton. Standing (left to right) Director Chapter 2 – Marcus Cook, Director Chapter 1 –Matthew Shreckhise, Director Chapter 4 T–odd Ellefson, Executive Vice President – Karen Summers.

    Atlanta, Ga., February 13, 2019 – Officers of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) who will serve for the 2019 term were elected during the 120th Annual SNA Business Meeting held at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference. The election, open to all active SNA members, determines representation from the four geographic regions of the association:

    Chapter 1 – Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia
    Chapter 2 – Florida, Georgia and South Carolina
    Chapter 3 – Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee
    Chapter 4 – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas

    Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA, was elected president succeeding Norman Cole, III, Cole Nursery, Pipestem, WV.

    The complete slate of 2019 officers and directors is as follows:

    President
    Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA

    Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3
    Rickey Minton, Triangle Nursery, McMinnville, TN

    Director Chapter 4
    Todd Ellefson, Windmill Nursery, Franklinton, LA

    Director Chapter 1
    Matthew Shreckhise, Shreckhise Nurseries, Grottoes, VA

    Director Chapter 2
    Marcus Cook, Marcus Cook Farms, Gray Court, SC

    Immediate Past President
    Norman Cole, III, Cole Nurseries, Pipestem, WV

    Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA, elected to serve on the SNA Board of Directors in 2015 representing Chapter 2, was elected SNA President. Napoli, founder and conductor of The Athens Master Chorale (1989), holds music degrees from Florida State University and The University of South Florida. Napoli performed throughout North America with the Metropolitan Opera National Company during its inaugural 1965 season. He later taught public school for fourteen years in Tampa, Florida before moving to Athens, Georgia and establishing Athens Wholesale Nursery in 1984. Joe served as chairman of the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) in 2003 and was awarded the GGIA Jake Tinga Distinguished Professional of the Year Award in 2004. He is a founding member of the Athens Georgia Nursery Growers Association. He served as the chairman for the Classic Center Authority in 2012. Joe has been a strong supporter of the SNA since he first exhibited in 1985. He also serves as Choir Director at St. Gregory The Great Episcopal Church in Athens. Joe says that blending gardening and music gives him balance and perspective in life. 

    In a moving acceptance speech, Napoli stated he feels he has a big balance sheet with SNA because the association has exposed him to so many business opportunities that have had a positive impact on his business. Through a minimal investment in membership dues and a booth at the SNA trade show, he has seen maximum profit. He said when he was asked to serve on the SNA Board in 2014, he did not hesitate for one moment. He was asked if he needed some time to think about it and he said, “No, I have thought about it for 20 years.” (Joseph Napoli’s full speech is available at www.sna.org/page-975977/7162788.)

    Joining the SNA Board this year is Marcus Cook, Owner, Marcus Cook Farms, Gray Court, SC. The business was founded in 1983 and consists of a wholesale B&B nursery, and a landscape and lawn maintenance company.

    Marty is a graduate of Anderson College. After college he managed Eastern Plant Food, a custom blend fertilizer plant and later was employed as a salesman for Seedsmen, Inc. in Charlotte, NC. Through his experiences with these two companies he returned home and diversified the family farm to include nursery plants and trees.

    Marty served on the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association board and was President in 2016 when the association merged with the South Carolina Landscape and Turfgrass Association to become South Carolina Green Industry Association. He has served on the Laurens Electric Cooperative Board, Laurens County Chamber of Commerce Board, Laurens County Water Resources Board, and the Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission. Marty was awarded the Small Business Person of the Year in 2005 by the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.

    “This 2019 board represents a group of diverse industry leaders, all with excellent business skills that can be leveraged to the advantage of the SNA,” said Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President. “Joe Napoli is a very unique individual and I am excited to see where this conductor will lead the SNA. We have a very energetic and talented board and I am very confident in their abilities to lead this 120-year-old association forward,” she added.

    Founded in 1899, the Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southeastern U.S. The SNA strives to unite and advance the horticulture industry through educational, research and marketing efforts.

    For more information on SNA, 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

  • 20 Dec 2018 7:51 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., December 20, 2018 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced the recipients of the 2019 SNA Awards.  The awards will be presented at the 120th Annual SNA Business Meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference.

    The SNA Awards Program began in 1956, when the late John B. Wight, Sr., suggested to the officers of the Southern Nursery Association that an award be offered annually to the person of their selection who, in their opinion, had contributed most to the advancement of the industry in the South and to the welfare of the Southern Nursery Association. This first award, considered a lifetime achievement award, was named the Slater Wight Memorial Award in memory of the late J. Slater Wight, brother of the late John B. Wight, Sr. Nomination. Selection is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipient of the Slater Wight Memorial Award is Dr. Ted Bilderback of Raleigh, NC. Dr. Bilderback retired as an Emeritus Professor & Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University July 1, 2014, after 37 years as a Horticulture Science faculty member at NC State.  His career included responsibilities for teaching, extension and research.  Ted’s research and extension programs focused on environmentally conscious cultural practices for growing nursery stock.    Irrigation, horticultural container substrates and plant nutrition were an emphasis of his educational programs that included advising or co-advising 24 graduate students. His research, extension and popular articles numbered over 500 publications and his career external funding resulted in approximately $2.2 million.

    Ted received the American Association of Nurserymen's Extension Award in 1993, the Southern Nursery Association’s Porter Henegar Memorial Award for Research in 1995, the Extension Education Award from the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in 1995 for his extension education program "Environmentally Compatible Nursery Production Practices" and in 1999, Ted received one of the six Environmental Awards from the Southern Nursery Association as one of the co-authors of the SNA Best Management Practices Manual.  Ted served as a member of the Board of Directors, President, and International Delegate for the Southern Region of the International Plant Propagators Society and in 2008, was elected as a Fellow of the Southern Region International Plant Propagators. In 2010, he was Awarded the Sidney B. Meadows Award of Merit from the Southern Region IPPS.  Ted served many years as an Educational Advisor for the North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association and in 2013 received an Honorary Lifetime Membership Award.  In 2014 Ted was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by the Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation Resources at Kansas State University.

    Ted has always enjoyed outdoor activities including fishing and assisting in reducing deer predation at nurseries.  He also enjoys people with good humor.

    Established in 1974 by David E. Laird, Jr., in memory of his father, SNA Past President David E. Laird, Sr., the David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award is presented each year to recognize qualified young men and women for outstanding service in the field of environmental horticulture and to offer inspiration for others starting out in the field. The recipient must be 39 years of age or younger and must be a member of his/her state nursery association. Nominations are made by the State Associations within the SNA region with final selection by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipient of the David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award is Jonathan Saperstein, current CEO of one of America’s largest nurseries, TreeTown USA. He began his career at TreeTown early in the company’s history working as part of the field crew before climbing the rungs of the corporate ladder; moving from field labor to farm maintenance and eventually working his way up to COO. While working at TreeTown, he attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he was elected to a

    variety of leadership roles, including Vice President of Pi Kappa Alpha and President of Silver Spurs. In his personal time, Saperstein holds leadership roles in multiple organizations. He is a board member of the Pi Kappa Alpha’s Beta Mu Chapter Alumni Advisory Board, as well as a member of the Silver Spurs Alumni Board. He serves as a trustee on the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association’s Political Action Committee board and is also an active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. Saperstein’s strong talent and success have earned him several prestigious recognitions including being named a recipient of the Forbes 30 Under 30 award within the Manufacturing & Industry category in 2017. He was named 2018’s Gulf Coast Region EY Entrepreneur of the Year, and was a National Finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year award that same year.

    At the age of twenty-seven, Saperstein became CEO of TreeTown after leading a management buyout in January 2015, which was later awarded by the M&A Advisor as the 2015 “Agricultural Acquisition of the Year.” With Saperstein at the helm TreeTown strategically completed four additional acquisitions as well as the sale of one non-core business. Today TreeTown and its subsidiaries, Village Nurseries and Hines Growers, produce on over 6,000 acres split amongst 18 facilities located in Florida, Texas, California and Oregon and produces over 30 million plants a year.

    Saperstein divides his time between TreeTown’s locations in addition to visiting customers to ensure that they are receiving the highest level of service. Saperstein firmly believes that employee, vendor, and customer relationships are the driving force of any successful business. This is evident by the numerous initiatives TreeTown has undertaken since Saperstein acquired the business. Since becoming CEO in 2015, Saperstein has grown TreeTown’s employee base to over 2,000, which has helped to establish TreeTown as a leader in the horticultural industry. Not only is TreeTown a successful company, but in a time when other industries are trying to change to become better stewards of the environment, the very nature of its business allows TreeTown to do that.

    Established by the SNA Board in 1992, the SNA Pinnacle Award is given to the individual within the allied industry who, in the opinion of the SNA Board, has contributed most to the advancement of the industry in the south and to the welfare of the Southern Nursery Association. This award is limited to SNA members. Nomination and selection of recipients is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipients of the SNA Pinnacle Award is Scott Martiniere, Southeastern Sales Director for Harrell’s. Scott began his nursery career in 1983 as a grower for his Uncle’s nursery in Magnolia Springs, AL. This lead to a sales position for Tri-State Plant Food in Dothan, AL. Scott traveled AL, MS, LA, and the Panhandle of FL selling to nursery and greenhouses. Often meeting trucks in the early morning hours on the side of the interstate to off load 20 bags of fertilizer to deliver to a potential customer.

    In 1989 Scott was offered a position with Vigoro Industries to manage the horticulture business in the state of Florida. He and his wife moved to Bradenton, FL and begin working with over 1,000 nurseries. Scott was then promoted to Regional Sales Manager over Turf and Horticulture for the Southeast. In 1991 Pursell Technologies offered Scott the position of National Sales Manager/Product Manager and he helped launch Polyon into the nursery market throughout the world. Not only did Scott travel the US and Canada he also traveled thru Europe selling Polyon.

    In 2003 Scott joined the Harrell’s family as Sales Manager and along with Rick Helpingstine began building Harrell’s Horticulture business nation wide. After building Harrell’s horticulture business from coast to coast and acquiring a soil plant in FL, and making it a viable success, Scott was promoted to Sales Director for the South East. Along with nine sales associates, Scott continues to make a significant impact in the horticulture market.

    Scott’s philosophy of hard work and dedication to the success of others has made his career in the Horticulture market enjoyable and very rewarding.

    In 1969, an Award of Merit was created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to ornamental horticultural research and, more specifically, to SNA. In 1972, the SNA Board of Directors resolved that the Award of Merit would be renamed the Porter Henegar Memorial Award for Horticultural Research in memory of the late Porter Henegar, Past Executive Secretary of SNA (1959 - 1972), to commemorate his years of tireless effort and service to the SNA. The recipient is selected annually by fellow research workers for his/her concern and work toward improving the nursery industry.

    The recipient of the 2019 Porter Henegar Memorial Award is Dr. Allen Owings, Professor Emeritus, Horticulture, LSU AgCenter. Dr. Owings was born and raised in Hammond, LA. He holds a BS degree (plant science) from Southeastern Louisiana University, MS degree (Horticulture) from LSU and PhD (Horticulture) from Mississippi State University.

    Dr. Owings began his career as professor at the LSU AgCenter - Calhoun Research Station in 1992 and continued as resident coordinator at the LSU AgCenter – Hammond Research Station before retiring in 2017 after 25 years of service. He provided statewide extension service programming for nursery growers, landscapers, garden centers and secondarily to master gardeners and home gardeners.  Dr. Owings coordinated the LSU AgCenter Louisiana Super Plant program and conducted research in the area of ornamental horticulture plant trials and evaluation programs.

    Since October 2017, Dr. Owings has been employed as senior horticulturist at Bracy’s Nursery in Amite, LA and horticulturist at Clegg’s Nursery in Baton Rouge, LA. In this role he works in the area of new plant recommendations, social media education, horticulture outreach and customer relations. 

    Dr. Owings has participated annually in the SNA research conference since 1987 and has published over 70 articles in the proceedings. He was an inaugural recipient of SNA’s Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship. Dr. Owings has been recognized by the Louisiana and National Agricultural County Agents Associations with their achievement award and distinguished service award. In 2017, he was honored with the Henry Covington Extension Award for Horticulture Professionals from of the Southern Region of the American Society for Horticultural Science. Owings has been a member of the American Society for Horticulture Science for 30 years. 

    He is a life member of the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association (where he served as executive secretary for 13 years) and the Louisiana Society for Horticultural Research. Dr. Owings belongs to numerous horticulture societies in LA and across the south. He is current president of the Louisiana Chapter of the Azalea Society of America and the region 7 director for the American Rose Society. He has served on the educational program committee for the Gulf States Horticulture Expo since its inception.

    Dr. Owings is a contributing author in the Louisiana Nursery & Landscape Association’s Quarterly Magazine and was a long time contributor to e Louisiana Gardener Magazine. He initiated the LSU AgCenter Trial Garden Report and the LSU AgCenter Ornamental Horticulture E-News Update, each continuing to this day. During his LSU AgCenter career he also wrote weekly landscape columns that were distributed statewide in Louisiana and also wrote for his hometown newspaper, the Hammond Star. Dr. Owings contributes regularly to local rose society and botanical society newsletters in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

    In his free time, Allen enjoys gardening, golf and LSU sports.

    The SNA Board of Directors also honors individuals that have served this association and the nursery industry in various capacities throughout the years and have made outstanding contributions during their active participation in the Southern Nursery Association with honorary membership awards. This year, one deserving industry member has been selected to receive an SNA Honorary Member Award. He has, no doubt, made outstanding contributions to the association and the indus­try during his participation in the Southern Nursery Association.

    This year’s recipient of the SNA Honorary Member Award is Donna Foster who served the South Carolina Green Industry Association (formerly the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association) as Executive Director for 22 years. Along with SCGIA she also was and continues to be the Secretary/Treasurer of the International Plant Propagators Society - Southern Region and the South Carolina Greenhouse Growers Association. Her career began at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture as the ornamentals Marketing Specialist.

    Donna earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.  She serves as an ex-officio member of the Trees South Carolina Board of Directors, as the Treasurer of Boy Scout Troop 4, and an active member of the A.C. Flora High School Football Booster Club.  She has served on the South Carolina Scenic Highway Commission Board and on various committees at her church.

    Donna was an active leader in SNA’s regional activities for many years, representing South Carolina. She was always willing to share and eager to help in way she could. She has always been admired by her follow state executives for her energy, level of knowledge, and her passion for excellence.

    The Don Shadow Award of Excellence, named for the first recipient, Don O. Shadow, Shadow Nursery, Winchester, TN, is presented to an individual, corporation or organization that has provided exemplary service, leadership and generosity in the development, promotion and use of new and improved landscape plants. Recipients must demonstrate a sincere commitment to and passion for expanding knowledge and use of new and improved plants for the landscape. Nominations are accepted from attendees of the Southern Plant Conference and SNA Members. Nominees may be carried forward from one year to the next. Selection is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

    The 2019 recipient of the Don Shadow Award of Excellence is Tony Avent, Horticulturist and Proprietor, Hybridizer of Hostas, Rare Bulbs, and Hardy Ariods. Freelance Garden Writer, International Garden Lecturer, and Plant Auctioneer. He and his wife, Anita Avent, own Plant Delights Nursery and established Juniper Level Botanic Garden in Raleigh, North Carolina. In addition, Tony is a well-known plant explorer, author and public speaker.

    Tony began his career in horticulture in 1978 at NC State Fairgrounds as Landscape Director during which time he was a Volunteer Curator at the Shade House at NC State Arboretum. In 1988, he and his late wife Michelle established Plant Delights Nursery, a small, family owned, mail-order nursery, offering unique, rare, well-grown, and properly-named perennials to passionate gardeners around the world.

    Their love for interesting plants, and making them widely available, is equaled only by their passion for enriching the gardening lives of their customers. Plant Delights Nursery/Juniper Level Botanic Garden has one of the most extensive perennial trialing programs in the country. Their concern goes far beyond selling plants… it matters how they perform in the gardens. Despite being best known as a mail-order nursery, they actually exist for their work as a private 28-acre botanical garden, spiritual retreat center and plant research facility focusing on ex-situ plant conservation, plant exploration, breeding, and propagation. They have had several new plant species named from their collections, and more in the pipeline.

    Their horticultural educational efforts are visible in our catalog, our website, their presentations around the country, in public and scientific publications, and now on social media.

    Since their inception, 15% of our retail sales at Plant Delights Nursery have been given to Juniper Level Botanic Garden to support their mission and they now currently display over 23,000 taxa (different kinds of plants). They are working towards opening as a full-time public botanical garden and spiritual retreat center for all to enjoy.

    Tony’s plant explorations have led him to Argentina, Bosnia, China, Crete, Croatia, Korea, Mexico, Montenegro, Slovenia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, plus 67 plant expeditions in the U.S.

    Tony was a weekly garden columnist for The News & Observer, Raleigh, NC (1987- 1998). He wrote a monthly garden column for the Walter Magazine, Raleigh, NC (2012-2017). In addition, he was a contributing editor to Horticulture magazine (2002-2008) and is a contributing editor to Fine Gardening Magazine (2017 to present). He has been featured in numerous media including HGTV Martha Stewart Living, The Winter Garden Series, The Secret Garden Series, and PBS Cultivating Life. Tony has also authored So You Want to Start a Nursery (Timber Press, 2003) and a chapter in The Roots of My Obsession (Timber Press, 2012), and My Favorite Plant (complied by Jamaica Kincaid, 1998).

    No doubt why Tony has been recognized with awards too numerous to list.

    The SNA Awards Program is designed to recognize professionals for their distinguished talents, extraordinary service and life achievements, and who have demonstrated their commitment to the Southern Nursery Association and the industry through these annual awards. For a list of previous SNA award winners, visit the SNA website at www.sna.org.

    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, 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

  • 19 Dec 2018 6:23 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    ACWORTH, GA, December 18, 2018 – The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Fund, created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), is announcing a new named scholarship to honor Dr. Bryson L. James. Dr. James, who not only served as Director of Horticultural Research for the SNA and coordinator of the annual conference and editor of the Annual Proceedings for 37 years, but was active in the SNA Research Conference for nearly 50 years. Dr. James passed away in 2017.

    The Sidney B. Meadows Board voted to establish the named fund in honor of Dr. James to build a perpetual scholarship to be awarded in his name. Marc Teffeau, newly-elected President of the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, said, “Very few individuals have impacted horticultural research in the southeast as much as Bryson. His efforts will have an influence throughout our industry for decades to come. The naming of a scholarship in his honor will be a permanent reminder of his work and love for our industry.”

    The SNA Research Conference features a student research competition also named for Dr. James.  The Bryson L. James Student Research Competition provides an opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students to present their latest research results, hone their communication skills and compete for cash awards. These students historically demonstrate strong academic and research ability and move forward in the industry to make outstanding contributions. 

    Created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is a 501 (c) 3 corporation providing scholarships to students who are residents of the sixteen southeastern states SNA represents – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia – pursuing a career in horticulture. The scholarship is dedicated to one of the most honored horticultural leaders, the late Sidney B. Meadows, a Past President of the Southern Nursery Association, who was an avid supporter of student scholarships and believed that providing aid for students was an important way to ensure the growth and development of all facets of the industry. The fund derives its income from individual and corporate contributions and is governed by the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund board of directors.

    To date, the fund has awarded a total of $522,000. The fund’s current assets are now more than $850,000. Seven named funds have been pledged:  The Larry D. Edwards Fund, the Dr. James & Faye Foret Fund, the Richard J. “Dick” Hackney Fund, Sr. Fund, the Lee C. Howell Fund, the Arthur A. “Buck” Jones Fund, the Art & Millie Lancaster Fund, and the Robert L. VanLandingham Fund. The financial support offered by the fund has allowed many students the opportunity to begin or continue to work toward their educational goals.

    An application for 2019 scholarships is available online at www.sbmef.org. Those interested in receiving scholarship information or the latest fund news can subscribe to the automated information system on the fund’s website.

    The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund believes in supporting our horticultural students. To donate, please make your check payable to:

    Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund
    PO Box 801513
    Acworth, GA 30101

    Establishing a named fund is a wonderful memorial for a loved one or a great way to bring recognition to your firm's support of the industry. To initialize a named fund, you must begin with a minimum pledge of $30,000 and an initial payment of $5,000, with payments of $5,000 annually over a five-year period. We will announce the creation of the new fund (if desired) and solicit contributions through promotional materials and/or direct mail.

    Please feel free to give us a call to discuss donation options or to establish a named fund to recognize a person or company, or as a memorial for a loved one. For more information on named funds, see below.

    For more information on the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, scholarship information, or creating a named fund, forward your inquiry to PO Box 801513, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.813.1880, info@sbmsef.org or visit www.sbmsef.org.

  • 13 Sep 2018 3:57 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    2018 SNA Research Conference Proceedings Available

    September 13, 2018, Acworth, Ga. – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) announced today that the proceedings of the 62nd Annual SNA Research Conference Proceedings has been compiled and is now available online at www.sna.org. This 110-page proceedings, provided free to the industry, is downloadable, searchable, and printable.

    The 2018 proceedings includes ten sections of the latest horticultural research on Container Grown Plant Production, Entomology, Field Production, Floriculture, Landscape, Pathology and Nematology, Plant Breeding and Evaluation, Propagation, Water Management, and Economics and Marketing. Titles were presented by 65 authors from nine states and Mexico. A complete list of titles and authors can be found in the Covers and Introduction section, page viii and ix.

    The annual publication SNA Research Conference Proceedings, from 1991 to 2018, is available on the SNA website at www.sna.org in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing, printing, or downloading (27 years and 3,101 titles comprised of 12,184 pages). When downloaded, the PDF file is searchable.

    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 that recognized 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.

    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 63rd Annual SNA Research Conference is scheduled for January 7 – 8, 2019, and will be held in conjunction with The SNA Conference at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Maryland two days before the opening of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS). More details will be available soon. 

    For more information on the SNA Research Conference or SNA , 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.

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  • 22 Aug 2018 2:37 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    SNA’s Sidney B. Meadows Fund Awards $18,000 in Scholarships

    ACWORTH, GA, August 22, 2018 – The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Fund, created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), has announced the names of twelve students from seven southeastern universities chosen to receive academic scholarships this year. Five of the awards are named scholarships honoring past industry leaders. The $1,500 awards, totaling $18,000, has been presented to the following excelling scholars:

    Ruqayah Hamida Bhuiyan, University of Georgia, Arthur A. "Buck" Jones Scholarship
    Crystal Jones Conner, University of Florida
    Morgan Rose Gramlich, University of Arkansas, Dr. James & Faye Foret Scholarship
    Paige Leigh Herring, North Carolina State University
    Kaylee Elizabeth Ites, Texas A&M University, Lee C. Howell Scholarship
    Mary Elizabeth Lewis, University of Georgia, Robert L. VanLandingham Scholarship
    Isaac Barak Luhrs, University of Tennessee,
    Ariana Rhiannon Newton, West Virginia University
    Angelia Dynette Ryker, University of Tennessee
    Carlee Steppe, University of Florida
    Tia Tyler, University of Florida
    MaKayla B. White, North Carolina State University, Art & Mille Lancaster Scholarship

    Scholarship recipients are determined through a competitive application process, administered by a selection committee, based on academics, determination, demonstrated interest in the horticulture industry, and financial need. This year’s recipients were chosen from a very competitive group of applications. Of the twelve students, six are graduate students and six under graduate.

    “Congratulations to this exemplary group of students who have excelled academically and demonstrated determination and a passion for horticulture,” said Danny Summers, Executive Vice President of the fund. “We continue to hear from recipients how important these awards are in reducing their financial stress allowing them the ability to concentrate more on their studies. I am confident each of these students will make an effective and positive contribution to our industry. I look forward to seeing their accomplishments as they complete their studies,” he added.

    With this year’s awards, the fund has awarded a total of $522,000 since the fund was established in 1989. The fund’s current assets are now more than $890,000. Seven named funds have been pledged: The Larry D. Edwards Fund, the Dr. James & Faye Foret Fund, the Richard J. “Dick” Hackney Fund, Sr. Fund, the Lee C. Howell Fund, the Arthur A. “Buck” Jones Fund, the Art & Millie Lancaster Fund, and the Robert L. VanLandingham Fund. The financial support offered by the fund has allowed many students the opportunity to begin or continue to work toward their educational goals.

    Created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is a 501 (c) 3 corporation providing scholarships to students who are residents of the sixteen southeastern states SNA represents – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia – pursuing a career in horticulture. The scholarship is dedicated to one of the most honored horticultural leaders, the late Sidney B. Meadows, a Past President of the Southern Nursery Association, who was an avid supporter of student scholarships and believed that providing aid for students was an important way to ensure the growth and development of all facets of the industry. The fund derives its income from individual and corporate contributions and is governed by the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund board of directors.

    An application for 2019 scholarships will be available online by January 1, 2019. Those interested in receiving scholarship information or the latest fund news can subscribe to the automated information system on the fund’s website.

    More details on scholarship recipients can be found at www.sbmsef.org.

    For more information on the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, forward your inquiry to PO Box 801513, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.813.1880, info@sbmsef.org or visit www.sbmsef.org.

    XXX

  • 28 Feb 2018 4:10 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    2019 SNA Conference Announced

    The SNA Conference Scheduled for January 7 - 8, 2019 in Baltimore, Md.

    Atlanta, Ga., March 1, 2018 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced plans for the 2019 SNA Conference.  After favorable reviews of the 2018 conference, plans are underway to hold the 2019 conference once again at the Baltimore Convention Center on Monday and Tuesday, January 7 - 8, 2019, preceding the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) on Wednesday,
    January 9 – Friday, January 11, 2019.

    Participants of the 2018 SNA Conference were positive about the location, the meeting space, and the added convenience of the conference held two days before the opening of MANTS. Participants were once again impressed with the plant conference speaker lineup and the quality of research papers presented at the research conference, and enjoyed the open format of the conference allowing ample time for networking and discussion.

    On Monday morning Dr. Charlie Hall and Dr. Marco Palma, Texas A&M, teamed up to present “The Forecast – A Preliminary Outlook for the Spring Season” during the SNA SuperSesson. These two green industry economy experts offered a preliminary economic outlook for the industry and the key drivers impacting the industry today. The complete video presentation is available at contents.sna.org/snaconferencesupersessionvideos.html.

    Craig Regelbrugge with AmericanHort provided an update on Tuesday morning during the SNA SuperSession, offering his insight on the ever-changing political landscape on Capitol Hill. Details of the SNA Synergy Sessions can be found at www.sna.org/page-1863049.

    One component of the conference was the SNA Synergy Session featuring participant-driven roundtable discussions covering topics chosen by attendees and facilitated by the most qualified people attending the session. Topics included Challenges in Plant Breeding led by David Roberts, Bailey Nurseries; Stories Behind the Plants led by Richard Olsen, U.S. National Arboretum; Shrub and Tree Trends led by Tim Wood, Spring Meadow Nursery; Value of Our Products and Services led by Raymond Evison, Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd.; Hydrangeas led by Rick Webb, Louisiana Growers; Plant Trial Programs led by Leanne Kenealy, Hoffman Nursery. Details of the crowd-sourcing and concept of the session can be found at www.sna.org/page-1863044.

    In 2019, the conference will include more "cross-pollination” between the plant conference and research conference presentations. This means even more collaboration and synergies between all participants.

    Sponsorship packages for the 2019 SNA Conference will include all-access passes to the conference to allow face-to-face engagement throughout the two days of keynotes, roundtables, plant conference, and research conference sessions to create meaningful business relationships without time constraints. The sponsor package will also include tabletop display space, as well as other promotion before, during and after the event. The SNA Conference will provide a platform to communicate, demonstrate, train or simply engage with customers on a personal, one-to-one level.

    “Collocating The SNA Conference at the Baltimore Convention Center two days before the opening of MANTS offers many advantages to the audience of both events,” said Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President.  “Participants have the convenience of attending the industry’s most widely recognized conference for new plants and quality research and attend one of the industry’s largest trade show. The SNA Conference draws many of the industry’s top plantsmen and researchers, and I am confident this creates new synergies for everyone involved,” she added.

    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 Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show or MANTS® is one of the industry’s largest trade shows and is sponsored by the state Nursery and Landscape Associations of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. MANTS information is available at www.mants.com or by calling 410-296-6959.

    More details of the 2019 SNA Conference will be released in the coming weeks. For more information, 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

  • 26 Jan 2018 2:08 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., January 26, 2018 – Five students from two universities were presented cash awards totaling $1,800 for their presentations at the Bryson L. James Student Competition held during the 62nd SNA Research Conference. The awards were presented on Tuesday, January 9, at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference.

    The competition, sponsored by Bennett’s Creek Wholesale Nursery and Lancaster Farms, is named in honor of Dr. Bryson L. James, McMinnville, TN, a researcher and consultant who served as SNA Director of Research for more than 30 years. Any student of a university or college having researchers that participate in the Southern Nursery Association Research Conference and not more than a one academic year has passed since their graduation and whose research was completed prior to graduation can participate in the competition. Judging is based on paper preparation and oral presentation. The competition is divided into three categories of Ph.D., M.S., and B.S.

    2018 Bryson L. James Student Competition Awards Winners pictured from left to right: Geoffrey Weaver, Md Niamul Kibir, Kaitlin Barrios, Connor Ryan, and Matthew Brown.

    First place winners of $500 each include:
    Geoffrey Weaver, University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
    Title:  Modeling energy-efficient lighting strategies for petunia and impatiens using chlorophyll fluorescence and historical weather data

    Connor Ryan, University of Georgia (M.S.)
    Title:  Susceptability of Sarcococca Taxa to Boxwood Blight Caused by Calonextria pseudonaviculata

    Second place winners of $300 each include:
    Md Niamul Kibir, Tennessee State University (Ph.D.)
    Title:  Effect of fungicides and biorational products on Phytophthora root rot of hydrangea cultivars

    Matthew Brown, Tennessee State University (M.S.)
    Title:  Evaluation of fungicides and biofungicides for control of Phytophthora cinnamomi on flood-stressed flowering dogwoods

    Third place winners of $200 each include:
    Kaitlin Barrios, University of Georgia (Ph.D.)
    Title:  Mutagenesis of Illicium parviflorum for Novel Phenotypes

    In addition to the cash awards for excellence in written and oral presentations for their respective research projects, each student was presented with a plaque.

    The SNA Research Conference, which began in 1956, is the country's longest running woody ornamental research conference and 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 that recognized 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 Horticultural Research Conference is held annually and has become world-renowned for quality research. Participants are the top horticultural research and educational leaders from across the country.

    Research presented at the SNA Research Conference is published in the annual "SNA Research Conference Proceedings" available on the SNA website at www.sna.org. Proceedings from 1991 to present are available with 3,079  titles comprised of 12,074 pages. The 2016 SNA Research Conference Proceedings is now available on the SNA website at www.sna.org.

    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, 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 Jan 2018 3:29 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., January 24, 2018 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced the recipients of the 2018 SNA Awards.  The awards were presented at the 119th Annual SNA Business Meeting held at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference.

    The SNA Awards Program began in 1956, when the late John B. Wight, Sr., suggested to the officers of the Southern Nursery Association that an award be offered annually to the person of their selection who, in their opinion, had contributed most to the advancement of the industry in the South and to the welfare of the Southern Nursery Association. This first award, considered a lifetime achievement award, was named the Slater Wight Memorial Award in memory of the late J. Slater Wight, brother of the late John B. Wight, Sr. Nomination. Selection is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipient of the Slater Wight Memorial Award is Donna C. Fare, Ph.D. She is a recently retired research horticulturalist from the U.S. National Arboretum McMinnville, Tennessee location. Her research program addressed environmental issues with field and container nursery systems and germplasm evaluation of ornamental trees and shrubs for production and landscape interest.

    Donna received the Environmental Leadership Award (1999) and the Porter Henegar Memorial Award (2002) from the Southern Nursery Association. She has been an active participant with the SNA Research Conference since 1983 when she first competed in the graduate student competition.

    Donna is a past President of the Southern Region IPPS and a recipi­ent of the IPPS Sidney B. Meadows Award of Merit.

    Established in 1974 by David E. Laird, Jr., in memory of his father, SNA Past President David E. Laird, Sr., the David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award is presented each year to recognize qualified young men and women for outstanding service in the field of environmental horticulture and to offer inspiration for others starting out in the field. The recipient must be 39 years of age or younger and must be a member of his/her state nursery association. Nominations are made by the State Associations within the SNA region with final selection by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipient of the David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award is Sonya Lepper Westervelt, Chief of Wholesale Sales, Saunders Brothers, Piney River, VA.

    Sonya began her career in horticulture as a cashier at a garden center in Roanoke, Virginia in 1999. She went on to Virgin­ia Tech where she received a B.S. in Horticulture and a B.S. Agricultural and Applied Economics in 2005. From there, she participated in the Longwood Graduate Program in association with the University of Delaware and received her Master’s in Public Horticulture in 2007.

    After a brief stint working in development for the University of Virginia, she joined her husband, Paul Westervelt, and began working for Saunders Brothers as a regional sales associate in 2009. Sonya served on the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association board for seven years including serving as the board President in 2015. In December 2016, Sonya was promoted to the Chief of Wholesale Sales for Saunders Brothers.

    She is the proud mama of four year old Magnolia and nearly one year old Crosier.

    Established by the SNA Board in 1992, the SNA Pinnacle Award is given to the individual within the allied industry who, in the opinion of the SNA Board, has contributed most to the advancement of the industry in the south and to the welfare of the Southern Nursery Association. This award is limited to SNA members. Nomination and selection of recipients is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipients of the SNA Pinnacle Award is Ken and Bob LeGette, Graco Fertilizer Company, Cairo, GA. Founded in a 1954 partnership between H.T. LeGette (Ken and Bob’s grandfather) and Robert Johnson, Graco Fertilizer Company was predominately a fertilizer manufacturer and cotton gin. Today, Graco has evolved into a leader in the production of specialty fertilizer and potting soil thanks to the vision of Tom LeGette (Ken and Bob’s father), who became company president in 1970.

    Ken and Bob were both born and raised in Cairo, Georgia. From about the ages of 14, both held various jobs at the company warehouse helping blend fertilizer, spread fertilizer, deliver fertilizer, etc.

    Ken and Bob are both graduates of Brookwood School in Thomasville, Georgia, Ken in 1976, Bob in 1978. Ken attended Auburn University and the University of Georgia before returning to the family business in 1980. Bob graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. Tom LeGette, passed away in April of 1983, and Bob joined his brother Ken in the family business after his graduation in May of that year. Ken and Bob carry on the vision of their father and grandfathers in the tradition of creating premium quality specialty fertilizers and potting soils.

    Ken is a member of GGIA, FNGLA, SNA, and FANN. He is a former member of the FNGLA State Board, a longtime president of the FNGLA Big Bend Chapter, a former member of Scotts’ Distributor Advisory Board, a current member of Capital City Bank Advisory Board, and an active member of Cairo First United Methodist Church. Ken is an avid hunter and fisherman, a proud father, and a proud grandfather to twins, Owen & Kennedy.

    Established by the SNA Board in 1999, the SNA Environmental Award recognizes individuals and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and through their voluntary efforts exemplified inspiration, vision, innovation, leadership and action to preserve and protect the environment. This award is not limited to SNA members or to the horticulture industry. Nominations for this prestigious award are made by the SNA Participating State Associations and SNA Members with final selection by the SNA Board of Directors.

    This year’s recipients of the SNA Environmental Award is Dr. Sarah A. White, Nursery Extension Specialist at Clemson University in SC and an Associate Professor. Sarah has worked for 15 years on developing best management practices and treatment technologies that grow­ers can use to clean water. She manages and conducts research projects and communicates information related to water manage­ment, water quality (chemical and biotic parameters), ecologically based treatment technologies, and integrated pest management to green industry stakeholders. Her lab is currently investigating the applications of vegetation-based technologies (constructed wetlands, floating treatment wetlands, and vegetated buffers) for cleansing agrichemical and plant disease contaminants from pro­duction runoff to encouraging water reuse and conservation.

    Sarah White and a national team of researchers from 8 other universities received $8.7 million in funding in September 2014 from USDA-Specialty Crops Research Initiative to evaluate “Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle: Informed Decision-Making to Facilitate Use of Alternative Water Resources and Promote Sus­tainable Specialty Crop Production.” The Clean WateR3 team is working to help growers develop the tools and information resourc­es necessary to make informed decisions about water management and recycling so that they can remain profitable well into the future.

    Sarah earned a B.S. in Horticulture at Clemson University in 2000, a M.S. in Horticultural Science at Virginia Tech in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University in 2007. Sarah serves as an education advisor to the South Car­olina Green Industry Association (formerly the SC Nursery and Landscape Association) and to the South Carolina Farm Bureau Ornamental Horticulture Committee.

    In her time away from work, Sarah enjoys nature photography, hiking, and singing in her local church and community choirs.

    In 1969, an Award of Merit was created to honor those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to ornamental horticultural research and, more specifically, to SNA. In 1972, the SNA Board of Directors resolved that the Award of Merit would be renamed the Porter Henegar Memorial Award for Horticultural Research in memory of the late Porter Henegar, Past Executive Secretary of SNA (1959 - 1972), to commemorate his years of tireless effort and service to the SNA. The recipient is selected annually by fellow research workers for his/her concern and work toward improving the nursery industry.

    The recipient of the 2018 Porter Henegar Memorial Award is Dr. Marc van Iersel, Professor, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

    Marc van Iersel was born in the Netherlands and exposed to horticulture at a young age, playing in his grandfather’s flower shop and greenhouses. He studied horticulture in the Netherlands, where he received his MS degree in 1989. He then came to the US and received his PhD from the University of Arkansas in 1994. He has been with horticulture department of the University of Geor­gia since 1995, where he now holds the Dooley professorship.

    His current research focuses on cost-effective supplemental lighting technologies in greenhouses and vertical farms. He does so by studying plant physiological responses to different light intensities and spectra. The goal is to develop crop-specific, cost-effective lighting protocols. Past research focused on efficient irrigation and fertilization in the production of ornamental plants. He has pub­lished 120+ scientific papers and has given invited lectures about his research around the world, including in Italy, Spain, Taiwan, Kenya, Canada, Chile, and Brazil.

    The SNA Board of Directors also honors individuals that have served this association and the nursery industry in various capacities throughout the years and have made outstanding contributions during their active participation in the Southern Nursery Association with honorary membership awards. This year, one deserving industry member has been selected to receive an SNA Honorary Member Award. He has, no doubt, made outstanding contributions to the association and the indus­try during his participation in the Southern Nursery Association.

    This year’s recipient of the SNA Honorary Member Award is William J. “Bill” Boyd, Owner of Flower City Nursery, McMin­nville, TN. Bill purchased the business from his father Joe Boyd in 1988. The business is truly his lifeblood. He began his career in horticulture at a very young age helping out at the nursery. He has been attending nursery meetings and conventions since he was about nine years old and has since devoted a large part of his life to nursery associations.

    Boyd served on the Middle Tennessee Nursery Association board from 1979 – 1984 and as president in 1983. From 1985 – 1998 he served for the Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association (TNLA). In 1991, TNLA honored him with the Young Nurseryman of the Year Award. This same year, the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) awarded him the David E. Laird, Jr. Memorial Award. He served on the SNA Trade Show Committee in 1994 and served on the SNA board from 2001 – 2007, serving as president in 2006. Once again he came to the call of duty and served on the SNA board to fill a vacant spot from 2008 – 2014. Bill is the only person to serve on the SNA board for thirteen years. Bill gives unselfishly in other ways to the association. He has moved the SNA office three times and continued to serve on the trade show move-in committee through 2016. He received the Slater Wight Memorial Award in 2015, and most recently was inducted into the TNLA Hall of Fame (2017).

    Boyd has served on the McMinnville-Warren County Chamber of Commerce as a board member from 1994 – 2000. He has served on the Warren County Planning Commission and the Warren County Fair Board. He has also served on the Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee.

    Bill is a member of the First United Methodist Church and has served on several committees. He is currently on his fifth term as Chairman of the Trustees.

    The Don Shadow Award of Excellence, named for the first recipient, Don O. Shadow, Shadow Nursery, Winchester, TN, is presented to an individual, corporation or organization that has provided exemplary service, leadership and generosity in the development, promotion and use of new and improved landscape plants. Recipients must demonstrate a sincere commitment to and passion for expanding knowledge and use of new and improved plants for the landscape. Nominations are accepted from attendees of the Southern Plant Conference and SNA Members. Nominees may be carried forward from one year to the next. Selection is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

    The 2018 recipient of the Don Shadow Award of Excellence is Robert “Buddy” Lee, Transcend Nursery, Independence, LA.

    Robert ‘Buddy’ Lee and his wife Dixie live in Independence, Louisiana. They have two children, Ryan and his wife Lauren, Kelsey, and her husband Alan.They have been blessed with five wonderful grandchildren with another little one to arrive soon. Buddy is owner of Transcend Nursery in Louisiana and works closely with Plant Development Services, Inc. in Loxley, Alabama.

    Buddy is a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana; University of New York, Albany, New York, and the school of extremely hard knocks. Buddy contributes his steadfast work ethic, values and faith to his caring parents and siblings and also his large circle of extended family and friends.

    Buddy’s interest in plants began at an early age. He grew up on a dairy farm owned by his parents Robert and Maxine Lee. At age fifteen, he talked his father into letting him work summers and part time at Folsom Nursery owned by Price Magee. This nursery is where he ‘cut his teeth’ in many aspects of nursery industry. Local nursery owners, Price Magee, Howard Schillings, H.D Loyd, Clarence Mizell and Buster Mizell were great industry role models that had a major influence on him in his early years in the horticulture industry.

    In the early 1980’s, Buddy started Savannah Spring Nursery in Folsom, Louisiana, a wholesale operation specializing in container production of evergreen azaleas and other of woody ornamentals. Encouraged by the enthusiasm and knowledge of other plants people such as Margie Jenkins, Don Shadow, Dr. John Thornton, Tom Todd, Bill Todd, Dr. John Creech, Dr. Augie Kehr, and many others, Buddy vigorously pursued collecting unique and different plant species and cultivars, growing off populations

    of open and control pollinated seedlings and evaluating these seedlings for desirable landscape traits and environmental hardiness. Over the years and through the evaluation of many thousands of seedlings his work has resulted in 54 plant patents, numerous foreign plant breeders rights, and numerous U.S. plant trademarks. These new plant introductions include the very successful Encore® Azaleas and cultivars from several other genera that are featured in the Southern Living® Plant Collection and the Sunset Western Plant Collection®. Plant breeding, evaluation and selection work presently continues at Transcend Nursery in Louisiana.

    Buddy gives numerous horticultural presentations each year to a wide range of audiences and is also an international speaker. He is active in many horticultural organizations and is past president of the Southern Region International Plant Propagators Society (Fellows Award), past president of the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association (Professional Achievement Award, James Foret Award), past president of the Azalea Society of America (Outstanding Achievement Award), and member of the Louisiana State Horticultural Society (Lifetime Member Award).

    SNA believes industry members should be recognized for their distinguished talents, extraordinary service and life achievements. The SNA Awards Program is designed to recognize professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to the Southern Nursery Association and the industry through these annual awards. For a list of previous SNA award winners, visit the SNA website at www.sna.org.

    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.

    Photos of all award winners can be found on the SNA website at www.sna.org/awards or www.sna.org/page-1863052.

    For more information on SNA, 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.

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