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     Serving the Horticulture Industry Since 1899

Southern Nursery Association Elects New Officers

12 Oct 2016 3:08 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

2016 - 2017 SNA Board of Directors. Pictured left to right.  Front row:  Michael Hobbs, Immediate Past President, Dusty Knight, newly elected President, Norman Cole, III, Vice President/Treasurer, Director Chapter 1. Back row"  Karen Summers, Executive Vice President, Rickey Minton, Director Chapter 3, Joseph Napoli, Director Chapter 2. Newly appointed Director Chapter 3, Todd Ellefson, was not present.

Atlanta, Ga., October 10, 2016 – Officers of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) who will serve for the 2016 - 2017 term were elected during the 118th annual meeting held at The Classic Center in Athens, Ga., during SEGreen. 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

Dusty Knight, Plantation Tree Company, Selma, AL, was elected president succeeding Michael Hobbs, Warren County Nursery, McMinnville, TN.

The complete slate of 2016-2017 officers and directors is as follows:

Dusty Knight, President, Plantation Tree Company, Selma, AL

Norman Cole, III, Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 1, Cole Nurseries, Pipestem, WV

Joseph Napoli, Director Chapter 2, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA

Rickey Minton, Director Chapter 3, Triangle Nursery, McMinnville, TN

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

Michael Hobbs, Immediate Past President, Warren County Nursery, McMinnville, TN

Newly elected SNA President Dusty Knight is from Franklinton, LA, where he worked for Windmill Nursery and Zelenka Nursery of Folsom, LA for 20 years.  In 2000, he and his wife Joan moved to Prattville, AL, where he brought that 20 years of experience to Plantation Tree Company as manager. Plantation Tree Company has over 400 acres of premium quality field-grown shade and ornamental trees and shrubs in production. Established in 1993, Plantation Tree Company has quickly set the standard for quality field grown trees and ornamentals and introduced three plants to the industry. A superb Vitex 'Lilac Queen', an unusual Magnolia 'Cinnamon Twist', and an outstanding magnolia that has become a standard in the industry the 'Green Giant' Magnolia.

Dusty was elected to serve on the SNA Board of Directors in 2013 representing Chapter 4.

Dusty and Joan have two children and three grandchildren. Dusty is an avid hunter, fisherman, and loves to spend time with his grandchildren.

The new industry leader joining the SNA Board this year is Todd Ellefson, Windmill Nursery, Franklinton, LA. Todd was born into the nursery industry and is the grandson of John B. Wight, Jr.  He is a 5th generation nurseryman.  Todd began working full time in the field at Wight Nurseries in Cairo, Georgia, in 1995.  After four years in the field, he moved into a sales role with Wight Nurseries and continued in sales with Monrovia Nursery from 1999 until 2003.  In 2003, Todd teamed up with George Hackney and John B. Wight Jr. to acquire Windmill Nursery in Franklinton, LA.  There he served as sales manager, then general manager, and now president and managing partner.

Todd has served the industry and has been an active board member in several associations.  He served as president of the Southeast Louisiana Nursery Association and the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association.  Todd also was a representative for Louisiana with the American Nursery and Landscape Association.

His work and commitment to the industry has been recognized by several associations.  He was awarded the Young Professional of the Year in 2007, and Professional of the Year in 2015, by the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association.  In 2009, he was presented the David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award by the Southern Nursery Association.

Todd is married to Stacy Ellefson, and they have four children Chase, Lexi, Riley and Reese.

“This 2016-2017 board represents a group of industry leaders with a broad variety of perspectives and excellent business skills that can be leveraged to the advantage of the association,” said Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President. “As a regional association we are very fortunate to have the advantage of looking around the region for members that have served at the state level and select strong leadership to lead our association. With the guidance of this group of gentlemen, I am very confident we will become stronger and better serve our membership and our industry,” 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.

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


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