Two years after the first steps to consolidate were taken, it’s finally official: OFA – The Association of Horticulture Professionals and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) will be a single association with a new name, AmericanHort. Members of OFA and ANLA voted on the issue and their approval was announced September 28 in Columbus, Ohio, following a 30-day open ballot and an in-person vote for OFA’s members on that date.
The new, national horticulture trade association, named the American Horticulture Association, will be known as AmericanHort. It will begin operations by January 1, 2014. The mission of AmericanHort is to unite, promote and advance the horticulture industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development and research.
With the consolidation, the new trade association will have the largest national nursery, greenhouse and garden retail membership of any horticulture association in the United States. Those communities will join together with breeders, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers and all who are part of the supply chain to represent the horticulture industry with one, strong voice and a greater base of volunteer, staff and financial resources.
The association will have its primary office in Columbus, Ohio and an office in Washington, D.C. to facilitate government relations and research activities. Michael Geary will continue as the chief staff executive.
The inaugural board of directors was appointed by the legacy organizations. For the first year, the board will have equal representation from OFA and ANLA. The Board includes the following leaders:
- Chairman of the Board: Mark Foertmeyer, Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse, Delaware, Ohio
- Vice Chairman of the Board: Dale Deppe, Spring Meadow Nursery Inc, Grand Haven, Michigan
- Treasurer: Lisa Graf, Graf Growers, Akron, Ohio
- Past Chairman of the Board: Mike McCabe, McCabe’s Greenhouse & Floral, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
- Past Chairman of the Board: Bob Terry, Fisher Farms, Gaston, Oregon
- President & CEO: Michael V. Geary, CAE, AmericanHort, Columbus, Ohio/Washington, D.C.
- Joe Burns, Color Burst, Grayson, Georgia
- Terri Cantwell, Bates Sons & Daughters Inc, Lake Placid, Florida
- Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries Inc, Avon, Ohio
- Bob Jones Jr, The Chef’s Garden, Huron, Ohio
- Terri McEnaney, Bailey Nurseries Inc, St Paul, Minnesota
- Dan Mulhall, Mulhall’s Nursery, Omaha, Nebraska
- Morris Newlin, New Garden Landscaping & Nursery, Greensboro, North Carolina
- Cari Peters, JR Peters Inc, Allentown, Pennsylvania
- Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage, Hillsboro, Ohio
To learn more, visit AmericanHort.org.