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Southern Nursery Association Elects New Officers

03 Sep 2013 10:47 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

Officers of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) who will serve for the 2013 - 2014 term were elected during the 114th annual meeting held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Ga., during SNA 2013. 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


Jeff Howell, Rocky Creek Nurseries, Lucedale, AL, was elected president succeeding Bill Boyd.


The complete slate of officers is as follows:


Jeff Howell, President, Rocky Creek Nursery, Lucedale, MS

Richard May, Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 2, May Nursery, Havana, FL

Eelco Tinga, Jr., Director Chapter 1, Tinga Nurseries, Castle Hayne, NC

Michael Hobbs, Director Chapter 3, Warren County Nursery, McMinnville, TN

Dusty Knight, Director Chapter 4, Plantation Tree Company, Selma, AL

William Boyd, Immediate Past President, Flower City Nurseries, Smartt, TN.


Newly-elected SNA President Jeff Howell and his wife Melinda own and operate Rocky Creek Nurseries, Inc. in Lucedale, MS. Founded in 1962 by Jeff’s parents, Owen and Connie Howell, Rocky Creek Nurseries was incorporated in 1984 with Owen, Connie, Jeff and his older brother Lee serving as officers. With Lee’s untimely passing in 2000, Jeff became company president, a position he holds today. Rocky Creek Nurseries produces container-grown woody ornamentals, trees and perennials.


In addition to his nursery responsibilities, Jeff is active in his community. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the George Regional Health System, a multi-county hospital, nursing home and physician’s practices enterprise. He is a Sunday School teacher and Lay Leader at Lucedale First United Methodist Church. Jeff is past president of the Mississippi Nursery & Landscape Association and past chairman of the George Republican Party. In 1998 he was awarded the SNA David E. Laird Memorial Award.


Jeff and Melinda, a kindergarten teacher, have two children, Tyler (23) and Jeffrey (20).


Joining the SNA Board this year, 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 and Joan have two children and two grandchildren. Dusty is an avid hunter, fisherman, and loves to spend time with his grandchildren.


SNA Executive Vice President Karen Summers is excited about the diversity and leadership skills of the SNA Board members, and believes this newly elected board will help catapult the association forward with positive results. “The combined experience and skills of this board will be invaluable to this association during this time of rebuilding and moving forward to once again become a strong and relevant association,” Summers stated.  “This board represents a group of industry leaders with a broad variety of ideas and perspectives on how SNA can meet the needs of its members. I am very optimistic about the future of SNA and our industry, and with these knowledgeable leaders I am even more confident of our ability,” 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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