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SNA Announces 2012 David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award Winner

25 Jan 2012 12:07 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

ACWORTH, GA  – January 20, 2012 – The SNA (Southern Nursery Association), a non-profit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S., announced today the 2012 David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award winner. SNA recognize professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to the Southern Nursery Association and the industry through their annual awards program.

Established in 1974 by David E. Laird, Jr., in memory of his father, SNA Past President David E. Laird, Sr., this 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 SNA Participating State Association with final selection by the SNA Board of Directors.

Halsey W. Beshears was born on November 27, 1971 in Winter Park, Florida. His family moved to Monticello, Florida in 1973, when he was two. He attended Aucilla Christian Academy in Monticello and graduated from Brookwood School in Thomasville, GA in 1989. He received his B.S. in Social Science from Florida State University and his M.S. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida.

Halsey began his career in the nursery industry in 1997 at his family business, Simpson Nurseries, a wholesale container growing operation servicing the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regions, and today is Vice President.

Halsey’s has participated in and received the following awards: Wedgeworth Leadership Institute Graduate Class V (2002- 2008), Wedgeworth Leadership Board of Directors (2002- 2008), President, FNGLA Big Bend Chapter (2002-2004), FNGLA Board of Directors (2003-2008), President of Tallahassee Young Entrepreneurs Organization (2008), Farm Bureau Family of Jefferson County (2009), FNGLA Young Nursery Professional of the Year (2009), Board of Advisors Farmers & Merchants Bank (2007-2011), FNGLA President (2011-Present), Jefferson County Farm Bureau Board of Advi- sors (2009-Present). He is an active member of Presbyterian Church of Monticello and the Tallahassee Young Entrepreneurs Organization. He has been a Private Instrument Rated Pilot since 2000 with over 1000 hours as PIC.

Halsey and his wife Cristin have three daughters: Grace Hamilton – 10, Caroline Turner - 8 and Suzanne Whitelaw – 4.

The Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit, professional trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. Established in 1899, the SNA strives to provide educational, marketing and networking opportunities essential to the survival of the horticultural industry.

For more information, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, Tel:  678-809-9992, Fax:  678-809-9993,, or visit the SNA Website at


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