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SNA Announces 2012 Slater Wight Memorial Award Winner

25 Jan 2012 1:07 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 its 2012 award winners. SNA recognize professionals who have demonstrated their commitment to the Southern Nursery Association and the industry through their annual awards program.

In 1956, 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. The 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 and selection is made by the SNA Board of Directors.

Joseph Claude Kinney was born on April 23, 1946, in Gaines- ville, GA. After graduating from Gainesville High School he attended the University of Georgia (1964-1965) and Gainesville State College (1968-1970). He served in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division from 1965-1968. In 1972, Joe began his career in the nursery industry at Gro-Plant (known as Simpson Nursery) as an “on the road” salesman. He worked for Baucom’s Nursery (1973-1975) and later became sales manager of Flow- erwood Nursery. In July 1988, he founded Kinney Nursery (65 acres) and today produces a general line of container-grown nursery stock with emphasis on camellia, fruit and nut trees, fruiting vines and bushes, and stock not common to the trade. Joe’s business goal remains the same after 24 years – to produce high quality nursery stock, provide excellent customer service and treat employees, customers, and suppliers with respect.

Joe received the Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. He was the found- ing President of the GSHE (1998-1999). He is a member of Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association and served as President (1999-2000), a member of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and served as Senator (2006-2010), a member of the Georgia Green Industry Association, the Mississippi Nursery & Landscape Association, the Southern Nursery Association, the South Alabama Nursery Associa- tion, the Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association, and the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association. He is also member of American Azalea Society, the American Camellia Society, and the International Plant Propagators Society. 

Joe and his wife Cherry live in Mobile, AL. They have one son, Chad, and two grandsons, Brandon and Alex.

Kinney follows a long list of fifty-four other industry leaders receiving this prestigious award. Visit for a complete list of winners from 1956 to 2012.

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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