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SNA News

Welcome to SNA's News Center – designed to provide you with timely and relevant information about the Southern Nursery Association, press releases and industry news alerts.
  • 03 Jul 2013 10:34 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Greenhouse Grower has just posted a new article cover details of recent studies indicating a housing boom is on the horizon. Many sources are covering new data on Generation X & Y's, sometimes called "Echo-Boomers", as the opportunity ahead for homebuilding and related industries.  Here's a link to the full article: CLICK HERE
  • 17 Jun 2013 3:15 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Landscape Architecture Magazine - The Magazine of the American Society of Landscape Architects, has published a news story June 7, 2013 titled "SOLD OUT." In the report, readers are alerted to the increasing industry position of plant shortages and resulting higher prices. For the complete article, CLICK HERE. (a new window will open)
  • 17 Jun 2013 10:39 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    June 17, 2013 - The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) announced today June results of the NAHB monthly confidence index. Here's a portion of the release (a link to the full release is included below).
    Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes hit a significant milestone in June, surging eight points to a reading of 52 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released today. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

    “This is the first time the HMI has been above 50 since April 2006, and surpassing this important benchmark reflects the fact that builders are seeing better market conditions as demand for new homes increases,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. “With the low inventory of existing homes, an increasing number of buyers are gravitating toward new homes.”

    The eight-point jump in the index was the biggest one-month gain since August and September of 2002, when the HMI recorded a similar increase of eight points.

    “Builders are experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Today’s report is consistent with our forecast for a 29 percent increase in total housing starts this year, which would mark the first time since 2007 that starts have topped the 1 million mark.”

    For complete details on the NAHB.ORG website, CLICK HERE. (a new window will open)
  • 01 Mar 2013 8:54 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    To: Eligible Students, Horticultural Department Heads / Faculty / Industry Members / Trade Press
    Subject: 2013 Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Application - Now Available

    The 2013 Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Applications are now available. The Fund is asking all industry members to assist in helping us achieve our goal of promoting the availability of the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund scholarship awards to worthy students. The application package contains eligibility requirements, instructions and all needed forms.

    Please advise all eligible students of the availability of this scholarship award. This information is available as an Acrobat PDF download from the Fund’s website:

    The deadline for application is May 31, 2013. The Scholarship Selection Committee will make its selections by July 1, 2013 and recipients will be notified soon thereafter. Awards will be made on August 6, in Atlanta, during SNA 2013. Time and location for the award presentations will be announced at a later date.

    Last year, the Fund awarded a total of $18,000 to twelve students. This year, we expect to award at least twelve $1,500 scholarships. We are very proud of our accomplishment in building the Fund over the past 24 years. Since its inception, we have awarded $390,000 in scholarships and today the Fund’s balance is now over $775,000. We would like to express our appreciation to you for supporting the Fund’s growth and development and your willingness to help us spread the word about this beneficial scholarship.

    For more information contact: CLICK HERE to go to the Fund's website!

    Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund
    P.O. Box 801513
    Acworth, GA 30101
    Ph: 678-813-1880
    Fax: 678-813-1881
  • 31 Oct 2012 2:24 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., November 1, 2012 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) announced today plans for a new regional marketplace during SNA 2013, scheduled for August 5 - 7, 2013, at Atlanta’s Georgia International Convention Center (GICC). SNA 2013 combines the SNA Research Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA State Officer's Conference, the Annual SNA Business Meeting, and this new regional marketplace to deliver one unparalleled event – all under one roof.


    SNA 2013 will bring together the most forward thinking industry leaders, researchers, growers, manufacturers, distributors, landscapers and retailers from across the Southeast to share ideas, learn new techniques, address key industry issues, and locate new products.


    The vision for the new marketplace specifically addresses the needs of the industry by creating a regional marketplace in the Southeast and will feature the best plants and related garden products. The product mix will include ornamental trees and shrubs, color, related landscape and outdoor living products, garden gifts and accessories, seasonal products, and more. The event is expected to bring together more than 3,000 industry professionals and draw the top growers and manufacturers from across the region.


    Meister Media’s Today's Garden Center is the official media sponsor of SNA 2013 and will produce an educational track geared specifically to retail garden centers. The Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) will produce educational tracks for both growers and landscapers. Other components of education will be the SNA Research Conference, spotlighting the latest horticultural research on hundreds of topics in thirteen categories, and the Southern Plant Conference, offering a unique opportunity for both growers and retailers to learn from other industry professionals and discover new production techniques and the hottest new plants coming to market soon.


    “The earlier announcement of the August 2013 event has received a very positive response and a number of industry members have already committed to participation,” said Karen Summers, Executive Vice President of SNA. “The support of Today’s Garden Center as a media sponsor will provide the perfect vehicle to propel this highly-anticipated event and promote buyer participation. We are excited about launching this new regional event to connect the industry here in the Southeast,” she added.


    The GICC, conveniently located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and minutes from downtown Atlanta, is Georgia’s newest and second largest convention center featuring more than 400,000 SF of meeting space – all on one level. The ATL SkyTrain, a free light rail train linking the GICC to the airport and rental car center, coupled with excellent transportation connections from across the U.S., and a wide array of affordable nearby hotels (including two new Marriott properties on the GICC campus) and restaurants offers participants added convenience.


    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.


    More details of SNA 2013 will be released in the weeks to come. For further information, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992,, or visit the SNA Website at


    Interested in ATTENDING or EXHIBITING?

    SIGNUP for the NEW SNA 2013 Contact List - receive information as it becomes available.

    CLICK HERE to join the SNA 2013 Electronic Subscription..

  • 27 Aug 2012 5:44 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., August 27, 2012 – The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Fund has announced the names of twelve students from eight southeastern universities chosen to receive academic scholarships this year. The $1,500 awards, totaling $18,000, were presented to:

    Jared Barnes – North Carolina State University

    Johanna Cricenti – Virginia Tech

    Cody Gilstrap – University of Arkansas - Fayetteville (Dr. James & Faye Foret Scholarship)

    Jason Lattier – North Carolina State University

    Eric Limbird – Middle Tennessee State University

    William Mears – University of Arkansas – Fayetteville

    Justin Menke – University of Kentucky

    Irene Palmer – North Carolina State University

    Deanna Reid            – Ferrum College

    Elizabeth Riley – North Carolina State University

    Jacob Shreckhise – Virginia Tech (Art & Millie Lancaster Scholarship)

    Adrienne Smith – University of Florida (Robert L. VanLandingham Scholarship).

    Scholarship recipients are determined through a competitive application process, administered by a selection committee, based on academics, determination, demonstrated interest in the horticulture industry, and financial need. This year’s recipients were chosen from a pool of nearly 30 well-qualified applicants.

    “Congratulations to this exemplary group of students who have excelled academically and demonstrated determination and a passion for horticulture,” said Danny Summers, Executive Vice President of the fund. “These scholarship awards will help lighten their financial load as they pursue their careers and I am confident each of these students will make an effective and positive contribution to our industry. I look forward to seeing their accomplishments as they complete their studies,” he added.

    To date, a total of $419,500 has been awarded since the fund was established. The fund’s current assets are now more than $750,000. Seven named funds have been pledged: the Carolina Weed Science Fund, the Dr. James & Faye Foret Fund, the Richard J. “Dick” Hackney Fund, Sr. Fund, the Lee C. Howell Fund, the Arthur A. “Buck” Jones Fund, the Art & Millie Lancaster Fund, and the Robert L. VanLandingham Fund. The financial support offered by the fund has allowed many students the opportunity to begin or continue to work toward their educational goals.

    Created in 1989 by the Southern Nursery Association (SNA), The Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund is a 501 (c) 3 corporation providing scholarships to students in sixteen southeastern states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia – pursuing a career in horticulture. The scholarship is dedicated to one of the most honored horticultural leaders, the late Sidney B. Meadows, who was an avid supporter of student scholarships and believed that providing aid for students was an important way to ensure the growth and development of all facets of the industry.

    The fund derives its income from individual and corporate contributions and is governed by the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund board of directors.

    Applications for 2013 scholarships will be available on the fund’s website ( in early January. Those interested in receiving scholarship information or the latest fund news can subscribe to the automated information system on the fund’s website.

    More information on the 2012 scholarship recipients can be found at In the coming months the site will feature a review of previous scholarship winners, their current status and contributions to the horticulture industry.

    For more information on the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund forward your inquiry to PO Box 801513, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.813.1880, or visit


  • 03 Aug 2012 11:08 AM | Danny Summers (Administrator)

    Saving $$ on Your Company’s Phone Bill

    Every business today needs to continue to cut costs wherever possible and at the same time do a better job communicating with customers (or prospects). The following two questions will determine if this article can help you…

    1.     Do you have (or is it available) high-speed internet service at your business? (Most require DSL, cable or fiber-optic service.)
    2.     Are you still paying a local phone company for regular phone lines, including fax lines?

    If you answered yes to both of these, the following information could save you hundreds to thousands of dollars each year … and give you new options to give your customers the best service possible!

    Voice Over IP or “VoIP”

    This is a relatively new type of voice communications that has been expanding over the last 10+ years. VoIP stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol.” Because your voice and fax service rides over your internet service, it is very important to have high-speed internet. Of course, this rules out many in rural areas (sorry folks).

    Here’s an overly simplified explanation of how this works. You subscribe to a VoIP service (there are a number of companies available to choose from today (see end of this article for a comparison of just some). You can elect to have both your voice and fax service all tied into the same setup. Or, you could just shift your fax service over.  The more you switch, the more you will save. With the service, the VoIP supplier gives you an internet connection to their phone/fax system. They may supply you with a small modem-style device that hooks into your internet and you can connect regular phone or fax to it, or you can buy new VoIP-ready phones (even multi-line devices) that are programmed to connect to their system. The VoIP supplier becomes your phone network, including voicemail, call forwarding, etc., all controlled by you over a web page interface. It's really pretty easy. We all have seen the “Magic-Jack”  or Vonyage ads on TV in recent months. That’s an example of a single line version VoIP for home or small business use.

    Here’s a Few Examples of VoIP that has helped us: 

    We, here at Summers & Associates, decided to go with a company called VOIPO (  Here’s what we paid and what we get:  We were able to take advantage of a special offer of around $130 (plus tax) for a two-year service. We get one phone number. It can be either a local number you choose, an 800 number you choose, of your current phone number (if it can be “ported” to take with you… the service will check for you). With the one phone number we actually get two voice lines riding on the same number, that means two calls can happen at the same time, in or out.  This includes unlimited calls (in/out) to USA/Canada. For another $36/year we get a “virtual number” which becomes our fax number. All in-bound faxes are sent to an email address of our choice as a PDF attachment.  So, in this case our cost for two (2) voice lines and one (1) fax line was less than $180 for THE ENTIRE YEAR. For our clients such as SNA or the Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund, we have 2 virtual lines for each, one for voice and one for fax at $36 each per year. The voice line is routed to our regular Summers & Associates number and the fax is emailed to the email of our choice. That’s $72+ tax FOR ONE YEAR. That includes unlimited minutes and faxing. What a deal! And (we sound like a “vegi-matic” commercial here...), checking the VOIPO website today reveals they are again offering a limited time special… GET 2 YEARS for $129! (A similar offer to what we got.)

    Another example is one of our wholesale nursery clients that needed a better way of faxing their availability list to about 40% of their customers. They have DSL for internet service and have been paying both a monthly charge for their regular fax line and extra for so many long-distance minutes per month.  For this company, we chose RingCentral’s ( fax service. They paid $49.99 plus tax for a new unlimited fax service with an 800# and also “ported” their old number to RingCentral. With this setup, they will email their availability to their fax customers by sending one email with the availability as an attachment through RingCentral’s fax server. They subscribed to an unlimited fax minutes offer, so no extra per page costs. And now, when they receive a fax on either their new 800 number or their old fax number it is sent to an email address within the company. In this case, more than one person sees the email, even on their smartphone. Oh, by the way, the grower has now cancelled their regular fax line with their old phone company nearly offsetting the $50+ monthly cost. Net results: saving over three (3) hours of fax preparations per week, all fax customers get the availability quickly and better customer response on receiving their faxed orders or inquiries… all this while saving $$ monthly.

    Your challenge:  How much are you spending (in labor or costs) for your phone and fax systems today? These are just a couple examples of VoIP services out there today. Which one you choose depends on your needs; however, you should consider moving at least a portion of your communications to VoIP and save some dollars!

    One additional note:  The old saying “you never want all your eggs in one basket” applies here too for your business phone/fax communications. So, best practices would guide you to have at least one regular phone line, in case your internet service goes down. With VoIP services, if your internet services goes down, your receiving system (voicemail and fax) for receiving, just like your email servers, are in the cloud and not at your office, so when your internet is back up, any messages or faxes will be there waiting for you. And, if the system options allow, you may have gotten all this on your smartphone already!

    For more information: Following are links to a couple of comparison charts on just some of the VOIP providers. Be sure to check out each site for special offers! If we can share more details of what we have done for Summers & Associates or SNA, just give us a call at the SNA Office: 678-809-9992.  And remember, when you call you will be experiencing the SNA’s $36/year voice line!

    NEXT's VoIP Services (Review) - 10 best VoIP Service Providers  

  • 25 Jul 2012 11:05 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    Dr. Bonnie Appleton, retired professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, Extension nursery specialist for the Virginia Cooperative Extension and author, passed away on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

    Appleton received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from the University of Delaware and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University. She joined the Virginia Tech faculty in 1985 where she was based at the Hampton Roads Agriculture Research and Extension Center. She was instrumental in the development of the department’s off-campus graduate degree program. She was an instructor of many graduate classes and a major advisor to more than 60 master’s degree students.

    In 2006, Appleton was recognized for her dedication to teaching excellence and her positive impact on students’ lives by sharing her love of horticulture with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.

    In 2010, she was honored with the "professor emerita" title by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. The title is conferred on retired professors and associate professors, administrative officers, librarians, and exceptional staff members who are specially recommended to the board of visitors by Virginia Tech President.

    Appleton's passion for horticulture was recognized throughout her career. Her list of honors (since 2000) can be found at

    Bonnie was an active contributor to the SNA Research Conference for more than 20 years, presenting numerous research papers (1991 - 2010).

    Her family is honoring her wishes. There will be no memorial service and her ashes will be scattered over the Chesapeake Bay. Her Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension family will plant a tree in her honor at the AREC this fall. Correspondence can be addressed to her parents.

    Fred and Bobbie Appleton
    100 O'Brien Court
    Suffolk, VA 23434

    Donations in her memory can be made to the Master Gardener Coordinator Endowment or a charity of your choice.

    Virginia Master Gardener Coordinator Endowment
    under the MG Program tab

    VNA Horticulture Research Foundation, Inc.

    Related Links:
  • 20 Jul 2012 3:08 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    After a long, courageous battle with cancer, Susan Smith, age 61, Owner of Rennerwood, Tennessee Colony, TX, passed away July 14, 2012 peacefully with her family and friends by her side.

    Susan was born in Palestine October 15, 1950. She had a colorful life and personality and impeccable work ethics. She walked with purpose and never met a stranger. She had many friends and loved her many employees. Through hard work and dedication she started and maintained a successful business. Through the 25 years of operation her tree farm is known across the U.S. for growing quality trees.

    Services will be held Wednesday, July 25 in the Tennessee Colony Community Center at 4 pm. 

    In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the BARC-Humane Society of Palestine, PO Box 63, Palestine, TX 75802, or online at, or a charity of your choice.

    Expressions of sympathy can be mailed to:  Rennerwood, 1025 AN CO Road 2810, Tennessee Colony, TX 75861.

    For more information on Susan, see the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association Memorial Article at

  • 16 Jul 2012 6:54 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)
    The American Nursery and Landscape Association's (ANLA) board of directors voted this week to explore the joint formation of a new trade association with OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals. The vote was prompted by a recommendation from a joint working group of elected ANLA and OFA leaders whose recommendation is that a new organization be established no sooner than July 2013 and no later than January 2014. The new organization will replace both ANLA and OFA. Read more...
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