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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.
  • 02 Dec 2014 5:19 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The Department of Horticultural Science and the College of Agriculture and Life Science are pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Weathington as the new Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum. Mark has a long horticultural history, officially starting in the field in 1991 as Assistant Manager for Laurel Creek Nursery. He received his BS in Horticulture and Sociology from Virginia Tech in 1995 and his MS in Horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1999. Mark’s public garden experience commenced in 1996 as a Horticulturist for Atlanta Botanical Garden. In 1999 he joined the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, Virginia, as Director of Horticulture and Facilities for the 155 acre garden. In 2007 Mark was appointed Assistant Director of the JCRA with a wide range of duties including curating collections, writing grants, and assisting in the Arboretum administration. Mark is a frequent and popular speaker, professing his love of plants and horticulture. 

    The JCRA is a nationally and internationally acclaimed garden with one of the largest and most diverse collections of plants for landscape use in the Southeast, especially in the area of woody ornamentals. The JCRA is well known for plant introductions and innovative programming and outreach.

  • 19 Nov 2014 10:15 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has partnered with Meritus Payment Solutions to offer members exclusive pricing and reduced rates for payment processing services. Meritus Payment Solutions is the trusted global payments partner. With a client-first mentality, Meritus provides SNA members with global payment solutions that include mobile, credit and debit cards, Automated Clearing House (ACH), and more. SNA Members also benefit from proprietary products, such as Internet-based payment platform, Payment XP, Recurring Billing Manager, and advanced reporting tools. Meritus was built on a foundation of excellence and strives to shape the payment processing industry.

    "In researching various payment processing programs in an effort to save on the costs of payment processing I found Meritus to be the most competitive and offer the most savings. I received very positive references and feel confident that this relationship will not only offer savings to the association but to our members as well," Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President, stated.

    Meritus will be contacting SNA members in the coming weeks to introduce the new program and talk about the savings they can offer.

    Learn more about Meritus Payment Solutions at 

    Watch for more new SNA Members programs in the coming weeks!

  • 04 Nov 2014 4:30 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The National Garden Bureau is sponsoring a fundraiser for Growing Solutions Farm, a vocational therapy garden for young adults with autism in downtown Chicago. Just recently, they found out that they are one of four non-profits eligible for a grant from Toro lawn equipment. They applied in September and were notified a few weeks ago that they are one of the four finalists. You can help them reach their goal by voting online on the Toro Facebook page. Click on the “Green Spaces make Great Places” post or tab and click on the video titled “Growing Solutions Farm” then vote. No registration is required nor do you have to like the Toro page. It’s one simple vote.

    Top vote getters will receive the $7,000 grant. Second place votes will receive $4,000 and third and fourth vote getters receive $2,000 each. Of course, they will be thankful for anything they get but $7k would certainly go further than $2k.

    And remember, you can vote once per day! Even better, after you vote, share the link on your company Facebook page, your personal Facebook page, and forward this information to your friends and family to multiply the impact!

  • 04 Nov 2014 3:31 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA),  has announced the selection of Corey Connors as its new executive director.  Connors will fill the vacancy created by Ross Williams’ retirement, December 1, 2014.   The selection was made after a national search and selection process by NCNLA. 

    “We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” reported Michael Dickey, President of NCNLA. “Corey will bring leadership and vision to NCNLA’s programs and a deep sense of commitment to serving the green industry. His successful experience serving national trade associations as an advocate and coalition builder will guide NCNLA into a new era of service to our members.”  

    Connors served as Director of Legislative Relations for the American Nursery & Landscape Association from 2007 – 2010. In that capacity, he worked closely with state nursery and landscape associations across the country including the NCNLA. He provided leadership for many important regulatory and legislative issues through the ANLA Lighthouse Program. Since 2011 he has served as Senior Director of Government Relations for the Society of American Florists. His primary responsibilities at SAF have included advocacy and outreach, coalition development, and strategic planning. He created and managed the coalition to develop and support legislation addressing ACA compliance issues for highly seasonal employers and chaired the national Main Street Business Coalition. Connors received his Master of Arts degree from George Washington University and Bachelor of Arts from Clarion University. 

    “I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with North Carolina’s nursery and landscape industry again. I look forward to working with our dedicated volunteer leaders and staff to tell this industry’s great story: the products and services that NCNLA members provide offer far more value than meets the eye. They are essential investments that provide cost-effective, meaningful solutions to the consumer.”

    The North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA) represents growers, landscapers, retail garden centers, suppliers, horticulture students and educators. NCNLA’s ultimate goal is to benefit its members’ economic, professional and personal growth. More information about NCNLA can be found at

  • 22 Oct 2014 3:23 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association (NCNLA) announces special features and highlights for the 2015 Green & Growin’ Trade Show, the largest green industry event in the southeast! It is the first show of the year, taking place January 5-9, 2015, in Greensboro, NC. This is one week earlier than its normal time, as Green & Growin’ and MANTS have switched weeks for 2015 only. The trade show includes over 400 exhibitors featuring nursery and greenhouse plants, equipment, and allied supplies; the show also features over 100 education classes!

    NCNLA will welcome John Kennedy, with Kennedy Consulting, as this year’s keynote speaker. Join John as he walks you through the process of strategic planning, change management, and creates your very own roadmap for the next year ahead.

    In addition to NCNLA’s two-day 2015 Green & Growin’ Trade Show (January 8-9), it’s unique three-day Education Conference (January 5-7) will highlight classes, seminars, & workshops from top industry educators and other NC green industry associations, including a Hispanic education track – taught in Spanish. Attendees will also be presented with a variety of opportunities to earn professional green industry credits, certifications, & licenses during the week, such as “Energy Saving Landscape Certification” and CEU’s for pesticide, irrigation, landscape architect, and arborist licenses.

    You don’t want to miss the “New Products Showcase", featuring the hottest new plants, equipment, and supplies for 2015. Also, Check out the NEW event this year, "Show Floor Demos", where exhibitors will teach "how-tos, tips, and tricks" for featured industry products & equipment. Both events will be held on Thursday and Friday during the Trade show (January 8-9).

    Registration is now Open! To register today, please visit:

    If you would like additional details about attending or exhibiting at the 2015 Green & Growin’ Show, please visit:

    The North Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association (NCNLA) represents wholesale growers, landscapers, retail garden centers, suppliers, horticulture students and educators. NCNLA’s ultimate goal is to benefit its members’ economic, professional and personal growth. More information about NCNLA events and membership can be found at

  • 09 Oct 2014 10:56 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    John Hoffman, president of Hoffman Nursery, Inc., received the 2014 Service Award from the Perennial Plant association (PPA). The award was presented at the 32nd Perennial Plant Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio in July.

    The award recognizes a PPA member who has contributed considerable time and effort to the organization and has demonstrated leadership and outstanding service.

    Hoffman served as PPA President from 2009-2011 and was active on the membership committee for several years. He represents PPA at PLANET Student Career Days and will continue to be involved with promoting the organization. Hoffman was previously recognized with an award for Outstanding Service as President and Director of the Southern PPA Region in 2013.

    According to Hoffman, “PPA is filled with great people from all walks of life who share an enthusiasm for plants. I love plants, and being with people who share that love is just plain fun. PPA is a great experience for anyone devoted to horticulture.”

    John Hoffman started his horticultural career in design and installation in 1981. Through this work, he developed a passion for ornamental and native grasses. In 1986, John and his wife, Jill, founded Hoffman Nursery, Inc. in Rougemont, North Carolina. They supplied ornamental grasses to what was then a niche market. With the increased popularity of grasses, the nursery has expanded to include a production facility with automated mixing and potting equipment and over 60 cold frames and hot houses. They ship ornamental and native grass liners to wholesale customers across North America.

    Hoffman joined the Perennial Plant Association in 1997 and has developed an extensive network of friends and colleagues through the organization. John’s work with the PPA exemplifies the nursery’s commitment to horticulture and to promoting community service. The Perennial Plant Association is composed of growers, retailers, landscape designers and contractors, educators, and others that are professionally involved in the herbaceous perennial industry. It strives to promote perennials and serve as a definitive source of information for education.

  • 10 Sep 2014 11:12 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Jay Streck, Twin Branch Nursery, Woodstock, GA and Stanley Kirby, Bowsmith, Inc., Avon Park, FL are the lucky winners of an iPad! 

    Jay won an iPad mini in the SNA 2014 Pre-Registration Drawing for registering to attend SNA 2014 before the pre-registration deadline on July 18. His name was entered in the drawing along with nearly 1,000 others that pre-registered for the event. 

    Stanley Kirby won an iPad Air in the SNA Mobile App Drawing for downloading the new SNA Mobile App and checking in at all of the SNA 2014 sponsor booths participating in the program. 

    The new SNA Mobile App was rolled out just in time for SNA 2014. The new SNA Mobile app features a directory of exhibitors, news feeds for everything SNA, marketing messages and videos, instant coupons and as an added bonus, a plant database from MasterTag. 

    This cutting edge technology was developed by Sunrise Marketing to provide a look at the future of retailing with Apple's new iBeacon technology, epunched mobile app and more - all designed to create a more rewarding shopping experience and help you engage your customers.

    More information on the SNA Mobile App

    More information on Sunrise Marketing

  • 27 Aug 2014 2:47 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    As bee death and colony collapse remains in the mainstream media headlines with much controversy of the cause, it becomes imperative that we all support saving our bees. Whether the bee decline is due to pesticides, decline in food sources, stress, or other factors, we can all do our part to help raise awareness – and even raise bees!

    Although most of the focus has been on honey bees, we all know that other bees also play a vital role in the pollination of our food supply. A program, recently awarded The Garden Center Group's Retailers' Choice Award™ was discovered at the 2014 Farwest trade show in Portland, Oregon. 

    Dave Hunter, owner of Crown Bees sells both spring mason bees and summer leafcutters for pollination of fruits, nuts vegetables and plants. To help wholesale clients sell bees and bee products, the company developed an innovative marketing program to create awareness and drive customers to their stores. It includes a win-win for wholesalers, landscapers and their customers. 

    The Crown Bees retailer program includes:

    1. Advertorials: Crown Bees helps prepare articles for the local newspaper under the client’s name, not Crown Bees. Submit the article about the value of gentle bees for pollination, and how the nursery or landscaper is participating.

    2. In store marketing:

    Cross selling signage reminding customers to buy bees to pollinate their newly purchased fruit tree.

    Colorful end cap signage and display ideas are also available.

    A buying guide helps the customer select products for their gardens and yards.

    3. Events: Excellent opportunities exist to bring customers into the store.
    Hold seminars on the value of bee pollinators. Host one for spring mason bees and later one for summer leafcutters. These coincide with the purchase of fruits, vegetables and plants.

    Book a speaker from the company’s developing speakers bureau, or have a staff member make a presentation using a free speakers presentation.

    Conduct a bee harvesting party in the fall for customers to harvest their bees.

    4. Bee BuyBack Program: Today, there are not enough mason bees to pollinate commercial food crops. To increase the population, Crown Bees buys excess bees from gardeners who are successful raising bees for their own use. These bees will be rehomed in other gardens and on farms for commercial growers. This is one solution to protect the food supply.

    “Selling an unknown product is challenging," Hunter said. "That’s why we take a team approach to working with our wholesale clients. We want them to be successful selling gentle-natured bees and bee products. In turn, we want their garden customers to succeed in raising bees for food and plant pollination. The more successful we all are, the more we can ensure a sustainable food supply for the future,” he added.

    Hunter noted that bees pollinate 1/3 of our food. Solitary gentle bees are an efficient supplement to the troubled honey bee. In fact, one mason bee can pollinate 12 lbs. of cherries, a task that requires 60 honey bees.

    Crown Bees also offers a New2Bees Mini Course designed to get you quickly buzzing with success in raising the following amazing pollinator bees: spring mason bees, summer leafcutters and eastern states bumble bees. It includes 9 short lessons. After that, use our monthly Bee-Mail for reminders on what to do when. Crown Bees makes it easy for us all to be a part of the solution in increasing the bee population.

    Dave Hunter founded Crown Bees in 2008 to introduce gentle-natured mason bees to gardeners and nurseries. Their mission is to supplement the declining honey bee and protect the food supply. Delivering quality products and great service wasn’t enough. In order to help nurseries sell this little known, but amazing bee pollinator, Crown Bees developed an innovative nursery marketing program. As Dave says, nurseries don’t have to be experts. It’s Crown Bees job to be the experts, and to lend support to help nurseries and their customers be successful.

    For more information on Crown Bees visit

    To create a free account to access the wholesale area of the website go to: Use registration code "gentle".

  • 27 Aug 2014 2:27 PM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., August 27, 2014 – State officers from nine of the sixteen states within the SNA region attended the 2014 SNA State Officers' Conference on Friday, July 25 following the conclusion of SNA 2014 in Atlanta, Ga. A total of 32 people gathered for this annual gathering of state execs and board members, including representation from AmericanHort and two guests speakers, Tim Whorton, ONPEAK, and Richard Maples, Shepard Exposition Services who delivered a presentation on Industry Trends.

    The SNA State Officers’ Conference provides a forum for state leaders to share their experiences and skills and learn from one another. This “think tank” also brings association management and industry challenges to the table during an open discussion forum to look at possible solutions. Each year SNA invites state association executives within the region and their board members to attend.

    The day began with an overview of state association comparisons of membership, programs, trade shows and other stats followed by an AmericanHort update from Michael Geary and an HRI update from Joe Albano. After lunch, Tim Whorton and Richard Maples provided an interesting look at trends in the housing/hotel industry and event planning. The remainder of the day was spent on an overview of new programs, success stories and challenges that we all face.

    Michael Geary shared the news that AmericanHort will engage its membership and consumers in a project to explore and then identify strategies to expand garden retail over the next 12 months. Along with the Horticultural Research Institute, the association will partner with the MindMarket program of the Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), the oldest design college in the United States, with its main campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio. Read more. Dr. Joseph Albano provided an enlightening overview of how HRI directs industry funding throughout the U.S. and the Southern Region. In 2014, $400,000 will be invested in financial support for 16 new projects addressing production, pest management, environmental stewardship, and business and marketing solutions. Read more.

    Photos of the conference can be found at

    The 2015 SNA State Officers' Conference is scheduled for Friday, July 24, 2015. Conference details and agenda will be available in the spring of 2015.

    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


  • 27 Aug 2014 10:20 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

    Atlanta, Ga., August 27, 2014 – Officers of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) who will serve for the 2014 - 2015 term were elected during the 115th annual meeting held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, Ga., during SNA 2014. 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

    Richard May, May Nursery, Havana, FL, was elected president succeeding Jeff Howell, Rocky Creek Nurseries, Lucedale, AL.

    The complete slate of 2014-2015 officers is as follows:

    Richard May, President, May Nursery, Havana, FL 

    Michael Hobbs, VP/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3, Warren County Nursery, McMinnville, TN

    Norman Cole, III, Director Chapter 1, Cole Nurseries, Pipestem, WV

    Joseph Napoli, Director Chapter 2, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA

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

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

    Newly-elected SNA President Richard May, Sales, Research and Development, May Nursery, Havana, FL, began working at the family nursery in 1990 at age 13 as a summer job spacing plants. He has done virtually every job at the nursery working summers from Middle school up through College until he began full-time employment in 2002. Since working at May Nursery in a permanent capacity he has managed Weed control, Pruning, Sales, and Research and Development.  Richard now splits his time between Sales, Production scheduling, Purchasing, Quality Control and Pruning for the entire nursery.

    Richard holds two B.S. degrees from Auburn University:  B.S. Agriculture Economics and B.S. Horticulture – Ornamental Production. He is a graduate of the Wedgeworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Class VII (2007-2009). He is an active member of the International Plant Propagators Society (2003 – present), chairman for the Gadsden County, FL Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, a member of the board of trustees for Robert F. Munroe School, and a youth leader and elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Quincy, FL. 

    Richard’s grandfather Fount May, Sr. was an SNA board member and President of SNA in 1987. Richard was raised attending every SNA show as a child from the early 1980’s to the present. He Richard is an avid plant collector and has extensive collections of hydrangeas, azaleas, daylilies, rhododendrons, perennials, and native plants.

    Richard and his wife Melissa have three children (Lawre Bradley (8), Lucy (6), and Fountain (4).

    Two new industry leaders joining the SNA Board this year are Joseph Napoli and Norman Cole, III. Joseph Napoli, Owner, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA, will serve as Director, Chapter 2 (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina) and Norman Cole will serve as Director, Chapter 1 (Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia).

    Joseph Napoli, founder and conductor of The Athens Master Chorale (1989 to present), holds music degrees from Florida State University and The University of South Florida. Napoli performed throughout North America with the Metropolitan Opera National Company during its inaugural 1965 season. He later taught public school for fourteen years in Tampa, Florida before moving to Athens and establishing Athens Wholesale Nursery (1984). Joe served as chairman of the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) (2003) and was awarded the GGIA Jake Tinga Distinguished Professional of the Year Award (2004). He is a founding member of the Athens Georgia Nursery Growers Association and served as chairman (2004). He has served as the chairman for the Classic Center Authority (2012). Napoli has been a strong supporter of the SNA and an exhibitor since 1985. Joe says that blending gardening and music gives him balance and perspective in life.

    Norman Cole, III, Cole Nurseries, Pipestem, WV, is recognized as an industry leader in cutting-edge plant development, including his Highlander and Little Missy boxwoods. Founded in 1937, Cole Nurseries is a 200-acre farm consisting primarily of woody ornamentals and trees that are unique to the area. Boxwoods are Cole Nurseries’ top sellers. Norman holds a B.S. Horticulture from Virginia Tech. He contributes much of his success to an internship at Shadow Nursery after he graduated from college where Don Shadow provided him with many contacts he still uses today to help bring in new products. Norman has served on the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association board and currently serves as Vice President. He as served as president of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS (2012) and remains on the board as a director. 

    Norman and his wife Missy have two children (Norman IV and Calvin).

    “Continuing the tradition of strong industry leaders on the board of the SNA, the membership recently voted on the 2014-2015 SNA board of directors during the 115th annual business meeting, said Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President. “This board represents a group of industry leaders with a broad variety of ideas and perspectives that will be extremely valuable in the coming year as we work to rebuild our membership and marketplace. I am very optimistic about the future of SNA and our industry, and with the guidance of these knowledgeable leaders I am even more confident we will emerge stronger and better. We are so fortunate to have board members with the depth of expertise and leadership who are committed to this association and the industry,” 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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