Whenever we hear a about natural disaster hitting our state, such as Hurricane Irma in September 2017, FNGLA members and certified professionals jump to the aid of their fellow industry members. Last month’s Hurricane Michael was no different.
This unprecedented storm strengthened quickly and hit the Panhandle of Florida leaving a narrow path of utter destruction in its wake through several states.
FNGLA President Will Womack reported in his November monthly President's Letter, “I am so terribly proud to report the response by you, our members, was immediate and heart-warming. Before the full scope of Michael was even known, my phone and email were inundated with messages of giving,” he said.
FNGLA Past President Ed Bravo and his fellow Frontrunners Chapter members, Action Chapter President Rich Kling and his members, as well as FNGLA's Broward, Miami-Dade and Royal Palm Chapters all sprang into action, coordinating truckloads of water, food, supplies and fuel which were distributed to hard-hit areas thanks to the leadership of FNGLA Secretary/Treasurer Martin Hackney and FNGLA's Big Bend Chapter, as well as FNGLA Past President and Florida State Representative Halsey Beshears.
While FNGLA’s landscape certification exam was taking place on October 19, one long-time judge, FCLC Vladimir Foursa of BG Katz was conspicuously absent. He was in Florida’s Panhandle with a chainsaw and blue tarps helping in areas he could only describe as “a war zone.” There were fewer exam-takers at the end of the FCHP class in Pinellas because team members from the City of Clearwater were also lending their assistance to hurricane-affected areas.
Florida’s nursery and landscape industry can be described as small businesses with a big industry impact – and during times of need, small businesses with a big heart.
Mott serves as FNGLA's Director of Industry Certifications & Career Development