President's Letter: “warmest welcome!”

January 9, 2019

Happy 2019! I hope everyone had a loving and wonderful holiday season.

Following the precedence established by FNGLA’s jolly Christmas road warrior and Past President Billy Butterfield, I am happy to share FNGLA staff and member leaders had a fantastic time attending chapter holiday celebrations. Dinner boats, ugly sweaters, gift exchanges, countless toys and food for those less fortunate, and maybe a little eggnog, just scratches the surface of how our Association comes together and shares holiday cheer.

I have said before, I love our chapters! Visiting chapters is very likely my favorite part of serving as FNGLA President. This is especially true during the month of December. Thank you all for the kind hospitality, laughs and acts of kindness you bestow upon your communities.

Between all of the chapter parties, much was accomplished in December! FNGLA hosted Florida Agriculture Commissioner-elect Nikki Fried and several agricultural leaders and commodity groups. Fried shared some of her bold directives, such as she is encouraging Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) staff to think “outside the box.”

And, despite her own admitted lack of agricultural experience, Fried promised to be a vigilant partner of ours. Congratulations, Commissioner-elect Fried and, as the largest segment of Florida agriculture, we look forward very much to working with you in 2019.

Speaking of politics and political leaders, the much contested and anticipated 2019 session is upon us. No matter your political stripes, I hope you learned just how important your vote, influence and, in some cases, contributions truly matter. Please continue your involvement and consider making our FNGLA-PAC stronger by donating funds. It really does make a difference.

And, compliments to FNGLA’s Tallahassee-based lobbyist Jim Spratt. Jim was chosen to serve on Governor-elect Ron DeSantis’ transition team on the environment. Thank you for all you do, Jim!

Lastly, as it relates to politics, let’s all metaphorically give a huge round of applause to FNGLA Past President Halsey Beshears. Governor-elect DeSantis named Halsey the Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We’re all so very proud of you, Halsey! Congratulations and “keep showing up.”

For those of you reading this at TPIE, “warmest welcome!” While others are shoveling snow and braving bitter cold, TPIE proudly showcases the very best in Florida’s tropical foliage, floral and indoor houseplants in welcoming South Florida. Eat your Wheaties, as you will navigate and enjoy over five acres of exhibit area with professional industry attendees topping 6,400 and buyers from over 50 countries! Thank you, staff, show chair and committee for making this TPIE event the immense success it continues to be.

Protecting and Promoting,


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