President's Letter: Q1: Roundup and Reflection

October 7, 2021

It’s hard to believe I’ve already completed my first quarter as your 2021-2022 FNGLA President. I’ve been enjoying the experience so much, I jokingly asked FNGLA CEO Ben Bolusky if I could run for a second term! As I reflect over the last three months, here are a few notable highlights to share:

Chapter Events

I’m proud and honored to have had the opportunity to attend several in-person Chapter events, so far, this year. It is no secret COVID-19 had a significant impact on Chapter activities. As we began this fiscal year, your FNGLA state officers and staff made it a priority to help reinvigorate Chapter event schedules, and bring members back together. FNGLA reinstated funds for Chapter grants and Chapter leader kits. FNGLA staff Sandra Pellerin and Kate Clary also held one-on-one meetings with Chapter leaders to review resources.

From FNGLA Chapter leader installations to socials and nursery tours, I’ve already had the privilege of attending events for six of FNGLA's 14 active Chapters. Thank you to Chapter leaders for putting these on and thank you to members who’ve attended! Your participation underscores support for your local Chapter, and FNGLA statewide. I’m excited to see event calendars are filling up, and I’m looking forward to spending time with each of FNGLA’s Chapters through the remainder of the year. If you need any help planning your Chapter events, please reach out to Sandra, Kate or me directly.

The Landscape Show

Despite challenges caused by the untimely surge of the Delta variant, we were still able to host The Landscape Show. And, what a great show it was! I am extremely proud of The Landscape Show Committee and our dedicated staff for all the hard work which went into this event. If you missed it, you can check out scenes from the show on FNGLA's Facebook Page.

CEO Search

As we prepare to say farewell to our beloved CEO, Ben Bolusky, the CEO search committee is operating in full swing. The job announcement was officially posted on September 15 and we’ve already received resumes from several strong potential candidates. The deadline to apply is October 31. If you know someone who would make a great CEO, please pass along the job announcement which can be found here.

P.S. If you haven’t yet read FNGLA’s press release on Ben’s upcoming retirement, it’s a great read which highlights just a few of his incredible accomplishments over nearly 24 years leading FNGLA. You can find it here.

Hosting Dignitaries

In line with our strategic initiatives, FNGLA leadership regularly works to enhance our relationships with policymakers and public agencies. We believe it’s important to share information on who we are, and the environmental and economic benefits delivered by FNGLA members throughout our state.

Last month, we hit a major milestone with this initiative as we hosted a sitting Governor at FNGLA's Orlando office for the first time in the Association's history! Governor Ron DeSantis spent about an hour in FNGLA’s office, learning more about who we are, and some of our major initiatives and industry challenges. In addition to the Governor’s visit, we also had the pleasure of welcoming State representatives Blaise Ingoglia and David Smith during The Landscape Show back in August.

Coming Up:

The FNGLA/SHARE Golf Tournament is slated for October 15. Although I played golf in high school, I have not played a full round in more than six years. It may be embarrassing, yet I’m planning to play because at least it’s for a good cause!  There is still time to sign up if you’d like to play. If I don’t see you there, I look forward to meeting up with you at one of FNGLA’s many upcoming Chapter events around the state.


All the best,


Sarah Spatola

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