President's Letter - Beat the Heat!

September 5, 2019

Kids are going back to school and we are in the height of Florida’s heat and rainy season. My hope is, with all the rain, we are still able to get some work done. I encourage you to make sure you are practicing safe working habits while dealing with the heat. Heat exhaustion is not to be messed with and can very easily lead to serious injury or death. Everyone is susceptible to it. Unfortunately, I experienced it about two weeks ago, but, luckily, I knew what to do. Please make sure you educate yourself and your staff on how to protect yourselves.

Onto other topics – The Landscape Show is officially sold out and is even adding a few more booths to the floor plan!  I am looking forward to attending. If I have not met you, please make a point to introduce yourself if you see me walking the aisles of the show, or catch me enjoying a cold beverage at the Opening Session.  I will be sure to do the same. This also goes for the rest of our volunteer officers: Will Womack, Martin Hackney, and Sarah Spatola. We would all love to meet you!

On the horizon, I want to give you a sneak peek into a special project. FNGLA’s Northeast and Frontrunners chapters are currently teaming up with a group of individuals in Jacksonville to help create a one-of-a-kind memorial for American soldiers still missing in action. It’s called the National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum at Cecil Field and the vision, according to its website, is to establish a national memorial with historic designation for all former prisoners of war and those soldiers still missing in action. The site will also serve as an educational resource for the public.

FNGLA is proud to be a part of making it a reality.  As usual, I want to give a special thanks to FNGLA Past President Ed Bravo (2017-18) as, yet again, he is taking our lead on this amazing project. Please be on the lookout for any upcoming events related to this project, such as volunteering or the opportunities to provide needed materials. Again, I cannot put enough emphasis on how special this memorial is going to be. The first phase is coming up in five to six months, yet the entire memorial will be completed in about four to six years. So, we are expecting a long-term partnership on this project assisting with beautifying its landscape with trees and plants. For more information on this project, please check out

As always, I look forward to seeing you all soon at an FNGLA chapter meeting near you and at The 2019 Landscape Show!

With Respect,


Shawn Thomas
Sabal Landscape Solutions (Jacksonville)
FNGLA President 2019-20

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