President Letter: Giving Thanks

December 2, 2021

November was filled with multiple opportunities to serve and represent FNGLA and the industry at large.

More so, it was filled with opportunities for gratitude. From chapter events, to FNGLA Annual Convention planning -- and from walking the halls in our state capitol, to interviewing candidates for FNGLA's next CEO, I have observed a lot for which to be thankful.

Early in November we finalized the hotel contract and dates for FNGLA's 2022 Annual Convention. We’ll be “lighting up the industry” at the J.W. Marriott at Bonnet Creek June 23-25, 2022. I am grateful to have a fantastic event venue, and even more grateful for the fabulous team of ladies who are serving on FNGLA's Convention Committee. Thank you to Jennifer Parrish (Chair), Vicki Parrish, Melissa Hunt and Libbie Clark for your support, ideas, and enthusiasm!

Throughout the month it was great to see Chapter activities back in action. I had the opportunity to attend Plantapalooza with the Palm Beach Chapter, and visit the poinsettia greenhouses managed by UF’s Environmental Horticulture Club with the Frontrunners Chapter. Thank you, Chapter leaders and volunteers, who work so hard to bring these events to life.

On Nov. 15 and 16, FNGLA officers and several board members travelled to Tallahassee to represent and advocate for our industry. We had the opportunity to discuss issues ranging from water quality and quantity to fertilizer restrictions and the impacts of a Miami-Dade Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM) ordinance which assumes the contamination of all agricultural lands. I am grateful for the members who chose to be a part of this mission. Thank you for dedicating your time and personal expense to make the trip. And, thank you to Jim Spratt and Ben Bolusky for coordinating and organizing this opportunity for our members.

Finishing off the month, FNGLA's CEO Search Committee completed its first round of interviews. During this process, the team had a candidate share an experience working for a litigious board of fierce competitors. And, another who asked about the culture here at FNGLA. As I reflect on our culture, I am thankful to work in an industry of friendly competition with members who value the importance of working together for the greater good. Thank you to each member of the Search Committee for dedicating a significant amount of time and energy to make sure FNGLA’s future is in good hands. And, an extra special “thank you” to Linda Adams and Martin Hackney for the extra work you both have put into this effort.

In just this month, alone, I have experienced abundant examples of the passion, the values and the dedication of our volunteer leaders and staff. Thank you for all you do to make FNGLA the best nursery and landscape association in the country.


All the best,


Sarah Spatola

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