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AmericanHort makes Green Industry debut Jan. 1

January 3, 2014 -  By

AmericanHort, the horticulture industry’s new trade association, formally began Jan. 1, following the closing of the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and the Association of Horticulture Professionals (OFA) Dec. 31. The more than two-year effort to bring the groups together was initiated by the volunteer leadership of the legacy organizations in order to better meet the needs of the industry and the respective memberships. Members voted in September to approve the consolidation.

The mission of AmericanHort is to unite, promote and advance the industry through advocacy, collaboration, connectivity, education, market development and research. The vision, developed by the new board of directors, is to be a leading and unifying organization for the horticulture industry in order to cultivate successful businesses, and for the industry to enhance lives through the benefits of plants.

The new organization will represent the whole of the plant industry, including breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden center retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscapers, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers and all of those who are part of the industry supply chain. AmericanHort will have its primary office in Columbus, Ohio, and an office in Washington, D.C. to facilitate government relations and research activities, including the management of the Horticultural Research Institute. AmericanHort also will continue to manage America in Bloom, the industry’s community beautification initiative.

While AmericanHort is a new nonprofit corporation, it represents 220 years of service to the industry through the combined history of its previous associations.

“We will not forget the past as we rapidly move toward the future,” said Michael Geary, CAE, president and CEO of the organization. “We will continue the legacy of providing innovative education, industry promotion, developing consumer and professional markets, an expanding convention and trade show and leading a powerful national government relations program.”

Members of  the OFA and ANLA have been automatically enrolled in AmericanHort. They will receive new membership certificates and instructions to update their company and individual profiles. The group’s website launched with information on membership and basic services. Enhancements to the site and additional membership features will roll out over the coming months.

“This is an exciting time for our industry. We sincerely appreciate all of the support and encouragement given by our members in order to make the vision become a reality,” Geary said. “There’s more to come from AmericanHort, and I encourage everyone to get involved through membership and supporting the in-person and virtual activities. I have no anxiety about the future—I expect this is going to be a successful venture for all involved.”

LM Staff

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