Happy New Year! Welcome to 2014!
On Jan. 1, AmericanHort, the horticulture industry’s newest trade association, officially began operating.
AmericanHort’s debut is the culmination of a two-year effort of the leaders at OFA and the American Nursery & Landscape Association to come together as one unified entity.
AmericanHort’s mission 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 entire 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.
The new non-profit corporation represents 220 years of service to the industry through the combined history of the two previous associations. “We will not forget the past as we rapidly move toward the future. 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,” said Michael V. Geary, CAE, the president and chief executive officer of the organization.
AmericanHort is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and has an office in Washington, D.C. to facilitate government relations and research activities, including the management of the Horticultural Research Institute. The new organization also will continue to manage America in Bloom.
While the OFA and ANLA corporations ceased to exist on Dec. 31, the members of both groups have been automatically enrolled in AmericanHort. They will receive new membership certificates and instructions to update their company and individual profiles.
If you aren’t already a member, now is a good time to join AmericanHort -- just go to AmericanHort.org  to learn how.
Once again, happy new year and a big welcome to AmericanHort.
-- Tim