The Oregon Association of Nurseries recently honored several members for their outstanding achievements and service to the nursery industry. These awards were announced at the annual OAN Convention on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014 at The Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton, Oregon. The convention was hosted by past OAN presidents Bob Terry of Fisher Farms (2008) and Kathy LeCompte of Brooks Tree Farm (2001).
The convention also featured the passing of the president’s gavel from wholesale grower and nursery equipment dealer Matt Gold (Gold Hill Nursery and Midas Nursery Solutions, Hillsboro) to Mike Coleman (Arrowhead Ornamentals LLC, Hubbard).
Coleman will lead a 22-member Board of Directors, which includes a seven-member Executive Committee, in leading the 900-member trade association, which represents a nursery industry that regularly achieves gross sales of more than $750 million per year.
The awards were as follows:
- The OAN Outstanding Service Award went to Sean Hogan, co-owner of Cistus Design Nursery, a wholesale and retail nursery and landscape design firm based on Sauvie Island in Portland. The award is given for outstanding long-term service to the industry and association. Hogan is a grower, designer, plant explorer, speaker and author with an encyclopedic knowledge of horticulture. He cofounded his business with his partner, Parker Sanderson, and it has become known worldwide for its advocacy of unusual and underused plants. His service to the OAN has included involvement in the Yard, Garden & Patio Show and the Farwest Trade Show, and currently, he is helping plan a trial garden for woody ornamental plants.
- The Clayton W. Hannon Distinguished Service Award went to Mark Sander, who works with his brother, Matt, at Matt Sander Landscape Services in Hillsboro. The award honors specific and notable service to the industry. It is named for Clayton W. Hannon, the former OAN executive director. Mark was chosen in recognition of more than 20 years of volunteer service to the Yard, Garden & Patio Show. He took on the role of coordinator of the show’s Showcase Gardens, and to this day, he continues to work with Showcase Garden and Edible Garden designers and contractors to guide them through the processes of design, set up and tear down.
- The Political Awareness Award went to John Coulter, general manager of Fisher Farms in Gaston. The award honors an individual who has shown exceptional political awareness in dedicated support of the nursery industry. Coulter was recognized for his two years of service as the chairman of the OAN Government Relations Committee. He played a key role as the OAN secured passage of the state’s first ever water supply bill and the driver’s card bill, and won increased funding for OSU Extension and state natural resource agencies.
- The Distinguished Education Award went to Gail Gredler, who recently retired from Chemeketa Community College in Salem. The award is given for exceptional service through education, extension or government service. Gredler was honored for her service as the director of horticulture at Chemeketa. During seven years of service, she expanded the program’s role and its offerings, as well as its relationship with the nursery industry. Prior to joining Chemeketa, she served as a research technician for the OSU Department of Horticulture and the OSU Marion County Extension, an extension agent in Yamhill County, and the Director of Education at the Oregon Garden.
- The New Nursery Professional of the Year Award went to Jason Hupp, owner of Western Evergreen, a wholesale grower based in Silverton. Hupp went straight into the nursery industry after high school, working with his grandparents, Delbert and Barbara Hupp, at Drakes Crossing Nursery. Then, a decade ago, he started his own nursery, Western Evergreen, which sells high-quality grafted conifers.
- The Chapter of the Year Award was given to the Willamette Chapter. The award is given to a committee or chapter that is particularly successful in service to the OAN membership. The Willamette Chapter was chosen for its longstanding community involvement, for its support of future leaders of agriculture through a scholarship at Chemeketa Community College, and for its effort this year to re-engage the chapter community through collaboration with other chapters.
- And finally, the President’s Five Star Awards, chosen by outgoing president Matt Gold, went to Jim Gilbert of Northwoods Nursery, Dick Joyce of Joyce Farms, Jerry Simnitt of Simnitt Nursery, OAN Executive Diretor Jeff Stone, and to the president’s wife, Tonya Gold. These awards are given in recognition of outstanding or crucial service, assistance or support rendered during the president’s year.
The next OAN Convention was announced for November 13–14, 2015 at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon. The event will be co-hosted by past OAN presidents Kristin VanHoose of Amethyst Hill Nursery (2011) and Rod Park of Park’s Nursery (1991).