On the QT | The Official Newsletter of GWA February - March 2017 - Page 5

PRESIDENT ’ S MESSAGE
KIRK R . BROWN

REGIONAL EVENTS

2017 Opportunities Abound

GWA is riding a New Year ’ s Express into a dynamic year of programming ! Located in the convention centers of Baltimore , Maryland , and Fort Lauderdale , Florida , MANTS and TPIE are among the country ’ s biggest green industry events . Members attended in record numbers to network , update and find work . Cultivate ’ 17 , at the Greater Convention Center in Columbus , Ohio , promises to be bigger and better than any that have come before . Our association continues to be an involved presence on these trade show floors and throughout the halls of the educational sessions .
In August , GWA is traveling to Buffalo , New York , and a ride around its Olmsted Parks System for our annual Conference & Expo . And in September , we ’ re taking a carriage ride down a live-oak alee to Magnolia Plantation in Charleston , South Carolina , for the second annual NextGen Summit . Every region has a meeting , or a Connect , or a trade show or all of the above to make it easier for our members to pick the vehicle best suited to their professional and geographic needs . As an organization , we continue to find many more ways to celebrate our unique status in the green industry .
STAFF REVIEWS We are an association that has tended to its business : Over the first year of our new management contract , we completed both a six- and a 12-month professional review of managerial effectiveness . We also conducted a separate evaluation of board and volunteer commitment . Following an analysis of best standards and practices , we rewrote our bylaws . To extend benchmarking to all areas of operation , GWA created a dynamic policy manual that now accompanies our strategic plan . We are closely following our fiscal plan to reduce deficit spending and project to end the next financial cycle in the black . Membership numbers are improving while attendance at events is up over all year-to-date comparisons .
Thank you to a dedicated and energized staff . Thanks to an involved executive committee for joining in this incredible ride . Thank you to the recently retired , the continuing directors and all the newly elected members of the GWA board . From my perspective over the past 20 years , there has never been a more diverse and horticulturally rich program with which to get involved . Thanks to the many chairs who steer an outstanding group of volunteers who staff our many and varied committees . They have met and exceeded expectations against our 12-month list of strategic initiatives and long range plans .
CHALLENGE TO MEMBERS
I want to issue a GWA challenge goal : Every member should attend just one more industry-wide symposium or trade show and get just one more member to join our association . We have built bridges to master gardeners , garden clubs , arborists , landscape architects , landscape contractors , growers , hybridizers , public garden administrators and garden center owners . How can we multiply those connections by a factor of 2 or 10 ? I would like to see our membership numbers double within the time of my remaining service on the board .
This year I thank everyone responsible for enabling me to experience some of the finest public and private gardens that America grows . These gardens demonstrate that there are strong and dynamic programs across this country that will define and cultivate the public ’ s taste for gardening into the future . There are many brilliant strategies out there that will nurture a future family of horticultural professionals . My wish for the next 12 months is that GWA and its members is a part of every one of these programs .
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This winter ’ s courses at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle , Illinois , include “ Insects and Diseases of Landscape Plants ,” on six days , beginning February 28 , and “ Introduction to Ecological Restoration ” beginning March 7 .
The West Virginia Extension Service Master Gardener Association ’ s 2017 Annual Conference will be at Stonewall Resort , Roanoke , West Virginia , March 24 through 26 .
Spring Blooms : A Celebration of Color will adorn the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art March 31 through May 31 . More than 100 volunteers assisted and in the planting of about 150,000 bulbs for the outdoor exhibit .
REGION IV Spring Garden Festival at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens , Gainesville , Florida , on March 18-19 . More than 100 exhibitors will fill the meadow selling art , crafts , plants of all types , outdoor furniture , tools and anything else related to gardening .
For those in the Deep South , the Mississippi Landscape and Nursery Association has two Garden Extravaganzas coming up : March 10- 11 , in Biloxi and March 17-18 , in Jackson .
REGION V From February 25 through April 9 , the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Dallas Blooms : Peace , Love and Flower Power . It showcases an explosion of color with more than 500,000 spring-blooming blossoms and dazzling layers of landscape at every turn . Dallas Blooms is sponsored by IBERIABANK .
From April 15 through July 3 , they will ZimSculpt , an exhibition of more than 100 exquisite sculptures from several dozen contemporary Zimbabwean artists displayed throughout the gardens .
REGION VII Catherine Stewart ( Garden Drum ) from sunny Australia has provided information on a number of events to be held down under in the next few months . Do try to visit if you are travelling to Australia this spring .
• Through March 31 , Eden Unearthed , Eden Gardens , Sydney . Twenty-nine garden art installations by established and emerging artists .
• March 6-8 , Green Cities 2017 Annual Conference , Sydney .
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