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Minutes Virginia Green Industry Council Annual Meeting

Monday, January 12, 2004, 1-4:00 p.m.;  State Fair Office; Richmond, Virginia

Welcome: Lin Diacont

Present were: Jeff Miller, Gwynn Hubbard, Lorene Blackwood, Mary Williams,  Rick Baker, Cary Gouldin, Bill Bonwell, Linda Anson, Lorrie Lincoln, T. Michael Likins, Mark Rodriguez, Ron Bean, Nanette Parsons, B.J. Farish.

Election of Officers: The slate of the following officers was unanimously accepted.
                 President          Lin Diacont
                 Vice President Cary Gouldin
                 Secretary          Lorene Blackwood
                 Treasurer          Jeff Miller

Secretary’s Report:    Minutes of last meeting approved.

Treasurer’s Report:   Approved See attachment

Agribusiness Banquet, January 15 - Cary is spearheading the effort for the Council to provide centerpieces for the 100 tables at the banquet. Lin will continue, as in the past, to create a Green entrance into the Center. Over 1,000 guests will attend this banquet which supports agriculture in Virginia.  This is an outstanding opportunity for the Green Industry to be highly visible to our legislators.

The following companies will donate product for the centerpieces.

·         Battlefield Farm
·         Chadwick and Son
·         Piedmont Growers
·         Whites Greenhouse
·         Willow Run
·         Yoder Brothers
Weber’s Nursery
·         Paramont Greenhouse
·         Stone’s Greenhouse

The following people will help sleeve donations and set up: Carol Smallwood, Gwynn Hubbard,  Lin Diacont, Lorene Blackwood, Emily Lewis, and Ray Vaughn.

State Fair - Cary will be the point person for solicitations for the Green Industry’s presentation at the State Fair. Gwynn will continue to work with Cary on this project.

FSMIP Grant - All expenses related to the grant will be sent directly to Rick at VDACS for payment. These funds will not go through the Council’s treasury. There is a need to have two more survey’s completed by May.  One will be done at Maymont and the VSLD will coordinate one possibly at Lewis Ginter. Lorrie will follow up on the Ginter survey.

Jeff will have more brochures and stickers printed out of the grant money.

It was recommended that the council solicit membership through mailings within the industry.

Lin will explore possibilities for a 2005 Green Industry Expo with equipment demos etc

The Council will begin the process of securing funding through sponsorships. Each association member was asked to provide a contact person in their association who could solicit sponsors from their respective segment of the green industry. They will report to the Finance Committee.

Old Business

Jeri LeMay sent the recommendation that we continue to work with Sam Hamilton, Agribusiness Council, regarding water issues. It is recommended that all green industries keep an accurate record for all water usage by metering.

Linda Anson will keep up with legislative issues and do searches for new bills that might have an impact on the green industry.

It is recommended by Greg Eaton that the NASS surveys be coordinated throughout the industry, not one industry specific.

The registration for the VGIC logo should be completed soon. It has been submitted to the SCC and they have requested additional information.

Jeff Miller reviews screen shots of the websites and noted that he had not gotten any input from any of the associations on consumer info for the website or for the website. He suggested that different plant societies be offered a free page on the consumer website for their promotion of the website to their members and other consumers. Everyone was requested to review the two websites and provide feedback and suggestions to Jeff. On the consumer website, VGIC members will be offered an opportunity to be listed on the lookup database for consumers to find members in their area and to find certified professionals.

Lorene will solicit calendar friendly horticultural articles to be published on the web and used as news releases under the VGIC name.  Volunteers please come forward.

Articles needed:

·         Pruning for Crape Myrtles
Proper Mulching Techniques
·         “Spring Buddies” How to deal with them: Bagworms, Tent Caterpillars, etc

New Business

Mary will visit the “Surf and Turf” program at the Science Museum and Rick will visit the Potomac Watershed Partnership in Maryland to see if there is a need for the VGIC to participate for 2005.

Lin, representing the VGIC, will contact VDOT regarding the Interstate 288 landscaping issues.

Mary noted that promotion of certification in all green industry fields is to be emphasized. This is high priority for the VNLA this year. She also suggested that the VGIC develop a display with an “umbrella” theme to use at the State Fair, Maymont, VT Farm & Family and other events.

Lin requested that the Public Relations Committee meet and develop a proposal for the VGIC marketing plan. It was noted that Anita Showers at VDACS might be able to provide some help. He also requested that a committee list be sent out again and that the committees be requested to meet before the next VGIC meeting, March 15, and develop plans for their committee for 2004. Jeff noted that he can arrange conference calls to reduce travel/meeting time if any committees are so inclined.

Ads need to be developed to send to green industry groups to use in their newsletters and publications to promote the VGIC.

The VNLA will award horticultural scholarships through Albert James (Bert) Shoosmith Scholarship Fund. Anyone interested please contact Jeff Miller for additional information. Deadline March 1

Dates for meetings for the rest of 2004 will be set at the next meeting on March 15, at the State Fair Office, 1-4 pm


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