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ONLA award winners announced

Industry News

The association made presented the awards at CENTS on Jan. 14 in Columbus, Oh.

| February 7, 2014

The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) is pleased to announce the winners of their 2014 award. The awards were presented during the Central Environmental Trade Show (CENTS) at the ONLA Luncheon & Business Meeting held January 14, 2014 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. At the same meeting, the ONLA elected new board members.

The nominees of each award are listed below:

The ONLA is pleased to present both Joanne Kick-Raack and Tom McNutt with the 2014 ONLA Educator & Public Service Award.

The ONLA Educator & Public Service Award recognizes outstanding educators and/or public service employees. Candidates are those who have given their time and/or talents to benefit the Green Industry in one or more of the following ways: outstanding classroom teachers who have also served the adult community through outreach programs; researchers who have worked in areas of major industry needs; extension personnel who have consistently taken an active role in Green Industry activities; garden writers and radio and television personnel who have been complimentary to the objectives of the industry; government employees who have assisted the industry in preventing or solving potential problems, and arboreta and botanic garden employees who have served the industry in a variety of ways.


It is with great pleasure that the ONLA Board of Directors announces the 2014 Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association’s (ONLA) Distinguished Contribution Award Winner, Peter Scarff of Scarff’s Nursery in New Carlisle, Ohio.

The purpose of the ONLA’s Distinguished Contribution Award is to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to the nursery and landscape industries. Any Ohio resident, who has significantly contributed to any aspects of the horticulture field, is eligible.


The ONLA is pleased to announce that the 2014 Legislator of the Year recipient is Senator Gayle Manning.

Senator Manning is serving her first term in the Ohio Senate representing the 13th District, which encompasses Huron and Lorain Counties.


It is with great pleasure that the ONLA announces the 2014 Legislative Advocate of the Year recipient, Mark Gilson.

The Legislative Advocate of the Year Award, previously known as the Grassroots Volunteer Award, is presented annually to a deserving individual in the green industry who has shown outstanding leadership in legislative affairs.


The ONLA is pleased to announce the 2014 Service Award recipient, Jennifer Gray, former Associate Executive Director of The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association. The award was presented by retired ONLA Executive Director, Bill Stalter.

The ONLA Service Award, previously known as the Award of Merit, seeks to honor those people who have unselfishly given their time, resources or talents to serve the association. The Service Award is intended to recognize individual members who have served the ONLA in an outstanding manner in one or more of the following ways: officer, board of directors, committee chair, committee member or membership service provider. Eligibility includes any member of any ONLA membership classification or representative of a member firm of the ONLA.


It is with great pleasure that the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) announces the 2014 Young Professional of the Year Award recipient, Mark Reiner.

ONLA’s Young Professional of the Year Award seeks to recognize young professionals, age 35 or under, who have contributed significantly to the success of their company of employment and have been actively involved in ONLA and/or national association activities. The ONLA wishes to not only recognize but to encourage participation, growth and achievement by young professionals involved in production, landscape, retail and/or maintenance aspects of our industry. The selection of the Young Professional of the Year is made by the ONLA Distinguished Contribution Awards Committee.


The ONLA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 ONLA Scholarship Program. Given in memory of Dr. Phil Kozel, former Professor of Horticulture at The Ohio State University, the ONLA Scholarship Program has given over $500,000 in the last 20 years to deserving horticulture students throughout Ohio. Dr. Kozel was also director of the Shade Tree Evaluation Program until his untimely death in 1979. Dr. Kozel was a long time ONLA supporter and the organization is honored to present these awards in his name.

The ONLA presented a total of 15 scholarships totaling $15,500 in scholarship support this year. Scholarships were awarded based upon academic achievement, school involvement, extracurricular activities and interest in horticulture.

The President’s Scholarship is awarded through the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association’s Scholarship Fund administered by the Academic Excellence Foundation (AEF). This scholarship is awarded to the highest scoring applicant in the judging process. The 2014 President’s Scholarship winner is Amy Miller from The Ohio State University.

Other winners of the 2014 ONLA/Phil Kozel Memorial Scholarship Program include: Jared Champion (The Ohio State University), Amy Day (Cincinnati State Technical & Community College), John DiFranco (The Ohio State University), Sarah Fenske (Cincinnati State Technical & Community College), Jeff Fox (Clark State Community College), Michelle Keip (Owens Community College), William Queen (Clark State Community College), Hillary Rader (The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute), and Maggie Rigney (University of Cincinnati).

A student from the University of Cincinnati was awarded an ONLA scholarship made possible through the generosity of the Southwest Ohio Environmental Horticulture Association (commonly referred to as “SOEHA”). Although the group disbanded in 2001, SOEHA decided to donate all remaining organizational monies to a scholarship fund in honor of Lloyd W. Kennedy, to be administered by the ONLA. Each year, a student at one of the Southwestern Ohio colleges (Clark State Community College, the University of Cincinnati, and Cincinnati State Technical & Community College) is selected to receive this scholarship. The 2014 SOEHA scholarship recipient is Melissa Kichler from the University of Cincinnati.

In January 2013, in an effort to continue to grow the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Scholarship fund, the ONLA issued a challenge to its members. The ONLA pledged to match any member who became an Academic Excellence Foundation (AEF) Ambassador level member ($25,000). Kent Fullmer, Fullmer’s Landscaping Inc. accepted the challenge by donating $25,000 to the AEF. The Artist in Landscape Design Scholarship by Fullmer’s Landscaping offers a $2000 scholarship every two years to a student studying in the horticultural field and attending school in the Tri-State area. The 2014 Artist in Landscape Design Scholarship by Fullmer’s Landscaping winner is Nall Inshan Moonilall from The Ohio State University.

In 2011, Bryan A. Champion, president of Herman Losely and Son located in Perry, Ohio, passed away at the age of 47. Champion was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, and fought a courageous 4-year battle to try to beat the devastating disease. Champion was a 5th generation nurseryman with a passion for the nursery and landscape industry. During his career he was involved with local, state and national associations that represent the industry. He sought to advance the industry through sound leadership, volunteer participation, and peer-to-peer networking and education events. In honor of Champion’s legacy and dedication to the nursery and landscape industry, donations from his peers established The Bryan A. Champion Memorial Scholarship Fund. The winner this year is Joshua Henry from The Ohio State University.

This year, two scholarships were given to high school FFA students. The winners were Ross Clark (Mayfield High School), and Jessica Miller (Lorain County JVS).

New ONLA Board for 2014

The new ONLA president is David Richards from South Ridge Farms in Ashtabula, Ohio and is an instructor at Auburn Career Center in Painesville, Ohio. Richards has served on many ONLA committees over the years, as well as a previous two-year term on the board of directors. He is looking forward to serving as the association president in 2014 and working for Ohio’s green industry.

Jim Searcy from Hyde Park Landscaping in Cincinnati, Ohio will be serving on the board as Immediate Past President with Mike Dues from Dues Nursery & Landscaping, Ltd. in Celina, Ohio serving as 2014 President Elect.

Returning board members include: Jason Bornhorst from JB Design Group in Hilliard, Ohio; David Listerman from Listerman & Associates, Inc. in Xenia, Ohio; Bill Mainland from Klyn Nurseries, Inc. in Perry, Ohio; Dr. Hannah Mathers, representing The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio; Mark Reiner from Oakland Nursery, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio; and Kevin Thompson Executive Director of The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association.

New board members for 2014 include: Annette Howard from Gilson Gardens, Inc. in Perry, Ohio; and Josh Posey from Buckeye Resources, Inc. in Springfield, Ohio.


The ONLA’s annual convention, the Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show (CENTS), is scheduled for January 7-9, 2015, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel, Columbus. The trade show is open to persons in the nursery and landscape industry.

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