Representatives from the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN) and the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association (WSNLA) are having more serious discussions about a possible merger of the two associations. The two groups had discussed the idea casually for eight or nine months.
A merger makes sense for the two organizations because they share similar climates, geography and population profiles. Retailers, growers and landscapers in the states face some of the same marketing challenges, and they contend with many of the same legislative and regulatory issues.
If a merger does happen, an Oregon-Washington combination could result in more than 1,800 individual members. Oregonians could draw on Washington’s strength in the retail sector, and Washingtonians could benefit from Oregon’s strength in wholesale.
“A merged association would provide Oregon’s retailers and landscapers a larger community of interest with Washington retailers and landscapers,” says OAN President Tom McNabb.
Tom Quigley, president of WSNLA, also views a potential merger positively. “This is a great example of looking at old challenges in new ways and demonstrates the commitment of both organizations to provide innovative leadership in challenging times.”
The boards of both organizations are seeking input from their members, and they’ve planned several meetings to iron out details of a potential merger.