Politics Heat Up At OFA

Politics Heat Up At OFA

Past OFA presidents are challenging the process the association is using to amend its bylaws along with proposed revisions. In response, OFA has stopped the current voting process and has issued a full response to the challenges and allegations from the group of past presidents.

The procedural mistake was not publishing the proposed bylaw revisions in the OFA Bulletin before the vote, as mandated by the current constitution and bylaws. Instead, the revisions were mailed directly to members with ballots in August. Once the revisions are published in the bulletin, the voting process will begin again.

Just after Labor Day, 800 OFA members in Ohio and Michigan received a letter from Walter Krueger of Lakewood Greenhouse in Toledo, Ohio, who served as OFA president from 1993 to 1995. An additional letter urging a “no” vote on the proposed changes was signed by Krueger, and four more past presidents–Justin Marotta of Possum Run Greenhouse, Bellville, Ohio; Robert Maddux of Krueger-Maddux Greenhouses in Cincinatti, Ohio, and Osgood, Ind.; Gordy Perkins of Perkins Flowers in Lapeer, Mich.; and Roger Feist of West Hills Greenhouses in Cincinatti. Former OFA board member Dick Bostdorff of Bostdorff Greenhouse Acres in Bowling Green, Ohio, also signed the joint letter, which began with:

 “We are in the midst of a constitutional crisis! As past presidents and former chairmen of the constitution and bylaws committee, we urge all members to vote No on the proposed changes being presented at this time. When a committee has to eliminate three-fourths of the provisions of the constitution and bylaws to achieve their objectives, something is terribly wrong with the process.”

One of the top concerns they expressed is severing formal ties to Ohio and The Ohio State University (OSU), which created OFA nearly 80 years ago as the Ohio Florist’s Association. Proposed constitutional revisions include eliminating the six mandatory board seats for Ohio growers on the 15-member board.

“You can be a national association without decimating your home state,” Krueger said in an interview. “We used to have nine Ohio directors and then went to six 10 years ago. Six is not a majority but a good enough block to have an impact on programs. If you don’t have credibility in your own state, how can you go out on the road and sell yourself to other people?”

OFA’s response on the Ohio issue is: “The proposed revisions do not remove OSU or Ohio members from OFA participation. They simply provide that those relationships not be mandated to the exclusion of others. OFA partners with many academic institutions, including OSU, and the governing documents of the organization should reflect that. Mandating that nearly one-third of the board be from one state is not reflective of OFA’s national scope. Ohio members will always have the opportunity to serve on the board but the quantity of those board seats should be decided by the entire voting membership.”

OFA’s 173 Ohio grower members represent 7 percent of total membership. Ohio-centric activities OFA does fund and participate in include:

– Funding the Floriculture Industry Roundtable of Ohio, a group of Ohio Extension agents focused on addressing needs of Ohio growers through the Gus Poesch Endowment.
– Providing a workers’ compensation pool to Ohio-only members.
– Underwriting two OSU student scholarships for floriculture and supporting OSU events and trial gardens.
– Hosting the OFA grower Extension council, which is a forum for Ohio growers and OSU Extension agents to meet and discuss challenges and solutions.

The past presidents also expressed serious concerns related to bylaws amendments that revolve around the executive director/CEO’s responsibilities and appointment and financial reporting requirements.

“What we have here is a family quarrel–nothing more and nothing less,” said the letter issued to members by OFA’s executive committee. “Those of us involved in family businesses understand these quarrels often come from differences of opinion between generations. One generation wants to embrace the past and others want to embrace the future.”

To view OFA’s complete response and supporting documents, visit:
http://www.ofa.org/default.aspx?action=News&NewsId=10

Leave a Reply

4 comments on “Politics Heat Up At OFA

  1. It has been obvious that OFA has been trying for years to sever formal ties with Ohio growers. Their “Ohio-centric” activities are token gestures with no real effect. I accept that OFA has grown to be a large, national level event, but it was built by the hard work and efforts of Ohio growers. To take away the few benefits that are left by those growers now is not only unfair, but wrong. I hope OFA can see that their actions are not in the best interest of everyone, simply themselves.

  2. As a former board member it is clear to me this is about the current executive director’s efforts to steal more power and authority over the volunteers. The members should retain the power over OFA for the memberships’ best interests.
    Financial reporting requirements should not be changed. I have seen executive directors come and go and we have had our money stolen in the past. The mission statement is about education, not how rich the association can become and how important the director looks in his own profession.

  3. It has been obvious that OFA has been trying for years to sever formal ties with Ohio growers. Their “Ohio-centric” activities are token gestures with no real effect. I accept that OFA has grown to be a large, national level event, but it was built by the hard work and efforts of Ohio growers. To take away the few benefits that are left by those growers now is not only unfair, but wrong. I hope OFA can see that their actions are not in the best interest of everyone, simply themselves.

  4. As a former board member it is clear to me this is about the current executive director’s efforts to steal more power and authority over the volunteers. The members should retain the power over OFA for the memberships’ best interests.
    Financial reporting requirements should not be changed. I have seen executive directors come and go and we have had our money stolen in the past. The mission statement is about education, not how rich the association can become and how important the director looks in his own profession.

More From Business Management...
Obscura Screens From Svensson feature

July 28, 2016

3 New Products For Cannabis Producers

From screens to fertilizers to lighting, here are three new products that might help enhance your cannabis production system.

Read More
Cannabis In Greenhouse

July 27, 2016

The Top 5 Myths About Cannabis Production Cleared Up

There is a lot of misleading information going around about growing cannabis. Industry insider James Lowe makes sure you know the truth about cannabis production.

Read More
Joe Bischoff

July 26, 2016

SAF Partners With Cornerstone Government Affairs To Advance Industry’s Policy Priorities In Washington

A new partnership between the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Cornerstone Government Affairs ensures that SAF will continue its highly effective work advocating for issues that affect the floriculture industry. “SAF and Cornerstone together provide experienced voices on Capitol Hill to protect our growers’ interests,” says SAF CEO Peter Moran. “We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture.” Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting, and advocacy. Its team of more than 50 senior professionals includes former senior professional staff from both authorization and appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as veterans of the horticulture industry. Agricultural and horticultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers. Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Obscura Screens From Svensson feature

July 28, 2016

3 New Products For Cannabis Producers

From screens to fertilizers to lighting, here are three new products that might help enhance your cannabis production system.

Read More
Cannabis In Greenhouse

July 27, 2016

The Top 5 Myths About Cannabis Production Cleared Up

There is a lot of misleading information going around about growing cannabis. Industry insider James Lowe makes sure you know the truth about cannabis production.

Read More
Joe Bischoff

July 26, 2016

SAF Partners With Cornerstone Government Affairs To Adv…

A new partnership between the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Cornerstone Government Affairs ensures that SAF will continue its highly effective work advocating for issues that affect the floriculture industry. “SAF and Cornerstone together provide experienced voices on Capitol Hill to protect our growers’ interests,” says SAF CEO Peter Moran. “We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture.” Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting, and advocacy. Its team of more than 50 senior professionals includes former senior professional staff from both authorization and appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as veterans of the horticulture industry. Agricultural and horticultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers. Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin […]

Read More

July 26, 2016

AFE Releases New Videos Highlighting Industry Successes

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently released five new videos, created to highlight floriculture successes through industry collaboration, support, and participation. “Each video shares real stories from industry members on career development through scholarships and internships, and true examples of research solutions that have shaped how the industry operates today,” says Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc., and AFE Public Relations and Development Chair. “We’re excited to be able to share some great success stories in an effort to increase industry participation.” The introductory video “Heard of the American Floral Endowment?” helps educate those who aren’t currently aware of AFE’s programs, while other segmented videos (retail, wholesale, grower) share how Endowment programs complement each group and why it’s so important that everyone in the industry participates: Retail Florists Share Why They Turn to AFE New Resources for Floral Wholesalers and Suppliers AFE Helping Growers Profit Ready for a Career in Floriculture or Horticulture? […]

Read More
Workers

July 23, 2016

5 Reasons To Invest In Employee Training

Training and developing your employees is critical to the future success of your organization and the horticulture industry at large. Here are five reasons why your employees are worth the effort.

Read More
BeeSmart

July 21, 2016

How You Can Get Involved In Research

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) supports scientific research and students for the advancement of the horticultural industry.

Read More
Luxflora Flower Run

July 20, 2016

First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says

Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]

Read More

July 19, 2016

Do You Grow Young Plants? Only 4 Days Left To Take Our …

If your operation produces plugs or liners for wholesale growers, please take a few minutes to participate in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Young Plant Grower Survey. We know you are very busy and we value your time and input. This survey should only take a few minutes. Greenhouse Grower’s Young Plant Grower Survey has played a key role in building our Top 20 Young Plant Growers list over the years. The information helps us zero in on trends taking shape and the challenges you’re facing as young plant growers. If you have any questions about this survey or you are not the right contact for this at your operation, please email me at [email protected], or please forward the survey link to the appropriate person. We would like to wrap up this survey by July 25, so please take it soon! Thank you in advance for your participation. We value your opinion! » […]

Read More

July 9, 2016

Market The Experience Of Gardening, Minus The Fuss

Greenhouse Grower editor Laura Drotleff says the industry should promote plants and gardening in bite-size chunks that help consumers build skills.

Read More
Grower Education

July 7, 2016

Two Industry Veterans Discuss How To Meet The Challenge…

Two industry players have a conversation on how we can deliver the level of grower education needed to address complex issues associated with production practices and pest management strategies.

Read More
Briscoe White, Growers Exchange

July 6, 2016

The Grower’s Exchange Unlocks The Secret to E-Commerce

In the Internet era, Briscoe and Kenan White knew they had to adapt or die and specialize to survive. Here’s how they took The Grower’s Exchange online.

Read More
Brie Arthur

July 6, 2016

5 Can’t-Miss Events To Watch For At Farwest 2016

Whether it’s classes on biocontrols and gardening trends, or networking opportunities in and around the trade show floor, there’s plenty happening at Farwest 2016 in Portland, OR, in August.

Read More
'Violets Pride' from Week's Roses Downton Abbey Garden Rose Collection

July 6, 2016

6 Key Insights From The Generations Of Flowers Study

Being local and offering expert recommendations are hidden opportunities in the floral business. This was one of six insights during a recent webinar analyzing the Generations of Flowers study from the Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment.

Read More
Joe Lamp'l

July 1, 2016

Gardening Personality Joe Lamp’l Will Be Keynote Speake…

Lamp’l, who hosts the PBS series “Growing a Greener World,” will discuss effective ways to build your business and keep your customers.

Read More
Cannabis states 2016

July 1, 2016

Adult Use Of Cannabis On The Ballot In 2016

25 states have legalized cannabis and public opinion is increasingly positive. Here’s where things may be headed as we move toward the fall elections.

Read More
Robert Conrad, Ball Seed Technology Research Manager

June 27, 2016

Ball Premier Lab Wins Medal Of Excellence Award For Its…

Over the past 30 years, the Ball Premier Lab has set the standard for high-quality seed in the industry, earning it Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Medal Of Excellence for Industry Achievement, for its dedication to advancing seed and helping growers improve their margins.

Read More
North Creek Nurseries lower trials

June 24, 2016

North Creek Nurseries Is A Finalist For 2016 Operation …

North Creek Nurseries in Landenberg, PA, is one of three finalists for Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Operation Of The Year award and winner of the Excellence In Sustainable Production award for 2016.

Read More
Vic Frey, Kurt Weiss Greenhouses Feature

June 23, 2016

Vic Frey Named A Finalist For 2016 Head Grower Of The Y…

Vic Frey, a finalist for the 2016 Head Grower of the Year and recipient of the 2016 Excellence In Production award, was always willing to trial and experiment with the latest technology. He loved the constant change in this industry, and turned every opportunity into a teaching moment.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]