Longtime GG Editor Delilah Onofrey Says Goodbye

Longtime GG Editor Delilah Onofrey Says Goodbye

When I came to Greenhouse Grower as an entry-level editor at age 23, I had no idea where this garden path would lead. I had been working as a beat reporter for a small daily newspaper near Kent State University. The advertisement I responded to was for Meister Publishing, an agricultural publisher in Willoughby, Ohio. Growing up in Lakewood next to Cleveland, I knew very little about agriculture but thought it would be a good opportunity to gain magazine publishing experience and some sanity from the daily newspaper grind. I thought it would be a nice stepping stone. And the opening was on the flowers magazine – even better.

Eighteen years later, I can say it has been the most amazing journey and my life would have turned out completely differently if I had not “bloomed” on Greenhouse Grower. I fell in love with the floriculture industry and the people who serve it. I also feel so fortunate to have known and worked with legendary visionaries – past, present and future.

Another aspect I’ve liked is putting the bigger picture together as the industry transforms. Floriculture is dramatically different today than when I started. Cut flower grower Kitayama Brothers was No. 1 on our Top 100 Growers ranking and a lot of our coverage was focused on the cut flower trade. Seed annuals dominated Pack Trials and no one was growing osteospermum, nemesia, diascia or calibrachoa. Mega growers have become the big customers, securing regional market dominance as gatekeepers serving large retailers.

But the best part has been the friendships, which provided me with so many opportunities to learn, grow and expand my horizons. Through relationships with the world’s leading flower breeders and cuttings producers, I’ve visited production facilities in Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa. My new career opportunity, which will be working as a marketing consultant for Suntory, came about through an 11-year friendship with Shigeru Sarada.

Another rewarding part of my job has been mentoring young writers who were just getting started in their careers and turning them onto the industry. I’ve taken great pride in their achievements and continue to stay in touch with most of the former junior-level editors who have worked with me. Several are still working in the industry.

The team we have today led by Group Editor Richard Jones includes Managing Editor Kevin Yanik, Senior Online Editor Sara Tambascio and Editor Carol Miller on Today’s Garden Center, and of course our favorite columnist and travel companion, varieties guru extraordinaire Allan Armitage. I continue to be amazed at all we’ve accomplished together the last few years, especially on the digital front – GGTV videos, webinars, weekly FloriCASTS with timely production information, and a heightened focus in general on multiplatform content. Just wait ‘til next year. You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Meister Media Worldwide has been a great place for me to grow up professionally. I have nothing but gratitude and appreciation for the opportunities and friendships here and those who mentored and believed in me. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and completion and look forward to continuing our work together in a new way.

Being editor of Greenhouse Grower is one of the best jobs in the world and I’m excited for my successor. Although this may be my final column as the editor, I don’t consider this to be my “famous last words.” I plan to continue to write and contribute to trade and consumer media and support the industry. I will continue to champion America In Bloom and support efforts that invest in the future of our industry. Now I will close with a challenge to each of you: Choose at least one way to give back and reinvest in the industry. Share your time, treasure and talent.

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27 comments on “Longtime GG Editor Delilah Onofrey Says Goodbye

  1. I wish you all the best as you move forward with your new venture. I will miss having coffee with you at the Spring trials……..

    Best of Luck!

  2. Thank you Delila for your years of service to our industry.

    I have not the words to express my joy and sadness that I am feeling at this moment.

    Good luck in your future. I know that our paths will cross again, many times.

    Steve

  3. Even though I only met you once, at a greenhouse conference last year, I consider you a friend. I’m looking forward to seeing your new contributions to our industry in your new position.

  4. Delilah,

    Congratulations on your new position. The industry will greatly miss you. Your contributions–writing, mentoring,friendships–have been much valued. I wish you success at Suntory. You will be a tremendous asset to them.

    Debbie Hamrick

  5. Delilah,
    What a great farewell but reallly, thankfully, it’s not farewll since we will still get to see you and work with you. And what a pleasure it is to get to work with you. Congrats on a great 18 year career at Meister and best wishes for the next phase with Suntory!
    Diane

  6. Delilah,

    Congratulations–change is scary, but always results in personal growth…which is the most important aspect of every day. Although, I never had the opportunity to meet you, I have read and enjoyed your insights on many topics. Thank-you and all the best in finding your footing on this new path!

    Gay Smith

  7. Congratulations Delilah! The industry will miss you at Meister but we are very pleased to see you join with Suntory, Shigeru, and his team!
    Jim

  8. Delilah wow that’s a shocker! Hey you know what; I am proud of you for making a huge change in your life. Most people who have being doing something comfortably for 18 years of their lives are very hesitant towards change. It takes a strong person to cross that threshold. Well I am sure I will see you around sometime. Take care and good luck.

  9. Delilah, You have impressed us with your professionalism and your personal approach. You have the knack of presenting the big picture, and that will surely serve well your new venture. Congratulations. Alex Dewar

  10. Delilah, you are awesome. Thank you for mentoring me as one of the “junior-level editors” referenced above. You were a phenomenal boss as a person and as an extremely knowledgeable industry veteran. I use knowledge learned from you every day at Ball. Good luck and I can’t wait to see you at events and back “home” in Cleveland!

  11. Congratulations, Delilah! I wish the best for you both professionally and personally, and hope we continue to see your ‘million dollar smile of happiness’ in the industry news. Your quest for those of us who have a new path in our industry is a good one, and exactly the path that I have enjoyed following. Sandy Hering

  12. Delilah, I still remember our conversation sitting next to you at a Seeley Conference in 1996–my first conference as a new floriculture faculty member. Much thanks for your kind wisdom shared with the entire industry for these past 18 years. Best wishes, and I look forward to our paths continuing to cross.

  13. Good luck, and godspeed. Always remember that you’ll have friends and supporters whereever you go because of your time here. Take care of yourself, okay?

  14. My best wishes to you in your new adventures, Delilah! I’m proud of your accomplishments and admire how you embraced the industry and grew along with it. Congratulations on joining Suntory and writing a new chapter in your life. Have fun! — Robyn

  15. Your not going anywhere. We have lots of work to do between Suntory and AIB!
    Thanks for all you involvement with GG, FIRST, OFA, AIB, The PIE group, etc. etc.

  16. Wow! What a wonderful send off! Thank you all for the memories and well wishes. I feel truly blessed to have this support. Looking forward to seeing everyone again soon. Big hug!!!

  17. Congratulations! Met you first at the “Circle of Friends”tour from Meister Media (a great educational tour through the industry!) and OFA (where Ptilotus Joey won the Meda of Excellence) three years ago. Hope to see you at Spring Trials next year.
    All my best wishes for your new career!

  18. Wow! I am so proud of you. What an amazing journey you have had! I feel blessed to have shared some of it with you. You have given much and I am grateful you are still in the industry. Righteous!!!!

  19. Best of luck and congratulations on your new move, I am glad you will still be part of our industry though in a different role, you have been a great asset to Meister Publishing and a very capable ambassador representing our industry.

  20. It’s truly been an honor getting to know you over the past 10+ years! I’ve always enjoyed our gatherings as we discussed this great industry filled with such knowledgeable and passionate people. Your desire to tell “the rest of the story” and share your experiences with all your readers will certainly be missed. Greenhouse Grower will never be the same! I know you’ll have a wonderful time at Suntory – they’ve been wonderful friends of yours for years and they are blessed to have such a talented new employee. Until next time, take care my friend.

  21. Delilah, it has been great to associate with you and work with you over the years. Always calm, cheerful and competent. I look forward to continuing to see you in your new role. I trust you will do just as well in your next venture. Sincerely, Al Z

  22. Delilah, You did a great job. I am addicted to reading ‘Greenhouse Grower’ because of your writing. Wish you the best in your next job.
    Sincerely,
    Rose Ogutu

  23. Thank you, Delilah. Your words have always given me hope, when some of the tasks of being a grower, seemed so daunting. Through your leadership and efforts, and your published words, I learned so many things that I might not have, elsewhere. Over the past year, I’ve noticed a change in the magazine, but, I’m adjusting, and know that you had a hand in setting the stage for a new leader for all of us to now turn to. I feel like a young student, saying goodbye to one of his favorite teachers. Sure wish I’d have left more apples for you. Thank you for always having been there, and the timely responses. Best of luck in all future endeavors, and always, happy trails. Respectfully, Rich Charette.

  24. Delilah, What a surprise….shocker! Many of us thought of you as part of the fabric of Greenhouse Grower and that you would always be there. Congrats on your move to Suntory, a great company. As a producer of their cuttings, let us know if or how we can assist you with your new challenges. Earl

  25. Delilah,
    What a contribution you have made to the industry and thank you. We all wish you the very best in your next venture!

  26. Delilah you are always delightful, an excellent journalist, and as we see here leading a HUGE fan base. Looking forward to hearing your take from the other side of the fence as time goes on. Many thanks for all you’ve done for all of us.

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