Horticulture Research Institute Rings in New Year With New Officers and Donor Recognition

Horticultural Research Institute LogoAs it enters its 55th year of service to the green industry, the Horticultural Research Institute, the research affiliate of AmericanHort, is recognizing volunteer leaders and recent donors.

HRI officers for 2017 are President Jon Reelhorn, Belmont Nursery, Inc. (Fresno, CA); Immediate Past President Karl Losely, Herman Losely & Son, Inc. (Perry, OH); President Elect Jennifer DeJager, Lincoln Nurseries, Inc. (Grand Rapids, MI); and Treasurer Alan Jones, Manor View Farm, Inc. (Monkton, MD). Other Executive Committee members are Gary Knosher, Midwest Groundcovers, LLC (St. Charles, IL); Stephen Mostardi, Mostardi Nursery (Newtown Square, PA); and Ken McVicker, Van Essen Nursery Co. (Lebanon, OR).

Trustees for 2017 are Jonathan Berry, J Berry Nursery (Grand Saline, TX); Brian Decker, Decker’s Nursery (Groveport, OH); Leigh Geschwill, F and B Farms and Nursery (Woodburn, OR); Danny Gouge, Willoway Nurseries, Inc. (Avon, OH); Ka Yeon Jeong, PhD, Ohio State University (Columbus, OH); Bob Jones, The Chef’s Garden, Inc. (Huron, OH); Matthew Kramer, Ball Horticultural Company (West Chicago, IL); Mark Reiner, Oakland Nursery, Inc. (Columbus, OH); Danny Takao, Takao Nursery (Fresno, CA); and Lorence Wenke, Wenke Greenhouses (Kalamazoo, MI).

HRI also thanked and recognized the many contributions of out-going trustee Steven Castorani, North Creek Nurseries, Inc. (Landenberg, PA) and out-going executive committee member John Coulter, John Coulter Co. (Hillsboro, OR).

A special memorial recognition was presented to the family of Scott Bunting during a reception held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS). Bunting, who owned and operated Bunting Horticultural Sales in Edgewater, MD, and served as an HRI trustees for six years unexpectedly passed away in August 2016.

More than 150 industry professionals attended the winter reception, which also celebrated HRI donors. The reception recognized more than $190,000 in donations for research fostering business-building knowledge for the horticultural industry.

Notable contributions celebrated that evening include:
• Bayer Foundation, $15,000 toward GrowWise, BeeSmart educational efforts
• J. Frank Schmidt, $3,000 toward GrowWise, BeeSmart research
• Ball Horticultural Company, $25,000 toward GrowWise, BeeSmart research
• Ball Horticultural Company, $9,000 toward support of The Journal of Environmental Horticulture
• Emergents, $1,400 in recognition of their supporters and sponsors
• The Peter Orum Family, $25,000 toward the Orum – Midwest Research Fund
• Midwest Trading, $12,500 toward the Orum – Midwest Research Fund

Donations from attendees were also made to all three of HRI’s special recognition funds: the Memorial Fund, the Legacy Fund, and the Very Important Partner (VIP) Fund.

HRI also acknowledges Spring Meadow Nursery’s $50,000 donation to the Spring Meadow – Proven Winners Endowment Fund. This donation completes a pledge made by the company and founders Dale and Liz Deppe in 2012 to increase their fund donations by $250,000. The fund now stands at more than $730,000.

Finally, HRI recognized the contributions of more than 50 donors to the newly established Craig Regelbrugge – Advocates for Horticulture Fund. Launched last July, the fund honors the steadfast work of horticulture’s leading legislative advocate. This fund now stands at more than $60,000 in donations and pledges.

Monies raised from the donations made during events like this, and throughout the year, fund the activities of the Horticultural Research Institute’s research and scholarship programs, along with educational outreach activities for the organization.

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