Seeley Summit 2014 Speakers Announced

seeley_summit_logo1Speakers have been announced for this year’s Seeley Summit, which will be held by Cornell University’s Seeley Conference Board June 22-24 in Lisle, Ill.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Jeffrey Bruce, owner of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co.
  • Charles Bauers, owner of Flowers by Bauers
  • John Lea Cox, professor of nursery research and extension at the University of Maryland
  • Bob Dolibois, former executive vice president of the American Nursery & Landscape Association
  • Al Gerace, CEO of Welby Gardens Co.
  • Hugh Gramling, former executive director of Tampa Bay Wholesale Growers
  • Ron Griffin, professor of water resource economics at Texas A&M University
  • Jerry Halamuda, CEO and president of Color Spot Nurseries
  • Lyn Clancy, water rights attorney and water policy expert in Austin, Tx.
  • Bill Phillimore, executive vice president for Paramount Farming Co.
  • Nora Mullarkey, water conservation supervisor at the Lower Colorado River Authority
  • Bryan Silbermann, president and CEO of Produce Marketing Association

For its 2014 focus, the board will tackle the issue of water scarcity. Board members believe water availability will be among the greatest challenges facing the floriculture industry in coming years.

Floriculture and horticulture’s major growing regions are in areas of regular water scarcity (arid west) or occasional extreme shortage (southeast). No region is completely immune (Midwest drought, summer 2012). Ultimately, all sectors of the floriculture supply chain, including growers, retailers, landscapers and the end consumer are, or will be, affected by water scarcity.

The interactive, think-tank atmosphere of the Seeley Summit will allow for plenty of interaction with fellow industry leaders and water experts from outside our industry regarding these timely issues:

What if you had to deal with the real cost, including distribution, of water?

  •  What if the direct cost of water to grow a pot plant, flat or hanging basket was equal to or exceeded the cost of the plastic or growing medium used?
  •  What would this do to your business?
  •  How do you make changes in your business to accommodate the current and future ever-increasing costs of water?
  • In drought conditions, how do we convince legislators (and consumers) to consider and factor in the environmental, social, economic and health/wellnesss benefits of plants, trees and flowers into any water restriction guidelines they’re considering?

The cost of the conference is $575 before April 20 and $695 after April 20. There is a 10 percent discount for an additional member from the same company, regardless of when the registration form arrives.

For more information regarding the 2014 Seeley Summit or for a link to online registration, visit the Seeley Summit website or refer to the Seeley Conference fan page on Facebook.

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