All-America Selections Honors Doug Holden With Medallion of Honor Award
All-America Selections (AAS) recently honored a horticulture industry legend at the AAS annual Awards Banquet, held this year at the Louisiana State University Ag Center’s Burden Botanic Garden.
The banquet was a closing night celebration where industry representatives, judges, breeders, growers, retailers, and resellers gathered to visit AAS Trial Grounds and Display Gardens. Tour stops included Perino’s Garden Center and the New Orleans Botanical Garden in New Orleans, the Hammond Research Station in Hammond, LA, and the LSU Ag Center in Baton Rouge.
AAS Breeder’s Cup
The prestigious AAS Medallion of Honor is presented to an individual who has given a lifelong dedication to the advancement of horticulture. The 2018 Medallion of Honor recipient is Doug Holden, recently retired Global Head of Breeding at Benary.
Holden started his career at Bodger Seeds Ltd. in 1986, where he bred such notable introductions as Ageratum Hawaii Blue, Lobelia Palace Series, and numerous others.
Continuing his career at Waller Flower Seed Company, Holden advanced to the position of Vice President of Research and Development where he led the development of a new Research and Development Department as well as bred numerous notable series such as the Viola Sorbet Series, Pacifica and Mediterranean Vinca, and Panache Pansies, just to name a few.
In 1997, Holden moved to Goldsmith Seeds Inc. in Gilroy, CA, where he worked as Research Director expanding the efforts of Goldsmith Plants Inc. to include a steady supply of vegetative products that would satisfy the needs of a global market. These products ultimately became part of Syngenta Flowers’ Goldfisch Brand.
As the Vice President of Yoder Brothers’ Propagator Marketing Group, Holden dove into the cut flower and potted plant market by leading the new product development in cut flower carnations, garden mums, hibiscus, azaleas, and other annual and perennial classes.
Following a short tenure as Director of Research for Syngenta Flowers, Holden moved to Benary as the Global Head of Breeding in 2009. He was tasked with establishing a new North American headquarters and breeding facility and recruiting breeders for the North American market. As a result of Holden’s vast knowledge and expertise, the Benary breeding facility has already generated its first completely U.S.-bred series, Super Hero Marigolds (of which, ‘Spry’ is a 2018 AAS Winner), and is poised to introduce many more.
“I always trusted Doug’s opinion of new introductions, as he always looked for the commercial benefits of any new variety,” says John Whitehead, former Managing Director of Colegrave Seed. “I am so pleased he’s being given this honor. The industry would be much less valuable today without his involvement.”