US: ANLA and OFA mail ballots for consolidation vote

The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and OFA - The Association of Horticulture Professionals, mailed ballots today, Aug. 28, 2013, for a member vote on the consolidation of the two organizations, according to a news release. Ballots were distributed to all eligible members as defined by each organization’s bylaws, and completed documents must be received in the associations' respective offices by 4 p.m. EST Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. OFA will hold an additional, in-person vote on Saturday, Sept. 28, in Columbus, Ohio. The results of the combined OFA votes and the ANLA ballot count will be announced following the completion of the in-person vote.
 
The ballot question follows the final approval of the consolidation voted upon by the boards of OFA and ANLA at their meetings in July.

"Both boards hired legal and other expert counsel to review the consolidation of our two organizations," said ANLA President Bob Terry, owner of Fischer Farms in Oregon, in the release. "As leaders, we have spoken with our members and they truly believe that a new trade association, with the combined resources, membership, and staff of ANLA and OFA will best serve the future success of our industry." If approved by the members, a new organization will be formed to represent the whole of the plant industry, including breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden center retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry supply chain.

OFA President Mark Foertmeyer, owner of Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse in Ohio, said, "More than two years ago, we asked the question 'should we work together?' and the answer was 'yes.' The success of our partnership led us to say, 'dating has worked well, how about getting married?' The time has come to walk down the aisle together."
 
OFA past President Bobby Barnitz adds, "This decision is right for our industry, it is right for our members, and it is right for my business. I encourage OFA's members to vote 'yes' on the consolidation."
 
For more information about the proposed new horticulture industry trade association visit www.onevoiceoneindustry.com.

Source: gardencentermagazine.com


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