FNGLA 2021-22 Officer Nominations Announced

May 7, 2021

FNGLA's 2021-22 Nominating Committee is very pleased to place in nomination as FNGLA officers the following two outstanding leaders:

Eric Smith Headshot

ERIC SMITH -- Nominee for FNGLA's 2021-22 President-Elect 

Born and raised in the Tampa Bay area, Eric Smith was raised with an affinity for everything outdoors. He grew up fishing, hunting and camping with family and friends with a reverence for the landscape and nature instilled by his parents. A graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Eric has worked in the ‘Green Industry’ nearly his entire adult life. As a crew member in college and, subsequently, as a manager of Big Trees Plantation, Eric spent a decade learning the ropes under then future FNGLA President Ed Bravo. With his wife accepting a position in Atlanta, Eric moved north and began working for John Deere Landscapes which would become SiteOne Landscape Supply. He worked in Nursery & Agronomic sales at their flagship branch in Alpharetta, GA. Remaining with SiteOne after moving back to Florida a short time later thanks to his wife, Rachel's further promotion, Eric worked in SiteOne’s Orlando market with Michael Agate in Irrigation & Agronomic sales. Now, as National Sales Manager for Turf & Ornamentals for BioSafe Systems, he works to develop grower relationships and promote the use of BioSafe’s diverse product line across all fronts of the Green Industry. Eric has in the past served in leadership positions with three FNGLA Chapters. He has served as the Frontrunners Chapter’s representative to FNGLA’s state Board of Directors, and also as Chapter President. Eric then served on the Action Chapter Board of Directors and, currently, Eric is a member of the Tampa Bay Chapter’s Board. He lives in Tampa with Rachel and their two young sons.

Phil Buck Photo

PHIL BUCK -- Nominee for FNGLA's 2021-22 Secretary-Treasurer

Phil Buck was born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He later attended Clemson University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management and Entomology. At Clemson, Phil was a charter member of Sigma Chi International Fraternity and is still active as part of the Naples Area Alumni Chapter. After graduation in 1980, Phil worked for The Davey Tree Expert Company for Residential Tree Care in both Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC before moving to South Florida in 1984. He later became the Parks Director of St. Lucie County and then the City of Naples Arborist where he was instrumental in Naples, Florida receiving The Tree City USA designation.

In 1997, Phil opened the Naples territory for The Davey Tree Expert Company serving as District Manager until he joined the Crawford Landscaping Team in 2009. He is currently a managing partner of Crawford Landscaping, a leading full-service landscaping company in Southwest Florida.

Phil is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and an FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional. As a Consulting Arborist, Phil sits on the Collier County Landscape Board, the City of Bonita Springs Tree Board and the Lee County Transportation Advisory Board for Landscape Review. 

Phil has been a very active member and leader in FNGLA’s Royal Palm Chapter serving three years as its President. Currently, he is the Chapter’s State Representative. Phil has also served two terms on the FNGLA Budget Committee. Phil enjoys playing a lot of tennis and any sport Clemson University plays!

Elections for these two positions will be conducted during the FNGLA’s Annual Meeting on Saturday morning, June 12 as part of the 2021 FNGLA Convention in St. Augustine Beach.  

The position of FNGLA’s President for 2021-22 will automatically be filled by the current President-Elect: Sarah Spatola (Ecologel/Arborjet, Ocala).  The position of FNGLA’s Immediate Past President for 2021-22 will automatically be filled by the current President: Martin Hackney (Hackney Nursery, Greensboro). 

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