FNGLA 2023-24 President Phil Buck, at left, and TPIE Committee Chair Erik Friedli, at right, congratulate Jose Velazquez, center, of Holt Nurseries on winning a 2024 Booth Award at the Tropical Plant International Expo. | FNGLA PHOTO
My favorite part of being President of our organization is getting the opportunity to travel around Florida to attend meetings, tradeshows and other FNGLA gatherings. When I checked into my hotel room the night before Tropical Plant International Expo (TPIE), I found a card and a few snacks. The note written inside thanked me for what I do on behalf of the association, and for being a 'calming' presence at the show for FNGLA. As always, I appreciated the kind words but I couldn’t help thinking that what I do is such a small part of the big picture. What actually goes on behind the scenes throughout the many months leading up to the trade show is a phenomenal display of teamwork by FNGLA's trade show committee and our FNGLA staff.
TPIE 2024 will likely be remembered as one of the best ever with attendance being near 8,000 people. The weather was South Florida perfect and the atmosphere inside the Broward County Convention Center was very positive by most accounts from vendors and attendees. The newly refurbished convention center hall came alive with the vibrant colors of flowers and foliage creating a tropical paradise as green industry growers and allied suppliers displayed their products. Behind the scenes, I was impressed with the work of committee members and FNGLA staff as they completed their individual tasks -- which came together as one really big show!
If you stop and consider the green industry and FNGLA members, the phrase “what goes on behind the scenes” is a large part of what most of us create or produce in the work we do. When you see a beautiful roadside nursery, a newly landscaped home or business, or a well-maintained park or right-of-way, you see the beauty of what we create. How many of us really know how many different products, businesses and years it takes behind the scenes to make that vision come alive?
A single plant or tree doesn’t become a marketable commodity overnight. The products it takes to construct a nursery, fertilizers and pesticides to grow and protect the plant, irrigation systems, delivery trucks, GPS systems, developers of technology and computer systems. All of this and so much more can be part of the process it takes to take a single plant or quantities of plants to reach the market where they become available for further use. The individual roles and products of each of FNGLA’s seven Divisions collectively become part of the process which creates plants and trees that become part of all facets of our lives.
Thanks to each and everyone of you for what you do behind the scenes!
FNGLA 2023-24 President