President's Letter: I hope you were able to attend this year’s FNGLA convention

June 15, 2021

Convention Time! I hope you were able to attend this year’s FNGLA convention last week in St. Augustine.  It was a beautiful setting for a nice and casual convention and it was a great place to network with members from all around the state. It was so good to see lots of members at our first ‘we’re back’ in-person event!

If you were unable to attend, I wish to take this forum to thank you for the opportunity to serve as FNGLA president this past year.  Albeit a little different experience than what other FNGLA presidents experienced in the past, it was nonetheless a fulfilling year. 

The resilience of the FNGLA team and our membership shined this year. The FNGLA staff team and volunteer leaders worked really hard to prep and plan for in-person events even though they realized there was always the chance the events wouldn’t happen. They then pivoted and worked just as hard to plan online events knowing how important these are to our members’ businesses. With open minds, our members showed incredible support of these online events. 

Many exhibitors and sponsors contributed to FNGLA fully recognizing the fiscal importance of our cancelled tradeshows to the Association’s operation.   Seeing this, among all of the other moving parts of FNGLA, truly made this a fulfilling year.

During the convention, as I handed over the presidential “big” shoes to Sarah Spatola who assumes the presidency on July 1,  I remarked how she is going to be a great leader for FNGLA.  Sarah and I completed the UF/IFAS Wedgworth Leadership program together.  If you know Sarah, then you know she has incredible organizational and leadership skills.  She is fully capable and committed to the task.  I am looking forward to seeing all she offers over the next year.

Thank you again to our Members, Volunteer Leaders and FNGLA staff team. This is indeed a great association.  And, it has - and always will be - a great asset to our industry as a whole.


Thank you,


Martin Hackney

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