Leigh Geschwill, co-owner of F & B Farms & Nursery, was sworn in as the new OAN President at the OAN Convention on Saturday. She accepted the gavel from outgoing president Mike Coleman, co-owner of Arrowhead Ornamentals. More than 150 people attended some or all of the convention, which was held at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Oregon.
In her opening speech, Geschwill promised to work hard to advance the nursery industry during her year as president, and "get things done."
"At the nursery association, at executive committee, at the State Board of Directors meetings, and at Government Relations Committee, we focus a lot of our energy on problems we are facing, issues we are dealing with," she said. "Things like anti-business legislation, bad ballot measures, water and land use regulations, and taxes. But what is important to remember is that there is always a path forward. There is always a way to move beyond the issues we are dealing with." (Read the complete speech.)
Joining Geschwill on the 2015-16 Executive Committee are Mark Bigej, Al's Garden Center, president elect; Josh Zielinski, Alpha Nursery, vice president; Mike Hiller, Kraemer's Nursery, treasurer; Jim Simnitt, Simnitt Nursery, secretary; Mike Coleman, immediate past president; and Walter Suttle, Monrovia, member at large.
At Convention the OAN also welcomed some new State Board Representatives and thanked departing members for their service.
Departing the Executive Committee are past president Matt Gold of Gold Hill Sales and Midas Nursery Solutions, and member at large Jim Gilbert of Northwoods Nursery.
Joining as state board representatives are Amanda Staehely of Columbia Nursery as a Clackamas Chapter representative, Mark Leitchy of Little Prince of Oregon Nursery as a Greenhouse Chapter representative, and John Maurer of Evergreen Growers Supply as a Willamette Chapter representative. Continuing their service are Gary English of Landsystems Nursery as a Central Oregon Chapter rep, Tom Brewer of The HC Companies and ProCal as a Clackamas Chapter rep, Tamara Clift of McKenzie River Nursery as an Emerald Empire Chapter rep, Scott Ekstrom of Ekstrom Nursery and Anthony Kinen of Kinen’s Big & Phat Special Plants as Mt. Hood Chapter reps, Sara Ori of Portland Nursery and Lisa Barnett of Sebright Gardens as Retail Chapter reps, Ron Kinney of Monrovia and Clayton Moore of North American Plants as Sunset Chapter reps, and Kyle Fessler of St. Christopher Nursery as a Willamette Chapter rep.
Departing state chapter reps include Dan Inglish and Dawn Hummel as Greenhouse Chapter reps, Mike Nehls of Native Grounds Nursery as Emerald Empire Chapter rep, and Val Tancredi as Willamette Chapter rep. Former Clackamas Chapter rep Jim Simnitt moved to the Executive Committee.
The OAN thanks all the new, continuing and departing board members for their service.