Past president Carson Lord of Tree Frog Nursery served as the master of ceremonies at this year's President's Awards Banquet, taking place this past Saturday night (November 2) at the OAN Convention in Hood River.
Several awards were given out to outstanding people nominated by members and selected by the OAN Awards Committee.
Amanda Staehely was named New Nursery Professional of the Year. She has served on the OAN Board of Directors since 2015. She and her husband, Wayne Staehely, own Columbia Nursery in Canby.
The OAN Research Committee was named Committee or Chapter of the Year. Committee members Leigh Geschwill, Chris Robinson and Scott Renfro accepted the award on the committee's behalf.
Joy Creek Nursery, a destination retail nursery located in Scappoose, was chosen as Retailer of the Year. Owners Mike Smith and Maurice Horn were present to accept the award.
Aaron Guffey of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District was selected for the Distinguished Member of the Horticultural Allied Trades Award for his work in preserving natural resources and keeping them in nursery production.
Mark and Jolly Krautmann, owners of Heritage Seedlings & Liners, received the Outstanding Stewardship Award for their work preserving habitats in the Willamette Valley.
Joe Dula of Moana Nursery was chosen for the Clayton W. Hannon Distinguished Service Award, which represents a specific, notable service to the industry. Dula has been a longtime committee member and volunteer for the Farwest Show.
Mark Bigej, an owner of Al's Garden & Home, was chosen for the Political Awareness Award, given to someone who has shown exceptional political awareness in support of the nursery industry.
Pete Brentano, an owner of Brentano Tree Farm, was given the Outstanding Service Award, given in recognition of long-term service to the industry and association. Brentano served as OAN president in 2006 and currently serves on the 10-member Oregon Board of Agriculture as representative for the state's $1 billion nursery industry.
Art Anderson, general manager of J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., was announced as an Honorary Life Member of OAN. Anderson is retiring at the end of this year. He served as OAN President in 1994.
Gary English, owner of Landsystems Nursery in Bend, was presented with an Honorary Life Membership. English is the longest continuously-serving member of the OAN Board of Directors with 20-years-plus and counting. He currently serves as a retail representative and previously served as representative for Central Oregon Chapter when the board was on a chapter-representation model.
Outgoing president Mike Hiller presented his selections for Five Star Awards, given to those who provided outstanding service or support during his term of office. The recipients included:
wife and daughter Kirsten and Lola Hiller;
OAN Executive Director Jeff Stone;
OAN Publications Manager Bill Goloski;
Dr. Jill Calabro of the Horticultural Research Institute; and
Dr. Ryan Contreras, plant breeder and professor of horticulture at Oregon State University.