US (NY): GWA conference welcomed 350+ garden communicators

GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators welcomed more than 350 garden communicators to Buffalo, New York for its 69th Annual Conference & Expo. The event provided a unique opportunity for individuals in the horticultural communication sector to come together to connect, learn and grow.

The conference featured tours of homes in Buffalo’s Cottage District, Elmwood Village and on Lancaster Avenue, as well as a visit to Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House, and an evening at Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens. Tours continued to Draves Arboretum and Southtowns private gardens, as well as a visit to Niagara Parks in Canada.

In addition to touring the beauty of Buffalo and surrounding areas, #GWA2017 also featured 30 education sessions covering horticulture, writing, technology, business and publishing; including keynote addresses from Kevin Gaughan and Robin Wall Kimmerer. This year’s Conference & Expo also featured over 50 sponsors and exhibitors from across the industry.

“This year’s GWA Annual Conference & Expo exceeded my expectations – from the pre-conference workshop, to the story tours, to the learning sessions, to the discussions and networking that occurred between events and in the expo hall,” said Kirk Brown, GWA Past President. “This event was also about the celebration of growing GWA as an organization in the garden communications sector.”

During the GWA Awards & Honors Dinner, sponsored by Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs and emceed by Dr. Allan Armitage on Monday night, the recipients of GWA Honors and GWA Media Awards Silver Medal winners were recognized, and the 2017 Media Award Gold Medal winners were announced.

Best Magazine Writing
“Outdoor Dining - Our Well-Tended Gardens: A lunchroom for Wildlife”
Bill Johnson

Best Newspaper/Newsletter Writing
Everybody Gardens
Doug Oster

Best Digital Writing
Grieving Garden: This, Too, Is a Garden
Leesa Lawson

Best Photography
Private Gardens of South Florida
Rob Cardillo

Best Overall Digital Media
Savvy Gardening
Amy Andrychowicz, Niki Jabbour, Tara Nolan & Jessica Walliser

Best Overall Broadcast Media
Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden
Jennifer Jewell

Best On-Air Talent
Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden
Jennifer Jewell

Best Overall Magazine
Mini Gardens & Terrariums
Meredith Corp.

Best Overall Book
Master Gardener Manual
Nancy Knauss, Sue Wyble, Jennifer Bair, Amanda Kirsten & Penn State Extension

Best Trade
Bloom, Fall 2016
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Additionally, the newly elected officers and directors were introduced during the organization’s annual business meeting on Saturday afternoon. GWA is pleased to announce these officers and directors, who will join the existing leaders on the 2016-2017 Board of Directors:

  • President: Becky Heath
  • Vice President: Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp
  • Treasurer: Maria Zampini
  • Secretary: Ellen Zachos
National directors
  • Region II: Kathy Jentz
  • Region VI: Mary-Kate Mackey
Regional directors
  • Region I: Carmen DeVito
  • Region II: Teresa Speight
  • Region III: Susan Martin
  • Region IV: Cheval Opp
  • Region V: Shelley Cramm
  • Region VI: Tova Roseman
  • Region VII: Rob Howard
The 2018 Annual Conference & Expo will be in Chicago, IL in conjunction with The IGC Show, August 13-16. Exhibitor and sponsor opportunities are now available and attendee registration will open in early spring 2018.

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