Whenever we heard about natural disaster hitting our state, including the September 2017 Hurricane Irma, FNGLA members and certified professionals jump to the aid of their fellow industry members. Last month’s Hurricane Michael was no different.
by Merry Mott, FNGLA's Director of Industry Certifications & Career Development
This unprecedented storm strengthened quickly and hit the Panhandle of Florida – and continued to leave a path of destruction in its wake through several states.
FNGLA President Will Womack reported in his November monthly President's Letter, “I am so terribly proud to report the response by you, our members, was immediate and heart-warming. Before the full scope of Michael was even known, my phone and email were inundated with messages of giving,” he said.
Ed Bravo and Frontrunners Chapter members, Rich Kling and his Action Chapter, Broward, Miami-Dade and Royal Palm Chapters all sprang into action, coordinating a truckload of water, food and materials to be distributed to hard-hit areas through the coordination of Martin Hackney of the Big Bend Chapter, as well as FNGLA Past President and Florida State Representative Halsey Beshears.
While FNGLA’s landscape certification exam was taking place October 19th, one long-time judge, FCLC Vladimir Foursa of BG Katz was conspicuously absent. He was in Florida’s Panhandle with a chain saw and blue tarps helping in areas he could only describe as “a war zone.” There were fewer exam-takers at the end of the FCHP class in Pinellas because team members from the City of Clearwater were also lending their assistance to hurricane-affected areas.
Florida’s nursery and landscape industry can be described as small businesses with a big industry impact – and during times of need, small businesses with a big heart.