The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will present the PHS Awards during a celebration on November 15 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Presented annually since the 1950s, the honors recognize remarkable individuals who have worked with tireless dedication in both professional and volunteer capacities to further the PHS mission.
The organization’s highest honor, the PHS Medal of Achievement, will be presented to Robin Potter. A PHS member since 2000 and a current member of the PHS Board of Directors, Robin Potter has generously supported the organization through her time, effort, and dedication to the work of PHS. Along with her husband Peter Gould and their PoGo Family Foundation, Robin has also made significant financial contributions in support of PHS programs, including Legacy Landscapes, Vision2027, and tree plantings.
After a 20-year career in the computer services industry, Robin turned her focus to horticulture, completing the revered Barnes Foundation Arboretum Course and becoming a Master Gardener in Camden County, N .J. An accomplished lecturer and garden design consultant, Robin has also chaired the Haddonfield Shade Tree Commission for eight years.
This award recognizes Robin’s selfless commitment to horticultural education and deep engagement with the PHS community. As an active volunteer for more than 10 years, Robin has been affiliated with numerous groups, programs, committees and competitions, including: PHS Tree Tenders, PHS Council, Members’ Plant Dividend, Gardening and Greening Contest, Design and Horticultural Committee, Events Committee, PHeaSt, Finance Committee, Vision2027 Steering and Advisory Committees, and the Philadelphia Flower Show’s Early Morning Tours and Preview Party.
In 2016, Robin graciously stepped in to serve as interim director of the PHS Development department until a final candidate was selected. She continues to lend her considerable skills and expertise to the Development effort, sharing her insight into the philanthropic community and serving as a valued mentor to each member of the team.
PHS will also present its 2018 Awards of Merit at the ceremony. The awards are given to individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to or achievements in horticulture, including the Philadelphia Flower Show and PHS greening programs.
A PHS member since 2000 and a PHS volunteer since 1997, Jill has been an advocate and committed supporter of the PHS mission through her work with the Philadelphia Flower Show, Gardening and Greening Contest, and the PHS Garden Visit Committee. At the Flower Show, Jill has enthusiastically worn many hats over the years, volunteering as a Judge, Artistic Barrier Aide, Artistic Clerk, Artistic Passer, Horticulture Aide, and serving as Special Panel Judge for the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS). In addition to her own membership with the Norristown Garden Club, Jill has arranged many garden tours for the enjoyment of PHS members and helped the judging and evaluation of entries in the Gardening and Greening Contest.
As Education and Community Development Coordinator at Esperanza, a nonprofit organization focused on strengthening Hispanic communities, Gabriella has been a champion of PHS’s mission to non-English speakers in Philadelphia. Since her involvement with PHS starting in 2016, she has encouraged community participation in the PHS Tree Tenders and PWD Rain Check programs, actively recruiting for bilingual Tree Tenders training and providing translations during Rain Check workshops. Gabriella is the newest member of the PHS Tree Tender Advisory Committee and a true asset to Esperanza, PHS and the City of Philadelphia.
Hope Fox Coates and Anne Coste
With 90 years of combined volunteer experience at the Philadelphia Flower Show, Hope and Anne are the standard-bearers of a passion for horticulture and dedication to the mission of PHS. Known for their legendary hospitality, kindness, and shared sense of humor, Hope and Anne are longtime friends and award-winning Flower Show exhibitors. Hope, a 50-year volunteer and former member of the Weeders Garden Club, travels to the Show from Maine every year and was pivotal in arranging for the Flower Show Artistic Workshops to be held at Penllyn Woods, creating a space for people to learn about and experiment with floral design. Anne, a 40-year volunteer and member of the Wissahickon Garden Club, is a key recruiter of exhibitors to fill the Arrangements classes at the Flower Show.
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