Officers of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) who will serve for the 2019 term were elected during the 120th Annual SNA Business Meeting held at the Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, Md., during The SNA Conference. The election, open to all active SNA members, determines representation from the four geographic regions of the association:
- Chapter 1 – Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia
- Chapter 2 – Florida, Georgia and South Carolina
- Chapter 3 – Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee
- Chapter 4 – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas
Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA, was elected president succeeding Norman Cole, III, Cole Nursery, Pipestem, WV.
The complete slate of 2019 officers and directors is as follows:
- President: Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA
- Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3: Rickey Minton, Triangle Nursery, McMinnville, TN
- Director Chapter 4: Todd Ellefson, Windmill Nursery, Franklinton, LA
- Director Chapter 1: Matthew Shreckhise, Shreckhise Nurseries, Grottoes, VA
- Director Chapter 2: Marcus Cook, Marcus Cook Farms, Gray Court, SC
- Immediate Past President: Norman Cole, III, Cole Nurseries, Pipestem, WV
2019 SNA Board. Seated (left to right) Immediate Past President – Norman Cole, President – Joseph Napoli, Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3 – Rickey Minton. Standing (left to right) Director Chapter 2 – Marcus Cook, Director Chapter 1 –Matthew Shreckhise, Director Chapter 4 T–odd Ellefson, Executive Vice President – Karen Summers.
Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, GA, elected to serve on the SNA Board of Directors in 2015 representing Chapter 2, was elected SNA President. Napoli, founder and conductor of The Athens Master Chorale (1989), holds music degrees from Florida State University and The University of South Florida. Napoli performed throughout North America with the Metropolitan Opera National Company during its inaugural 1965 season. He later taught public school for fourteen years in Tampa, Florida before moving to Athens, Georgia and establishing Athens Wholesale Nursery in 1984. Joe served as chairman of the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) in 2003 and was awarded the GGIA Jake Tinga Distinguished Professional of the Year Award in 2004. He is a founding member of the Athens Georgia Nursery Growers Association. He served as the chairman for the Classic Center Authority in 2012. Joe has been a strong supporter of the SNA since he first exhibited in 1985. He also serves as Choir Director at St. Gregory The Great Episcopal Church in Athens. Joe says that blending gardening and music gives him balance and perspective in life.
In his acceptance speech, Napoli stated he feels he has a big balance sheet with SNA because the association has exposed him to so many business opportunities that have had a positive impact on his business. Through a minimal investment in membership dues and a booth at the SNA trade show, he has seen maximum profit. He said when he was asked to serve on the SNA Board in 2014, he did not hesitate for one moment. He was asked if he needed some time to think about it and he said, “No, I have thought about it for 20 years.” (Joseph Napoli’s full speech is available at www.sna.org/page-975977/7162788.)
Joining the SNA Board this year is Marcus Cook, Owner, Marcus Cook Farms, Gray Court, SC. The business was founded in 1983 and consists of a wholesale B&B nursery, and a landscape and lawn maintenance company.
Marty is a graduate of Anderson College. After college he managed Eastern Plant Food, a custom blend fertilizer plant and later was employed as a salesman for Seedsmen, Inc. in Charlotte, NC. Through his experiences with these two companies he returned home and diversified the family farm to include nursery plants and trees.
Marty served on the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association board and was President in 2016 when the association merged with the South Carolina Landscape and Turfgrass Association to become South Carolina Green Industry Association. He has served on the Laurens Electric Cooperative Board, Laurens County Chamber of Commerce Board, Laurens County Water Resources Board, and the Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission. Marty was awarded the Small Business Person of the Year in 2005 by the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.
“This 2019 board represents a group of diverse industry leaders, all with excellent business skills that can be leveraged to the advantage of the SNA,” said Karen Summers, SNA Executive Vice President. “Joe Napoli is a very unique individual and I am excited to see where this conductor will lead the SNA. We have a very energetic and talented board and I am very confident in their abilities to lead this 120-year-old association forward,” she added.