Real Plants Florida
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Gardeners & Homeowners

FANN Nominates 2024 Board of Directors

FANN’s Nominating Committee, chaired by Past President Bruce Turley, has nominated 13 candidates to serve on the 2024 Board of Directors. The slate has been endorsed by the 2023 board, most members of which will continue to serve if elected by the general membership.

Full slate proposed for 2024:

President: Eddie McKeithen, McKeithen Growers
President-Elect: Janine Griffiths, Green Thumb
Vice-President: Troy Springer, Springer Environmental
Treasurer: Chris Holly, Sandhill
Secretary: Skip Healy, Change of Greenery
Directors at Large:
Eryk Jadaszewski, Everglades Native Designs
Joe Reams, Southern Habitats
Jess Lummus, Sebastian River Farms
Jimmy Rogers, Cherrylake

Jenny Evans will continue on the board as past president.

New nominations for Directors at Large:

Leslie Landert, Landert Landscape Design
Leslie is the owner of Landert Landscape Design. Leslie has a degree in finance and worked in the finance field as a fixed income broker. Her career lead to her to Europe where she lived and worked for 20 Years. Upon her return to Naples, she began working in landscape and horticulture.
She went back to school with the goal of promoting native plants and sustainable landscape practices to South West Florida.
Leslie is a FNGLA Horticulture Professional, FNGLA Landscape Designer, is Florida Waterstar certified in landscape and irrigation, a Collier County Master Gardener, and served on the board of the Naples Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society.

Joe Hayden, Earthbalance
Florida Native Joe Hayden has spent his whole life surrounded by local agriculture. Growing up on his families citrus farm, he learned very quickly his calling was in the industry. Joe Hayden spent 26 years in Green House Management for a large scale Orchid Grower selling to clients like Lowes and Home Depot before joining EarthBalance in 2018. Being the Nursery Manager for both of EarthBalance’s locations, Joe grows millions of native plant species every year for a wide range of ecosystem’s and clientele.

Greg Noonan, Connected Landscapes
Greg founded and operate Connected Landscapes – one of the most successful native landscaping companies in Central Florida. They have created sustainable, native landscapes for dozens of homeowners and businesses in the Orlando area, and invest significant resources in our social media accounts, educating our audience about the use of natives and the importance of them.
Prior to that he worked as a horticulturist at Universal Orlando, and as the manager of the edible landscapes program at Fleet Farming.
Greg has frequently collaborated with FNPS members on projects in the area, and have excellent relationships with other sustainability champions in the Orlando area including compost companies, other landscapers, and local elected officials.

Jenny Evans
Native Landscapes & Adult Education Director, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation
FANN Board member since 2009
16 + years of experience in native plant horticulture and landscape 17+ years in environmental education and nonprofits

Jenny’s love of nature and plants began during her childhood in the foothills and farmlands of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Carrying that fondness forward, she earned a B.S. in Biology with a double major in Theatre from Mary Washington College and a graduate degree in Public Garden Management from Cornell University.
As the Native Landscapes and Adult Education Director, she has had an opportunity to blend many of her passions, including conservation, horticulture, and education. Prior to joining SCCF in 2005, Jenny had experience in a variety of non-profits, ranging from botanical gardens in Washington state and Washington D.C., as well as environmental education organizations in Florida and the Bahamas.
Jenny is a member of the Coccoloba chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society and serves on the Lee County Roadway Landscape Advisory Committee & the Lee County Extension Service Horticultural Advisory Board. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys seeing live music with her husband Jeff and son Cassidy.

Eddie McKeithen
Owner, McKeithen Growers
FANN Board member since 2010
36 years in horticulture, landscape, environmental restoration

Eddie McKeithen founded McKeithen Growers in 1995, and has experience in horticulture, landscaping, wetland & habitat restoration, and growing native trees. Eddie is a native Floridian and has become an expert in the landscape and horticulture industry. His prior professional experience included co-owning Sun Bay Nursery, working as a manager at Treehouse Nursery, a project estimator at Horticultural Systems, and owning ELM Environmental (which later consolidated into McKeithen Growers).
Eddie is a member of FNGLA.
Eddie has a B.S. in Forestry and Geology, University of the South (Sewanee).

Janine Griffiths
Owner, Green Thumb
FANN Board member since 2016
21 years in horticulture and landscape

A fourth-generation gardener and landscape designer, Janine purchased Green Thumb Inc., an interior plant maintenance and fine gardening service specializing in rose gardens, in 2006. Janine’s experience spans from working for the family’s Homestead nursery since childhood to working with high-end interior plantscape companies in New York City to local native and specialty nurseries in Broward County. Green Thumb seeks to use natural, environmentally safe and non-impactful methods of garden management and pest control protocols. Janine uses both native and “Florida-friendly” plants to satisfy client landscape goals.

Janine has been serving as FANN’s Education Committee Chair and has launched a Certification Team to address credentialing of native plant professionals. She is a committed volunteer Broward County Master Gardener (2003) and became a certified Master Naturalist by the University of Florida in 2012. Other professional certifications include: FNGLA Certified Horticulture Technician in 2015; ISA Certified Arborist in 2016; and FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer in 2017. Janine is a member of the Florida Native Plant Society, Coontie Chapter (Broward County).

Janine has a master’s degree in sociology from the Florida Atlantic University.

Chris Holly
Chief Operating Officer, Sandhill
FANN Board member since 2015
11+ years of experience in horticulture and environmental restoration

Chris is the COO at Sandhill Native Growers and oversees the daily operations of the Sandhill group of companies. Chris has past work experience in a retail garden center and most recently working for the past 12 years at Sandhill. Alongside serving as the treasurer for FANN, he also serves on FNGLA Landscape Show Committee.
Chris maintains an ISA certified arborist license.
Chris, along with his wife and three children, enjoy traveling and getting outside as much as possible. He is slowly but surely turning his entire family into mini farmers and native plant enthusiasts

Chris has a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Cincinnati.

Troy Springer
Founder and Owner, Springer Environmental Services
FANN board member since 2015
29 years of experience in landscape design, installation & maintenance

Troy began rural farm and ranch mowing and tractor work at a young age and continued in the green industry until founding Springer Environmental Services in 2005, with an emphasis on eco-friendly landscape practices. Most projects use 100% native plants, with combined native plant use of over 95% on all projects. Troy is particularly known for building high end wildflower meadows and has developed his own techniques for building and maintaining them. A high percentage of annual sales are maintaining high end landscapes in both residential and commercial properties. Maintenance projects range from urban landscapes, to restoring natural areas for private landowners. Springer Environmental Services’ design build projects range from small installations under $5000.00 to projects over $100,000. Some of the most notable projects have no irrigation systems installed. Troy has been active in the Florida Native Plant Society for over fifteen years, including both his local Suncoast Chapter and serving on the society’s state board, chaired the FNPS 2012 annual conference in Plant City, and received a Green Palmetto Award from FNPS for service.

Skip Healy
Owner, Change of Greenery
11 years in horticulture and landscape

Skip began learning about horticulture from his grandfather and has long had a keen interested in sustainable native and edible landscapes. Before starting his own company, Skip did interiorscaping in Sarasota, worked as Assistant Grower and in landscapes at Rock City Nursery in Vero Beach, and worked in nursery roles at Maple Street Natives Nursery (longtime FANN member) and Rockledge Gardens (new FANN member). While at college, he worked at the Plant & Soil Sciences Buildings Greenhouse as Assistant Greenhouse manager and interned at Walt Disney World twice, once under the Horticulture Department, and once in Epcot’s The Land Hydroponic Greenhouses.

Skip has a B.S. in Agribusiness with a horticulture concentration from Mississippi State University.

Eryk Jadaszewski
Owner, Everglades Native Designs
NEW to FANN board in 2022

Eryk is a native Floridian, horticulturist and professional nurseryman with over 35 years of experience. Eryk has owned and operated large wholesale and retail nurseries offering landscape design and installation in South Florida, North Florida and New Hampshire, always with a focus on native plants and sound ecological landscape management.

Jessica “Jess” Lummus
Sales Manager, Sebastian River Farms
21 years in horticulture and landscape

Jess has been landscaping since she was in high school. She spent years working for Rocky Mountain National Park before going to college to study the art and science of horticulture and design. She designed and managed installation of large landscapes for years in Washington and Colorado. Jess has spent the last four years in Florida, working to learn the nursery production side of our green industry.
Jess has a B.S. in Landscape Horticulture/Design from Colorado State.

Joe Reams, III
Owner, Southern Habitats
18 years experience in native plants/seeds,
36 years experience farming and forest management.

Joe Reams is a 6th generation native of the Big Bend area of north Florida and grew up working on his father’s farm and quail hunting business. He left college and started his own farming operation on leased land in 1994, then purchased a farm in 1998 raising tobacco, cattle, watermelons and hay.

In 2004 Joe accepted a position offered to him by native seedsman Calvin Ernst of Pennsylvania to help select and propagate Southeastern native plants for seed production. Joe continued with Ernst through 2009 until their Florida operations ceased.

Seeing the need for assistance with the establishment of natives in the landscape he founded Southern Habitats in 2006. Since then Joe has led the Southern Habitats team in conducting over 100 native groundcover restoration projects ranging in size from 5 to over 500 acres. Southern Habitats nursery, which is 100% native, now grows over one million southeastern perennial herbaceous native containerized plants annually as well as field seed production with some 60 native species in row cultivation. Joe’s primary focus is on fire-adapted native grasses and forbs.

Joe lives near the Aucilla River in Madison County and enjoys managing his land, fishing, hunting and spending time with his family. He has been married since 1993 to Kathy, who handles bookkeeping and administrative duties for Southern Habitats. They have three daughters, a son-in-law and a new grandson, Jack.

Jimmy Rogers
Farm Landscape Director, Cherrylake

Jimmy Rogers is the Farm Landscape Director at Cherrylake. Jimmy is active with the Outside Collab initiated by Cherrylake, and wants to collaborate with members on promoting ornamental native plants in more landscape projects. Jimmy has been working at Cherrylake for a year and before that, spent 12 years managing horticulture and arboriculture at SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment in Orlando. At Cherrylake, he is responsible for maintaining the company’s native demonstration landscapes and a key member of the Outside Collab team, responsible for the Base Camp native trial gardens at Sunbridge, Lake Nona, working with Univ. of Florida and Univ. of Central Florida. Maintaining the model home landscapes at Weslyn park may be his most important role as the homes are at least 90% native with no lawns. Jimmy hopes this subdivision can start a meaningful desire for more people to understand the importance and the ease of native plants in the landscape.