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FANN set to elect three new board members at Annual Meeting Dec. 9, 2016 in Sanibel

FANN’s Nominating Committee (Jerry Fritz, Terry Godts and John Sibley) are pleased to report the following recommendations for the 2017 Board of Directors to be elected at FANN’s Annual Membership Meeting Dec. 9 in Sanibel, being held as part of a retreat jointly sponsored with the Native Plant Horticulture Foundation at the Historic Bailey Homestead Preserve owned by Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Special thanks to the SCCF Native Landscapes & Garden Center and Roger Triplett, Green Seasons Nursery, and Bruce Turley, Wilcox Nursery & Landscape for their sponsorship of this year’s meeting. FANN is especially excited to welcome three new members onto the board this coming year — new incoming directors Janine Griffiths, Jess Sabin and Mike Sobba whose brief bios appear below.

Slate for 2017 Board of Directors
Past President: Terry Godts, Green Isle Gardens Nursery
President: Roger Triplett, Green Seasons Nursery
President-elect: Bruce Turley, Wilcox Nursery & Landscape
Vice President: Jenny Evans, SCCF Native Landscapes & Garden Center
Secretary: Eddie McKeithen, McKeithen Growers
Treasurer: Chris Holly, Sandhill Growers
Directors at Large:
Alyssa Lavoro, Alexander Landscaping
Troy Springer, Springer Environmental Services
Janine Griffiths, Green Thumb
Jess Sabin, Aquatic Plants of Florida
Mike Sobba, Martin County Farms

Ten years ago, after completing graduate school at Florida Atlantic University, Janine Griffiths, a 4th generation gardener and landscape designer, purchased Green Thumb, an interior plant maintenance and fine gardening service specializing in rose gardens. She has evolved the company to include native plant and landscape services and focus on using natural, environmentally safe and non-impactful methods of garden management and pest control protocols. Janine’s experience ranges from working as a child on her family’s nursery in Homestead, to working with high-end interior plantscape companies in New York City, to working with local native and specialty nurseries in Broward County. She is an ISA Certified Arborist, FNGLA Certified Horticulture Technician studying to become an FNGLA Certified Landscape Designer next year, a Certified Master Naturalist and also completed Master Gardener training. She belongs to the Broward Chapter FNPS.

Jess is the Administrations Manager at Aquatic Plants of Florida, where he has been working for nearly two years. Jess has been involved with plants since he started working at Michigan State University (great extension program!) in the teaching greenhouses twenty years ago, and became the Assistant Greenhouse Manager. After receiving his degree in horticulture, Jess moved on to the John Henry Company (later became Multi-Packaging Solutions) in Lansing, Michigan, where he was the lead Horticultural Project Coordinator for over 13 years. At the end of 2013, he moved his wife and two daughters to Nokomis to be closer to their extended families. Jess volunteers at the All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota and cares about the causes of animal welfare, children, disaster and humanitarian relief and of course, the environment.

A native of Kansas, Mike transplanted himself to South Florida in 1996 after receiving a B.S. in Horticulture from Kansas State University, where, during his senior year, he was one of 35 applicants chosen east of the Rockies to participate in Walt Disney World’s summer horticulture internship program. After 20 years in the commercial landscape industry, Mike had an awakening and accepted the Restoration Manager position with Aquatic Vegetation Control, an opportunity that has enabled him to oversee native plantings in reclaimed lands and waterways, and manage operations and production of AVC’s sister company Martin County Farms, a native plant nursery. Mike says the move from working with a primarily tropical plant palette to one driven by native Florida fauna has been a fun, challenging learning experience that he is eager to become more familiar with for years to come.