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FANN Award Programs

Mike Kenton

Mike Kenton (1945-2009)

Mike Kenton Award of Recognition


Background: The Mike Kenton Award is an award presented to a FANN member in recognition of significant value and service to the Florida native plant industry. The award is presented at FANN’s Annual Membership Meeting. Nominations may be made by anyone; criteria apply (see below).

The award was initiated in 2011 under the direction of Past President Jerry Fritz, SUNCO Nursery in Lake Worth & Live Oak. The award is named after Mike Kenton, a much beloved nurseryman and character who founded Environmental Equities, an early native nursery in Hudson (Pasco County, FL) that offered a few of just about every native species that we know how to propagate, including many rare and endangered species.

Award Criteria

Nominees should be:

  • Current member with an established nursery, landscape or environmental business. May be retired.
  • Admired and respected in the industry for their knowledge and expertise.
  • Involved in voluntary native plant educational and service projects.
  • Significant contributors to local, regional or state projects using native plants.

Award History

2020 Recipient: John Sibley, All Native Garden Center & Plant Nursery, nominated by several FANN members. John’s award was presented in December 2020. He was deceased in February 2021. John made native plants available throughout southwest Florida, worked with the Florida Gulf Coast University to produce a very popular televised documentary series on native plants for sustainable landscaping, served as FANN president for eight years and as president of his local Florida Native Plant Society chapter for ten years, and served on numerous regional county extension and roadways advisory boards.

2017 Recipient: David Drylie, Green Images Native Landscape Plants, nominated by several FANN members. Award presented in 2018. Details: David was trained as a landscape architect, self taught as an early grower of Florida native plants, instrumental in establishing the Florida Chapter ASLA’s advocacy program, a founding member of FANN and a force for including native plants in municipal landscape codes.

2013 Recipients: Mike Jameson, Native Green Cay and Richard Moyroud, Mesozoic Landscapes. Nominated by Sharon Dolan. Details pp. 54-55 of the Fall2013+2014 Native Plant & Service Directory. Mike and Richard were founding members of FANN, then the Association of Florida Native Nurseries (AFNN), are well known to the native plant community in Southeast Florida, instrumental in producing early editions of the Native Plant & Service Directory, a beloved industry reference to commercially available native plants, and co-editors of the Guide to Xeric Landscaping with Florida Native Plants, the first reference to connect native habitats with landscape design palettes based on commercial native plant availability.

2012 Recipient: Nancy Bissett, The Natives. Nominated by Brightman Logan. Details page 51 of the Fall2012+2013 Native Plant & Service Directory. Nancy and her husband Bill, a landscape architect, founded one of the earliest native plant nurseries in the state of Florida, pioneered the restoration of Florida’s uplands, in particular the production, use and maintenance of native grass and wildflower species, and continue to research and produce one of the more diverse native plant inventories in the state. They have transitioned their business to son Paul Abel and daughter Sarah Kiefer.

2011 Recipient: Brightman Logan, All Native. Nominated by Nancy Bissett; award presented by David Chiappini. A founding member of FANN, past president, longtime board member, Brightman developed one of the largest native landscape nurseries in the state. He contributed significantly to numerous public and nonprofit native landscape projects and to professional native plant education throughout the state, having organized and implemented numerous educational programs and events. For nearly three decades, Brightman has been a sought-after speaker on native plants and native landscape design for events sponsored by ASLA, DEP, Florida Wildflower Foundation, FNGLA, FNPS, SWFWMD and other organizations. He has been a supportive member of Florida Native Plant Society and board member of the Florida Wildflower Foundation.

In 2010, prior to institution of the Mike Kenton Award, David Chiappini of Chiappini Farm Native Nursery, was recognized for his 13 years of service as board president and years as a volunteer with FANN before that. David was instrumental in advocating for use of native plants on Florida roadsides, particularly the state transportation network, and spearheaded the development and publication of Gil Nelson’s book, Florida’s Best Native Landscape Plants, 200 Readily Available Species for Homeowners and Professionals.


An ad hoc committee appointed by the FANN president shall issue a call for nominations, collect and review nominations, and propose selected winner(s) to the Board of Directors for approval. The committee shall be chaired by the immediate past president and be composed of four additional members to include: the current secretary, the president (co-president with longest tenure), the immediate past awardee, and one at large member to be selected by the committee chair.

Nominations can be made by anyone, not just FANN members.

A call for nominations shall be published no later than 90 days prior to scheduled award presentation.

Nominations can be submitted online via this form.

Nominations should be due at least 45 days prior to scheduled award presentation, to allow for the following:

  • Evaluation by committee
  • Proposal of Awardee by committee to Board of Directors for final approval
  • Distribution of press release to industry groups
  • Preparation for award presentation (plaque, presentation script and other details)

FANN POLICY: Mike Kenton Award description and criteria / Adopted Jan. 12, 2012