Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Short Course Draws Dignitaries

In addition to being the most important show for North America's greenhouse floriculture industry, OFA's Short Course is a big deal for the city of Columbus and state of Ohio, as one of the top trade shows, only second to a an event that draws legions of body builders and Arnold Schwarzenegger in early spring. But the economic impact is more substantial when floriculture comes to town and stays downtown, filling hotels and restaurants.

Many local dignitaries attended OFA's president's reception on Saturday, including Columbus' Mayor Michael Coleman and The Ohio State University's famous president Gordon Gee. They want to make sure Short Course stays in Columbus. The current five-year contract expires in 2013 and negotiations will begin again soon.

Pictured is newly elected OFA President Danny Takao and his family at the event. Takao of Takao Nursery in Fresno, Calif., is the first West Coast president of the organization.

This year's event was also dedicated to John Holmes, OFA's executive director the past seven years. Holmes died unexpectedly from a heart attack at age 45 in February. The John R. Holmes III Community Champion award has been established in his name to honor his passion for the America In Bloom program. The award will recognize an individual who has been a driving force in an America In Bloom city during the America In Bloom symposium in the fall.

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