April 2nd Conference Call

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)

Executive Committee

Bi-Weekly Conference Call

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

10am ET / 9am CT / 8am MT / 7am PT


Attendees: Missy, Ellen, Sylvia, Mason, Pam, Mary Kay, Heather, Shannon, Casey

1. Strategic Tactics (Ellen)

  • a. Any feedback from email to Atlanta listserve?
    • No comments or discussion from the communication to date. A letter will be edited and distributed to the general listserve in the near future.

2. Committee Updates (new, Emergent Info to Share)

  • a. Economic (Casey)
    • Debbie has resigned from the chair position due to conflicting priorities. No one on the current committee is volunteering to step into her role. We are looking to recruit new members to the committee. Ellen talking to Glenn Campbell about from U of GA about joining the committee. If others have ideas, please suggest to the Exec Comm. There is keen interest in getting an Ag Economist from an LGU. Casey will take point to recruit from the current committee for a chair (e.g., Marvin, Charlie). Consider also reaching out to listserve to ask for new committee members.
  • b. Marketing/Communications (Mary Kay)
    • i. Any feedback on #Plantsdothat, #Gardensdothat, #Landscapesdothat?
      • Committee will be discussing next week.
    • ii. Is there an E-newsletter template update?
      • Two samples are being reviewed next week by Committee.

3. New Business

  • a. Listserve/communication topics
    • i. Update on draft editorial calendar (Ellen)
      • An effort is in progress. Commercial Council is looking at a list and considering additional communication opportunities/topics that would support the industry.
    • ii. Update on draft communication to the tent list (Mason)
      • Elected not to do an e-blast. The strategy is to turn this effort over to the MarCom Committee and identify better contact info/emails (as opposed to ‘info@abc.org’). Reach out to listserve to ask for help with this effort via e-blast! Ellen will add to the list of e-blast topics.
  • b. Development Committee discussion (Ellen)
    • Shannon has stepped up to be a participant or co-lead of this committee if it moves forward. We’re currently very much in the early investigatory phase of this discussion. The primary concern is that we are currently differentiated from the ‘others’ because we are not asking for financial support from the industry. In contrast, we are an organization looking to get funding FOR the industry. On the other hand, the fundraising effort can’t be about raising money, it must be about achieving the outcomes that will result in support for consumer horticulture. Prior to pursuing any fundraising strategy, we will require a business plan, a corporate partnership program, etc.
    • i. Who else should we engage when considering whether or not to pursue a business plan, corporate underwriter, and fundraising focus?
      • Consider going directly to Susan Yoder (Seed Your Future) and use in a consultant capacity to glean information about how Seed Your Future got started, and what ensured their success. Ellen will talk to Susan Yoder and Gail in hopes both will become committee members to further inform this discussion.
    • ii. How would NICH use the funding?
      • Prior to the next meeting, Missy will comb the Strategic Objectives document for potential funding needs.
        • 1. Potential needs (current and future):
          • a. Promotional pieces for tradeshows/other events beyond NICH business cards
          • b. Funding for national meetings
          • c. Part-time CEO
          • d. Email address
          • c. Possible future Hill event (Casey)
            • Table for the next meeting.


  • Relevancy reviewers – Always potentially needed please continue to have potential relevancy reviewers contact Tom Bewick @ NIFA (TBEWICK@nifa.usda.gov).
  • Ellen will get strategic tactics letter in the queue for distribution to a general list serve.
  • Ellen will talk to Glenn Campbell from U of GA about joining the Economic Committee.
  • Casey will recruit for a chair for the Economic Committee.
  • Missy will compile a list of additional topics related to week/day gardening events and send to Ellen for an editorial calendar.
  • Ellen will get tent list volunteer request in queue for communication to general list serve.
  • Missy will send Heather the Strategic Objectives document.
  • Ellen will talk to Susan Yoder and Gail in hopes both will become development committee members to further inform this discussion.
  • Prior to the next meeting, Missy will comb the Strategic Objectives document for potential funding needs.