May 17th Conference Call

Attending: Gail Langellotto, Lucy Bradley, Suzi McCoy, Rick Durham, Ellen Bauske, Casey, Margaret Pooler, Rusty Collins, Margaret, Shannon Spurlock, Katie Dubow

Steering committee introduced themselves to Suzi and Katie.

Welcome New Steering Committee Members

  • Suzi McCoy, Garden Media Group
  • Katie Dubow, Garden Media Group, creative director
  • Clint (?) will also be participating, from Garden Media Group
  • GMG has been serving PR and marketing needs of industry for almost 30 years, so has a pretty broad view of the industry.
  • GMG does a trend report since 2001, on the consumer and business side of the gardening business.
  • NICH and GMG have similar interests and alignment. Mission as a company is to get all people gardening 365 days a year. Gardening is a seasonal business ~ so how to infiltrate hearts and minds of folks who don’t garden?
  • Trend reports are posted on the Garden Media Group website
  • Direct link to the 2016 trends report can be found at:
  • Suzi and Katie’s take on our mission, vision, goals:
  • GMG spends quite a bit of time working with clients to develop mission and vision.
  • Vision is the big picture ~ loftiest goal you have ~ who do you want to become. Mission is what you do ~ what are our products. Vision should be short (7 words or less). Mission can be a lot longer.
  • What is currently the NICH mission could be the NICH vision. What is currently the NICH vision seems more like an objective. Vision could be: ‘growing a healthy world through plants, gardens and landscapes’. Drop the ‘art and science’. It doesn’t matter how you get there. It is good to have ‘health’ in there, because health will resonate more with folks.
  • Move horticulture out of agriculture and into health and wellness. Make plants a necessity for a healthy lifestyle and not a luxury.
  • Rusty noted that from survey, 60% of people liked mission as written, and 40% had recommendations.
  • Casey, Suzi and Katie discussed how to make NICH more attractive to industry. One thing would be to add more consumers into the goals ~ having more people fall in love with gardening. To attract industry, there needs to be a focus on building consumers. Clients are going to want to see mission and vision . . . but are also going to want to know ‘how are you going to accomplish this’ (the goals).
  • The goal of our working group had been to NOT wordsmith in Denver, but to get feedback on mission, vision and goals. It was suggested that instead of doing a revision, the writing committee can ‘tweak’ the mission, vision and goals prior to the Denver meeting.
  • In the ‘new’ mission statement (increase the percent of US households), could we change to: ‘increase the number of consumers participating in horticulture to 90% by 2025.’?
  • Rusty suggested sending ‘new’ mission and vision statement to steering committee ~ give them 48 hours to respond. Rick noted that the writing committee was formed at the request of the steering committee, and that the steering committee
  • Decision Made:
    • Changes to mission, vision sent will be sent to the steering committee (and Rick will send to writing committee) ~ with a short deadline (2-3 days) to respond. Responses will be focused on ‘tweaking’ mission, vision, goals so they are ready to go in Denver.
  • Action Items:
    • Please consider the following proposed mission and vision statements, based upon feedback provided by the industry members of our steering committee. Within 2-3 days, send any comments you have on to Gail at Gail will summarize comments and report back to the group.


‘NICH aims to increase the number of consumers actively engaged with horticulture to 90% by 2025.’


Growing a healthy world through plants, gardens and landscapes.

Denver Meeting Update

  • Denver meeting is a go. Rusty suggested doing registration ‘online’, through EventBrite. Charge a small fee ~ to discourage registrations but no shows.
  • Based on survey results, we’re probably looking at about 15 people for the Denver meeting.
  • For the question regarding registration fee, $200 to $250 seemed to be the price point that made folks a bit uncomfortable.
  • On the first night, could arrange an informal dinner (going out) or informal hospitality suite in someone’s room.
  • Transportation costs: Shannon should have transportation costs, soon. She also noted that the train to plane ($9, one way) is a good option for people getting into Denver.


Folks travel into Denver by Wednesday, June 29th 3pm. Optional group dinner at 6-7:30pm. Informal gathering in the lobby bar, starting after 8pm.

Three sessions planned across June 30th – July 1st.

June 30th

  • Session 1: mission, vision and goals ~ Present what mission and mission are, and then allot discussion time to talk about objectives. Trim session down from 3 hours to perhaps 1-1.5 hours.
  • Lunch: how will lunch be done? Botanic Garden has two areas where you can order lunch. It might be easiest to do a pre-order. Lunch can come out of registration fees. Maybe extend lunch noon – 2pm, with an optional tour from 1-2pm.
  • Session 2: organizational structure ~
  • Perhaps have a panel of experts on how to engage industry and others to participate in this effort ~ Suzi and Katie, and a local expert, as well. Shannon can reach out to local expert.

July 1st

Session 3:

  • There was lots of discussion about the agenda ~ but Gail had to sign off early.

Action Items:

  • Rusty will refine and distribute a new agenda to steering committee members.

Margaret’s Insights

The stakeholder group that NICH wants to engage is so broad, that it challenges us how to engage them. Another challenge is that a lot of industry commissions their own research. Industry seems more interested in applied research ~ how innovations can be applied. How to address these concerns should be forefront on our mind, as we move forward.

How can we take our goals, and translate them into talking points for industry? Since our goals might be changing ~ how do we move forward? There was a suggestion that Margaret wait until the ‘refreshed’ goals are available. At that point, Margaret can take them to industry to get their feedback, suggestions on translating these to talking points.

Gary Bachman ~ report on CAPS

There were technical problems that prevented Gary from connecting to the meeting, but he wrote that the CAPS group was receptive to NICH, and that he has invited various groups to sign up for NICH updates.