November 13th Conference Call

National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture (NICH)
Executive Committee
Bi-Weekly Tuesday Conference Call
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
10am ET / 9am CT / 8am MT / 7am PT

Present: Gail, Shannon, Rick, Mason, Casey, Suzi, Debbie

Absent: Ellen, Missy, Tom U., Pam


1. Strategic Tactics Update (Casey, Ellen)

Executive Committee has now tested the tactics identified in Atlanta for each of three big ideas and are moving on to develop a 12-18 month plan of focused work. Casey asked for any additional comments to be sent to him and Missy.

Next phase will be to assign roles and prioritize work.

Action Step:

Send any new/outstanding comments from these previous sessions to Casey and cc: Missy.

2. New/Existing Partnerships

– Existing:

o NIFA Listens: Investing in Science to Transform Lives initiative

 Presentations have all been given. Casey congratulated wonderful efforts. Gail had previously shared how this can impact our efforts directly.

 Written contributions (Due November 30, 2018)

• Communications/Recruitment

o Template for response has been developed. Great effort.

• Email/Eblast content has been approved and will go to Lauren for deployment this week to entire NICH audience!

• Suzi also suggests sending the eblast and/or the input template to 10 people each that we know

Action Step:

Submit your written input and send word of the opportunity to 10 or more people in your world

o NIFA Relevancy reviewers—how is recruitment going?

 Please refer people directly to Tom Bewick @ NIFA for these roles

• Note to them that they may not immediately be selected, although they should hear back that their message was received

 There is no deadline; but reviewers often assigned annually by mid-December

Action Step:

Please continue to have potential relevancy reviewers contact Tom Bewick @NIFA (

o Plant Conservation Alliance Webinar

 Casey shared that he will be at the NIFA Offices on Wednesday, November 14 to moderate the panel discussion that was formed from NICH discussions.

 Casey will plug NICH during the webinar. To view the webinar, click here.

 While at NIFA, Casey plans to meet with NIFA listens coordinator Megan Haidet and also possibly Tom Bewick. He’ll report back to entire group afterwards.

Action Step:

Casey will share results of November NIFA meetings with the group.

3. Committee Updates

– Economic (Debbie)

o Committee has not met in a while, meeting this Friday and will place this item (below) on its agenda:

 Is the committee able to investigate and explain the discrepancy between NICH and NGA RE: value of consumer hort? (from meeting minutes October 30)

– Environmental (Gail)

o Committee met last week and while they list 12 people, only 3 are active. Gail asked ExCom to help get more folks involved

o Two infographics have text developed for them now; Gail submitted them for ExCom to review and asked about next steps

o A set of 5 infographics are ultimately desired by Committee.

o They determined it that Suzi/MarCom will forward the text from the initial two on to Jennifer Gray for next steps/creation

Action Step:

Suzi to refer infographic text on to Jennifer Gray; ExCom members should review this if possible and send comments to Gail/Suzi

o Gail has also decided to put forward an SCRI request regarding Plants for Pollinators. Subgroup will review Gail’s initial proposal and Gail is seeking NICH to help back the work

 Gail will reach out to folks ultimately for support letters; but wants initial ok to move forward; ExCom agrees

4. Council Updates (new, Emergent Info to Share)

– Commercial (Mason)

o Monthly call coming up; working with MarCom on recruitment

– Non-Profit (Shannon)

o Followed up with Jennifer Evans; looking for further progress post-Thanksgiving

– Academic/LGU (Rick)

o Group is working on infographics and methods

5. Marketing Committee Updates:

– Committee meeting next week and will address some website questions; bringing in some external folks for this purpose. They will closely coordinate with the Website/Comms TF lead by Pam.

– They will use the new definition of consumer horticulture in their marketing outreach. They may use slightly different variations of the definition in communicating to the different “Pup Tents” (broader Subcategories of our membership).

Definition of Consumer Horticulture as defined by the NICH MarCom Committee:
Consumer Horticulture encompasses a dynamic network of businesses, institutions and organizations who connect people with ornamental and edible plants, gardens, managed landscapes and nature. Encouraging the indoor and outdoor use of plants in our homes, workplaces, schools, communities, and public spaces, Consumer Horticulture combines beauty and functionality to enhance the environment and our quality of life.

NICH tagline:

Consumer Horticulture connects people and plants.

Suzi welcomes feedback on the definition and additions to the list of sub-categories. Shannon also pointed out that when we have the opportunities to convene, we should attempt to unify around these.

o MarCom is also working to distribute Gary’s article. Casey noted a nice NYT article featuring GMG shared from Jeff K. to the group:

o Upcoming article in GH Management magazine regarding indoor horticulture with NICH perspectives from Mason and Garden Media.

6. Best time to transition to Zoom?

o Reaffirmed broad support for Zoom

Action Step:

Casey will have Missy determine most convenient date for switchover to Zoom and communicate it to entire ExCom.

7. November 27th Meeting

o Please hold it on your calendars for now; Missy and Ellen to facilitate.

8. Elections

o Need to be held in conjunction with bylaws

 Preferable to hold them in November (ideally at 27th Meeting)

 In particular, two officer roles up for election

• Co-Chair: Tom Underwood will rotate off

o Rick Durham and Mason Day stated a perspective for a non-academic (perhaps commercial industry) co-chair to maintain balance in this role

o Casey has asked one person for interest and is waiting to hear

• Secretary: Missy was appointed earlier this year and is interested in continuing

Action Step:

Casey asked ExCom members to please consider these roles and confirm/pass names of potential nominees on to group.

9. Gail mentioned that we need to consider the content and distribution of our year-end report to our stakeholders on an upcoming call.

Action Step:

Missy to place “NICH year-end report” on an upcoming ExCom agenda.