AmericanHort hires research director; CEO search continues

Updated Nov 11, 2015

amhort_logo_H_rgb_R copy 2Horticulture industry trade association AmericanHort, which is currently searching for a new chief executive officer, announced recently the hiring of a director of research and science programs.

In that position, Jill Calabro will oversee strategy and research funding at the Horticultural Research Institute in Washington. The institute is an affiliate of AmericanHort, which was formed in 2014 by the consolidation of the American Nursery & Landscape Association and OFA-The Association of Horticulture Professionals.

Calabro, who holds a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Oregon State University, has an extensive background in the plant sciences. She will provide direction to AmericanHort research initiatives, including those carried out in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other organizations.

For the past several years, Calabro has worked in product development and technical services in support of the nursery and greenhouse, turf and aquatic plant management markets for Nufarm Americas by way of Valent USA. (Nufarm is the exclusive distributor of Valent products.)

Calabro is affiliated with the Crop Science Society, American Phytopathological Society, Aquatic Plant Management Society, and Weed Science Society.

Jill CalabroJill Calabro

“We are thrilled to have Jill join the AmericanHort and Horticultural Research Institute team,” said Craig Regelbrugge, AmericanHort senior vice president for industry advocacy and research. “Horticulture faces big challenges, but even bigger opportunities, and her knowledge and passion for the industry will be a great asset for us.”

Calabro will work in AmericanHort’s Washington office. The association’s headquarters is in Columbus, Ohio.

The organization’s former president and CEO, Michael Geary, resigned in August to become chief executive of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, a Washington organization focused on creating business opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. AmericanHort’s senior vice president and CFO, David Savoia, is currently serving as interim president.

AmericanHort is hiring a consulting firm to facilitate its search for a new CEO.

“Hiring a CEO for the AmericanHort requires different insights, expertise and access to a broader market,” says Susie Raker-Zimmerman, chair of the search committee. “The guidance of a professional service will ensure we have a solid recruitment strategy and access to the best candidates.”

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