Looking Forward to Serving and Growing CNGA Legacy

By Matt Edmundson, 2023 CNGA Board President

CNGA Board President Matt Edmundson, CGG

I write my first column as President of the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association with a heavy but hopeful heart. The unexpected passing of Mandy Gerace caught the entire green industry by surprise, not to mention her family and friends. We will all miss Mandy’s bright smile and continuous support of the Colorado green industry both through her career and her volunteer service. In her last column she brought forth the idea that “working together in 2023 will keep the industry strong.” I couldn’t agree more. There has never been a better time or more opportunities than there are today to participate in CNGA as a volunteer, member or sponsor.

I am serving my second stint on the CNGA board. As the third-generation owner of Arbor Valley Nursery, headquartered in Brighton, I can say that my years’ long involvement in trade associations comes from my father’s example. He strongly believed in trade associations and encouraged my participation. As such, I’ve served on the GreenCO legislative committee, a few ad hoc committees for tree planting, and followed my dad’s footsteps by serving as President for the research foundations that eventually become the one we know now as Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation, or CHREF. Though I still serve as a CHREF board member, I stepped down from my term as President to serve again on the CNGA board, while also serving on the board of AmericanHort.

I have a deep respect for everyone who has helped create and grow what I believe is the most inclusive, diverse, and impactful green industry trade association in the country. We have a lot to be proud of and yet, there is so much more that can be done. Sustaining this success depends on our members participating in our association programs, events and as volunteers in committees and boards. We have some significant issues facing our industry from workforce to increased regulation of pesticides to water and climate change. Of course, we cannot solve all of these issues individually but as an association we can make sure our voice and perspectives are heard and that we are positioned as the experts in the face of competing and uninformed viewpoints. I’m excited to serve the members for the next two years and see how we can continue to grow our legacy in the communities we serve.