What Do You Want from Your Association?

By Glenda Mostek, CNGA Executive Director

Glenda Mostek CNGA Executive Director

By the time you receive this E-Magazine, we will have met with industry leaders at the Horticulture Leadership Retreat, and will have been given the charge to drive what lies ahead for CNGA. The board and staff take input from our members very seriously and shape our programs for the next year or years accordingly, based on input we receive from you.

What CNGA does for you has not changed significantly in the past five to seven years. We focus on Education, Fellowship, Certification and Advocacy. While I don’t want to take anything away from any of those areas, and we have limited staff with capacity to add new activities, I hear more and more that the No. 1 issue facing our businesses is workforce. What can CNGA do to help develop the workforce you need for the next several years?

Our associated foundation, the Colorado Horticulture Research and Education Foundation (CHREF), has been supplying scholarships to CSU and FRCC students for many years, and is working on a larger campaign to recruit more first-year students into horticulture majors and provide more significant scholarships. Is that enough? What else can we do to get the word out? How can we supply the workforce you need for the future?

In addition to coming up with possible new programs, we also need to figure out how to fit them into our current workload and priorities. CNGA runs with a lean staff. Keep in mind there are a limited number of hours in the day for two full time and one part time person. And, as you well know, everything, from office supplies to travel, has increased in price.

CNGA’s income patterns have changed over the years. Share of income from ProGreen has come down and share of income from dues has gone up. Members are not buying as many publications to resell as more and more information is available online for consumers to access. How do we replace that income? What will this association look like in 5 or 10 or 20 years?

Now is the time for your input as you mindfully consider CNGA’s upcoming change in leadership. If you are the owner or main contact of your business, expect to see a ballot from CNGA soon. There are three open slots on the Board of Directors, and a good crop of candidates to fill those seats. Consider who you want to help lead this organization into the future!