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Professional Awards
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ONLA Professional Awards

The ONLA seeks to honor and highlight green industry individuals who have made significant contributions to their fields. Over the years, these awards have evolved into long-lasting traditions of encouraging and identifying the best of the best. These annual awards are presented at the ONLA Annual Business Meeting during MGIX.

2018 ONLA Professional Award Winners

  • Distinguished Contribution Award- Kyle Natorp, Natorp's Wholesale Nursery
  • Educator/Public Service Award- Steve O'Neal, Columbus State Community College
  • Service Award- Jay Daley, Herman Losely & Son, Inc.
  • Young Professional of the Year Award- James Beardslee, Beardslee Nursery, LLC
  • Legislative Advocate of the Year Award- Sandy Munley, Ohio Landscape Association

Distinguished Contribution Award
The purpose of the ONLA’s Distinguished Contribution Award is to recognize and celebrate outstanding contributions to the nursery and landscape industries. Any Ohio resident, who has significantly contributed to any aspects of the horticulture field, is eligible.

Educator/Public Service Award
In 2005, the ONLA Board of Directors approved an awards category to recognize outstanding educators and/or public service employees. Candidates are those who have given their time and/or talents to benefit the Green Industry in one or more of the following ways: outstanding classroom teachers who have also served the adult community through outreach programs; researchers who have worked in areas of major industry needs; extension personnel who have consistently taken an active role in Green Industry activities; garden writers and radio and television personnel who have been complimentary to the objectives of the industry; government employees who have assisted the industry in preventing or solving potential problems, and arboreta and botanic garden employees who have served the industry in a variety of ways.

Service Award
The ONLA Service Award, previously known as the Award of Merit, seeks to honor those people who have unselfishly given their time, resources or talents to serve the association. The ONLA Service Award is intended to recognize individual members who have served the ONLA in an outstanding manner in one or more of the following ways: officer, board of director, committee chair, committee member or membership service provider. Eligibility includes any member of any ONLA membership classification or representative of a member firm of the ONLA.

Young Professional of the Year Award
The ONLA's Young Professional of the Year award is to recognize young professionals, age 40 or under, who have contributed significantly to the success of their company of employment and have been actively involved in ONLA and/or national association activities. The ONLA wishes to not only recognize but to encourage participation, growth and achievement by young professionals involved in production, landscape, retail and/or maintenance aspects of our industry. The selection of the Young Professional of the Year is made by the ONLA Distinguished Contribution Awards Committee. The names of nominees should be forwarded to the ONLA office.

Legislative Advocate of the Year Award
The ONLA presents this award, previously known as the Grassroots Volunteer Award, to deserving individuals in the Green Industry, who have shown outstanding leadership at the state level in legislative affairs. These individuals often provide testimony for Senate and House committees; leadership on the ONLA legislative committee,; work closely with the association's executive director and legislative consultants; and provide important insights to the ONLA executive committee.

Legislator of the Year Award
The ONLA presents an award  each year to a dedicated legislator involved in Ohio’s government, and green industry issues at the legislative level.

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