AAS Presents Breeder’s Cup to Doug Holden
All-America Selections recently presented its Medallion of Honor to Doug Holden, recently retired Global Head of Breeding at Benary.
The presentation took place during the awards banquet at the AAS/National Garden Bureau’s Summer Summit in Louisiana.
The banquet was a closing night celebration where industry representatives, judges, breeders, growers, retailers and resellers gathered to visit All-America Selections Trial Grounds and Display Gardens. Tour stops included Perino’s Garden Center and the New Orleans Botanical Garden in New Orleans, the Hammond Research Station in Hammond, and the LSU Ag Center in Baton Rouge.
The AAS Medallion of Honor is presented to an individual who has given a lifelong dedication to the advancement of horticulture.
Holden started his career at Bodger Seeds Ltd. in 1986 where he bred such notable introductions as Ageratum Hawaii Blue; Lobelia Palace Series and numerous others.
Continuing his career at Waller Flower Seed Co., Holden was named vice president of research and development where he led the development of a new R&D department as well as bred numerous notable series such as the Viola Sorbet Series; Pacifica and Mediterranean Vinca and Panache Pansies.
In 1997, Holden moved to Goldsmith Seeds where he worked as research director expanding the company’s efforts to include a steady supply of vegetative products that would satisfy the needs of a global market. These products ultimately became part of Syngenta Flowers’ Goldfisch brand.
As the vice president of Yoder Brothers’ Propagator Marketing Group, Holden worked on the new product development in cut flower carnations; garden mums; hibiscus; azaleas and other annual and perennial classes.
Following a short tenure as Director of Research for Syngenta Flowers, Holden moved to Benary as the Global Head of Breeding in 2009. He was tasked with establishing a new North American headquarters and breeding facility and recruiting breeders for the North American market. As a result of Doug’s vast knowledge and expertise, the Benary breeding facility has already generated its first completely U.S.-bred series, Super Hero marigolds (of which, ‘Spry’ is a 2018 AAS Winner).
“I always trusted Doug’s opinion of new introductions, as he always looked for the commercial benefits of any new variety. I am so pleased he’s being given this honor, he fully deserves it. The industry would be much less valuable today without his involvement,” said John Whitehead, former managing director of Colegrave Seed.
Photo caption: AAS Medallion of Honor recipient Doug Holden (right) with presenter Matt Mart.