Aug 4, 2022
PPA Honors 2022 Special Recognition Award Recipients

Nine perennial professionals were recognized for their exceptional contributions to the industry with a Special Recognition Award during the Perennial Plant Association’s (PPA) 2022 National Symposium. Initiated in 1985 by PPA, the Special Recognition Awards program recognizes individuals in nine unique perennial industry categories for their distinguished work.

This year’s category descriptions and recipients are:

  • The Award of Merit to Hans Hansen of Walters Gardens for significantly contributing to the herbaceous perennial plant industry in growing, marketing, contracting, writing, teaching, extension, research, landscaping, hybridizing, promotion, or innovation.
  • The Educator Award to Panayoti Kelaidis of Denver Botanic Gardens for providing exceptional leadership in education to the perennial industry. This award was previously named the Academic Award.
  • The Garden Media Promoter Award to John Friel of Emerald Coast Growers for representing media such as radio, television, newspaper, book publishing, magazine, photography, etc., whose educational and promotional efforts result in heightened public awareness of the work done by the perennial plant industry.
  • The Retail Sales Award to Izel Native Plants in recognition of being a commercial representative instrumental in making an operation progressive and successful in outstanding sales and service.
  • The Young Professional Award to Laura Robles of Walters Gardens for demonstrated involvement in the PPA, contributing to the success of her company, and for portraying a positive image of the industry to the public. The Young Professional Award recognizes, honors, and encourages participation, achievement, and growth of an individual in the industry who is a talented and diligent newcomer.
  • The Grower Award to Ron Strasko of Creek Hill Nursery in recognition of being a grower who holds high standards of production, maintains high quality plants, and seeks innovation while respecting the requirements of the perennial industry.
  • The International Contributor Award to Christian Kress of Sarastro-Stauden located in Ort im Innkreis Austria, for outstanding contributions to the herbaceous perennial industry in the international arena.
  • The Service Award to Beth Engle of Griffin Greenhouse Supplies for outstanding service to the Perennial Plant Association. The award goes to an individual who has contributed considerable time and effort by serving on committees, diligently attending meetings, motivating the membership to act on concerns within our industry, and demonstrating leadership and organizational skills.
  • The Directors’ Award to Janet Draper of the Smithsonian Institute for going above and beyond in her support of the PPA and the broader perennial industry through outstanding contributions and exceptional commitment to the advancement of the PPA and the perennial industry.

The Perennial Plant Association extends a huge congratulations to these 2022 award recipients.




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