All-America Selections celebrates 85th anniversary, moves offices

All-America Selections celebrates 85th anniversary, moves offices

The organization is also welcoming three new directors and has released its 2017 Annual Report.

July 6, 2017
Press Release
Association News Industry News

Downers Grove, Ill. – July 5, 2017 – All-America Selections has had a busy year. In addition to launching a new website last fall and continuing to introduce new AAS Winners, it is also celebrating its 85th anniversary, it has moved offices, it has released its 2017 Annual Report and is welcoming three new directors.

85th anniversary: 
When the idea for All-America Selections was conceived in the early 1930s, there were only a few flower or vegetable testing locations around the country. If a person or company wanted to introduce a new variety, the plants were usually tested in just one geographic area. There was no national, independent testing program nor a uniform standard for evaluation of new varieties.

Founder W. Ray Hastings proposed a national network of trial gardens where new, unsold flower and vegetable varieties could be tested in various climates by impartial, volunteer horticultural experts. He presented his proposal to the Southern Seedsman’s Association, his idea took root, and All-America Selections was established. Mr. Hastings guided AAS, serving as executive secretary from 1932 to 1971. 

Celebrating its 85th year, All-America Selections remains true to the original mission – to test and introduce new varieties that have proven their garden performance. With more than 85 years and almost that many trial grounds, AAS continues as the oldest international organization testing ornamental, edibles and herbaceous perennials in North America. 

AAS welcomes Cultivate’17 attendees stop by Cultivate booth #1313 to help celebrate the 85th anniversary. 

Office move and open house:
After more than 30 years in one office space, it was high time to celebrate an 85th anniversary and move into a more modern, updated building. 

The new address is:

5201 Walnut Ave, Suite 3, Downers Grove, Ill. 60515
Same phone number: 630-963-0770

For anyone in Chicagoland at the end of July, All-America Selections and the National Garden Bureau will be hosting an Open House on July 27 from 2 to 5 p.m. Please RSVP by emailing Diane Blazek

2017 Annual Report:
All-America Selections has released the 2016-2017 Annual Report reflecting the group’s activities over the past 12-18 months. 

This Annual Report can be downloaded from the AAS website here. This report is designed to bring new awareness about the organization’s activities and progress. A few key points in this year’s report are: 

Recognition of AAS’ 85th Anniversary
New and unique marketing projects for all AAS Winners
Featuring the newest 2017 AAS Winners

All questions and/or comments can be directed to AAS Executive Director Diane Blazek

Three new directors:
In 2017, AAS has welcomed three new directors to the board. They are:

Chelsey Lenczyk, Bejo Seeds
Vaughn Fletcher, Fletcher Consulting
Jessie Liebenguth, Reiman Gardens

They join the board to serve with:

Connie Dam-Byl, President, Dam Seeds
Angus Mellish, Past-President, Vesey Seeds
Jenny Kuhn, Vice-Presdient, C. Raker & Sons
Patty Buskirk, Treasurer, Seeds By Design/Terra Organica
Mark Gross, PanAmerican Seed
Jenny Wegley, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Justin Hancock, Costa Farms

All-America Selections and our breeders, judges and staff thank all ten directors for their work and dedication in continuing to build AAS into a strong and viable industry association.