MANTS celebrates 50 years
Vanessa Finney speaks to the attendees of the MANTS 50-year gala.
Matt McClellan

MANTS celebrates 50 years

Exhibitors and staff reflected on the past, present and future of the trade show at an anniversary gala.

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January 9, 2020

On Jan. 7, the evening before the 50th Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show began, MANTS organizers, board members and 50-year exhibitors came together to celebrate with an anniversary gala.

Vanessa Finney, executive vice president of MANTS, spoke about her father, Carville Akehurst, who envisioned the show as a vehicle to stimulate commerce for the region’s nursery industry, and brought together a group of forward-thinking nurserymen to plan the first show.

Vanessa also spoke about the many contributions of her mother, Nancy, who was integral to the administration of the show.

Many previous and current members of the MANTS board of directors were in attendance.

Left: Ed Tankard III, speaking on behalf of Tankard Nurseries. Right: Charlie Parkerson, speaking on behalf of Lancaster Farms, Inc.

Special recognition was given to the exhibitors who have been at MANTS since the first show in 1971. To learn more about the 50-year exhibitors, read these profiles in Nursery Management's January 2020 issue.

  • BFG Supply (formerly Wetsel), Burton, Ohio, Hall F, booth 328
  • Ingleside Plantation Nurseries, Oak Grove, Virginia, Hall F, booth 428
  • Lancaster Farms, Inc., Suffolk, Virginia, Hall F, booth 428
  • Mobjack Nurseries, Inc., Mobjack, Virginia, Hall I, booth 822
  • Star Roses and Plants (formerly Conard-Pyle), West Grove, Pennsylvania, Hall F, booth 228
  • Tankard Nurseries, Exmore, Virginia, Hall G, booth 222

Editor’s note: For more about MANTS’ history, click here to read this article from Nursery Management's January issue.