Southern Nursery Association elects new board for 2019
2019 SNA Board. Seated (left to right) Immediate Past President – Norman Cole, President – Joseph Napoli, Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3 – Rickey Minton. Standing (left to right) Director Chapter 2 – Marcus Cook, Director Chapter 1 –Matthew Shreckhise, Director Chapter 4 T–odd Ellefson, Executive Vice President – Karen Summers.
Photo courtesy of Southern Nursery Association

Southern Nursery Association elects new board for 2019

New officers and directors were elected at the SNA Conference.

February 22, 2019

Officers of the Southern Nursery Association (SNA) who will serve for the 2019 term were elected during the 120th Annual SNA Business Meeting held at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland, during The SNA Conference. The election, open to all active SNA members, determines representation from the four geographic regions of the association: 

Chapter 1 – Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia 

Chapter 2 – Florida, Georgia and South Carolina 

Chapter 3 – Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee 

Chapter 4 – Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas 

Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, Georgia, was elected president succeeding Norman Cole, Illinois, Cole Nursery, Pipestem, West Virginia.

The complete slate of 2019 officers and directors is as follows: 

Joseph Napoli, Athens Wholesale Nursery, Athens, Georgia

Vice President/Treasurer/Director Chapter 3 
Rickey Minton, Triangle Nursery, McMinnville, Tennessee

Director Chapter 4 
Todd Ellefson, Windmill Nursery, Franklinton, Louisiana

Director Chapter 1 
Matthew Shreckhise, Shreckhise Nurseries, Grottoes, Virginia

Director Chapter 2 
Marcus Cook, Marcus Cook Farms, Gray Court, South Carolina

Immediate Past President 
Norman Cole, III, Cole Nurseries, Pipestem, West Virginia

Newly elected SNA President Joseph Napoli of Athens Wholesale Nursery in Athens, Georgia, was previously elected to serve on the SNA Board of Directors in 2015 representing Chapter 2. Napoli, founder and conductor of The Athens Master Chorale (1989), holds music degrees from Florida State University and The University of South Florida. Napoli performed throughout North America with the Metropolitan Opera National Company during its inaugural 1965 season. He later taught public school for fourteen years in Tampa, Florida, before moving to Athens, Georgia, and establishing Athens Wholesale Nursery in 1984.

Napoli served as chairman of the Georgia Green Industry Association (GGIA) in 2003 and was awarded the GGIA Jake Tinga Distinguished Professional of the Year Award in 2004. He is a founding member of the Athens Georgia Nursery Growers Association and has served as the chairman for the Classic Center Authority in 2012.

Joining the SNA Board this year is Marcus Cook, owner, of Marcus Cook Farms in Gray Court, South Carolina. The business was founded in 1983 and consists of a wholesale B&B nursery, and a landscape and lawn maintenance company.

Cook is a graduate of Anderson College. After college he managed Eastern Plant Food, a custom blend fertilizer plant and later was employed as a salesman for Seedsmen, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina. Through his experiences with these two companies he returned home and diversified the family farm to include nursery plants and trees.

Cook served on the South Carolina Nursery and Landscape Association board and was president in 2016 when the association merged with the South Carolina Landscape and Turfgrass Association to become South Carolina Green Industry Association. He has served on the Laurens Electric Cooperative Board, Laurens County Chamber of Commerce Board, Laurens County Water Resources Board, and the Laurens County Water & Sewer Commission. Cook was awarded the Small Business Person of the Year in 2005 by the Laurens County Chamber of Commerce.

“This 2019 board represents a group of diverse industry leaders, all with excellent business skills that can be leveraged to the advantage of the SNA,” Karen Summers, SNA executive vice president says. “Joe Napoli is a very unique individual and I am excited to see where this conductor will lead the SNA. We have a very energetic and talented board and I am very confident in their abilities to lead this 120-year-old association forward,” she added.