AmericanHort Announces Women In Horticulture Programming


Mary Beth Cowardin
Vice President Marketing & Member Engagement
614-884-1138 Direct

AmericanHort Announces Women in Horticulture Programming

Plans include a Powerful, Inspiring Networking Event at Cultivate’20

COLUMBUS, OH – (March 30, 2020) – AmericanHort is pleased to announce a new Women in Horticulture program. The program will begin with a series of monthly interviews with accomplished women in the industry. There will be a Women in Horticulture educational networking event at Cultivate and plans for future programming.

“As we end March, National Women’s History month, a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of American women, we are excited to share new ways to learn from women in our industry, to educate and inspire each other on ways to manage professional and personal challenges as one works to advance their career and life.” stated Mary Beth Cowardin, vice president of marketing & member engagement at AmericanHort. “We are pleased to offer a way for all industry members to come together and foster peer-to-peer sharing and support of one another. We hope this new programming will be beneficial to those who participate. There seems like no better time for such a program as now when we are in a period of practicing social, or physical, distancing.”

The monthly webinar series will be kicked off on April 16 at 2:15 PM, EST with a webinar interview with Susie Raker-Zimmerman, vice president of Raker Roberta’s Young Plants in Litchfield, MI and current chairwoman of the AmericanHort board of directors.

Additional webinars are planned as follows:  

Wednesday, May 6 2PM, EST – Kathy Fediw, Interior Plantscape consultant, author, trainer, and speaker and 2020 Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame honoree.

Wednesday, June 3 2PM, EST – Jennifer Moss, owner and director of sales and marketing at Moss Greenhouses in Jerome, Idaho

An in-person educational networking event at Cultivate’20 is scheduled for Monday, July 13 at noon. This powerful, inspiring networking workshop will begin with Leslie Halleck, of Halleck Horticultural, LLC providing a high-energy inspirational talk to guide you in bringing your own personal strengths and inner superpowers to the surface. After opening remarks, Halleck will facilitate a panel discussion with the following accomplished women in the green industry who will share lessons they’ve learned as they’ve navigated their career path.

Panelists include:

Lisa Fiore – Lisa Fiore is founder and CEO of LandscapeHub, a B2B online marketplace she created and launched in July 2017. A fourth-generation nursery professional, she realized there was an opportunity to digitize the entire procurement process for the green industry. Lisa was previously President of Fiore Landscape and Nursery Supply (FLNS), a century-old nursery company. During her sixteen-year tenure, she was responsible for identifying new business opportunities and in leading the company forward during the recession. She recently served on the board of directors for the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) and is actively involved in many trade associations.

Lela Kelly – Lela Kelly is vice president and co-owner of Dosatron International Inc. Based in Clearwater, FL, Dosatron has been serving North and Central American for over 30 years and is the world leader in water-powered dosing technology. While helping to run the company, Lela also led the sales and marketing of Dostatron to the horticulture market. Her perseverance and love for horticulture helped her overcome the challenges she faced being a woman in the irrigation market. Lela’s interest in horticulture has spanned over 40 years. She has owned a nursery and garden center operation located on Long Island, New York, for eleven years. Lela has involved herself in the industry by working on many boards, and committees to help strengthen the industry. She is an alumni of the Harvard Business School Owner/President Manager (OPM) program and looks forward to helping other women be successful in this great industry.

Rebecca Lusk – Rebecca Lusk is the retail director and key account sales manager for Dümmen Orange with responsibilities for business planning & development. She also serves on the board for the National Garden Bureau as an advisory member. Rebecca is the founder and president of Luxflora, a women-led organization working to create a lifestyle movement that uses flowers for expression in everyday life. Notable is her 18 years of employment with Dümmen Orange.

Kelly Staats – Kelly Staats is the sales and marketing manager for Raker Roberta’s Young Plants headquartered in Litchfield, MI. She has her undergraduate degree in horticulture from The Ohio State University and holds an MBA from Xavier University. Kelly fell into the horticulture field when she was a pre-med student and had an amazing Botany professor. After a tour of a greenhouse, she was hooked on the industry. Her career focus has been on sales and marketing of young plants having worked as Eason Horticultural Resource prior to joining her current team. Kelly loves the diversity of tasks that each day brings as she manages the customer service and sales team and works with their customers.

The $40 per person ticket price includes lunch, and a portion of all tickets purchased will go to support an HRI horticulture scholarship.  


To learn more about AmericanHort’s Women in Horticulture programs and to sign up for the webinars, go to AmericanHort/Women. To register for the Women in Horticulture event at Cultivate’20, go to  If you have additional questions, please call AmericanHort at 614-487-1117.

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About AmericanHort

Green industry businesses perform better, grow faster, and prepare for the future as a member of AmericanHort, the green industry’s leading association. With a rich history of serving horticultural professionals, AmericanHort supports nearly 15,000 members and affiliated businesses that include breeders, greenhouse and nursery growers, garden retailers, distributors, interior and exterior landscape professionals, florists, students, educators, researchers, manufacturers, and all of those who are part of the industry market chain. The horticulture industry’s production, wholesale, retail, and landscape service components have annual sales of $346 billion, and sustain over 2.3 million full- and part-time jobs. AmericanHort works to impact the growth, performance and successful future for the industry through advocacy, research, education, and advancing industry standards. 

About Cultivate

Cultivate is the national industry event hosted by AmericanHort every July in Columbus, Ohio. This year Cultivate’20 is July 11-14, 2020. Cultivate owns the niche for gathering the entire industry supply chain in one place for four days of professional development and robust business opportunities with its 650+ exhibitor trade show, 190+ educational sessions and plentiful networking opportunities.