OUR LEADERSHIP

AmericanHort is governed by volunteers that give their time, talents, and treasure to help the association and our industry flourish. They are the people behind the plants.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

tom Hughes Board of directors headshot

Tom Hughes

Chairman of the Board
Hughes Nursery & Landscaping LLC

Cole Mangum headshot

Cole Mangum

Vice Chairman
Bell Nursery USA LLC

Harvey C headshot

J. Harvey Cotten Jr

Treasurer

Horticultural Consultant, Author

Women In Horticulture Susie Raker-Zimmerman

Susie Raker-Zimmerman

Immediate Past Chair
Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants

tom Hughes Board of directors headshot

Tom Hughes

Chairman of the Board
Hughes Nursery & Landscaping LLC

Cole Mangum headshot

Cole Mangum

Vice Chairman
Bell Nursery USA LLC

Harvey C headshot

J. Harvey Cotten Jr

Treasurer

Women In Horticulture Susie Raker-Zimmerman

Susie Raker-Zimmerman

Immediate Past Chair
Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants

DIRECTORS

Gerry Docksteader headshot

Gerry Docksteader

Advanced Horticultural Solutions

AmericanHort Staff Member Ken Fisher

Ken Fisher

AmericanHort

Mike Gooder Headshot - AmericanHort Leadership

Mike Gooder

Plantpeddler Inc

Joe Hobson headshot

Joe Hobson

Midwest Trading Horticultural Supplies Inc.

Gerry Docksteader headshot

Gerry Docksteader

Master Nursery Garden Centers

AmericanHort Staff Member Ken Fisher

Ken Fisher

AmericanHort

Mike Gooder headshot

Mike Gooder

Plantpeddler Inc

Rob Lando headshot

Rob Lando

AgriNomix

Chris McCorkle headshot

Chris McCorkle

McCorkle Nurseries Inc.

Amy Morris headshot

Amy Morris

N.G. Heimos Greenhouses

Ed Overdevest headshot

Edward Overdevest

Overdevest Nurseries LP

Joe Hobson headshot

Joe Hobson

Midwest Trading Horticultural Supplies Inc.

Rob Lando headshot

Rob Lando

AgriNomix

Chris McCorkle headshot

Chris McCorkle

McCorkle Nurseries Inc.

Amy Morris headshot

Amy Morris

N.G. Heimos Greenhouses

Ed Overdevest headshot

Edward Overdevest

Overdevest Nurseries LP

Jon Reelhorn headshot

Jon Reelhorn

Belmont Nursery

Jon Reelhorn headshot

Jon Reelhorn

Belmont Nursery

Jonathan Saperstein headshot

Jonathan Saperstein

Everde Growers

Jonathan Saperstein headshot

Jonathan Saperstein

TreeTown USA

tom Hughes Board of directors headshot

TOM HUGHES

Hughes Nursery & Landscaping

Tom Hughes is president and co-owner of Hughes Nursery & Landscaping (HNL) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A landscape design/build firm, HNL also grows 30 acres of B&B nursery stock. Tom, a fourth-generation nurserymen in the family business going back to 1908, grew up with his brother and sister, pulling weeds and watering trees. He graduated from Iowa State University in 2002 with a Horticulture degree and minors in Business and Landscape Design. During his three summers at Iowa State he gained great experience and practical knowledge by interning with nine different landscape or nursery firms in seven states. Tom and his wife Megan met at Iowa State where she received a Horticulture degree with a minor in Journalism. A freelance writer, Megan’s primary client is Meredith publishing and the Better Homes & Gardens brand of horticulture books and magazines. Tom and Megan have two daughters and a son.

Cole Mangum headshot

COLE MANGUM

Bell Nursery USA LLC

Cole Mangum is vice president of operations for Bell Nursery in Elkridge, MD, one of the nation’s largest growers of annuals and perennials. Cole oversees operations across 8 facilities as well as coordinating a team of category managers who manage shipping of finished product. A graduate of Salisbury University, Cole has dedicated himself to advocating for various facets for the industry over the course of his career. He has served on the National Leadership Cabinet for the Seed Your Future initiative, as Horticulture Representative for the Maryland Agricultural Commission, and is a board member for the Greenhouse Grower Technology advisory board. Cole joined the AmericanHort board of directors in 2017 and remains committed to keeping the horticulture strong and as a viable career path long into the future – both at the local and national level. He and his wife live in the Annapolis, MD area with their two young children.

Harvey C headshot

J. HARVEY COTTEN JR

Treasurer, AmericanHort

Harvey Cotten is a garden writer, designer, and consultant. After 22 years with the Huntsville Botanical Garden, most recently as vice president and chief horticulturist, he retired in 2014. He continues to present workshops for the Botanical Garden, Master Gardener Associations, Garden Clubs and other botanical gardens and arboreta while lecturing across the southeast on various garden topics. Harvey is very active in the industry. He currently serves as president of the Alabama Nursery & Landscape Association and is past president of the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) and Alabama Invasive Plant Council. Harvey co-authored a popular book “Easy Gardens for the South” published in 2009. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Mississippi State University. Prior to joining the Huntsville Botanical Garden staff, he was general manager of Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, MS, and co-owner of Chase Nursery Co in Huntsville.

Women In Horticulture Susie Raker-Zimmerman

SUSIE RAKER-ZIMMERMAN

Raker Roberta’s Young Plants

Susie Raker-Zimmerman grew up with horticulture being a constant in her life having worked in the greenhouses since she was a teenager. A Michigan State alumna, Susie started her professional experience in breeding, greenhouse production and sales as well as having worked as a weed science lab technician. After working at Bachmans Nursery Wholesale in Minneapolis, she returned to the family business and held various positions at what is today known as Raker Roberta’s Young Plants. A 12-acre greenhouse facility that employs more than 200 people the company is the leading wholesaler of custom grown plugs and liners in North America. As vice president of the business, Susie was the third generation to take the company reins and has helped the organization overcome financial challenges. She was instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition when the company was acquired in 2017. Under her leadership, she has worked with management to implement KPI’s and a structure leading to their current business success. Susie has been a member of the AmericanHort board since its founding in 2015. She previously served on the board of the Ohio Florist Association (OFA) and the Michigan Greenhouse Council.

Gerry Docksteader headshot

GERRY DOCKSTEADER

Advanced Horticultural Solutions

Gerry Docksteader brings a lifetime of experience from the North American horticultural industry. His career began as a vendor/supplier in the Canadian manufacturing and packaging market based out of Toronto.  He moved and subsequently immigrated to the U.S. in 1996 working as a national horticultural manufacturing and growing consultant.  His career has led him to work with some of the leading proprietary product growers and retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

Presently, Gerry consults for both green and hardgoods industry vendors on sales and marketing strategies and their applications to the gardening industry through his company Advanced Horticultural Solutions.  Most of our industry knows Gerry from his position as VP of Operations for Master Nursery Garden Centers (MNGC) a buying cooperative focused on expanding and increasing profitability for the Independent Garden Center market. Gerry held this position for over six years and organized an educational-sales and marketing team who dramatically improved sales and profitability for both vendors and the fully engaged membership of MNGC. Sales and vendor relationships grew significantly during his tenure as the MNGC team developed tools to assist vendors and co-op members in the Independent Garden Center market to educate and service the gardening consumer.  The experience Gerry gained through contract negotiations and collaborative sales and marketing interaction with vendors and garden center co-ops are a value to AmericanHort as he seeks to brings education from the ‘ground up” to the retail garden centers increasing their consumer satisfaction success rate. 

AmericanHort Staff Member Ken Fisher

KEN FISHER

President & Chief Executive Officer

Prior to joining AmericanHort in May 2016 as AmericanHort President and CEO, Ken spent 20 years in senior management positions leading industrial and consumer products companies including Managing Director of a Lone Star Funds portfolio company, a leading private equity firm; President and CEO of Elmer’s Products, an international consumer products company; Vice President of Poet-Ethanol Products, LLC the largest marketer of ethanol in North America; Senior Vice President of The Coleman Company, a global outdoor consumer products company; and various senior leadership positions within Koch Industries, Inc., a large multinational corporation.

Ken holds an MBA from the W. Frank Barton School of Business and a BS in Chemistry from Wichita State University.

Mike Gooder Headshot - AmericanHort Leadership

MIKE GOODER

Plantpeddler Inc., Cresco, Iowa

Mike Gooder is president and co-owner with wife Rachel of Plantpeddler, located in Cresco Iowa, and has been in business since 1980, with their son John joining the operation in 2014. Plantpeddler’s Young Plant division is a major propagator of vegetative genetics with industry leadership in Begonias. The wholesale division focuses on premium retail-ready products from Spring through Christmas. Mike is a graduate of horticulture from Iowa State University and is involved in several industry groups, including the AmericanHort Greenhouse Community Connector and Advocacy committees.  Mike is a recipient of the National Horticulture Leadership Award and speaks on a wide range of horticultural and business topics regionally and nationally. 

Joe Hobson headshot

JOE HOBSON

Midwest Trading Horticultural Supplies, Inc., Chicago, IL

Joe Hobson is President and CEO of Midwest Trading Horticultural Supplies, Inc., a “Peter Orum Company”, in Virgil, Illinois, with responsibilities for all aspects of the business. Core markets include nursey, greenhouse, and landscape products. Additionally, he serves on Midwest Groundcovers Board of Directors. Previously, Joe worked with Brickman and Mariani Landscape overseeing high end residential landscape businesses in Illinois, Wisconsin, and commercial properties in Georgia.  Joe’s career in horticulture started in 1986, remaining active since.

Earning a BSA from University of Missouri, Columbia, 1986 in Horticulture with emphasis on Landscape Design, Joe consistently involved himself in the business and overall industry. After serving over 20 years in the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association including having held the role of board director and president. Joe continues to support many industry associations, events, and educational institutes and is a past-member of the AmericanHort Advocacy Committee.

His passions include building strategic plans around sound visions within well-defined missions and ensuring successful implementation to produce desired results through inspired people. Joe values assisting others achieving their goals. Joe and his wife Sue reside in Woodstock, IL.

Rob Lando headshot

ROB LANDO

AgriNomix LLC, Oberlin OH

Rob’s Oberlin, Ohio based AgriNomix is North America’s largest supplier of automation to nurseries and greenhouses.  He and 3 grower partners formed AgriNomix (formerly Flier USA) in 1994 to provide local sales and service for high-tech Dutch made automation.  While continuing to do so, the company has become a sizable domestic designer and manufacturer as well.  He became sole owner of the business in 2002.  In addition to his day job, Rob is an active board member for Neighborhood Alliance, a North East Ohio non-profit which provides essential services to Lorain County residents in all stages of life.  He is a Vancouver native, and a US/Canadian dual citizen who moved to the US when he was 19.  Prior to AgriNomix, Lando served as senior vice president responsible for sales and service at Bouldin & Lawson of McMinnville, TN, and he started his journey in the horticulture industry with Langley Peat Moss of Fort Langley, BC in 1980.  Prior to being elected to the AmericanHort board of directors, Rob served as a member on the AmericanHort Finance Committee.

Chris McCorkle headshot

CHRIS MCCORKLE

McCorkle Nurseries Inc.

Chris McCorkle is vice president of operations of McCorkle Nurseries, Inc., a family-owned business which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary. He oversees all operational areas, including propagation, potting, production, inventory, maintenance, tagging, labeling and distribution. Chris leads by example and can often be found working alongside the employees he supervises. Chris also serves on the Center for Applied Nursery Research Board of Directors as secretary/treasurer. He also serves as mayor of Warrenton, GA.

Amy Morris headshot

AMY MORRIS

N.G. Heimos Greenhouses

With her father starting N.G. Heimos Greenhouses in 1951, Amy Morris was groomed into the horticulture industry since childhood. A graduate of Southeast Missouri University’s Agribusiness Horticulture program, Amy has been rooted in horticulture industry for 33 years. She has been the head grower at Heimos Greenhouses for 10 years growing annuals, perennials, blooming crops, holiday crops, and foliage. Responsibilities include understanding the hiring process, facilitating the H2A program, leadership training, and support to employees in all aspects of the business. In 2001 she opened Millstadt Young Plants rooting liners for Syngenta, Selecta, Dümmen, and Suntory. This company was created to keep their work force year-round. In 2007 she introduced North America’s largest Poinsettia Trial and Educational Workshop for growers, breeders, and college horticulture students across the country. In addition to her role with AmericanHort, Amy is a member of PMA, SFA, WNLG and LuxFlora. She is a contributing writer for GrowerTalk magazine under Growers Talk Business. One of her greatest accomplishments is receiving the Industry Leadership award in 2018 from Greenhouse Management and Nursery Management sponsored by Syngenta. This award was voted on by industry peers who know her commitment to the Industry. She volunteers for her local lawn and garden grower’s seminar, works with Annie’s Hope Bereavement Center, Camp Hope, and St Vincent DePaul 100 neediest families. Amy has been married to her Husband Craig for more than 30 years and has 2 children Josh, and Lauryn.

Ed Overdevest headshot

EDWARD OVERDEVEST

Overdevest Nurseries LP, New Jersey

Ed Overdevest is the president and owner of Overdevest Nurseries, one of the leading nurseries in New Jersey. Upon graduating from Cornell University, Ed returned home to become a partner in the family business, which he and his wife Gail later purchased from his parents in 1978. He and his wife led the company through a vigorous expansion and product diversification process and are proud to have their son Ryan join in the team as a third-generation partner. With production facilities encompassing 290 acres, the nursery produces over 2,000 varieties of perennials, shrubs, and trees for east coast garden centers. Exemplary practices in conservation, labor relations, and community involvement has earned the business a sustainability certification. The nursery’s clients include independent garden centers and distributors within a 300-mile radius of Bridgeton. Ed has received numerous honors over the past thirty years, including Young Farmer of the Year, Young Farm Couple, Nurseryman of the Year, Business of the Year, Grower of the Year, and several marketing awards. He has held leadership positions in local, state, and national community, business, and trade organizations.

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JON REELHORN

Belmont Nursery

Jon Reelhorn is owner and president of Belmont Nursery in Fresno, Calif. Like many successful businesses, Jon’s company values come from the top down. Belmont Nursery is a third-generation business that loves being part of their local community and includes nursery growing, greenhouse growing, and a retail garden center. Jon is a graduate of Fresno State University with a degree in Plant Science, a graduate of the California Ag Leadership Program and a graduate of EAGL, the Executive Academy for Growth and Leadership. Jon is very active in his industry having served as a board member with the farm bureau and California Nursery and Landscape Association (now Plant California Association), he held several committee roles with the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA), and has been chairman of the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI). Today, Jon currently serves as chairman of the board for New Hope Community Church. He enjoys hiking, golf and travel and is passionate about plants, baseball, and his dog Crash.

Jonathan Saperstein headshot

JONATHAN SAPERSTEIN

Everde Growers, Texas

Jonathan Saperstein is CEO of Everde Growers, one of America’s largest nurseries. Everde produces more than 33 million plants a year on over 6,000 acres amongst 14 facilities located in Florida, Texas, California, and Oregon. Jonathan firmly believes that employee, vendor, and customer relationships are the driving force of any successful business. Under his leadership Everde’s employee base has grown to over 2,000 associates, establishing the company as an industry leader. Jonathan currently serves as a trustee on both the Texas and Florida Nursery and Landscape Associations’ Political Action Committee boards and is an active member of the Young Presidents’ Association. Among his many honors, Jonathan was a recipient of the 2017 Forbes 30 under 30 award within the manufacturing & industry category, was recognized by Houston Business Journal as one of Houston’s most admired CEO’s and named the 2018 Gulf Coast Region EY Entrepreneur of the Year. He also received the Southern Nursery Association’s David E. Laird Award in 2019.