WESTERVILLE, Ohio: The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association (ONLA) is pleased to announce the 2014 Service Award recipient, Jennifer Gray, former Associate Executive Director of The Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association.
The award was presented by retired ONLA Executive Director, Bill Stalter during the Central Environmental Trade Show (CENTS) at the ONLA Luncheon & Business Meeting held January 14, 2014 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio.
The ONLA Service Award, previously known as the Award of Merit, seeks to honor those people who have unselfishly given their time, resources or talents to serve the association. The Service Award is intended to recognize individual members who have served the ONLA in an outstanding manner in one or more of the following ways: officer, board of directors, committee chair, committee member or membership service provider. Eligibility includes any member of any ONLA membership classification or representative of a member firm of the ONLA.
Gray is a proud graduate of Otterbein University and was hired at ONLA on January 19, 1998. Five days later, she attended her first CENTS Show as an ONLA staff member. She was hired to write the monthly magazine, The Buckeye, develop membership brochures and to assist with other association projects whenever and wherever needed. A few months later, she was named Communications Director.
In the nearly fifteen years she was employed by the ONLA, she held many titles. In addition to her duties as Communications Director, she was named Associate Executive Director in November 2007. She served as Interim Executive Director from August 2009 to May 2010.
From 2010 to 2013, she held the dual titles of Associate Executive Director and Communications Director. As the Associate E.D. Jennifer maintained the Political Action Committee records and reports; managing the scholarship program and job fair; acting as the ONLA Board of Directors recording secretary and assumed the role of executive director in the absence of Executive Director, Kevin Thompson.
As Communications Director, she was editor of ONLA’s magazine, The Buckeye, having won several awards for it during her tenure, from the Ohio Society of Association Executives. All together, she was responsible for producing more than 200 issues. She handled association advertising sales and sponsorships; served as art director and graphic designer for all other publications plus the two websites, ONLA.org and BuckeyeGardening.com.
Jennifer left the ONLA in November, 2013 to begin a new career and meet new challenges as Research Programs Administrator with the Horticultural Research Institute, better known has HRI. HRI is the research affiliate of AmericanHort, the name of the new consolidation of two national industry associations, the ANLA and OFA, and is based in Columbus, Ohio.
She and her husband, Ben, reside in Sunbury with sons Wyatt and Charlie. The ONLA is pleased to present Jennifer Gray with the 2014 Service Award.
The ONLA’s annual convention, the Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show (CENTS), is scheduled for January 7-9, 2015, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Hotel, Columbus. The trade show is open to persons in the nursery and landscape industry.