The Horticultural Research Institute is governed by a 22-member appointed by the Board of Directors of AmericanHort. The HRI Executive Committee is elected by the HRI Trustees.

Myriad other volunteers assist HRI in many ways, including

  • assessing industry relevance of grant proposals
  • reviewing the scientific merit of grant proposals
  • evaluating scholarship applications
  • participating on the editorial board of the Journal of Environmental Horticulture
  • providing financial guidance as members of the HRI Investment Committee

If you are interested in investing your time and talents with HRI, please contact Jennifer Gray

Financial Foundation

The financial foundation of Horticultural Research Institute is its endowment fund and annual giving program. Charitable donations and their investment returns are the backbone of the Horticultural Research Institute. The responsibility to execute the wishes of each donor is one that HRI takes very seriously. HRI leaders take pride in the trust bestowed on them by donors. As part of their commitment to the horticultural community, HRI ascribes to the “Donor Bill of Rights” and contracts with professional investment advisors at Vanguard. All Horticultural Research Institute research activities are supported through the endowment and annual giving. Horticultural Research Institute retains AmericanHort for management services, helping to keep low overhead costs and to remain proactive and focus on smart research and green industry needs.

Industry Leadership

Horticultural Research Institute is governed and guided by a volunteer Board of Trustees representing all facets of industry business segments and all regions of the United States.


Management of HRI affairs is  handled by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee consists of the Immediate Past-President, President, President-Elect, and three other Trustees as elected by the Board of Trustees.

Gary Knosher, President, Midwest Groundcovers, St Charles, IL, Region II

Stephen L. Mostardi, Immediate Past President, Mostardi Nursery & Greenhouse Inc, Newtown Square, PA, Region I

Ken McVicker, President-Elect, Woodburn Nursery, Woodburn, OR, Region IV

Harvey Cotten, Treasurer, Horticultural Consultant & Author, Huntsville, AL Region III

Brian Decker, Decker’s Nursery, Groveport, OH, Region II

Leigh Geschwill, F and B Farms and Nursery, Woodburn, OR, Region IV

Alan Jones, Manor View Farm, Monkton, MD, Region I

The HRI Board of Trustees is composed of twenty-two (22) persons; four (4) per region, plus six (6) Executive Committee members. Members of the Board of Trustees are appointed by the Board of Directors of the AmericanHort. The activities and affairs of HRI are conducted and all corporate powers are exercised by or under the direction of the HRI Board of Trustees.

Jonathan Berry, J Berry Nursery, Grand Saline, TX, Region III

Ed Bemis, Bemis Farms Nursery, Spencer, MA, Region I

Todd Davis, Orora Visual Horticulture, Mesquite, TX, Region III

Danny Gouge, Willoway Nurseries, Inc., Avon, OH, Region II

Ka Yeon Jeong (Kay), PhD Sun Gro Horticulture, Agawam, MA, Region I

Bob Jones, Jr., The Chef's Garden, Huron, OH, Region II

Matt Kramer, Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc., Lowell, OR, Region IV

John Rausch, Star Roses & Plants, West Grove, PA, Region I

Mark Reiner, Oakland Nursery, Columbus, OH, Region II

Danny Takao, Takao Nursery, Fresno, CA, Region IV

Ed Tankard, Tankard Nurseries, Exmore, VA, Region III

Lorence Wenke, Wenke Greenhouses, Kalamazoo, MI, Region II

Mark Yelanich, PhD, Metrolina Greenhouse, Huntersville, NC, Region III

This committee is appointed by the HRI Board of Trustees and consists of the current president of HRI, the President and CEO of AmericanHort, and at least three other members. The Investment Committee is bound by the HRI's investment policy. They are responsible to report and/or recommend actions to the Board of Trustees.

Bob Couch, Chair, Dayton Bag & Burlap Co

Dale Deppe, Spring Meadow Nursery Inc.

Richard Posey, Buckeye Resources, Inc.