April 30, 2010, Guelph, Ont. – In a sometimes emotional speech, Flowers Canada Growers executive-director Dr. Irwin Smith said goodbye to friends and colleagues attending his retirement reception.
Some 75 people attended, including growers, past and present board members, researchers and his FCG colleagues.
|New executive director Dean
Shoemaker (left), accepts a ceremonial key to the FCG office from Dr. Irwin Smith (at right), while board member Tom Mulleder looks on.
Smith joined Flowers Canada (Ontario) in February 1999.
FCO president Andrew Kuyvenhoven says a great deal of thanks is owed Smith for his role in advancing the profile of the greenhouse floriculture industry. “Irwin has accomplished many strategic partnerships and has brought in millions of dollars in project and research funding,” said Kuyvenhoven. Smith also effectively managed staff, and most importantly, “he has clearly understood our industry needs with hundreds, if not thousands, of greenhouse visits and meetings to his credit.”
Smith was especially effective in opening new lines of dialogue with the various levels of government, to ensure floriculture receives its fair share of attention.
Among highlights of his tenure, Smith helped steer Ontario growers through the Section 12 registration of the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Act. In January 2008, the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission conducted a vote and the majority of Ontario's greenhouse floriculture growers who participated supported Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc. being designated as their representative association and paying a mandatory licence fee to fund the organization. Covered are greenhouse floriculture growers with at least 20,000 square feet of production.Dean Shoemaker is the new executive director. Shoemaker has worked closely with the FCO and Flowers Canada Growers staff for over five years. He has a strong business and agricultural background.