Awards Nominations

Any Active, Associate or Student member of the Vermont Nursery & Landscaping Association (VNLA)/Green Works, current in dues, as well as any Honorary member, is eligible to nominate individuals for the VNLA awards.   The deadline to submit nominations is December 31, 2019.

Download a 2019/20 nomination ballot here.

The 2018 Award Winners

Horticultural Achievement Award

This award is given to individuals connected to the horticulture industry in Vermont who are over 35 years of age and whose accomplishments have advanced our industry educationally, by plant development or growing, through literature, or through outstanding personal effort.  This award is the most prestigious and distinguished that can be received from the VNLA/Green Works.

VJ Comai and Ed Burke

Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
Bristol, VT
2018 Winner






Environmental Awareness Award

Dan Goossen, Ed Burke, VNLA President, and Jen Baer

This award is given in recognition of an individual that has implemented an environmentally sound practice that contributes to the protection of our environment.

Green Mountain Compost/Chittenden Solid Waste District
Jen Baer and Dan Goossen
Williston, VT
2018 Winner




Retailer of the Year Award

Zoe Wainer and Brian Mitchell, Gardener’s Supply Co., and Ed Burke, VNLA President

This award was established in 2012 and will be presented annually to a retail garden center or greenhouse operation that stands apart for their excellence in any or all of the following categories:  customer service, quality of plant material, knowledge of staff, creativity and innovations in marketing and presentation of retail space, and overall customer experience and satisfaction.

Gardener’s Supply Company Garden Centers
Burlington and Williston, VT
2018 Winner




VNLA Young Nursery Professional of the Year Award

Charlie Proutt of Horsford Gardens and Nursery presents the award to Kristin Sprenkle.

The Young Nursery Professional of the Year award is an annual award established by the New England Nursery Association and is now being adopted by the Vermont Nursery and Landscape Association.  Its purpose is to reward, to honor, and to encourage participation, achievement and growth by an individual who is involved in a related horticultural industry and has not reached the age of 40 years, who has shown involvement in his or her state and/or regional nursery association, who has contributed to the growth and success of their company, and who has portrayed an image to the public of what our products and services can do for them.

** NOTE:  This award recipient is selected in December of each year for next year’s award.  All other VNLA/Green Works award nominees are selected by December of each year for the previous year.  All recipients are honored at the VNLA/Green Works annual meeting held in February of each year.

Kristin Sprenkle
Horsford Gardens & Nursery
Charlotte, VT
2019 Winner


Allen B. Crane Horticultural Employee Acknowledgement Award

Allen B. Crane1

Allen B. Crane

This award will be presented annually and is being sponsored by Claussen’s Florist & Greenhouse in honor of Allen B. Crane, head grower there for over 42 years.   Allen was “a great friend, wonderful colleague and an incredible grower”.  Allen passed away in 2013 after a yearlong battle with cancer.   This award is being established in Allen’s honor to recognize the employees that make a difference in the horticultural industry. A cash prize will be awarded to the recipient in the amount of $275.  Nominees must meet the following criteria:  they should be an employee of a member business with a minimum of 5 years employment with that business; nominees must be employed in the horticultural industry, which could also include the field of education; and nominees should be exemplary leaders and display an ability to grow and excel in the workplace and beyond.

Geoff Swanson

Geoff Swanson

diStefano Landscaping, Inc.
Essex Junction, VT
2018 Winner







Student Merit Awards

This award is presented to college nominees for students who are pursuing education/careers in the horticulture related fields and have shown academic excellence.  This is a $500 award.

University of Vermont – 2019

Paul Saaman and Ed Burke, VNLA President


Paul Saaman







Vermont Technical College – 2019

Hannah Kilburn

Hannah Kilburn and Ed Burke, VNLA President










Past Award Winners:

    Horticultural Achievement Award

2017  Joan Lynch, The Inner Garden,
2016  Lori King, Claussen’s Florist, Greenhouse & Perennial Farm
2015  Paul Wieczoreck, Champlain Valley Landscaping/Lincoln Hill Nursery
2014  David Loysen, Shaw Hill Nursery
2013  Leo Roberts, Horsfords Garden & Nursery
2012  Don and Lela Avery, Cady’s Falls Nursery
2011  Charles Siegchrist – Barber Farm, Inc.
2010  Christopher Conant – Claussen’s Florist & Greenhouse
2009  Amy Rose-White, Rocky Dale Gardens
2008  Paul Sokal and Louise Giovanella, Addison Gardens
2007  John and Patti Padua, Cobble Creek Nursery
2006  Thomas F. Wright, Homestead Landscaping
2005  Dan G. Nash, Nash’s Treescape
2004  Leonard Perry, UVM
2003  Bill Countryman, Countryman Peony Farm
2002  Charlie Proutt, Horsford’s Nursery
2001  Holly Weir & Bill Pollard, Rocky Dale Gardens
2000  Greg Williams
1998  Joan Hulbert, Smallwood Nursery
1997  William Horsford
1996  Dennis Bruckel, Grand Isle Nursery
1995  Richard Salter
1994  Elmer Brown, The E.C. Brown Nursery
1993  Norman & Dorothy Pellett
1992  Lewis & Nancy Hill
1991  Richard Stevens, Sr.

    Environmental Awareness Award

2017  Nate Carr, Churchill Landscapes, Inc.
2016  Dan Redondo, Vermont Wetland Plant Supply, Inc.
2015  Liz and Jake Guest, Killdeer Farm
2014  Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Linden L.A.N.D. Group
2013  Sarah Salatino, Full Circle Gardens
2012  Chris Conant, Claussen’s Florist & Greenhouse
2011  Sarah Holland – River’s Bend Garden Design
2009  Charlie Proutt and Eileen Schilling, Horsford Gardens & Nursery
2008  Tom Stearns, High Mowing Organic Seeds
2007  Karl Hammer, Vermont Compost Company
2006  Anne Mueller, Arcana Gardens and Greenhouses
2004  Common Ground Student Run Educational Farm
2002  Paul Sachs, North Country Organics
2001  Paul Sokal, Addison Gardens
2000  Adam Sherman
1997  Will & Judy Stevens
1996  Don Avery, Cady’s Falls Nursery
1995  SVCEC Horticulture Program
1994  Jim & Mary Musty, J. M. Landscaping
1993  Nancy Volatile Wood
1991  Andrea Morgante

Retailer of the Year Award

2017  Eileen Schilling and Charlie Proutt, Horsford Gardens & Nursery
2016  Carol and Mike MacLeod, Evergreen Gardens
2015  Ed Burke, Rocky Dale Gardens
2014  Karen and Jack Manix, Walker Farm
2013  Tobi and Sally von Trapp, von Trapp Greenhouse
2012  Julie Rubaud, Red Wagon Plants

NENA Young Nursery Professional of the Year Award

2018  Ashley Robinson, Landscape Designer
2017  David Burton, diStefano Landscaping, Inc.
2016  Hannah Decker, Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc.
2015  Gabe Bushey, Crafted Landscapes, LLC
2014  Jason Koicuba, Cobble Creek Nursery
2013  Brian Vaughan, Vaughan Landscaping
2012  Nathaniel Carr, Church Hill Landscapes, LLC
2011  Claybrook Griffith, Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
2010  Shannon Lee, Cobble Creek Nursery
2009  Rebecca Lindenmeyr, Linden Landscaping & Design, Inc.
2008  R. Andrew Burtt, Old Nash Farm & Landscaping
2006  Chris Thompson, White River Valley Gardens & Landscaping
2005  Mark Starrett, UVM
2002  Tim Parsons, Greenhaven Gardens & Nursery
2001  Charlie Plonski, Horsfords Gardens & Nursery/New England Nursery Sales
2000  Peter Norris, Greenhaven Gardens & Nursery
1998  Scott Pfister, Vermont Department of Agriculture
1997  Stephen Tworig, North Branch Landscape Co., Inc.
1996  Bill Pedi, Northern Nurseries
1995  Thamasin Sullivan
1994  VJ Comai, South Forty Nursery
1993  Chris Schlegel
1992  Ralph Fitzgerald, Horsford Gardens & Nursery
1991  Pat Seibel

Past Recipients of Student Merit Awards


2018 – Kaly Gonski
2017 – Rowan Payne-Meyer
2016 – Michael Murphy
2015 – Donald Keith, III
2014 – John Davis
2013 – John R. Bruce
2012 – Graham Glauber
2011 – Graham Glauber
2010 – Jesse Ackemann
2009 – Kaitlin May Harris and John F. Holcomb II
2007 – Cole Downing
2006 – Mark Finch
2005 – Kent Martin
2004 – Andrew Bur


2018 – Ben Zaccarra
2017 – David Howes
2016- Lucas Buckley-Jamison
2015 – Oliver Zeichner
2014 – Kim Cayer
2013 – Kelly Pellegrino
2012 – Jackie Fontaine
2011 – Brittny Tyler
2010 – Lisa Hoare
2009 – Jonathan J. Becker
2008 – Lucy Thayer
2006 – Justin Filskov
2005 – Megan Hefner and Rob Moore
2004 – Mark Dumont
2002 – Jeremy Tinker