Interim president and CEO of AmericanHort steps down


Association is optimistic that a new leader will be named by Cultivate’16.

March 15, 2016 – Press Release

David Savoia, former interim president & CEO of AmericanHort, has stepped down from this position to pursue other priorities, according to a press release from the horticulture association.

AmericanHort is currently operating under the leadership of Sherry L. Johnson, AmericanHort vice president of knowledge and business advancement and interim CEO, as well as the team of vice presidents including Craig Regelbrugge, senior VP of industry advocacy and research, and Alicia Rittenhouse, VP of member and strategic engagement.

“We are grateful for David’s 18 years of service to AmericanHort and the industry. He has shown great commitment to the success of OFA and now AmericanHort, and his leadership is commended. We wish him the best in his future endeavors,” said Dale Deppe, chairman of the board of directors.

The association says the search for a new AmericanHort CEO is progressing successfully. With the help of AmericanHort member company, Key Corporate Services as the search firm, the search committee is optimistic that the right fit for both association and industry will be announced prior to Cultivate’16, July 9-12, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.

The search committee is comprised of representatives from the industry including:
Susie Raker-Zimmerman, C. Raker & Sons
Dan Batson, Greenforest Nursery
Bill Calkins, Ball Horticultural Company
Terri Cantwell, Bates Sons & Daughters
Tom Demaline, Willoway Nurseries Inc.
Dale Deppe, Spring Meadow Nursery Inc.
Mark Foertmeyer, Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse
Lisa Graf, Graf Growers
Tom Hughes, Hughes Nursery & Landscaping

With the goal of expediting the process, the search committee is seeking candidates who embody the spirit of the industry and who possess a strong understanding of the AmericanHort mission and vision.Key Corporate Services has been an invaluable partner in this process and brings with it nearly 20 years in the industry placing the right people in the right positions.

The committee is actively interviewing candidates. Susie Raker, chair of the search committee, says, “The search committee has worked very hard in conjunction with our search firm to determine ideal characteristics for a new CEO. Key Corporate Services has done a fantastic job finding valid candidates that fit the profile developed by the search committee. We are actively interviewing candidates and moving through the process. I’m confident we will have our new CEO by July.”

Michael Geary, former president & CEO of AmericanHort, resigned in August 2015 to serve as CEO of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, a Washington, DC-based organization dedicated to creating business opportunities in the architecture, engineering and construction industries. Savoia, the former CFO and senior vice president of operations, was named interim president and CEO at that time.