After a six-month national search, Talmadge “Tal” Coley has been tapped as the next chief executive officer to lead the Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA).
“Over FNGLA’s 70-year history, we have employed only four CEOs,” Sarah Spatola, FNGLA’s 2021-22 president, said. “The quality and tenure of our staff is a strength that has served us well in upholding our core values and completing our strategic goals. We are confident Tal’s industry knowledge, advocacy acumen and esteemed service to our nation’s nursery and landscape industry will further bolster the strength and innovation of FNGLA.”
Coley, a Florida native, has been serving in Washington, D.C. as the senior director of advocacy and government affairs for AmericanHort, based in Columbus, OH. He has also been serving as executive director of the Nursery and Landscape Association Executives (NLAE) of North America.
Prior to his role at AmericanHort, Coley undertook leadership roles in several legislative outreach capacities over a five-year-period advocating for veterans at Concerned Veterans for America. Coley also served for four years in the United States Air Force as a Russian cryptologic linguist where he was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from the University of North Florida and the University of Miami respectively.
“I am humbled and honored to be the next chief executive officer at FNGLA,” Coley said. “The opportunity to return home to Florida and advocate for an industry I feel so passionate about is truly a dream come true. Leading FNGLA into this next chapter and building off the incredible foundation Ben Bolusky has provided is a mission I am eager to take on.”
Coley will take the reins from FNGLA CEO Ben Bolusky, who announced plans to retire after what will be 24 years of faithful service to FNGLA. Bolusky and Coley will initially work side-by- side during an onboarding period, and Bolusky will cap his work at the Association during FNGLA’s Annual Convention in June 2022.
“Ben brought a wide range of expertise and experience to FNGLA when he arrived, all of which have moved the Association forward on several important fronts,” FNGLA Chief Operating Officer Linda Adams said. “As we start a new FNGLA leadership era, we welcome Tal to the FNGLA team and are excited to work with him to continue to innovate and build upon FNGLA’s strengths.”
FNGLA is the nation’s largest state nursery and landscape association and, today, represents Florida’s 1,550 leading nursery and landscape businesses. FNGLA’s mission is to promote and protect the interests of Florida’s nursery and landscape industry.
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