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Summer brings new leadership roles in the horticulture industry

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Harini Korlipara, Darby McGrath

Terra Nova Nurseries Inc., a world leader in plant breeding and genetics, has promoted Harini Korlipara from Laboratory Manager and Director of Research to General Manager of the company. Korlipara has been an integral part of the Terra Nova staff for over two decades. His new role will be to collaboratively manage the company’s selection program, operational efficiency, budget administration and the vital interrelationships between these business areas.

Korlipara will work closely in the new position with other members of Terra Nova’s management team, which is responsible for overseeing the company’s budget; the rationalization of laboratory and coating production; oversee licensees, inventory and trial equipment for brand new Terra Nova varieties; and other management tasks.

Korlipara will continue its ongoing roles involving laboratory research, plant breeding, tissue culture production and sales of ST3 in North America. She will additionally retain her role as a member of the Terra Nova licensing team, where her focus is to provide support and stock to licensees at various levels, with a primary focus on international licensees.

“We couldn’t be happier to announce Harini’s promotion to General Manager,” said Ken Brown, owner and manager of Terra Nova Nurseries. “Harini is a hugely valued and admired member of the Terra Nova family, and she has been instrumental for nearly 25 years in the success of our growth and over 1,000 new varieties.”

Korlipara joined Terra Nova in December 1999 as a research assistant and plant breeder, and has since held positions with increasing levels of responsibility.

Her previous positions at Terra Nova have included Laboratory Research Assistant, in which she provided extensive support to internal breeders; and laboratory manager, where she oversaw the development of new varieties with improved habit and growth traits, disease resistance, and increased sleeve and plug productivity. Korlipara also held breeder titles, with a crucial focus on breeding and lab production; and Principal Breeder of composite plants, providing a varied and wide range of special support for the breeding team. She also worked as a laboratory division manager for Terra Nova in charge of all tissue culture sales; Responsible for the global supply chain including dispatching stock and visiting/training all production labs and cutting farms globally; and director of laboratory research and development.

Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Eric Smith is the new president of FNGLA

On July 1, Eric Smith, sales manager for the horticulture division of BioSafe Systems, was named president of the Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association (FNGLA). The official installations of the Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and President took place at the FNGLA Annual Convention in Orlando. The event includes the passing of the torch from Past President Sarah Spatola of Ecologel Solutions, LLC, to Eric Smith. This particular year also celebrated the 24-year tenure and retirement of FNGLA CEO Ben Bolusky.

“I am very excited to take on this role in a new era for FNGLA and to work with our new CEO Tal Coley,” said Smith.

Eric has been an active member of the FNGLA since 2008, having served at various levels of leadership in three separate chapters (Frontrunners, Action, and Tampa Bay), including State Representative, Board of Directors, and Chapter President. . His membership in the association has helped him connect and engage with Florida’s diverse green industry.

Eric’s current position at BioSafe Systems promotes sustainable crop protection, water treatment and sanitation solutions throughout Florida and helps add a statewide perspective to the position of leadership.

New Director of Research and Development at Vineland

The Vineland Research and Innovation Center in Ontario has appointed Darby McGrath, Ph.D. as Vice President, Research and Development. In his new role, McGrath will guide the direction of Vineland’s innovation portfolio to maximize real-world impact with a team of more than 50 scientists and technicians.

McGrath joined Vineland in 2013 as a Research Scientist and was named Program Leader in 2018. She also leads Vineland’s Greening the Landscape Research consortium.

McGrath holds a master’s and a doctorate. in Social and Ecological Sustainability from the University of Waterloo. She is an adjunct professor at Brock University and the University of Waterloo.

“For nearly a decade, Darby’s strong collaborative approach and spirit of innovation have helped Vineland become a leader in green infrastructure research through building successful relationships in the horticultural sector. I look forward to her bringing that spirit and drive for excellence to this new role,” said Vineland President and CEO Ian Potter, Ph.D.



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