First of all, I would like to thank Dave Dowling for all of his years of service he has given to the ASCFG. Dave, we all appreciate everything you’ve done, thank you.

I am certainly looking forward to 2010, and hope you are too. I’m excited to be your new ASCFG President. We have a great team between our Board members and the ASCFG office with Judy and Linda. The entire ASCFG membership is such an amazing group. I am looking forward to collaborating with you all to take advantage of the many good things that have gone before that have positioned the ASCFG to be the prominent cut flower organization in the U.S. We have so many opportunities in front of us and I think we can take advantage of them.

We live in an amazing time. Have you ever taken a few minutes to investigate things you really weren’t familiar with just to see what else is going on around you? I know I can become pretty isolated and focused when dealing with the flowers, so it’s good to explore topics seemingly unrelated to flowers that can have a huge impact on your business and your life.

One day last year I was on my way to a flower talk and decided to visit the bookstore at the airport and see if anything looked interesting to read during the flight. Well, the magazine Entrepreneur caught my eye. I purchased it and before I reached my destination, I had read every word from cover to cover. I was so impressed with the articles and information, I came home and bought a subscription and have been happy with every issue since. Another magazine that always has great business information is Forbes.

In the last Forbes there was an article on the most powerful people in their fields. As a flower grower, there were two groups that caught my attention; one was the 7 most powerful people in Energy. These people were chosen “by power not just measured in petro-dollars but in the ability to change, for better or worse, the fundamental nature of the energy supply chain”. Powerful words if you ask me. This was a varied group of people from leaders of different countries whether it was because of their control over energy or, in the case of China, because of their expanding growth and energy use. “China has spent 100 billion in the last 3 years buying oil resources around the world. This impacts what the value of the oil in the ground is worth”.

There was only one alternative energy person mentioned and that was T. Boone Pickens and his energy plan. Nothing involving sustainable energy was mentioned. Alternative energy should be a very hot topic for ASCFG members as it does take energy to operate greenhouses and to run a business. I know that I have watched my electric bill go from $50.00 a month to $450.00 a month currently. As I grow my business and add greenhouses, this will continue to rise. I personally am looking into what alternative energy choices I have and what impact they will have on my business, now and in the future.

The other group was the 7 most powerful people in technology. In this group you see the familiar words Twitter, Facebook, This WEEK in TECH, LinkedIn, Apple (Industrial design), TED Conference and the names of the people who founded them. These people were chosen because they “were people with the visionary insight and foresight to think about technology in a way that goes beyond now and today. They figured out a way to make us all more connected and their ideas and inventions have filled voids in the Web and in life, impacting hundreds of millions of people worldwide”.

Imagine impacting hundreds of millions of people worldwide. What if, as flower growers, we in the ASCFG started thinking along those lines? What kind of impact could we have in flower production? What kind of impact could we have on others around our towns, our country or around the world? What kind of voids can we fill in our industry?

It’s fun and exciting to think about. With the many talented people in the ASCFG, I have no doubt we have the capacity to make huge impacts in the flower business. It’s going to be a great year and these are exciting times to be thinking of the positive impacts we can make as members of the ASCFG.