COLUMBUS, Ohio – After a supportive vote last month by its members, the Plantscape Institute of America (PIA) will become part of AmericanHort in order to expand the community of interior plantscape professionals and to consolidate programs. Last year the PIA Board of Directors invited AmericanHort to become the home for PIA’s members and its key activities. By doing so, hundreds of plantscape firms and product suppliers are now served by a singular association.
PIA, formally known as the Plantscape Industry Alliance, has a history of mergers that expanded its footprint. Founded in 1990 by the consolidation of four California plantscaping associations, PIA grew into an organization that served professionals in Canada and the United States. The unification with AmericanHort has been in the works since the summer of 2014 when PIA combined its annual Plantscape Industry Expo with the AmericanHort Cultivate’14 event. Earlier this year, AmericanHort enrolled PIA’s members into the association, which began the formal process of merging the two groups.
AmericanHort has for decades offered educational programs, trade shows, and a community for plantscapers in North America. PIA will bring to AmericanHort its annual International Plantscape Awards, respected educational programs, and the prestigious Interior Plantscape Hall of Fame. These will combine with established AmericanHort activities, including the annual Interior Plantscape Symposium, advocating for small business concerns, and representation on the Interior Industry Coalition.
“We are eager to finalize our partnership and officially become part of the AmericanHort community,” said Tim Konig, executive chairman of PIA and owner of European Gardens, a plantscape firm located in Colleyville, Texas. “We have been working with AmericanHort for several years on a variety of programs, and this now culminates our vision of increasing support for plantscape professionals and their firms.”
“AmericanHort is an advocate for the use of living plants in interior landscapes, and we expect this merger will lead to greater opportunities for all firms providing interior products and services,” said Michael V. Geary, president and CEO of AmericanHort. “Among other benefits, joining together provides a louder voice to increase the public awareness of the benefits of live foliage in the interior environment.”