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Clemson’s Faust Receives Alex Laurie Award

The Society of American Florists (SAF) recently honored James Faust, professor of floriculture physiology at Clemson University, with the 2021 Alex Laurie Award, honoring an individual who has made broad-scope, long-lasting contributions to research or education in the floriculture industry.

Faust received the award on Sept. 23 during SAF Orlando 2021, the organization’s 136th Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida.

After graduating from Murray State University, Faust worked in a commercial greenhouse, where his very first job was growing 12 acres of poinsettias. The experience sparked a passion that’s continued for more than 30 years. Faust, who continued his formal education at Michigan State University, has studied the plant in its native home — Mexico — as well as at the Paul Ecke Ranch in California. At Clemson, he oversees an ongoing study on light and heat’s effects on poinsettias.

Faust’s research has been funded by the American Floral Endowment for many years and includes work on daily light integrals, developing protocols to prevent leaf necrosis on cut flowers, and biological control. Most recently, he has spent the past five years conducting practical research on botrytis at GR Chia SAS, one of the largest growers in Colombia.

Faust is also a founding member of the Floriculture Research Alliance, a collaboration across universities and organizations to develop science-based solutions for floriculture.

Congratulations Jim!

— Tim


Walmart to Hire 150,000 Associates

As the holiday season approaches, Walmart is planning to hire more than 150,000 new U.S. store associates. According to Julie Murphy, Walmart’s Chief People Officer, most of the positions are permanent, full-time positions. “We’re always looking to add great talent to our incredible team of dedicated associates – the everyday heroes who have been a constant force for good in their communities amidst the uncertainty of the past year,” Murphy said. In addition to the 150,000 new associates in stores, the retailer announced plans to hire 20,000 associates in its supply chain facilities to permanent roles.

Lowe’s to Offer Discount to First Responders Ahead of National First Responders Day

Lowe’s plans to offer a 10% discount coupon for eligible first responders in Lowe’s stores and on Oct. 22-24, in recognition and appreciation for their service. First responders can register for the coupon beginning through Oct. 24 for this special offer by visiting for a single purchase on eligible items. “Our nation’s first responders wake up each day with a mission to serve others,” said Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s chairman and CEO. “By providing this special discount, we hope to offer a gesture of gratitude and appreciation to the many brave individuals who put their lives on the line each and every day.”

Whole Foods CEO Announces Retirement

On Sept. 30, Whole Foods CEO and co-founder John Mackey announced that he planned to retire on Sept. 1, 2022. At that time, the company’s current COO, Jason Buechel, will take over the reins of the Amazon-owned grocer. In a letter to the employees, Mackey stated he is “ready to pursue some of my other life passions” after a a40+ year tenure with the company. Buechel joined Whole Foods in 2013 as global vice president and chief information officer and was promoted in 2015 to executive vice president before being named chief operating officer in 2019.


Tim Hodson

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