Beacon Impatiens 2022 donation supports two charities fighting low vision – Garden Center Magazine

This year PanAmerican Seed presented its donation from Beacon Impatiens global seed sales to two charities that offer support to those affected by low vision.
PanAmerican Seed has announce that its 2022 charitable donation reached over $81,000.00 (USD) thanks to this year’s proceeds of Beacon Impatiens global seed sales. The donation was presented to two worthy organizations fighting low vision issues and macular degeneration, a disease affecting millions of people worldwide. Spectrios Institute for Low Vision (Wheaton, Illinois, USA) and Macular Society (United Kingdom) each received a generous check on behalf of PanAmerican Seed and Beacon Impatiens.
Low vision is the loss of eyesight and vision capabilities that cannot be corrected through lenses or general surgery. While not blindness, as limited sight remains, low vision can include blind spots, poor night vision and blurriness.
Both Spectrios and Macular Society support and empower people to optimize their visual capabilities and independence through the use of technology, prescriptive tools and rehabilitative training. This issue was brought to the attention of PanAmerican Seed through one of its own employees living with low vision.
“The proceeds from Beacon Impatiens sales continue to impact and shine the light on lesser-known charitable organizations, and it’s great to see gardeners everywhere contribute to this annual donation,” says Sarah Makiejus, marketing manager for PanAmerican Seed. “We are honored to support two well-deserving organizations like Spectrios and Macular Society as they build awareness and help those in need.”
According to Dr. R. Tracy Williams, executive director for Spectrios: “We recently had a patient in our office who had sold his business, retired, and thought his life was over. After he left, he wished he visited us sooner because we were able to help him go back to work and do the things he loves. We hear stories like this every day. This donation will help individuals with low vision lead full, independent and productive lives and enable us to keep our programs affordable, sustainable and accessible to those in need.”
“We’re hugely grateful to PanAmerican Seed for this very generous donation, which will make a real difference to the lives of those living with macular disease,” commented Cathy Yelf, CEO of Macular Society. “Macular disease is the biggest cause of sight loss in the developed world and has a devastating impact on the lives of those affected. It can often leave people unable to do the things so many of us take for granted, such as reading, watching TV, or even recognizing the faces of our closest friends and family. Donations such as this mean we can continue to provide vital support services to those affected, as well as fund groundbreaking research so we can beat macular disease for good.”
Beacon Impatiens, a series of I. walleriana with proven high resistance to Impatiens downy mildew, brings flower-filled enjoyment back to shade gardens everywhere. As part of a dedicated mission to “shine the light” on worthy but less-widely known charitable organizations, PanAmerican Seed has committed to donating a percentage of its global seed sales to a new charity each year.
A new charity will be announced soon for the 2023 sales season. Stay tuned for the announcement and for ways to promote and contribute to this give-back effort.
For more information about Beacon Impatiens, explore Contact your preferred supplier for availability.
For more information about the organizations, please visit, as well as
The event gave professionals in the floriculture and horticulture industries an opportunity to speak to students about careers in their field and plant seeds for a budding new workforce.
More than 125 businesses registered to take part in Seed Your Future’s inaugural Green Career Week, held Oct. 3 to 7. The event gave professionals in the floriculture and horticulture industries an opportunity to speak to students about careers in their field and plant seeds for a budding new workforce. Participants talked with students at their schools or invited them to visit their business and promoted careers on social media throughout the week.
Professionals who took part in the event emphasized the power and importance of coming together to build tomorrow’s workforce. They were able to make lasting connections in their communities for mentorships, internships, and eventually jobs.
Alyson Upshaw, social media manager at Ball Horticultural Company and three of her colleagues spoke with students at West Chicago High School. In their 15-minute presentations, they talked about careers in marketing, sales, logistics, and research and development. Each discussed their unique perspective about the field and how they contribute to it.
“I think it’s going to be essential for our industry to engage this next generation, whether it’s high school or college, because to keep us fresh, to keep us thriving as an industry, we need that young talent,” said Upshaw.
Ball also gave the school young plants to grow in their greenhouse and plan to have the students spend a day touring their facilities and learning more about different careers.
Jeff Lanman, executive director at International Floral Distributors, a marketing company owned by wholesalers, spoke to students in a horticulture business class at Tri Junior-Senior High School in Straughn, Indiana.
In addition to making connections with students, the event helped Lanman form relationships with three agriculture instructors. He plans to stay in touch with them and schedule future classroom visits — an experience he thinks industry professionals should engage in regularly.
Jeanne Boes, general manager at the San Francisco Flower Market, spent Green Career Week working with the city’s school district to plan activities for the coming months, including having middle schoolers tour the market and high schoolers participate in a mentorship program.
“The goal is twofold: The students definitely benefit if they’re able to find a career they’re passionate about in the floral industry,” she says. “And then, on the flip side, the small businesses that are either tenants or customers of the market have a whole new generation of people who live and work in San Francisco as a source of labor.”
Green Career Week is one of many efforts Seed Your Future has undertaken to help build tomorrow’s workforce. In conjunction with the American Floral Endowment, Seed Your Future is also conducting a survey to collect information about salaries in the green industries.
Click here to take the survey.
The next Green Career Week is scheduled for Feb. 27 to March 3. Learn more about the event here.

Kristopher Carlsson is the senior manager for the R&D and product development for Ornamentals NAFTA.
Sakata Seed America has announced the appointment of Kristopher (Kris) Carlsson to the position of senior manager, research and development and product development for Ornamentals NAFTA, effective Oct. 31.
Kris comes to Sakata with extensive technical production, marketing, sales, team building and management experience in the North American ornamentals market, serving most recently as portfolio manager: patio for Pan American Seed. Kris has also held senior management roles at Ball FloraPlant. Kris earned a B.S. in Environmental Horticulture from California State University, Chico.
“Sakata Seed is well known for product innovation and progressive business practices in the horticulture industry. As a passionate contributor to this industry for over fifteen years, I’m well acquainted with Sakata’s reputation for quality and ingenuity. I look forward to being an integral component of Sakata’s strategic growth and continued success,” says Kris.
“Senior manager of research and development and product development is a new position for the Sakata Ornamentals group, and Kris stood out as the ideal choice for this opportunity. We look forward to utilizing Kris’ broad skillset and deep knowledge of the many facets of horticulture to bolster our leadership position and optimize and synergize our team and functions. We look forward to welcoming Kris to Sakata and believe great things are to come,” states Joe Cimino, senior director of ornamental and solutions business groups.
Kris is responsible for strategic leadership in research & development, product development, and supply to maximize customer success, including developing and implementing go-to-market strategies for newly developed and assigned products within North America, Central America and Oceania markets. He is based in California.
To contact Kris, Joe or the Sakata Ornamentals team, please visit the staff directory page on the company’s website.
Sales of Suntory's Soiree Kawaii will go toward the nonprofit that inspires girls across the U.S. and Canada.
After a great year of Soiree Kawaii catharanthus sales, Suntory Flowers will be donating nearly $24,000 to Girls Inc.
Founded in 1864, the organization inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold through direct service and advocacy. The network of local Girls Inc. nonprofit organizations serves girls ages 5-18 at more than 1,500 sites in 350 cities across the U.S. and Canada. Suntory launched the campaign three years ago and have contributed more than $52,000 to date. 
The Soiree Kawaii varieties are dynamic and resilient, and thrive in heat and humidity to provide color all summer long. 
The 2021 Endless Summer Hydrangeas Brochure was awarded Gold Medal for Trade Newsletter or Brochure.
Bailey is delighted to share the 2021 brochure for Bailey Consumer Brand Endless Summer Hydrangeas received a 2022 Media Awards Gold Medal of Achievement for Trade Newsletter or Brochure. This achievement, presented by Garden Communicators International, recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications with the recipients representing the best in their category.
“We value the partnership with GardenComm and its members and are incredibly grateful for the recognition,” Bailey Marketing & Communications Manager Ryan McEnaney said. “Our goal is to consistently provide our customers and the industry with tools that help them have success with Endless Summer hydrangeas.”
The 2021 Endless Summer Hydrangeas brochure provides an overview of the brand, and it is full of variety specifics for each of the reblooming hydrangeas in the collection, the work that goes into bringing an Endless Summer hydrangea to market and the leading-edge marketing efforts behind the brand. The brochure also introduces the newest hydrangea to join Endless Summer in 2023: Pop Star Hydrangea.
“We are always striving to improve communication while introducing new ideas, inspiration and creativity,” Senior Graphic Designer Clarisa Ponce De Leon said. “Graphically, it’s important to relate to different audiences in a way that’s effective but also easy to understand. It was a true team effort to produce this brochure and receiving outside recognition, especially from GardenComm, is an honor.”
For more information on Endless Summer Hydrangeas, head to


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