HRI's New Wertheim, van der Ploeg & Klemeyer Fund

HRI's New Wertheim, van der Ploeg & Klemeyer Fund

by Danny Summers

There will be a new named fund announced on Saturday, July 14th, during the Annual HRI Reception, held in conjunction with Cultivate'18. This one will honor someone who has been very close to many of you and very supportive of The Garden Center Group - Ernest Wertheim. Several of our Group have served on the HRI boards and committees. Currently, Steve Mostardi is on the HRI Executive Committee. The fund will honor both Ernest and his long-time partner Jack Klemeyer. HRI has received initial seed monies, reportedly close to $20,000 currently, in order to establish the fund and make the official announcement. The fund will be called the Wertheim, van der Ploeg & Klemeyer Fund and will support general HRI Research efforts. HRI's Administrator, Jennifer Gray, shared the following with us:

"We are excited about the establishment of this fund to honor both Ernest and Jack. We have several ways to give:

  • Send checks directly to my attention (payable to HRI) at the Columbus office - HRI, c/o Jennifer Gray, 2130 Stella Court, Columbus, OH 43215, Include a letter or a note in the memo that the donation is for the WVK fund, or return with the attached form

  • Donate online at, there’s a check box that they can select to direct to the Wertheim, van der Ploeg & Klemeyer Fund 

  • We also accept gifts of stock and I can walk people through that if they call me. We have created a special form when considering a a supporting donation to this fund."

I understand both Ernest and Jack plan to attend the HRI Reception. I want to encourage all of The Group to consider making a contribution to this fund, no matter the size. If you would like to attend the HRI Reception and have not already received an invitation, signup here: HRI RECEPTION

As a little inspiration on supporting this new fund, I want share a portion of the afterword in Ernest's book, Chasing Spring:

"Connecting with People...
Some people say that the close personal connections of people like me rarely exist anymore. Perhaps this is true, but one must make an effort. Relationships are always there to be made. At conventions and other large meetings, I always choose an empty table at breakfast even though it would be easier to sit with friends. Of course, this is good networking, an important part marketing. But so much of our quality of life is making new friends and making connections so that the work we do is more fulfilling."

I hope you will join Karen and I in supporting this new fund, honoring an amazing friend and two incredible talents in our industry.


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