Tony Girard: Distinguished Service Award 2024

20 June 2024

Launched in 2001, the Distinguished Service Award recognises the enthusiasm, hard work and goodwill of longer-serving members from all parts of the Society. This year's winner is Tony Girard, who will receive his award at SCI's AGM on 3 July 2024

1. When and why did you become a member of SCI?

In 2008. While I am not scientist, I have always looked to science to help determine the likely best decisions to take, in order to maximise the benefit for crops and business. I guess it was the SCI logo ‘Where Science Meets Business’ that caught my eye.

2. Why did you decide to get involved in committee work?

I already knew most of the people who were already in the relatively newly formed Horticulture Group as well as a number of key people at SCI.

3. What has driven your continued involvement with SCI?

I have always believed that standing still is little better than going backwards, and SCI has a great platform on which to keep building for the future.

4. How has being involved in SCI activities had an impact on your professional career?

Even though I am now retired, being involved in SCI has significantly contributed to my career through meeting a wide range of other active members.

5. How do your SCI activities reflect your personal/professional interests?

There is always something to be learnt and inevitably it is more interesting through active means rather than passive. I have always wanted to see what was around the next corner or over that hill!

6. What motivates you to participate in SCI activities?

The enjoyment of discussion with like-minded folk, and socialising, along with supporting others wherever possible.

7. How do you think that your contribution has helped shape SCI?

I am lucky in that I have a long and intensive experience of the business of horticulture, across most of its specialisms and in many countries. This has enabled me to introduce members, and guests, through visits and meetings, to aspects that may not otherwise, be so readily available.

8. What are your thoughts about receiving a Distinguished Service Award?

I am ‘amazed and fazed’ with such recognition, just 11 days before my eightieth birthday! I feel greatly honoured to be a recipient of such an award and I say thank you to the committee for my nomination, and to SCI for the award. With so much more to do, I wish I was 50 years younger!

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