Gilroy Today 2011 06 Summer - Page 17

In the life of Goldsmith Seeds there has been a lot of good . In the early days Glen had a lot of success . He notes that it was not that hard to be successful then because just about anything was better than what was out there . In the early days the trials were actual competitions . Seeds from various seed developers were planted anonymously side by side and the final growth judged at the “ trial .” Today , the Trials are more of a showcase for new flowers .
Over the years , Goldsmith Seeds has won 22 All American Selections awards . The first one , in 1966 , was an early snapdragon called “ Bright Butterflies .” The story that goes with this first award was that the cross breeding and growth cycle took so long that they did not have time to see the first crop before they sent them to the competition . Goldsmith won the competition before they saw the plant in full bloom ! The tradition continues with Syngenta Flowers winning a 2010 award for Moonsong Deep Orange Marigold .
In 1966 , Goldsmith expanded with a seed production facility in Guatemala . By 1970 , the company moved to the current location on Hecker Pass Highway . In 1978 , Glenn Goldsmith received the Service Above Self from the Gilroy Rotary . This award was based on relief efforts after the 1976 earthquake in Guatemala . In 1997 , Glen received the Guatemalan Peace Medallion , “ Quetzal de la Paz .” The medallion was awarded to Glen for being one of the few American companies to stay in business during one of the longest civil wars in Central American history ! A clinic and childcare facility are part of the operation in Guatemala . Two years ago , Jane and Glen and all the boys were honored with a farewell party in Guatemala . Glen says he felt like a movie star . Some 900 people welcomed them with flowers , balloons and plenty of celebrations . Glen generated a commotion when he posed for some pictures with some of the local ladies and soon generated a long line of people who wanted a picture with Glen .
Honors kept coming their way . In 1990 , Glen and Jane
received the Man and Woman of the Year from the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce . Goldsmith Seeds received more All American Selection Awards and Fleuroselect , the International Organization for the Ornamental Plants Industry . In all , Goldsmith received over 30 national and international awards . Todd Perkins , a breeder at Syngenta / Goldsmith , received the 2010 Breeders Cup Award from the All American Selection . In 1995 , Americana™ geraniums were planted at Buckingham Palace because the color matched the red coats used by the Palace Guards ! In 1998 , Richard Goldsmith , who worked in the Kenya facility for five years , presented First Lady Hillary Clinton with Accent Miracle Collection™ impatiens , which were part of a program that raised half a million dollars for breast cancer research . In 2008 , Cora™ vinca was showcased at the Beijing Olympics .
Back in 2011 , Glen and Jane are retired and living in Kauai . Syngenta has bought out the family-owned Goldsmith Seeds … but the legacy and tributes continue . Syngenta has established two scholarships in the Goldsmith Family name . These scholarships are each for $ 7,500 and are available for students working on a bachelor , masters or doctorial degree . One scholarship will go to a student working on plant breeding , the second to a student working on ornamental horticulture .
It is not often in life that we get a chance to meet extraordinary people who are successful and do exceptional things . Jane and Glen Goldsmith might just be some of those people ! Todd Perkins sums it up in his acceptance speech at the All American Selection awards where he acknowledges the people who have influenced his career .
“ Glenn Goldsmith , for inviting me to join his team and encouraging me to dream big . The incredible team which was Goldsmith Seeds , who never met a challenge too big or an idea too extreme that they couldn ’ t take it on .”
Although their life might not have been perfect , there is something about Jane and Glen Goldsmith that was never too big or too extreme .
The Goldsmith Family at a special Tribute to them held at Syngenta during their Spring Trials . Photographed from left to right : Richard , Jane , Glenn , Joel and Paula
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