Next Gen Leaders


Profiles of the Industry’s New Generation

Taylor Reilly

Age: 23

Louis G. Nappi Scholarship received: 2018, 2019

Title & Employer: Wholesale Florist, Alders Wholesale Florist, Cortlandt Manor, NY

Undergraduate Studies & Degree: University of Rhode Island, a Bachelor’s of Science in Plant Sciences—Ornamental Horticulture

Favorite Course: Field Plant Identification

Reason for this professional choice: “Plants provide us with basic human needs, such as oxygen and food sources, and they enhance the landscapes we create and provide a more fulfilling and beautiful environment. I believe understanding how they grow and even serve functions within human constructed landscapes is of vital importance to our future and the future of construction.”

Biggest challenges in your work: “Working with nature—it’s certainly the unpredictability of the weather. Having the knowledge to successfully produce crops is most important in combatting this. Properly controlling the variables that you can control leaves less room for error when inevitably the weather does not always work in your favor.”

Biggest surprises when you entered the field:  “Finding out just how much of the plant life we assume is left untouched, but that is actually being improved upon, monitored or added on by horticulturists of all fields to keep the environment we all inhabit healthy and thriving.”

Most memorable quote: “The goal of life is living in agreement with nature.” —Zeno of Elea, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher.

Words of wisdom for a young person entering the field:  “Finding your niche within the environmental industry will not be a fast endeavor. Patience and hard work are key to finding yourself in a career for which you have a passion.”

Greatest accomplishment so far or goals you’ve set: “The variety in which I’ve been able to study in the environmental fields with my degree and seeing how all the different fields work towards a healthier environment. This aspect of all of my studies has been the most fulfilling.”

Favorite interests or hobbies: “I enjoy hiking, camping and adding to my garden.”

Family relationship to CIC and Nappi Scholarship:  “My father is Thomas Reilly, a member of LiUNA Local 60.”

—Alan Kennedy, Researcher and Writer

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