FAQ’s on The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc.

 

How did the Foundation really get started?

Frederick Carl Gloeckner (1901-1990) started the Foundation in 1960 in order to establish an avenue to invest in floricultural research and in the talented and innovative academicians conducting this research at leading Universities throughout the country.  It was Fred’s way of giving back to the industry the fruits of his success in order to insure a promising future for floriculture.

 

What has been the source of most of the funds?

A good portion of the funds were contributed by Fred Gloeckner, personally, along with others who served on the board and shared the same passion for improving the industry.  Through the years, there were several large individual bequests that also helped the corpus of the Foundation reach the current $4.00MM mark.  For example, the New York Florists Club ceased operations in the early 1990’s and contributed their remaining funds to the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation.

 

How is the company connected to the Foundation then?

The company, for many years, made annual donations to the Foundation.  The Foundation held certain classes of Gloeckner Company stock until the late 70’s when new Internal Revenue Service guidelines required that private foundations could not hold an interest in any closely held, non-public companies.  Shortly thereafter, the Foundation divested the company stock and this set the stage for the Foundation to become totally independent and ensure that it would become a perpetual entity.  While today, the company still contributes to the Foundation in a variety of ways, including administrative support, additional money mainly comes to the Foundation privately by way of unsolicited donations.  Fred Gloeckner appreciated the numerous worthy requests for donations from various industry associations and he never intended for the Foundation to conduct such fundraising campaigns, even though contributions are most certainly welcome and recognized as a very important component in the success of the Foundation!  Under IRS guidelines, all contributions are tax deductible.

 

So, the Foundation does not own the Company or vice versa?

That is correct.  The two main connections between the company and the Foundation center on the work the company does to administer the Foundation’s affairs and the people within the company who serve on the board of directors of the Foundation (without compensation).

 

When you look at the amounts between $150-400M that the Foundation gives away each year, that’s a lot of money!!!  How do you decide who is worthy of such significant financial support?

Going back to the days when Mr. Gloeckner was president and continuing today, individuals from the company, industry and from the academic world serve on the research committee to review the grant proposals which are submitted by researchers around April 1st each year.  Usually, some 40-50 applications or proposals are submitted each year.  This responsibility is taken very seriously and involves a great deal of work.  The Research Committee members are individuals of unique ability in many different fields and they diligently read, review and discuss each proposal in detail before the final awards are announced in mid June.

 

Some of the projects funded that I see listed in the brochure are a bit outside the range of my interest and experience.  As a greenhouse or field grower or producer in this industry should I believe that all of this work really benefits floriculture?

Yes, without a doubt!!!  Every application for funding must carefully and clearly answer the question “What are the anticipated benefits to the Floriculture Industry?”  The Research Committee looks for projects with broad industry potential.  Occasionally, this work may expand in phases of the science that sometime go beyond traditional ornamental horticulture but the committee must feel strongly that there will be benefit to the industry.    Projects that are funded for more than 1 year require that the researcher must submit a Progress Report to demonstrate to the committee that objectives are being properly met.

 

I often wonder why my college does not receive grants even though I know they have a recognized department in horticultural science.

Chances are pretty good that they have not been submitting proposals or applications for consideration by the board.  The Foundation can only react to proposals submitted for funding and requires a detailed outline of how the funds will be used and what methods the principal investigator will use in his work to allow the Research Committee to review the proposed research.

 

Can you provide a few examples of research work that has benefited me that the Foundation has funded over the past few years?

There are many going back many years but here are a few current examples:

  • The Foundation has funded work at U. of Mass (Dr. Susan Han), Clemson Univ. Cornell (Dr. Bill Miller) and Michigan State (Dr. Royal Heins) on the use of Fascination (G 4+7 and BA) to prevent leaf necrosis in Lilium.  If you grow Easter Lilies, chances are the application of this material has become a standard practice in your program to prevent lower leaf yellowing.  This practice has undoubtedly saved growers thousands of dollars in labor to remove dead leaves as well as in reducing costly shrinkage in product which no longer meets specification.
  • The Foundation has supported researchers at U. of Florida Research Centers in an effort to support the Caladium industry.  Several serious challenges in maintaining effective production and harvest levels in Caladiums have been experienced by the growers in recent years.  The foundation has funded a wide range of research projects from developing a rapid method of producing pathogen free stock, to breeding cold tolerant cultivars.
  • The Foundation is funding several projects which on the Floricultural front, could be breakthrough science in Molecular engineering.  An example is the great work David Clarke is doing at the U. of Fl. and Natalia Dudareva at Purdue who is working on floral scent on various crops.  The results of this work are likely to revolutionize future crop introduction and performance in future generations!

Should you have any additional questions or comments, our Board is always interested in your feedback and would be happy to answer any questions.  Please feel free to call our Administrator, Mrs. Theresa Hutter in our Harrison Office at any time at 914-698-2300  Ext. 112





The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc.
550 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 510 Harrison, NY 10528-1609
Phone: (914) 698-2300 - Fax : (914) 698-0848