Hall Of Fame Inductees
The individuals nominated should have made a significant impact or positive influence that assures the future of our industry in the lives of generations to come.
Once nominated, an individual’s biography and photo are updated on the site, and he or she is placed in the polls for voting. At the end of the year the committee takes into consideration the votes and decides which candidates are inducted.
Those with a star (*) next to their name below were either inducted posthumously or have passed away since being inducted.
- Person with integrity and passion
- Minimum 20 years in industry
- Someone who has developed or invented new technology
- Has made contributions that resulted in change
- Contributed to mankind’s needs in his field
- Provided education and encouragement with self-sacrifice
- Changed the industry
Seatree Nurseries, Inc.
Few in the green industry arrived there after completing a prior career and retiring. In Career One, as an aerospace engineer with a master’s degree in engineering, Bob Seat was in charge of testing each of the Mercury Manned Spacecraft prior to their launch operations. When the McDonnell Aircraft Co. next won the Gemini two-man spacecraft contract, Seat was assigned Companywide Project Manager of Gus Grissom and John Young’s spacecraft. Following successful flight, he was made Assistant to the President of McDonnell Douglas Astronautics at Huntington Beach, CA. Three years later, his first wife lost a long battle with cancer. Then, with a heavy work schedule, and his son at the Air Force Academy, Seat was faced with his daughter still in High School but no other family. Bob decided to take early retirement and stay close to home.
Retirement! Was boring! Bob started looking for new challenges…he joined HINES WHOLESALE NURSERY in Orange County as Vice President. HINES was on 350 acres in Irvine and very successful. Seat took on the task of building it. First, the Orange County Growing Grounds were expanded to over 750 acres. Then, two new nurseries were built: one in Houston, TX and the other in Vacaville, CA. Both were 200-acre nurseries. During this period, Seat was appointed a Director on the Orange County Fair Board by Governor Brown. Seat was a founding Trustee of the Southern California Water Coalition. He also served as President of the Nursery Growers Association and President of the Orange County Farm Bureau.
In 1981, Seat decided to start his own nursery and SEATREE TREE NURSERY was created in Laguna Hills, CA. In 1985, this successful small nursery bought the KEELINE-WILCOX TREE Operation in Irvine. Now, with over 40,000 boxed and ground growing ornamental trees, SEATREE was ready for the following explosive sales period of Orange County. During the 1980s. Seat was reappointed by the next two governors to the O. C. FAIR Board. He next served as President of the Board of the Federal Land Bank in San Bernardino, CA. and also as President of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF NURSERIES (CAN).
In 1999, Seat sold SEATREE to the ServiceMaster Corporation. In the transition, he became Fleet Master of their TRUGREEN Landscape Division with over 1,000 trucks plus trailers. Branches from Los Vegas to the Mexican Border required heavy travel and Seat decided on retirement number two in 2007.
Seat and his beautiful wife Sandra live on Balboa Island in Orange County where their six children and six grandchildren visit often. Seat’s oldest son, Chris, is a retired Air Force Colonel and presently Vice President of General Atomics Aircraft (builder of the REAPER). Daughter Nancy is a retired BioEngineer. Son Scot TurknePe a retired Redlands Fireman. Son Ken TurknePe is Executive Vice President of Bolton & Company. Daughter Lauren Colton and husband are building their dream home in Carlsbad, and the baby of the family, Carolyn Fleming, is a nurse with Kaiser Health System in San Diego.
At 92, Bob remains on two Boards and finds this the ideal way to live on a quiet island.