Colis Whitfield Bryant, Sr Scholarship Background
Known throughout the Central Atlantic area simply as “C.W.”, this friend to all passed away quietly on January 21,2002. He had a short fight with multiple forms of cancer. C.W. was born November 14, 1933 in Warsaw, Virginia. He grew up and continued to live most of his life in this area of Virginia know as the Northern Neck, and graduated from Callao High School.
He began his career in the nursery industry in 1964 with Ingleside Plantation Nursery, Oak Grove, VA, serving as their sales manager until 1982. In 1982, C.W. became an independent sales representative, serving firms throughout the Mid Atlantic region. His primary supplier was Wight Nurseries, Inc. (now merged into Monrovia Growers, Inc.). Additional lines included growers who provided complementary products, enabling C.W. to be a “full-service” representative.
He was well known for his warm, affable personality and infectious laugh. C.W. was well liked by both customers and suppliers, and regarded by both as a man genuinely interested in their mutual successes. C.W believed that “giving back” was an essential of his life. He served on the Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show for nearly thirty years, and held the position of President an unprecedented three terms. He was an active member in several Virginia area nursery groups and served in various leadership positions over the years.
C.W. was a contributing columnist to the Interstate (an ANLA publication for Wholesale Plant Sales Professionals) for several years. His column focused on market conditions in the eastern USA.
Bryant was committed to several community organizations. He was a long time member of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Oak Grove, VA. He was instrumental in helping to organize the Richmond County Rescue Squad and the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department, serving that unit as a chief. Later as a resident of Colonial Beach, Virginia, he was active (along with family members) in the Colonial Beach Rescue Squad, serving as a rescue officer and in other leadership positions
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