Impact Washington is currently sold out.

Schedule of Events*

Monday, September 11, 2017
1 - 4 p.m. Registration + Event Desk Hours
6 - 7:30 p.m.
AmericanHort Open House
(optional and informal)
AmericanHort D.C. Office
525 9th St. NW, Suite 800

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
7 a.m. - 5 p.m. Registration + Event Desk Hours
8 - 9 a.m.  Breakfast with Senator Thom Tillis
9:15 - 9:30 a.m. Welcome and Overview
9:30 - 10 a.m.
Congressman Rodney Davis
10 - 10:45 a.m. Keynote: Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan
So Close, and Yet So Far
10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m. Issue Briefings: The Farm Bill + Tax Reform
12 - 1 p.m. Lunch and Networking
1:15 - 1:50 p.m. Issue Briefings: The Workforce + Labor Reform
1:50 - 2:15 p.m. Final Prep for Senate Meetings
2:30 - 5 p.m. Senate Visits
5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Reception
Evening Dinner On Your Own

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Registration + Event Desk Hours
8 - 9:30 a.m.  Breakfast with Ray Starling
9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. House Visits
Lunch On Your Own
2:30 - 4 p.m. Mid-Afternoon Reception and Debriefing
4 p.m. Departure

*Schedule subject to change.


Senator Thom Tillis

Senator Thom Tillis was sworn in as U.S. Senator from North Carolina in January, 2015. Prior to his election to the Senate, Tillis served in the North Carolina House of Representatives since 2006 and as Speaker of the House from 2011 through 2014.

A 22-year private sector career shaped his pro-business and pro-jobs North Carolina political career where he focused extensively on tax and regulatory reform. He developed deep ties with the state’s business, agriculture, and green industry communities. As U.S. Senator, Tillis’ committee assignments include the Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for immigration and visa program policy. He has quickly emerged as a serious, thoughtful, and hard-working advocate for immigration reform that addresses the critical needs of horticulture.

Tillis will kick off our Impact Washington summit with his insights on “the new political world order” in Washington and the path forward on the toughest of policy priorities - our workforce and labor reform.

Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan

Ambassador Sarukhan served as Mexican Ambassador to the United States from 2007 through 2013. Now a strategic consultant based in D.C., he is also a Non Resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution and Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the USC Annenberg Public Diplomacy School. He is a digital diplomacy pioneer - the first Ambassador accredited to the U.S. to officially use Twitter as a public diplomacy and engagement tool.

How is life changing for Mexio and Mexicans in the U.S. and what are the implications for the horticulture industry? If we could first imagine and then set out to create the future relationship, what should it look like? Ambassador Sarukhan will share his sense of things and his vision.  

Representative Rodney Davis

Representative Rodney Davis (R-IL) is serving his third term in Congress and represents a 14-county district that covers both urban and rural areas of Central and Southwestern Illinois. Importantly for AmericanHort members, Davis serves as Chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research. This subcommittee oversees many Farm Bill-funded programs important to horticulture, and negotiations shaping the next five-year Farm Bill are underway. Davis will share his sense of how and when the next Farm Bill will take shape.

In a time when compromise often seems like a dirty word, Davis demonstrates a consistent willingness to reach across the aisle to solve problems. He recently received the second highest bipartisan score among members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation, according to The Lugar Center - McCourt School of Bipartisan Index, and was ranked 23 of 427 overall in the last Congress.

Ray Starling

Ray Starling serves as Special Assistant to the President for Agriculture, Trade, and Food Assistance. Previously, he served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Thom Tillis. He also served as Senator Tillis’ Chief Counsel and then-Speaker Tillis’ General Counsel and Senior Agriculture Advisor in the N.C. General Assembly. He has been the General Counsel for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has private practice experience from several years at Hunton & Williams, and has taught numerous agricultural and food law courses. After growing up on a Century Family Farm in southeast North Carolina, Ray received a B.S. in Agricultural Education from N.C. State University and a J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill.