Jim Zampini, a lifelong nurseryman who dedicated his life to bringing new plants to market, has died. He was 85.
Zampini was the longtime CEO of Lake County Nursery, Inc. in Perry, Ohio. As CEO, he oversaw a staff of more than 250 people and led the nursery’s related businesses—South Ridge Trucking, New Plants Inc., Champion Garden Towne and a residential and commercial landscaping firm. He left the nursery in 2009 to partner with his daughter, Maria, in the creation of UpShoot, a boutique horticultural marketing firm based in Madison, Ohio.
Beyond the nursery, Zampini's legacy lies in new plants. He has bred, selected and introduced more than 200 patented and trademark plants to the industry. UpShoot continues to license, market and sell these varieties.
Zampini served in a number of horticultural and community organizations. He was a member of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association, AmericanHort, National Association of Plant Patent Owners and a member and past president of the Nursery Growers of Lake County, Ohio. In the past, he had served on the Lake Metroparks Board of Park Commissioners, the board of the American Heart Association and as the Director Emeriti for Lake Erie College.
In his long, distinguished career, Jim was recognized with a number of awards. Notable honors include an Honorarium from the Nursery Growers of Lake County, Ohio, the Distinguished Contribution Award from the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association and Honorary Life Membership from the Ohio and International Chapters of the International Society of Arboriculture in “Recognition of Dedicated Efforts and Excellence in the Development of Tree Cultivars for the Urban Environment.”
Zampini is survived by his wife of 55 years, Margaret, two children, four grandchildren and sister, Patricia “Patty” Zampini of Perry Township. Arrangements will be handled by Painesville, Ohio's Spear-Mulqueeny Funeral Homes. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to St. Anthony’s Church in Fairport Harbor, the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society. Visitation hours will take place from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 19 at St. Anthony of Padua, Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The funeral will be at the same location at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 20. For more information, visit Spear-Mulqueeny's website.