Penn College grad honored with industry group’s inaugural award

An alumnus of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s landscape/horticulture program recently was honored with the first Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Professional Landscape Network.

Jeremy L. Thorne, who graduated in May 2013 with degrees in the landscape technology and plant production emphases of the college’s two-year ornamental horticulture major (since renamed landscape/horticulture technology), was presented with the award during PLANET’s Student Career Days competition at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The industry group, which is changing its name to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, honored Thorne for his entrepreneurial spirit, his inspiration to those pursuing landscape and lawn-care careers, his advocacy for the industry, and his community involvement. Those traits were encapsulated in a two-minute video shown during opening ceremonies of the March 12-15 event.

Thorne is the owner of ThorneCare Landscape Solutions LLC in Lewisburg – fulfilling a 10-year dream of owning and operating his own business – and is a landscape installation foreman with Scott’s Landscaping Inc. in Centre Hall.

“It is a great honor to be recognized nationally with the young entrepreneur award. It shows that it’s important to be involved with the industry, but also in the community helping and encouraging others to be successful,” said Thorne, originally from Sugarloaf. “The outpouring of industry support, whether it is other landscape companies or suppliers, is absolutely incredible.

“Penn College has not only given me the best education for the landscape industry, but has opened the door to unparalleled opportunities all over the country. I’ve learned that networking is the key to success, and Penn College has gone above and beyond to lay the foundation that has created a network that continues to grow.”

While in school, Thorne twice was a PLANET ambassador and participated in Student Career Days (an annual event that will be renamed as the National Collegiate Landscape Competition for 2015).

On campus, he was a Student Government Association officer, a Presidential Ambassador and president of the Horticulture Club, among other distinctions.

“Jeremy sets a shining example for our students,” said Carl J. Bower Jr., one of Thorne’s instructors and mentors during his time at the Schneebeli Earth Science Center. “He is driven, professional and understands the importance of hard work and giving back. I couldn’t be prouder of what he has done, and am excited to see where his future takes him.”