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    Globe South: People

    Mary McLaughlin, Joan Faulkner, and Ruth Culleton with Sandy Downes, former president of the Milton Garden Club.

    GARDEN INVENTORY: In the mid-1990s, the trustees of the Forbes House Museum in Milton created an oasis on the property, a garden of tree plantings referred to as the “Island of Infinite Pleasantness,’’ based on a design by Charles Webster.

    Led by trustees June Robinson and Sandy Downes, the museum had 10 trees planted as part of the initial project, including a star magnolia, kousa dogwood, and Japanese tree lilac. This year, three provisional members of the Milton Garden Club are conducting a survey to identify as many trees as possible on the property.

    The members - Ruth Culleton, Joan Faulkner, and Mary McLaughlin - will identify the common name for each tree, along with its Latin name, species, and family. The museum will create a map with a self-guided tour of its trees and flowering shrubs, museum officials said.


    The Milton Garden Club members said they are doing the survey to increase awareness of the museum and the horticultural treasures the grounds offer the public. They researched the project by visiting the library at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston and meeting with local arborists.

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    Additionally, Culleton said, “this exercise may also shed light on current issues facing arborists today, such as climate change, invasive species, disease, and pets.’’

    The Milton Garden Club was founded in 1924, and maintains the perennial garden in front of the Milton Public Library’s main branch, and Lily Corner at Brook Road and Canton Avenue. Club members said the tree-identification project at Forbes House Museum is the club’s way of contributing to Milton’s 350th anniversary celebration.

    The identification project and map are scheduled to be completed in late spring.

    BUSINESS BRIEFS: Wally Ralston of Canton joined Amity Insurance Agency Inc. in Quincy as a commercial producer. Ralston has more than 20 years in the insurance industry in Massachusetts and California. He has also been the executive director for economic development in Moffat County, Colorado.


    Duxbury-based VERC Enterprises, a convenience store and gasoline station operator, was named Employer of the Year by the Point After Club in Lawrence, a community rehabilitation center that helps people with mental illness find work and housing. Gerry Langan, employment coordinator at the Point After Club, extended thanks to Gary Hoffman, manager of the VERC gas station in Andover, “for being so kind and respectful to our member who is employed at that location, we are very appreciative to this wonderful company.’’ Leo Vercollone and Paul Vercollone, president and CEO of VERC, along with the Point After Club member who works at the Andover station, and other VERC staff, will attend the Massachusetts Clubhouse Coalition awards ceremony at the State House in Boston April 10. VERC was also named Employer of the Year by Westwinds Clubhouse in Fitchburg.

    Shan Muhammad, manager of the VERC Commerce Way Mobil in Plymouth, was named retail operations award winner from the New England Convenience Store Association, at the association’s recent awards banquet.

    David E. Mullare of Hanover was re-elected to a three-year term on the board of directors at Whitman-based Mutual Bank. He has served on the board since 1976 and is also a member of the bank’s executive committee. Prior to retiring in 2009, Mullare owned and ran Mullare News Agency, a magazine and newspaper distributor in Brockton.

    Philip W. Johnston of Marshfield, former secretary of the Department of Human Services in the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis, was given the Senator Edward M. Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus’s 11th annual Good Guys ceremony in Boston recently. Johnston, founder and president of Johnston Associates, directed the development and implementation of the Mental Health Action Project in the Dukakis administration, a project that overhauled the state’s mental health system. Johnston also oversaw the creation of the Children’s Trust Fund, the state’s leading agency for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. In 1991, as co-founder and chair for Health Care America, he worked toward enacting federal legislation providing for universal health care. A longtime Marshfield resident, Johnston represented that town, and Scituate and Norwell, as a state legislator in the 1970s, when he sponsored legislation that led to the creation of the state’s Department of Social Services.

    Joshua Slovin of Easton, an agent from the Boston general office of New York Life Insurance Company, has become a registered representative of NYLife Securities LLC, a licensed insurance agency, by passing an exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Becoming a registered representative allows Slovin to discuss and sell variable contracts and investment company securities through NYLife Securities. He is also secretary of the Rotary Club of Sharon and member of the Metro South and Easton chambers of commerce.


    Nicole Joy Hales of Plymouth was promoted to account manager of PR First, a public relations agency in Hanover. She joined the company last year as an account executive.

    Paul E. Kandarian can be reached at