Illingworth is president of North Pole Peonies, the largest peony cut flower producer in interior Alaska. A founding member of the Alaska Peony Growers Association, Illingworth has been growing peonies since 2004.
|Professor Pat Holloway hands over the Alaska Peony Growers Association growers cup to Ron Illingworth.|
He was instrumental in supporting the peony research conducted by SNRAS scientists by arranging for the donation of peony roots to the Georgeson Botanical Garden.
Illingworth retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1985 after 20 years of service. He was a faculty member at UAF for over 20 years, retiring in 2010. He and his wife Marjorie grow peonies for the cut flower industry on their farm outside of North Pole where they sell and ship peonies nationally and internationally.
The first recipient of the cup was Pat Holloway in early 2013.