Bob Dolibois, GROW And Change For The Better [Opinion]

Richard Jones

When we came up with the plan for Greenhouse Grower’s GROW Summit in the summer of 2011, American Nursery & Landscape Association Executive Vice President Bob Dolibois was one of the first people we invited. And he was the first to accept.

The mission of the GROW Summit — generating actionable ideas to help get the greenhouse business growing again — is right up Dolibois’ alley. After two decades as the head of one of the industry’s leading trade organizations, he’s seen just about everything. More importantly, he’s not shy about asking a question when it needs to be asked or expressing an opinion when it needs to be expressed.

A little more than a year later, we’re talking with Dolibois again, this time for December’s cover story. The time seemed right for a couple of reasons.

For one, Greenhouse Grower is wrapping up a successful first year of GROW. We are building on the ideas from Dolibois and the other GROW Summit participants to take the program to another level with our GROW Partners program. You’ll read about that, along with many of 2012’s highlights in our first GROW Annual Report in this issue.

The bigger reason, however, is timing. Dolibois is retiring at the end of December, coinciding with the upcoming consolidation of ANLA and OFA. Our discussion was an excellent opportunity to step back and reflect on what has been a meaningful career serving our industry.

But we also wanted to tap into those 21 years of experience at ANLA. The focus of our interview was his perspective on what it will take to guide floriculture toward a more profitable future.

Many of the points Dolibois discusses in this month’s cover story were also important topics at the GROW Summit:

• The need to acknowledge that the world has changed around us and that we need to be changing along with it.

• Focusing less on shaving costs and more on creating value for our products.

• And the necessity for the different segments in our industry — large growers, small growers, big box retailers, independent garden centers, suppliers, and yes, trade associations — to see ourselves less as independent, competing factions. Our collective goal should be to raise the value of floriculture in the minds of the consumer.

The merger of two of our biggest trade associations is a logical and necessary next step in that direction. It will lead to a more efficient use of resources, both in stimulating the market for plants and in serving as an even stronger advocate for the grower. And it serves as an example of how organizations can work together to benefit everyone.

Take a few minutes and read Dolibois’ thoughts on the future of our industry. You may not agree with everything he has to say. But it’s hard to deny that our industry isn’t better off when people are asking the questions that need to be asked and expressing the opinions that need to be expressed.

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Spring Meadow Nursery Fire

January 17, 2017

Two Major Growers Recovering and Rebuilding After Fires

The blazes occurred at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA, and Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, MI. Both companies say no employees were injured, and they plan to pull together and stay on schedule for the remainder of the year.

Read More

January 10, 2017

5 Can’t-Miss Events and Activities at TPIE

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s Tropical Plant Industry Exposition (TPIE) is fast approaching. As you plan your trip, here are five can’t-miss highlights from this year’s show.

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting Applications for 2017

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More
Latest Stories
Spring Meadow Nursery Fire

January 17, 2017

Two Major Growers Recovering and Rebuilding After Fires

The blazes occurred at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA, and Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, MI. Both companies say no employees were injured, and they plan to pull together and stay on schedule for the remainder of the year.

Read More

January 10, 2017

5 Can’t-Miss Events and Activities at TPIE

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s Tropical Plant Industry Exposition (TPIE) is fast approaching. As you plan your trip, here are five can’t-miss highlights from this year’s show.

Read More
sakata-tour-de-fresh-salad-bar-donation

January 8, 2017

Sakata’s Participation in Tour de Fresh Race Results in…

On the heels of riding in the Tour de Fresh Race in July, Allen Satterlee of Sakata Seed America celebrated by presenting a new salad bar to Galt Elementary School in California.

Read More
griffin-aurora-colorado-branch

January 6, 2017

Griffin Opening New Hard-Goods-Focused Distribution Cen…

The planned February opening of the 18,500 square-foot facility is part of the company’s continued expansion into the Western U.S.

Read More
gg-january-2017-cover-arizonaeast-feature

January 5, 2017

Why ArizonaEast Is Expanding Its Succulent Production T…

In Greenhouse Grower's January cover story, learn how Brian and Joe Vitale of ArizonaEast saw a chance to expand and diversify their New Jersey-based succulent operation, and why they jumped at the opportunity.

Read More
Moana plant yard

January 4, 2017

Green Industry Poised for Continued Economic Growth in …

Positive economic indicators point to 2017 being a year of modest growth for the green industry, according to economist Charlie Hall.

Read More

January 3, 2017

Growing Optimism for the Horticulture Industry in 2017

With a new administration and a new Congress, AmericanHort's Craig Regelbrugge says the horticulture industry has reason to be cautiously optimistic that regulatory relief could be on the horizon.

Read More
2016-student-competition-award-winners

January 3, 2017

Southern Nursery Association Research Conference Procee…

On the heels of presenting awards to students in the horticulture industry, the Southern Nursery Association has compiled and published its conference research proceedings.

Read More
Farwest Show Floor

December 31, 2016

Farwest Show 2017 Will Feature New Days and Hours

The 2017 Farwest Show will take place Wednesday, Aug. 23 through Friday, Aug. 25, to allow attendees more time to visit local hot spots.

Read More
kelly-norris

December 29, 2016

Kelly Norris: 4 Ways We’re Leaving Growth Opportunities…

Horticulture is a multi-million dollar industry with lots to offer, yet we’re still overlooking several avenues for growth.

Read More
Top 100 Breakfast Panel for 2016

December 27, 2016

You Said It: The Best Quotes From 2016

Some of the industry’s leading growers and educators had strong things to say this year. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable quotes from 2016.

Read More

December 27, 2016

5 Photo Galleries You Didn’t Dare Miss in 2016

Whether it was industry event and trade show highlights or new developments in technology, these images not only spoke more than a thousand words; they drew thousands of clicks, as well.

Read More

December 27, 2016

Check Out the Top 5 Most-Read News Stories on Greenhous…

From pest outbreaks to overtime rule changes, here are the headlines that grabbed your attention in 2016.

Read More
Grow Summit 2016 group shot

December 20, 2016

Less Talk, More Action At Greenhouse Grower’s GRO…

Investing in technology, developing new marketing solutions, and recruiting young growers were just a few of the issues covered at GROW Summit 2016.

Read More
Workers are required to wear uniforms and use tools restricted to the section of the facility where they work, and street clothes are prohibited

December 16, 2016

House Failure To Address H-2B Exemption Could Affect Sp…

Despite efforts by AmericanHort and others in the industry, the House of Representatives failed to renew the Returning Worker Exemption, a policy that helps ensure that small and seasonal businesses have an adequate workforce for the peak spring season.

Read More
americanhort-hort-scholars

December 15, 2016

HortScholars Program Is Open For 2017 Applications

Presented by AmericanHort, the program is open to students in a horticulture-related degree program, and recipients will have exclusive opportunities for in-depth discussions with industry leaders at Cultivate’17.

Read More
North Creek Nurseries Bright Young Talent

December 13, 2016

Emergent Networking Event On Deck At MANTS 2017

Emergent, the collective group of young horticulture professionals who represent the next generation of growing, will host a reception on Wednesday, Jan. 11, after the MANTS tradeshow floor closes.

Read More
bailey-nurseries-veterans-workforce

December 13, 2016

How Bailey Nurseries Navigates The H-2A Program

Joe Bailey, Human Resources Director at Bailey Nurseries says each operation has to analyze their situation and decide for themselves if the H-2A program is right for them.

Read More