Dave Walters, president of Walters Gardens in Zeeland, Mich., has retired after 40 years of service. Evan Elenbaas, who has been vice president of sales for 15 years, has been promoted to president, and industry veteran Niles Riese has joined Walters as the new vice president of sales.
Dave Walters is the eldest son of Dennis Walters, who started the family business in 1946. He worked his way up from pulling weeds in the field to president of the perennial growing operation. In the office, he entered orders and made shipping labels on a manual typewriter and lead the transition to a “paperless” office in the 1990s. He started the first computer system used in the office and was the company’s first sales manager. In his retirement, he says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife and family.
As the new president Elenbaas says he plans to focus on maintaining high quality customer service, promoting good interdepartmental communication and utilizing the skills and talents of the staff.
Riese comes to Walters from Glass Corner Greenhouses in Grand Rapids, Mich. Originally from Colorado, he brings with him 30 years of experience in the green industry, primarily with flower seeds and young plants. As vice president of sales, Riese says he looks forward to increasing sales in current markets, as well as expanding into new markets.