As part of Greenhouse Grower’s 25th anniversary celebration, we are profiling industry people we expect to shape the industry for the better over the next 25 years. Now in its ninth week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Alex Fell of Kraft Gardens.
His Job–Alex is sales manager at Kraft Gardens, his uncle’s greenhouse operation in Florida. He graduated from Florida State in 1996 and held a sales management position outside the industry before joining the family business in 1999.
Satisfaction – Rolling out new products with success is gratifying to Alex, especially because the indoor foliage segment of the industry doesn’t enjoy as many new introductions as the color or outdoor landscape segments do.
Staying Up To Speed–In the last few years, the development of Lean Flow manufacturing processes has improved productivity in all areas of operations. Optimizing efficiency in plant movement and production has also kept Kraft Gardens focused on the future, Alex says.
Poised For Change–The opportunity to be ready to serve the industry when the economy stabilizes is another focus at Kraft Gardens. “If you scale back too thin in tight times without regard to future ramifications, you could miss the opportunity to maximize your rebound efforts coming off a tough year,” he says. “The easy way to stay current with trends is to set them.”
Making Commitments–Being involved with the Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association has always been important to Kraft Gardens. “I’ve served on our local chapter’s board of directors for the past six years, two as chapter president,” Alex says. Currently, he is an FNGLA foliage division leader and serves on the board of directors of the National Foliage Foundation.
Twenty-Five Years From Now–One thing is certain about the future of the industry, Alex says: “It will be heavily influenced by trade agreements with other countries, and whether or not restrictions like Q-37 and other plant import laws are still prevalent.”
Why He’s One To Watch–Alex is very visible in the foliage industry as the outgoing sales manager for Kraft Gardens. Kraft has received awards and recognition for its dedication to quality, service and innovation, specializing in interiorscape and independent retail markets.