Our Ones To Watch

Our Ones To Watch

Pamela Youngsman
Skagit Gardens
Age
- 39

Her Job
–As sales manager, Pamela is responsible for overseeing sales and customer service, inventory flow and customer satisfaction for Skagit Gardens.

Try Something New
–Growing up in the horticulture business gave Pamela valuable experience in accounting, production and sales. She left the industry for seven years, spent four of them working as an auditor in Los Angeles and returned to Skagit Gardens 12 years ago. Her experience outside the industry gave her an appreciation for the sincerity and values of the people and companies within the industry.

Getting Involved–OFA is an important organization for Skagit Gardens. Pamela serves on the OFA board of directors and the OFA Exhibitor Advisory Committee.

Twenty-Five Years From Now - Growers will be more niche-oriented. They’ll have to take greater care of their customers and be quick to react to opportunities. Human product handling will be supplemented even more with automation, but the human element won’t be eliminated.

Why She’s One To Watch–Skagit Gardens is about “delighting” its customers, and Pamela is at the forefront of that goal. She’s visible in the industry, and Skagit Gardens is a leading operation through generations because of up-and-comers like Pamela.

John Mossel
Grand Flower Growers
Age - 31

His Job–John has been a co-owner of Grand Flower Growers in Wayland, Mich., since 2000. He operates the business with his brother, Todd.

Teaming Up–Grand Flower Growers does most of its business with Home Depot. Behind the scenes, John helps manage many of Home Depot’s national corporate initiatives for tagging, containers and genetics.

Quotable - “Surround yourself with people who are more talented than you.” Bob Sedlatschek, live goods senior merchant for Home Depot, gave that advice to John, who says it’s the best business tip he’s received.

Opportunities & Challenges–In the short term, Grand Flower Growers is expanding and John sees a chance to increase the company’s market share. The company’s greatest challenge, like many others, is the economy. “We need to maximize efficiency and come up with new space-saving products without compromising quality.”

Twenty-Five Years From Now - The success of growers will depend on their ability to adapt. “You need to be very open to change and seek constant improvement in everything you do,” John says. “You can’t settle for ‘good enough.'”

Why He’s One To Watch - John is an honest, hard-working grower who has earned the respect of his peers. He has balanced the needs of his business with what’s best for his customer and fellow growers.

Jennifer Kurtz
Kurtz Farms Growers

Age - 36

Her Job - Jennifer is sales and marketing manager at Kurtz Farms based in Cheshire, Conn. She also invented Urban Gardener planters and created programs for it as a means to provide instant impact for consumers looking to decorate with plants.

The Birth Of An Idea–As a wife, mother to a 3-year-old child and full-time worker, Jennifer didn’t have the time needed to tend to her vegetable and flower gardens like she preferred. It made sense, then, to develop a product that provided an “instant impact.” Thus, the Urban Gardener was created. “The biggest lesson I learned is that people were willing to pay for these unique products and wanted the instant gratification of a color pot rather than digging a hole and planting.”

Twenty-Five Years From Now–To be successful, growers will have to be financially responsible, develop sustainable business practices and keep in touch with consumer trends. “There are some really great up-and-comers in our industry who will surely make some dramatic contributions on all fronts.”

Why She’s One To Watch–Jennifer is quick to recognize and react to opportunities like the Urban Gardener. She also finds a way to juggle multiple responsibilities, including sales and marketing for Home Depot.

Martin Stockton
First Step Greenhouses
Age
- 40

His Job–Martin is the head grower at First Step Greenhouses, and he has 16 years experience growing plugs. “I enjoy the variability from day to day, season to season. I enjoy the fact that running an operation requires knowledge in many things and requires multiple talents.”

Know When To Give Up–One of the best pieces of advice Martin has ever received is knowing when to dump a plant. “You have to get over all the time and effort put into the crop and realize it’s perishable. It is a sacrifice of the one for the many. If you retain an old and overgrown crop and sell off it, you will most likely be selling old and overgrown the whole season.” So bite the bullet, Martin says!

Information Sharing–Keep your customers in the loop, he adds. It defines your success. “A large part of the plug and liner business is managing and reacting to information. What separates us is our commitment to quality, as well as customer service.”

Twenty-Five Years From Now–Success will depend on a few things, like the ability to differentiate, find markets or crops that have less competition and can command higher prices and understanding your product cost.

Why He’s One To Watch–First Step Greenhouses isn’t just an annual bedding plug producer or a spring liner producer. Martin will consider propagating anything, and he’s been working intensely with new software to share growing knowledge with everyone on staff. “Sharing information will help everyone understand what needs to be done in a timely manner and empower lower-level workers,” he says.

Matt Mart
Amerinova

Age - 37

His Job–Matt is executive director at Amerinova, a EuroAmerican plant licensing company that helps market varieties.

Fresh Thinking–A huge part of EuroAmerican’s business philosophy is new product development. Matt says to keep an eye on the succulent market and low water-use plants. “Invest in new products and programs,” he says. “Learn from the ‘old,’ but don’t hang on to it. Accept that we in horticulture are like any other business with its pluses and minuses.”

Twenty-Five Years From Now–The industry will be consolidated globally. “As wealth shifts, so will markets,” Matt says. “New products will continue to drive business.” Also, he believes small and large growers will have the best chances to thrive. “The ones stuck in the middle will have a rough ride.”

Why He’s One To Watch–Matt has worked in horticulture for six months or more in five different countries, and he’s been involved in the industry since 1992. He gives Amerinova and EuroAmerican a global take on marketing with his belief that companies will have to think more globally in the future.

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...
PP&L CAST 2015 intros

April 22, 2015

6 Breeding Companies Serve Up New Varieties At Pacific Plug & Liner

Pacific Plug & Liner’s theme this year, Labyrinth, a conservatory of the world’s most captivating plants, was perfectly topped off (pun intended) with fascinators for the women and newsboy caps for the men. The PP&L team dressed their part to act out the gothic “conservatory of the world’s most captivating plants.” Truly, the displays looked like they practically popped out of a catalog, and the costumes were a nice touch. Retailers take heed, the fully merchandised displays at Pacific Plug & Liner are worthy of emulating. We’ll let the pictures tell the story of all the fabulous variety introductions presented at  Pacific Plug & Liner’s 2015 California Spring Trials, where Cultivaris, Cohen Nurseries, Histil Nurseries, Jaldety Nurseries, Southern Living/Sunset Collection and Pacific Plug & Liner all highlighted their 2016 introductions.  

Read More
Speedling 2015 CAST intros

April 22, 2015

Speedling Inc. Presents New Varieties From ABZ Seeds, Hem Genetics, Thompson & Morgan, Vista Farms & PSI

You name it, we saw it at Speedling's California Spring Trials location in San Juan Bautista, where five companies showed off their new introductions for 2016.

Read More
PittMoss on Shark Tank

April 22, 2015

PittMoss Wins On Shark Tank

Mont Handley, president and CEO of PittMoss, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on April 17 to try to get the “sharks” to invest in his peat moss alternative. Three investors from the TV show contributed $600,000 to PittMoss for a 35 percent stake in the company. Check out this clip from ABC’s website in which Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec discuss getting on board with the product. PittMoss is an alternative to sphagnum peat moss, made up of a mix of proprietary additives and recycled paper rescued from landfill space. Handley founded the Pittsburgh-based company in 1994. What started as a small experiment grew into a full-fledged business with the help of funding provided by an EPA SBIR grant and Pittsburgh’s Idea Foundry. Today, PittMoss is available to commercial greenhouses and nurseries from Michigan to Maine to North Carolina, with plans to grow. To learn more, visit PittMoss’ website, or check it […]

Read More
Latest Stories
PittMoss on Shark Tank

April 22, 2015

PittMoss Wins On Shark Tank

Mont Handley, president and CEO of PittMoss, appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank on April 17 to try to get the “sharks” to invest in his peat moss alternative. Three investors from the TV show contributed $600,000 to PittMoss for a 35 percent stake in the company. Check out this clip from ABC’s website in which Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec discuss getting on board with the product. PittMoss is an alternative to sphagnum peat moss, made up of a mix of proprietary additives and recycled paper rescued from landfill space. Handley founded the Pittsburgh-based company in 1994. What started as a small experiment grew into a full-fledged business with the help of funding provided by an EPA SBIR grant and Pittsburgh’s Idea Foundry. Today, PittMoss is available to commercial greenhouses and nurseries from Michigan to Maine to North Carolina, with plans to grow. To learn more, visit PittMoss’ website, or check it […]

Read More
Syngenta logo

April 15, 2015

Syngenta Names Chris Freeman Senior Key Account Manager…

Chris Freeman is the new senior key account manager for Syngenta Flowers, Home & Garden's Commercial Sales business in the Americas, effective March 2015. Freeman, who joined Syngenta in 2006, carries more than 25 years of experience in the agriculture and floriculture business.

Read More
Lake Buchanan_LCRA

April 10, 2015

USDA Designates Areas Of West And Southwest As Drought …

The ongoing drought has resulted in disaster area designations in counties across nine Western and Southwestern states, including Texas, where some reservoirs are at or near historically low levels.

Read More

April 9, 2015

Altman Plants’ Online Cactus Shop Shows Strong Sa…

Altman Plants recently opened its new Cactus Shop, an online retail store that sells a variety of cactus and succulents. The store is a take-off of Altman’s original wholesale business, as the company started as a mail order catalog.

Read More
Dummen

April 8, 2015

Dümmen Group Welcomes Jim Devereux And Andrew Konicki T…

Dümmen group recently announced the addition of Jim Devereux and Andrew Konicki to its team. They are the newest members of the Key Account and Broker Support team for Dümmen, and will be responsible for building, developing and maintaining current broker and grower customer relationships.

Read More
Gov._Jerry_Brown_California

April 8, 2015

California Institutes First Ever Statewide Mandatory Wa…

California Gov. Jerry Brown announced April 1 that, for the first time in state history, action will be taken to implement mandatory water restrictions, with the ultimate goal of reducing water usage by 25 percent. As Californians are pushed to conserve more, growers will need to think about how demand for products will be affected.

Read More
DNA-logo

March 31, 2015

DNA Green Group Will Acquire Rijnplant

DNA Green Group and Riknplant have finalized DNA Green Group's acquisition of Rijnplant, meaning that the breeding and propagation activities in pot and cut anthurium, bougainvillea and heliconia will transfer to DNA Green Group.

Read More
AFE scholarship_Ryan Dickson

March 25, 2015

AFE Educational Grant And Scholarship Application Deadl…

Apply now for American Floral Endowment (AFE) scholarships or educational grants. Applications can be found online. For educational grants for 2015-2016, applications must be submitted no later than June 1. Scholarship applications are due May 1. AFE will award $40,000 in scholarships for 2015.

Read More

March 23, 2015

UF/IFAS Appoints Joseph Albano As Director Of Mid-Flori…

The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has a new directors for its Mid-Florida Research and Education Center (REC) on Apopka, Fla. The role has been filled by Joseph Albano, a research horticulturist from the U.S. Department of Agriculture with more than 25 years of experience.

Read More

March 17, 2015

Pike Nurseries Implements Employee Stock Ownership Plan

Independent garden retailer Pike Nurseries has announced it will become an employee-owned company. Pike Nurseries management has combined with its sister corporation in California, Armstrong Garden Centers, to operate under an established Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).

Read More
GrowIt! App Wins Gold At Design100 2014 US Mobile & App Design Awards

March 10, 2015

GrowIt! Mobile App Now Available For Android

The mobile app GrowIt! Garden Socially can now be used by gardeners with Android-based smartphones. Now available on the Google Play Market, GrowIt! helps users find plants to fit their lifestyle and connect them with other local gardeners.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Second Annual GreenhouseConnect Will Bring Growers and …

Following a successful inaugural event in Tampa last fall, Greenhouse Grower has announced the dates of its second annual GreenhouseConnect: October 26-29, 2015. Representatives of an expected two dozen leading greenhouse operations from across the U.S. will join senior-level suppliers at Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego for several days of one-on-one strategic meetings, a growers-only roundtable, informational sessions and a variety of networking events.

Read More

March 4, 2015

Maryland Green Industry Associations Unite

The Maryland Nursery and Landscape Association recently announced that it is expanding its reach to include the greenhouse industry, meaning it has become The Maryland Nursery, Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA). The change comes as a result of the planned dissolution of the former Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association and the invitation for those members to join the existing and renamed association.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More
american-hort-logo

February 17, 2015

AmericanHort Announces New Board Members

AmericanHort recently announced the election of new officers and members to the board of directors. Each will assume their positions on the board during Cultivate’15, July 11 to 14 in Columbus, Ohio.

Read More
All American Selections

February 17, 2015

All-America Selections Elects New Officers, Names New J…

While meeting during the Flower and Vegetable Seed Conference in Tampa, Fla., hosted by the American Seed Trade Association, All-America Selections elected new officers for a two-year term. Read on to learn about the new officers, as well as all of the new judges that were added in 2014.

Read More
Greenhouse Grower.com on your desktop, on your phone, on your tablet

February 11, 2015

GreenhouseGrower.com Relaunches With Responsive Design …

Greenhouse Grower magazine, the nation’s leader in profits, production and education for greenhouse growers, announces the launch of its completely redesigned website, GreenhouseGrower.com. The new design is the product of direct user feedback and GreenhouseGrower.com analytics, and includes responsive design for ease of mobile use.

Read More