September 9, 2008

Ones To Watch: Denise Godfrey

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 11th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Denise Godfrey of Olive Hill Greenhouses who was featured in our September issue. Age–30 Her Job–Denise is the second generation of Olive Hill Greenhouses, a wholesale nursery known for selling tropical foliage. More Than Just Plants–Aside from the family business, Denise is on the board of directors for Green Plants for Green Buildings. “It is a matter of getting the whole green industry up to date with research so that all of us may speak with authority on the benefits of plants,” she says. “Not only are they beautiful, they fight pollution, provide oxygen and generate creative and productive environments.” Under Pressure–Several global challenges could confront growers over the next […]

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September 9, 2008

Overseas Deployment Leaves Landscape Work Unfinished

“Those with us who have somebody deployed do need a little help once in a while,” Kristi says. “K&W and others who donated plants and materials are just so wonderful and generous,” In the spring, the family planned to landscape the area after putting in a new sidewalk and having to remove a solitary mature maple tree in the front yard, leaving them without any shade in front of their Janesville, Wis., house. When Kristi e-mailed the photos of the completed project to Aaron overseas, he told her it was a blessing. In addition to K&W Greenery, Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF) members Beaver Creek Nursery donated plants. Carlin Sales/ProGreen Plus donated fertilizer and landscape fabric. The donated supplies and labor totaled between $3,000 and $4,000. K&W Greenery is a member of the Wisconsin Green Industry Federation (WGIF), an organization of seven Wisconsin trade associations representing the nursery, landscape, greenhouse, […]

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September 9, 2008

As Gustav Storms Through, Growers Brace For Ike

Most growers along the Gulf Coast breathed a sigh of relief after Hurricane Gustav passed through on Labor Day without causing major damage to their structures or crops. Now, those same growers are preparing for a hurricane all over again–this time in the form of Ike–and hoping it makes landfall as far away from their greenhouses as possible. “We prepared for the worst and hoped for the best with Gustav,” says Rudolph Hall, co-owner of Rocky Creek Nursery in Lucedale, Miss. Louisiana growers did the same yet weren’t as fortunate as those in Mississippi. Robert Dupont Jr., president of Dupont Nursery who was reached by phone Monday, reports his operation in Plaquemine, La., will be closed for business for at least three weeks. Dupont, located about 15 miles south of Baton Rouge, has structural damage to all nine of its houses. “Benches are turned over, and about 30 to 40 percent of […]

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September 2, 2008

ASTA Introduces New Leadership

The American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) recently announced a new slate of officers and changes to its board of directors, association divisions and committees. Kelly Keithly was elected chairman of the officers, Jerry Monk was elected vice chairman and John Nelson was elected as second vice chairman. Keithly is founder and president of Keithly-Williams Seeds of Holtville, Calif., and he gives ASTA extensive knowledge of the vegetable seed business. Keithly previously served as president of the California Seed Association, as well as other positions within ASTA. Monk, who is president of Texas-based Kelly Green Seeds and Warner Seeds, is a 35-year veteran of the seed industry. He has served as president of both the Texas Seed Trade Association and the Southern Seed Association and on various ASTA divisions and committees. Nelsen is president and CEO of RiceTec, Inc., in Alvin, Texas. He is a strategic planner and business analyst for […]

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September 2, 2008

Ones To Watch: Charlie Cole

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 10th week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Charlie Cole of Cole Gardens. Age–26 His Job–Charlie is general manager at Cole Gardens, the retail location. His job in New Hampshire is to take care of day-to-day operations, marketing and advertising and purchasing trees and shrubs, hardgoods and perennials. The most important part of his job, he says, is customer service. “It is exciting to help customers find solutions to their garden problems or find the perfect plant to finish a garden,” Charlie says. Learning Early–Growing up, Charlie and his dad, Doug, had discussions about the business and changes in the industry. Charlie got involved with OFA during college because of his dad, and he learned the notion from […]

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August 20, 2008

Sustainability – Part II

I need to be honest right now–I didn’t think the sustainability trend would last this long. In business, as many of you have told us, the most important thing is sustaining profits, which isn’t always in line with the more expensive up-front costs of the techniques that make greenhouse production sustainable. But you still haven’t given up on it, and I’m glad you haven’t. From the conversations I heard at Short Course, you may be deeper in sustainability than ever. What I like is that so many of you are doing it your own way and taking what you need from sustainability. In the South, you’re looking at water conservation. All over you’re looking at keeping your employees safer with low or no REI products. And if you’re ready, you’re looking at being called “quantifiably sustainable” by several certification organizations out there. At the Short Course Grower Town Hall meeting, […]

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August 20, 2008

BenchPress Profile: Bill McCurry

Bill McCurry is chairman of McCurry Associates, a consulting firm based in Princeton, N.J. He is a regular speaker at industry events like OFA Short Course, where he led discussions on family business this year and divulged strategies to bring older and younger generations together for common goals. Bill has advised many growers through difficult financial situations, helping them buy, sell or restructure their business. One of your Short Course sessions this year was designed to offer parents strategies for advancing their kids in the family business, and another was geared toward kids and how they can become successful CEOs. How did those sessions turn out? “Well actually, a lot of parents were upset that their kids did not get up in time for the 9:30 a.m. session. I said to the parents of these kids that they are naive if they do not take that behavior as an indication […]

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August 18, 2008

Ones To Watch: Chad Underwood

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 eighth week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Chad Underwood of Kalamazoo Flower Group.   Age–35   His Job–Before Chad became president and general manager at Kalamazoo Flower Group, he first rose through the ranks as a seasonal customer service representative for the former sales division of the Kalamazoo Valley Plant Growers co-op. He has now been in the industry for 12 years.   Best Advice–”Plan your work and work your plan!” Chad says you have to have a vision for what you want to accomplish, then have the guts to trust your plan. He follows Stephen R. Covey’s messages of taking a principles-based approach to life and prioritizing work that is important. “In our business, it’s hard […]

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August 6, 2008

Wal-Mart Warns Of Democratic Win

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Wal-Mart is mobilizing its store managers and warning them that a Democratic win in November likely will result in legislation that makes it easier for employees to unionize companies. Wal-Mart stresses the downside for workers if the stores become unionized, but the company insists it has not told employees how to vote in the upcoming election. Wal-Mart managers who attended mandatory meetings say company executives claim employees would have to pay union dues, while receiving nothing in return, and could be forced to strike without pay. They also claim unionization would result in lost jobs because of rising labor costs. “The meeting leader said, ‘I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won’t have a vote on whether you want a union,'” says a Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri. “I am not […]

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August 6, 2008

Ones To Watch: Todd Lighthouse

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 sixth week online, our Ones To Watch series continues with Todd Lighthouse of Lighthouse Gardens in Honeoye Falls, N.Y. Age - 32 His Job–Todd is the sole proprietor and head grower at Lighthouse Gardens in Honeoye Falls, N.Y. He’s also the company’s founder, and he has bachelor’s degrees in biology and anthropology with a concentration in ethnobotany. Craving Pressure–Whether the ideas Todd implements succeed or fail, he is accountable for everything at Lighthouse Gardens. “It is incredibly empowering to know that you control every aspect of your business and which path your business will take,” he says. A Martial Artist–Todd practices Aikido, a modern martial art defined as the way of harmony. He even transfers the principles of Aikido to […]

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July 30, 2008

Schaan, Courtright Head Up ANLA

Greg Schaan of Imperial Nurseries assumed the presidency of the American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) and Tom Courtright of Orchard Nursery & Florist was elected president-elect of the board of directors at the association’s annual meeting in Columbus. John Bryant of Millican Nurseries and Stan Brown of Alameda Wholesale Nursery join Courtright on the ANLA board of directors. Several other newcomers were elected to ANLA’s division boards: - Matt Sawyer of Bennett’s Creek Wholesale Nursery, Landscape Distribution Division Board–Steve Hutton of The Conard-Pyle Company and Peter Scarff of Scarff’s Nursery, Grower Division Board–Scott Price of Snow’s and Kyle Natorp of Natorp’s, Landscape Division Board Schaan previously served as president-elect, and he brings 12 years experience with Imperial Nurseries plus non-industry, corporate experience to his new role. “I have now served for four years with a board (ANLA’s) that while dealing with the current issues of the day, keeps one […]

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