AmericanHort’s First-Ever CareerUP Event to Take Place at Cultivate’17

Steve Black and Bridget Behe
Steve Black and Bridget Behe

Emerging horticulture industry leaders can mark their calendars for a new event that will take place at Cultivate’17. The AmericanHort GenNext community is holding CareerUP, a day-long workshop that is designed to provide the skills, information, and inspiration that young professionals need to advance their careers, love their jobs, and help the industry grow.

“A growing concern in our industry is the serious need to develop young, skilled professionals who will continue to move the industry forward,” says Ken Fisher, AmericanHort’s President and CEO. “This generational transfer is reaching a critical point, and AmericanHort is working to address the issues. CareerUP is just the starting point for helping young professionals achieve the skills necessary for healthy careers while developing skills to support business growth and industry sustainability.”

Nancy Fisher, Ohio State University Professor and communications expert, will lead a “High Stakes Communication” workshop, where attendees will focus on building credibility and confidence to handle any high-stakes situation. From sales calls to conflict resolution, participants will practice simple yet effective strategies for achieving win-win situations.

The inspiration series will highlight four stories from horticulture trailblazers who have faced challenges common to young professionals and gone on to build a career they love:
• Bridget Behe, Ph.D., Professor at Michigan State University
Kelly Norris, Director of Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
• Steve Black, Owner of Raemelton Farm
• Tyler Baras, Farm Manager at Dallas Grown; Special Projects Manager at Hort Americas; Video Contributor to Urban Ag News; and Owner of Farmer Tyler LLC

“Young professionals are the lifeline of the industry, and our success determines the future of horticulture,” says Stephanie Whitehouse, GenNext Community Coordinator and General Retail Manager at Dickman Farms. “One of the biggest struggles we’ve heard from our peers is the desperate need for communication strategies, which is why we’ve centered this first CareerUP event around that. Strong communication abilities are the foundation that every successful career needs, so we’re excited to provide our peers this opportunity.”

CareerUP was developed by a diverse group of Gen X and Millennial professionals who comprise the AmericanHort GenNext Community, along with passionate professionals involved with the industry Facebook group Emergent.

Participants can register for CareerUP when they register for Cultivate’17 at Cultivate17.org/Reg. To learn more about CareerUP, visit Cultivate17.org/CareerUP.

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