It’s not often you get a chance to sit down and talk frankly with an industry legend, let alone one who is 97 years old. But that is just what AmericanHort did during Cultivate’17, when it recorded a video interview with Ernest Wertheim, a passionate horticulture industry advocate and business owner for more than 75 years.
Wertheim has done much to further the success of the green industry, especially the garden retail sector. He was a speaker at innumerable conferences and workshops over many decades, where he gave his expert advice to multiple generations of retail businesses. His keen sense of business, coupled with his knowledge of national and international trends, were well known and respected. Even today, Wertheim travels to industry events to learn, share, and educate others.
Wertheim joined AmericanHort at the Horticultural Research Institute Summer Reception at Cultivate’17, in part to honor his long-time business partner Jack Klemeyer. As Wertheim explained, his success and time in the limelight would not have been possible without Klemeyer’s diligent and talented contributions behind the scenes. Wertheim expressed the hope that his donation in Klemeyer’s honor will result in a lasting recognition of their nearly career-long partnership.
Wertheim opened a landscape architect firm in 1940 and has been a mainstay in the industry ever since. That design firm, now known as Wertheim, van der Ploeg, & Klemeyer, has been engaged in the design of residential, commercial, institutional, and public architectural and landscape architectural work in the U.S. and abroad. WVK is internationally known for its work in garden center and retail nursery design and space planning, with clients in 40 states, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Italy.
Wertheim’s experiences, insights, and ability to see opportunities in this industry continue to set the bar for all horticulture professionals. To hear about his life and some of his accomplishments firsthand, check out the video here.
To contribute to the Horticultural Research Institute endowment Wertheim established honoring his long-time business partner, Jack Klemeyer, go to HRIResearch.org/Donate or contact Jennifer Gray at 614-884-1155 or [email protected].