Jerry Halamuda, who co-founded Color Spot Nurseries with Michael Vukelich in 1983, has announced his retirement as CEO and President of the business, effective immediately. Halamuda will continue as Chairman of the Board and help with the transition of leadership.
“For close to 40 years, I have been privileged to do what I love and work with a group of people who are just as passionate as I am about the nursery industry,” said Halamuda in a letter dated March 28, 2017. “We’ve grown from a single location to become the largest nursery operator in the country. I want to thank the Vukelich family for allowing me to be part of this incredible team and life long journey. I also want to thank [the team] for making Color Spot such a beautiful company.”
Halamuda has selected a successor as CEO: Paul Russo, who has been working with Color Spot Nurseries via Black Diamond, the company’s investment group, which also has a controlling interest in Hines Nursery. Russo served as Chief Operating Officer of the operation a few years ago, and is very familiar with the business.
“Paul has spent his career leading companies through changing markets and challenging times,” Halamuda said in the letter. “He gained a strong appreciation for our retail partners through his years in senior management at the Stanley Works (now Stanley Black and Decker), and has a good understanding of Color Spot from his years as a board member and time as a member of management. Please give him the same strong support you have shown me over the years.”
Color Spot Nurseries is No. 1 on Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 Top 100 list. The operation, totaling 19,000,000 of environmentally controlled space, 204 acres of shade house production, and 2,703 acres of outdoor production, serves more than 2,000 retail and commercial customers, specializing in the production and distribution of bedding plants, vegetables, herbs, shrubs, blooming potted plants, groundcovers, woody ornamentals, and more. Color Spot operates 16 production facilities in California, Arizona, Oregon, and Texas, and ships to 26 states.
The operation also provides in-store merchandising, displays, planning, and reordering services to customers including The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walmart, Kmart, Rite-Aid, Kroger, and Orchard Supply, according to its website.