Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

Jerry Halamuda and Michael Vukelich

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.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

10 comments on “Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

  1. I will always be thankful to Jerry for taking a chance on a young man to help build a program and then see it through its successful implementation, and then to be fortunate to helm a facility or two. His passion and understanding of the industry is second to none. Enjoy your retirement Jerry!

    Dave Holley
    Moss Greenhouses

  2. Jerry is a class act. He and I have been close friends for over 40 years. We met at San Diego Nursery in 1975. I was just starting out as an electrician for IBG. Over the years we have stayed close. A few years ago when I was facing a huge medical challenge, he would come and sit by my hospital bed for hours at a time, even though I had no idea he was even there.

    They don’t come any better. Good luck Jerry.

    Tom Piini

    Micro Grow Greenhouse Systems

  3. Jerry is an icon in our business. He is a fierce competitor and a great businessman. Jerry is a great friend and mentor. He always asks about your family before ever discussing business. I wish to make one tenth the impact on the horticulture industry that Jerry has made.

  4. Jerry is the unique embodiment of being the proper glue that calmly kept the business together through the tough times and guided the ship in the right direction in the good times. A people person, his reality checks kept the focus on achievable plans in an industry that is so difficult to predict and creating new industries such as merchandising the box stores. He is a good friend and a good human being who will continue to be a voice in this industry. Congratulations!

  5. Congratulations on your successful career. Thank you for your support of brother Tom McGregor. Our family will always be grateful.

  6. Wishing Jerry a long and prosperous retirement, and his family all of the best life has to offer. Thanks for all you have done for the industry.

  7. Jerry has been for many years an innovator and risk taker with great levels of success, from product development to the development of store merchandising systems. Jerry also has a unique ability to identify people that fit the Color Spot mold along with finding value and buying companies that grow the Color Spot brand, clearly one of a kind.

  8. Jerry Halamuda is to the nursery industry what Walt Disney was to the entertainment industry.
    Creative, Bold, Disciplined, smart and inspiring.
    He and his partner Mike accomplished what no one else has done in the nursery industry. Iv’e been a friend of the family and business partner with Jerry for over 40 years.. He is the best of the best and better than the rest! Now we will have time together to smell the roses! Ken Cook

More From Finance/Operations...

November 22, 2017

Growers Showing Renewed Interest in Specialty Cut Flowers

At the brink of its 30th anniversary, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers is connecting a diverse and growing group of members dedicated to producing and marketing cut flowers.

Read More
Griffin Pennsylvania Expo

November 22, 2017

Griffin Sets Dates for 2018 Grower & Retailer Expos

The company will host two Expos next year — one each in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania — and each will be a two-day event.

Read More

November 20, 2017

Botany Lane Greenhouses Announces Expansion Into Young Plants

Botany Lane, a producer of finished tropical plants, succulents, and specialty annuals in the Western U.S., recently announced it is expanding to provide young plants for growers and grower-retailers.

Read More
Latest Stories

October 10, 2017

Sharpen Your Skills in Cost Management and Profitabilit…

The University of Florida is offering a new online course on costing and profitability. The course will take growers through the process of how to accurately evaluate cost of production, labor efficiency, pricing, and equipment investment decisions.

Read More
Willoway Nurseries Team

October 1, 2017

How Willoway Nurseries Gets Its Staff Engaged in The Co…

Willoway Nurseries in Avon, OH, is creating a culture with people who think, act, and feel like owners. Learn how its team is taking the business to the next level.

Read More

September 21, 2017

Horticulture Is All About Connections

The beauty of our industry is that we are more than willing to reach out and help those around us. What connections can you make today to help your business, and what can you offer to help another grower?

Read More
Worker taking cuttings at Vivero Internacional.

September 11, 2017

Vivero Internacional Elevates Clean Cuttings to New Hei…

One of the last independent cutting operations, this fast-growing company raises the standard for delivering clean, high-quality unrooted cuttings.

Read More
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

September 5, 2017

C. Raker & Sons Acquired By Roberta’s Unique Garden…

Ownership will change hands in December, and Raker will supply young plants for the 2018 season. Beyond that, leadership of the two operations say they are excited to move forward with a partnership that will continue to supply the industry, and gardeners, with top-quality plants.

Read More

August 1, 2017

MPS Honors D.S. Cole Growers for 10 Years of Sustainabi…

At Cultivate’17, a ceremony to mark a 10-year milestone since D.S. Cole Growers became involved with More Profitable Sustainability (MPS), as the first U.S. grower to achieve MPS certification, took owner Doug Cole by surprise. Separate celebrations also recognized Metrolina Greenhouses and Dümmen Orange for achieving MPS certification.

Read More
Nexus greenhouse construction for Knox Cannabis Facility

July 27, 2017

Ornamental Growers Will Revolutionize Cannabis Industry…

Professional growers have much to offer the emerging cannabis market, according to the co-owner of Knox Medical, one of the licensed cannabis producers in Florida.

Read More
Ball ColorLink logo

July 11, 2017

Get Guidance on Running Your Business from Ball ColorLi…

Representatives from Ball ColorLink will be on-hand at Cultivate’17 to answer questions and present business-building tools and industry insights to growers.

Read More
Lean Consortium in Washington

July 10, 2017

Washington Growers Join New Horticulture Lean Consortiu…

The group of growers has committed to learning and applying the principles of Lean, a method for eliminating waste that results in more value to customers delivered at a lower cost, in a shorter time, with fewer defects and less human effort.

Read More

April 11, 2017

Jerry Halamuda of Color Spot Nurseries Retires

The co-founder of Color Spot Nurseries has retired, effective immediately, and has named a replacement.

Read More

March 21, 2017

How Greenhouse Vegetable Growers Can Prepare for a Prod…

The United Fresh Produce Association is holding a Recall Ready Workshop in April that is designed to help growers properly manage a recall, from liability to communications.

Read More

March 14, 2017

Expanded Customer Footprint, E-Commerce, Succession Key…

Costa Farms' acquisition of indoor foliage producer Delray Plants rocked the industry, but the story behind Delray Plants' sale is the same as for many growers struggling with succession planning. For Costa Farms, the strategic purchase expands its customer footprint and also fast tracks its foray into e-commerce.

Read More

March 10, 2017

Costa Farms Expands With Purchase of Indoor Houseplant …

Costa Farms annnounced March 10 that it has acquired Delray Plants, one of the leaders in the indoor houseplant industry. The two operations are committed to the same values, principles, and goals to grow the industry, and will fit well together to accomplish this, say Randy Gilde, CEO of Delray Plants, and Joche Smith, CEO of Costa Farms.

Read More
Ken and Deena Altman

March 7, 2017

Altman Plants in Escrow to Purchase EuroAmerican Propag…

Ken Altman, a co-owner of Altman Plants based in Vista, CA, has confirmed that the operation is currently in escrow to purchase EuroAmerican Propagators, the Bonsall, CA-based young plant and finished plant grower that filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy on Jan. 23, 2017. Ken and Deena Altman are co-owners of Altman Plants and The Plug Connection, along with their son Matthew, who has recently bought into the family business. The 55 acres of land and all of the facilities on it, which were previously owned by Jerry Church, a partner in EuroAmerican Propagators, are part of the purchase agreement currently in escrow, Altman says. However, it would not be absorbed by Altman Plants, which in 2016 was number 3 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Growers list with more than 11 million square feet of environmentally controlled greenhouse production, 62 acres of shade production, and 400 acres of outdoor field production. Altman Plants’ property […]

Read More
EuroAmerican Propagators Greenhouses

February 14, 2017

Suppliers Comment on Plant Genetics’ Fate After EuroAme…

Since the operation’s bankruptcy filing on January 23, 2017, suppliers associated with EuroAmerican Propagators have updated Greenhouse Grower on what the operation’s bankruptcy means for them – and how it will impact grower customers.

Read More
Stephanie Whitehouse

January 17, 2017

Stephanie Whitehouse Takes Her Passion for Plants to Di…

Stephanie Whitehouse, who has spent the last seven years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, PA, recently joined Dickman Farms Greenhouse and Garden Center in Auburn, NY, as the company’s new Retail General Manager.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means F…

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More