Ludvig Svensson Hires Katherine Wolper As West Coast Sales Manager

Katherine WolperLudvig Svensson, Inc. recently announced the addition of Katherine Wolper as its West Coast Sales Manager.

“Katherine brings a strong wealth of multi-faceted industry knowledge which our customers can leverage to grow their businesses even stronger,” says Mauricio Manotas, President of Svensson’s Americas group.

Wolper joins Svensson’s North American sales team with more than 15 years of industry experience, including five years as the Northwest Account Manager for MasterTag and five years as Retail Ready and Key Account Manager for Tagawa Greenhouse. She brings a wide range of retail, greenhouse, and market knowledge to the position.

Based out of Portland, OR, Wolper will support the company’s growing customer base in both the U.S. and Canada, servicing growers and distributors throughout the West Coast. She graduated with a business degree from Portland State University.

Greenhouse Grower magazine recently asked Wolper about her new role, and how she plans to work with the greenhouse industry in dealing with critical issues.

Greenhouse Grower (GG): How did your previous experience prepare you for this new role?

Wolper: The vast amount of knowledge and experience I was able to pick up working for a grower and then a marketing solutions company (and all the retailers I became familiar with along the way) has helped give me a broad view of our industry as a whole. I’m able to take that experience and relate to Ludvig Svensson’s customers on a myriad of levels. The needs of being a grower, a retailer, and a supplier can vary greatly; however, at the end of the day, we’re all looking for the same thing: how do we make our business and our industry thrive in an ever-changing landscape? I believe that my varied industry knowledge helps me relate to Svensson customers and ultimately helps them better utilize our products to be successful.

GG: What are the some of the biggest issues or concerns you’ve heard from the growers you work with, and how do you plan to help them deal with these issues?

Wolper: The majority of growers struggle daily with how to make their business profitable and keep their heads above water. We work in an ever-changing industry and environment, and there are so many factors out of your control that affect your bottom line. You can’t rest on your laurels; one amazing year does not guarantee a successful following year. By understanding the challenges of being a grower, and really listening to each customer’s concerns and needs, I can help growers effectively leverage innovative products and solutions like those Ludvig Svensson offers to help ensure that their growing climate is under control (well, at least as much as we humans are able!).

GG: What are the biggest challenges this industry is currently facing? Conversely, what are some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon?

Wolper: One of the biggest challenges facing our industry today is climate change. Extreme weather events like drought and flooding, changing production regions, increased temperatures, and reduced water availability have a major impact on how, what, and where we grow, and present us with a range of challenges and opportunities. There is no textbook solution to the problem; we must continue to innovate and adapt to stay on top of the changing environment. The new technologies that have come out of these challenges, and the solutions we will continue to find, are incredibly exciting. It’s a testament to what an amazing industry we are working in.

Conversely, with the changing climate we are seeing a new generation of gardeners who realize the important role plants play in our everyday lives, and the impact that awareness can have on the environment. More and more homeowners are converting their yards to food gardens, and/or planting nature habitats to help local wildlife and bees thrive in their communities. There is a rising awareness of how a single person’s actions can affect others on a global scale. How do we reach and educate these gardeners? How do we help them minimize their footprint? How do we continue to capture their interest and help them be successful? What new varieties are they looking for? Our industry has limitless opportunities to touch and affect someone’s day-to-day life, so how do we make their lives better? By asking ourselves these questions, we can continue to create new products and ensure the continued growth of our industry.

GG: Looking ahead, what role can you play in moving this industry forward?

Wolper: Never underestimate the importance of being an engaged listener. My role is not to sell a product; my role is to listen to the needs of growers and suppliers and to work to resolve their problems. By listening to the grower and understanding their concerns and the obstacles they face, I can then take that information back to Ludvig Svensson, and we can work to find a solution. By creating innovative products that create better climates for plants and businesses, we are ensuring the success of growers and the health of our industry.

GG: If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?

Wolper: Honestly, I have a hard time seeing myself working in any other industry. I was lucky to grow up with an avid gardener and nature lover for a father, and our home was surrounded by prolific vegetable and flower gardens. I enjoy meeting new people and learning their life stories, and I love to travel. My role in this industry allows me the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people, while frequently being surrounded by plants and flowers, and it is such a varied industry that there is always something new to learn. What could be better than that?

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...

February 16, 2018

New England GROWS Discontinues After 25 Years

After 25 years, New England GROWS — both the annual event and the organization behind the event — are discontinuing operations.

Read More
Weigela Czechmark (Spring Meadow Nursery)

February 14, 2018

Spring Meadow Nursery Furthers Its Mission of Giving Back to the Industry

The Spring Meadow-Proven Winners Endowment Fund through the Horticultural Research Institute has now topped $800,000, with more scholarships coming in 2018.

Read More
Laura Drotleff

February 13, 2018

Don’t Let Your New Year’s Resolutions Fade Away in 2018

Stuff got real in 2017, and it caused many of us to stop and reflect on the current state of the world, and how we can impact change — or at least improve our own situations. Life is too short, and we work too hard, to not use the annual renewal as an opportunity to take stock of our own personal lives, businesses, and careers, and make the necessary adjustments that will allow us to work smarter and live better. Even if you have already given up on your resolutions, perhaps you can think of January as a trial month and make February the month when you really get to work on your goals. And while I know it’s a difficult month to start on some of these changes, since you’re already immersed in the busy spring season, I promise that if you take some time to evaluate your reality […]

Read More
Latest Stories

January 31, 2018

Online Education Empowers Employees to Succeed

See how UF/IFAS online certificate courses helped employees at Costa Farms get ahead with their jobs.

Read More

January 25, 2018

Why It’s Critical to Understand Your Real Costs o…

It’s time to stop guessing and start calculating when it comes to finding out what your real cost of production is, and pricing products accordingly.\

Read More

January 23, 2018

Learn How the New Tax Law Will Affect Your Greenhouse B…

AmericanHort will co-host a free “Comprehending the New Tax Law: webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 31, with K-Coe Isom, a national tax consulting leader.

Read More

January 15, 2018

Missouri Greenhouse Grower John Tomasovic Dies

The patriarch of Tomasovic Greenhouses & Nursery, Inc. in Des Peres, MO, was a legend in the plant industry, and widely involved in many associations.

Read More

January 15, 2018

Perennials Icon Louis Stacy Dies

The founder of the former Stacy's Greenhouses in York, SC, passed away on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Read More
Charlie Hall Feature Image

January 9, 2018

AmericanHort Launches New Video Series on Profit Margin…

This week, AmericanHort is kicking off a four-part video series that offers perspectives on managing profit margins from AmericanHort’s Chief Economist, Dr. Charlie Hall.

Read More

January 9, 2018

What You Need to Know About the New Tax Bill

The United Fresh Produce Association, which represents the needs and interests of fruit and vegetable growers, recently updated its members on how the recent passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might affect their businesses. Many of the insights provided by United Fresh also apply to greenhouse growers and nurseries.

Read More
Doug Cole, Owner of D.S. Cole Growers

January 4, 2018

D.S. Cole Growers Blazes Its Own Path to Growth

Known for its commitment to sustainability and innovation, this grower is one of the pioneering trailblazers changing the way horticulture does business.

Read More

December 31, 2017

Ag Exemption for New Trucking Regulation Still Under Re…

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s trucking electronic logging device mandate, which took effect on December 18, includes an Hours of Service exemption that may or may not apply to greenhouses and nurseries.

Read More
Tillandsia Air Plants (Plantiflor)

December 15, 2017

Bonsall Nursery Devastated By California Wildfire

Rainforest Flora lost its main greenhouses and outdoor growing property in the Lilac Fire in San Diego.

Read More

December 9, 2017

Southern California Wildfires Narrowly Miss Most Grower…

Here’s an update on horticulture businesses in the areas affected by the California wildfires.

Read More

December 5, 2017

Skagit Horticulture Builds New, Inclusive Business With…

By merging two large-scale producers, Skagit Gardens and Northwest Horticulture, the new company has realized its strengths through focused divisions that emphasize efficiency and success.

Read More

December 4, 2017

Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants Debuts as Roberta’s Finali…

On December 1, Eric Wallien of Roberta’s Inc. in Waldron, IN, officially purchased C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI. The new identity of the company is now Raker-Roberta’s Young Plants, according to a Dec. 1 letter to Raker’s customers, suppliers, and business partners from Vice President Susie Raker-Zimmerman. “There have been minimal changes in management and we will be providing the same products and services on which we have built our reputation in the industry,” Raker-Zimmerman said in the letter, which also announced the name change and new logo. The sale of C. Raker & Sons was announced in September . A series of events affecting Raker’s financial situation caused the need for the operation to find an alternate solution. Roberta’s had been a customer of Raker’s since 2011, and the fourth generation, family owned grower-retailer was a fan of Raker’s commitment to quality. The agreement to purchase C. […]

Read More

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