Bayer has announced that Mark Schneid, its former Chief Marketing Officer of the Environmental Science business unit, has been appointed Head of Environmental Science North America. In this new role, Schneid will be responsible for leading the business unit in the U.S. and Canada with a vision focused squarely on the needs of customers in the markets it serves, including: turf and ornamentals, vegetation management, professional pest management, and vector control.
“Mark displays tremendous leadership within our organization, incredible passion for advancing our purpose of Science for a Better Life, and a tireless commitment to serve our people, our customers, and the industries in which we operate,” says Gilles Galliou, Head of Region Americas for Environmental Science. “We could not be more excited for Mark to be taking the helm of our Environmental Science business unit in North America, working to shape the future of our business and the markets we serve.”
In his 15 years at Bayer, Schneid has held several leadership roles, most recently serving as Chief Marketing Officer for the Environmental Science business unit as well as Global Market Manager for Bayer’s Turf & Ornamentals segment.
“Our customers are doing incredible things to protect and care for the environments and the spaces where we live our lives, and we are deeply proud to partner with them every step of the way, bringing the kinds of ideas and innovations that contribute to a better life,” says Schneid. “I am truly honored to take on this new role, and I look forward to leading our business to continue delivering best-in-class, customer-driven innovation, and the trusted expertise our customers have come to expect from us.”
Greenhouse Grower recently caught up with Schneid and asked him about his new role.
Greenhouse Grower (GG): How did your previous experience prepare you for this new role?
Mark Schneid: I have spent many years in the consumer lawn and garden and professional turf and ornamentals market. There is no feeling like the one you get when you see a plant you love or see others shopping for plants and admiring their beauty. It is even better when you see friends and relatives show you with pride what they have grown in their landscape to beautify their homes. I get such pleasure out of this and a tremendous sense of pride to know the important role our growers and our industry play in the lives of our customers. Having participated in all the segments we serve, I also know the importance of spending time with our customers, because finding those moments of truth can ensure we better serve them. In seeing and living both the consumer and professional segments, I think it gives me a solid perspective on what is critical to success. It gave me the chance to really appreciate how growers solve problems.
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?
Schneid: Growers are always seeking ways to work smarter because there are so many challenges they face every day. At Bayer, we are developing tools that allow growers to spend more time focused on the tough issues. Our goal at Bayer is to provide innovative pest management tools that will simplify our customers’ plant protection programs and help mitigate challenges such as labor. Bayer offers solutions like Marengo and Altus, which can help reduce labor through longer lasting results, fewer applications, and fewer follow-up treatments. While Altus controls hard-to-manage insects, Marengo provides exceptionally long-lasting weed control. We look forward to continuing to bring Bayer innovation to growers.
GG: What are the biggest challenges this industry is currently facing? Conversely, what are some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon?
Schneid: One of the biggest challenges our industry faces is the constantly evolving customer — particularly among millennials, who have different motivations and enjoy plants differently than previous generations of customers. Buying flats and planting flowers used to be the norm, but millennials tend to be more interested in the instant gratification of mixed planters that they can drop on their front porch or balcony without getting their hands dirty. Coupled with the notion that millennials have different attitudes about pesticides, growers have to be prepared to change the crops they grow and how they manage them. I see Bayer’s role as providing the solutions and expertise that meet the needs of both the grower and the consumer.
GG: Looking ahead, what role can you play in moving this industry forward?
Schneid: We have a strong commitment at Bayer, like all the professionals in this industry, to make the world a better place. In fact, we see our contribution as improving quality of life by fostering healthy environments where we all live, work, and play. Bayer has entered the ornamentals segment to help enhance and propel this great industry forward by offering solutions built around the pain points our customers experience. Our goal is to be more than just another chemical supplier. We want to work in collaboration with growers to deliver innovative solutions that enhance lives not only in our industry, but the world in general. It’s an exciting time to be in the business.
GG: If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
Schneid: The green industry is in my blood. I love the ever-changing market, the beauty we create together, and the impact we have on people’s lives.