New Sales VP At Heliospectra Looks Forward To Helping Growers Improve Light Management In The Greenhouse

Caroline Nordahl Wells, Heliospectra
Caroline Nordahl Wells

Heliospectra AB recently announced that it has hired Caroline Nordahl Wells as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Heliospectra’s North American operations.

As a co-founder and former executive of LumiGrow, Nordahl Wells was responsible for recruiting and leading a successful sales organization. She is widely credited with advancing the LED grow light category and accelerating market adoption of LED lighting for commercial horticultural applications.

Nordahl Wells will be responsible for continuing Heliospectra’s sales growth in the medicinal cannabis market, where the company made significant inroads with large commercial installations in 2015. She will also expand Heliospectra’s market share within the traditional commercial greenhouse grower market and emerging urban agriculture and vertical farming market segments. Heliospectra doubled its U.S. sales headcount in 2015 and will add more sales professionals in 2016 to fuel this growth with Nordahl Wells’ proven strong leadership.

Christopher Steele, COO of Heliospectra, says, “Having Caroline join us speaks volumes about Heliospectra’s growth potential and technology advantages over our competition. Her experience and abilities strengthen our position to become the outright industry leader in intelligent LED grow lighting.”

Greenhouse Grower recently caught up with Nordahl Wells and asked her about how her prior experience will be useful in her new role, as well as the most critical issues facing growers today.

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

Caroline Nordahl Wells: My first professional position was that of marketing manager with a highly disciplined Fortune 500 company in the professional services industry. My manager, who became a mentor, drilled me on the importance of listening to what customers need now and anticipating what they’ll need next. These are the keys to selling with integrity: addressing customers’ problems with real solutions and becoming a partner rather than a vendor.

Before I joined Heliospectra, I led the marketing and sales effort for a company I co-founded (LumiGrow), which pioneered LED grow lights. I could clearly see the potential of LED technology and was eager to see it fully realized by a company with the financial and technical resources to continually deliver on this promise to growers. My search led me to Heliospectra, a Sweden-based company that is quickly expanding into North America. The team and the technology are best in class and impress me daily, which is so motivating. Experience taught me to trust my gut, but to verify my gut with data. In reviewing the data, Heliospectra emerges as the company most likely to become the global leader in horticultural LED lighting solutions.

GG: What are 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?

Nordahl Wells: Heliospectra is ushering in a new way of thinking about light, which is about as fundamental as it gets for plants. I’m recalling a meeting I had with a grower this past week. He is a multi-generational grower with decades of experience in his own right. Out of necessity, he has figured out how to use his HPS lights to their best advantage. On a lot of days, he’d like to turn on his lights to supplement less-than-perfect light conditions, but doesn’t do it because of the steep electrical bill he knows he’ll receive. It’s an almost daily dilemma, especially during shoulder (peak and off-peak) seasons.

I’m excited to talk with growers like him about adjusting light intensity and color output as greenhouse light levels and seasons change. In other words, just use the light you need, when you need it. It’s a tremendous breakthrough for growers who’ve had to deal with lights that are either on or off, period. They’re blown away when they see how they can improve productivity, without incurring high electrical bills, even during high-light months. Features like our far-red wavelength really excite growers because they see the bottom-line benefit of increasing annual cycles. It all comes back to listening to growers. When we hear what growers want to achieve with lighting — unbound by the constraints of HPS lights — we can help them achieve big profitability gains.

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

Nordahl Wells: Greenhouse growers will take their deserved place among our economy’s heroes in the years to come. This is because they represent the most efficient form of agriculture, making the most of our planet’s straining resources as the world’s population swells.

It’s becoming more widely recognized that greenhouses can yield crops with less energy and water use than is possible with field-based agriculture. But considerably more efficiencies will be required of growers to profitably manage mounting production requirements.

Therefore, we are going to see adoption of energy- and water-efficient technologies take off. But growers are pragmatic. The products that will stick are those that don’t require compromise. To draw an analogy, no one wants a “green” dishwasher detergent that doesn’t get the dishes clean. Growers want win-win products that deliver both energy cost savings and equal-or-better yields. That’s the standard any company hoping to sell technology to growers will need to meet.

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

Nordahl Wells: One of the chief roles I can play is that of myth buster. For example, there’s a historical perception that LED lights are expensive when compared to HPS lights. If you looked only at upfront cost versus total cost of ownership, that would seem to be the case. But when we look more closely at HPS lights’ true cost, we find a trail of red ink in operating expenses. Then contrast this with LED lights, which deliver yield gains that eclipse the significantly lower costs of operating them. In working with growers, I make sure I have a solid understanding of all the metrics, then we look at how much money each light fixture can return to their wallets every month.

One of the best parts of my job is talking candidly with growers about what they want to achieve with lighting. If we can accomplish something meaningful — like accelerating cycles or improving vigor — while we demonstrate a clear payback, then both the grower and I get very excited. It’s exceedingly rewarding.

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

Nordahl Wells: That’s tough to answer because I’ve found the right fit. I’m grateful every day for the opportunity I’ve been given.

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “New Sales VP At Heliospectra Looks Forward To Helping Growers Improve Light Management In The Greenhouse

  1. This is a great deal for the greenhouse growers. This step from the Heliospectra AB will surely help Growers to increase their benifit.
    Good Knowledge Shared…

More From Technology...
Floral Greenhouse at Vineland Research Centre

July 20, 2016

Research And Commercialization Unite At The New Vineland Greenhouse Technology Centre

The new, pre-scale commercial greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland Station, ON, will help accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of research.

Read More

July 20, 2016

How To Prevent Greenhouse Heating Leaks

Ethylene from malfunctioning greenhouse heaters can lead to crop injury, while carbon monoxide can lead to worker illness. Know the symptoms and how to check greenhouse heaters to avoid these concerns.

Read More
GrowSpan Screen cap

July 18, 2016

Growers Supply Launches GrowSpan Website With New Content And Product Offerings

The GrowSpan website will encompass the brand’s entire greenhouse structure line, and allows growers to quickly browse GrowSpan’s product offerings based on structure type.

Read More
Latest Stories
Floral Greenhouse at Vineland Research Centre

July 20, 2016

Research And Commercialization Unite At The New Vinelan…

The new, pre-scale commercial greenhouse facility at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Vineland Station, ON, will help accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies and products coming out of research.

Read More

July 20, 2016

How To Prevent Greenhouse Heating Leaks

Ethylene from malfunctioning greenhouse heaters can lead to crop injury, while carbon monoxide can lead to worker illness. Know the symptoms and how to check greenhouse heaters to avoid these concerns.

Read More
GrowSpan Screen cap

July 18, 2016

Growers Supply Launches GrowSpan Website With New Conte…

The GrowSpan website will encompass the brand’s entire greenhouse structure line, and allows growers to quickly browse GrowSpan’s product offerings based on structure type.

Read More
PlanPoint Sensor Nodes From Decagon

July 18, 2016

Lloyd Traven Sees The Future Of Horticulture Through Pr…

The potential applications of developing precision technologies for greenhouse production will change the way we grow in the near future, Traven says.

Read More
Seed Meets Technology Event

July 13, 2016

“Seed Meets Technology” Event In The Netherlands Slated…

The third annual “Seed Meets Technology” event will feature vegetable trials, technology and innovation in action, and classes covering seed enhancements, hydroponics, and more.

Read More
Easter lilies under leds at CSU

July 10, 2016

Philips Horticulture Partners With Light4Food To Supply…

Light4Food, which designs, produces, and mounts sustainable closed cultivation systems, stands to benefit from working with lighting experts at Philips.

Read More
Schaefer Exhaust Fan

June 26, 2016

What’s New In Greenhouse Cooling

Cooling and ventilation companies, as well as structures suppliers, are working to help growers manage efficiencies. Here are some of their latest innovations.

Read More
Priva Tomato Deleafing Robot

June 16, 2016

Priva’s Tomato Deleafing Robot Nabs Innovation Award At…

GreenTech, the Netherlands-based horticulture technology trade show, opened with an award presentation for Priva’s deleafing robot, which accurately removes leaves from tomato plants without spreading viruses.

Read More
Lisa Ruggiers, National Greenhouse Manufacturers Association

June 15, 2016

Meet The New Executive Director Of The National Greenho…

Lisa Ruggiers has been active in NGMA for several years, and will work closely with the group’s officers and board of directors.

Read More

June 7, 2016

Ball Seed Offers Full Mobile Ordering Capabilities With…

The latest update for Ball Seed’s WebTrack To Go mobile app now includes full ordering capabilities for the industry’s largest assortment of seeds and plants. App users can also complete order fulfillment via seed count or package size, find product substitutions, get personalized “contact us” information, request plant tags, and more. “Upgrading WebTrack To Go to the full suite of ordering and management tools is where we’ve always wanted to be,” says Mark Morris, Director of IT for Ball Seed. “With this new roll-out, we’re keeping up with our customers on-the-go and providing them the information and access they need –- even while away from their desks.” The Ball Seed WebTrack To Go app lets customers: Check order status and shipment tracking 24-7 Access up-to-the-minute product inventory from hundreds of suppliers Place orders by seed count, packet size, and more Find product info, culture and photos when and where they […]

Read More
Snow Damage-feature

June 3, 2016

Protect Your Greenhouse From The Worst Disasters

Unexpected problems such as fires, high winds, and heavy snow can quickly cause damage to your structures. But there are ways you can minimize your losses.

Read More
Green Circle UrbanatiRW64 Plant Fingers-Feature Image

May 31, 2016

Automation Generates Sustainable Efficiency At Green Ci…

The Oberlin, OH-based operation provides its growers with the automation tools necessary to produce high-quality plants cost-effectively and sustainably.

Read More
Feature Image Cob 700 (NewLux)

May 29, 2016

Michigan State University Offering Summer Online Course…

The seven-unit course is aimed at greenhouse and ornamental plant growers who want to learn more about the fundamental concepts of how plants respond to light quality, quantity, and duration.

Read More
Harvest Automation HV 100 Feature

May 27, 2016

Harvest Automation Robot Helps You Move Plants Without …

The Harvest Automation HV-100 robot units use lasers and sensors to handle some of the most labor-intensive tasks in the greenhouse.

Read More
SBI Rack Scanning feature

May 26, 2016

Take Your Data Management To The Next Level

New developments in software technology allow growers to customize inventory, tracking, and labor performance into systems unique to their greenhouse operations.

Read More
GG Tech Editorial Advisors Feature Image

May 23, 2016

Meet The New Editorial Advisors For Greenhouse Growe…

Greenhouse Grower TECHNOLOGY presents the inaugural members of its Editorial Advisory Board, six pillars of knowledge about greenhouse automation and technology. Get to know each of these gentlemen and what they’ll help bring to each issue.

Read More

May 17, 2016

Your Best Greenhouse Is Your Best Bet For Growing Veget…

It doesn’t matter if it’s a retrofitted greenhouse or brand new freestanding high tunnel, the type of structure you use for your vegetable growing makes all the difference in the quality of the crop you grow.

Read More
WaterPulse feature

May 16, 2016

Scale Back On Water And Reduce Labor With Capillary Mat…

Capillary mats allow growers and retailers up to 70% water savings compared to time consuming hand watering.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]