Aris Horticulture, Inc. recently announced that Blair Hoey has joined the company as managing director for its Green Leaf Plants division. Based in Lancaster, PA, Green Leaf Plants is a young plant supplier of perennials serving the U.S. and Canadian markets.
“We are pleased to welcome Blair to our team,” says Scott Schaefer, Aris CEO. “His career experience is a great fit for our organization, with strong leadership skills and an extensive knowledge of operation and production management. This includes experience in process management and continuous quality improvement, a core focus for our company in fulfilling its mission to provide customers with industry-leading quality and service. His blend of both wholesale and retail industry knowledge is a strong asset as well.”
According to Schaefer, Hoey has a broad, well-rounded background in horticulture and perennial production, with more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of supply chain management. This includes greenhouse production and operations management at Northwest Horticulture, with process improvement focus, of 500 acres of greenhouse and open-field production. Hoey also managed crop planning for both the big-box, retail-finished regional market, as well as rooted young plants for the national network of wholesale growers. He has also worked as a new product development department manager and in sales, expanding into a senior leadership position organizing sales teams and providing direction for retail and grower divisions.
Hoey is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in Agricultural and Horticultural Science.
Greenhouse Grower recently caught up with Hoey and asked him about his new responsibilities.
Greenhouse Grower (GG): How did your previous experience prepare you for this new role?
Blair Hoey: My previous work experience has allowed me to not only tune into the ever-changing marketplace demands, but it has also allowed me to better understand and navigate the supply and distribution chain for our industry’s products.
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?
• Turnkey quality and consistent supply: Improving the supply chain to delivery consistent quality for all of our produced products which would meet the customer’s needs along with their market demands.
• Meeting last-minute or late market demand: Improving technology and allowing faster response times to provide for customers’ last-minute supply needs.
• Automate to save production costs: Finding the right automation to save labor costs while adding value for the finished product.
GG: What are the biggest challenges this industry is currently facing? Conversely, what are some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon?
Hoey: Adequately trained and supply of labor at reasonable pay rates to meet the producer’s needs. Electronically connecting with Generation X and Y to create a broader market demand for all of our industry products.
GG: Looking ahead, what role can you play in moving this industry forward?
Hoey: I look forward to mentoring the next generation of horticulturists and perpetuating our talent pool of industry professionals.