Hines Announces New Name & Management Team

Hines Announces New Name & Management Team

Hines Horticulture is now Hines Nurseries, following Black Diamond Capital Management’s purchase of it earlier this year. A new management team is also in place. It includes:

– Bob Sands, president and chief executive officer
–John Krajanowski, chief operating officer and chief production officer
–Claudia Pieropan, senior vice president and chief financial officer
–Mike Trebing, senior vice president of sales and marketing

All four have extensive experience in the industry. Sands most recently served Bordier’s Nursery, another growing operation that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year, as president and CEO. He also served Powell Plant Farms in the same roles.

Trebing, who previously worked at Hines for more than 25 years in various sales and marketing capacities, now returns to the operation. Krajanowski and Pieropan are existing Hines employees.

“As a company we are returning to our core values and business philosophies which the company has been built upon over the last 90 years,” Trebing says. “As an outcome of the bankruptcy, Hines has emerged with one of the cleanest balance sheets in the nursery business.  During these challenging economic times, that flexibility will help Hines rebuild its operations and inventory.”

For more information on Hines, visit HinesHort.com

Leave a Reply

54 comments on “Hines Announces New Name & Management Team

  1. Unbelievable, this guy is bragging about having one of the cleanest balance sheets in the industry. Wouldn’t we all like to have all our debt just disappear? However, this is at a horrendous cost to suppliers who were just discarded. Are these same suppliers going to do business with them? Experience?? Why should this team, whom all come from companies that they helped bankrupt–Bordiers, Hines, and Powell be expected to do anything different? They can continue doing the same things that bankrupt their respective companies now that their debt load is gone.

  2. I have to agree with the previous comments. Besides, isn’t it a condition of Chapter 11 that you have to maintain a very clean balance sheet?

  3. You can’t blame one person for the bad judgement of a few, But the fact is the same person has run mutible companies and those companies are in restructure? Is there more to this? I have been in the industry for many years and have been fortunate to work for people that make the priority customer service!! Customer service!! And More Customer Service, by the way kinda bugs the crap out of me when I shop, And then take care of the EMPLOYEE, for those that have worked for this co. it was at one time the best of the best, I can honestly say that this in a way is a personal and finacial way was the best time of my life, I guess what I’m saying is that I hate to c as the my kid’s say are good people and JOBS go because of a few bad mistakes or dicision’s. I no better time’s are coming but I never made the bad times.

  4. PA-LEEZE tell me we are being “punked” here. When does Ashton Kutcher jump out from behind that last ridiculous paragraph and say “gotcha”? Do I hear the “Candid Camera” theme song playing? Black Diamond, I hope you are prepared to have your balance sheets cleaned.

  5. And they laughed when Nardelli took over Chrysler… these Equity dudes are just following Cerberus’ business model. Hines should now merge with FIAT.

  6. Black Diamond isn’t interested in the nursery business! They are ONLY interested in the Land that these businesses are on. At least the land that is owned, not the leased portions. My understanding is that Black Diamond is behind: Bordiers and Color Spot (which now includes Powell). These businesses will only be memories in the not so distant future. However, how many other nurseries and suppliers will they take down as they decline.

  7. A great leadership team built on a record of failure.In addition to Bordiers,Hines and Powell, how many other greenhouse operations have closed or filed for bankruptcy since January 1,08? Perhaps, those are the places to look for leadership talent!

  8. They may have a clean balance sheet, that debt did not
    blow in the wind. It takes a hit on the vender balance
    sheet. No one should brag about that.

  9. This must be a belated April Fool’s Joke. The new CEO is a big time loser. The COO is the guy who failed several times in the past for Hines. The CFO was there during all of this trouble, and did nothing. The VP of Sales and Marketing is a castoff from before and a complete fraud. This is a perfect example that just because someone has money it does NOT make them smart…

    Bordier’s Nursery was driven into the ground due to Sands. His record at Powell is just as bad. Who is the idiot that hired this people? My company will NOT sell anything to Hines Nursery. They screwed us once, but not again.

  10. I agree with all of you. What arrogance!! Cleanest balance sheet at the cost of others!!!! This guy should be fired just for that comment alone. Don’t come knocking on our door for a job after you Bankrupt this one too Mike!

  11. There is alot of ignorant comments on here. The previous leadership at hines was by far the main reason for there failure. Not the current one. Arrogance for just stating the facts? Some of these insecure winers on here should realize that the whole nursery industry suffers when the housing market collapts.

  12. Bob Sands and his associates ruined Bordier’s. That’s a fact. Bordiers, (along with Monrovia Nursery) had for many years established the standard by which it’s competitors were measured. Mr. Sands should be ashamed of himself. The way he ran Bordier’s into the ground and more importantly took the suppliers down with him is sickening. What is more sickening is that he deludes himself into thinking he did a great job. What a sad, sick person. I pity him.

  13. They were forced into bankruptcy by Black Diamond, as the senior debt holder, in order to acquire the assets and position themselves for other acquisitions. A smooth move in the business world, but very negatively viewed by the old school nursery industry. There are other nurseries, with even greater arrogance than Hines, who are in similar positions financially and could come under the same umbrella. Consolidation is inevitable at this point, so be careful who you “partner” with in the future. The good old days of integrity and honor may be soon gone in our business.

  14. Bob Sands, president and chief executive officer…indeed…This guy has ruined every nursery he has come in contact with…his style is nothing but self-empowered and arrogant…The Black Diamond guys and the Hines group will see what he really is…Sands is nothing more than a charlatan.

  15. Having Bob Sands at the wheel is like hiring a kamikaze pilot to fly the corporate jet with Trebing on board as a time bomb to ensure the craft goes down. I’ve never seen such egos or complete dependence upon glib tongues, acronyms, the need to demean others, and a committee or consultant to approve toilet visits. What blatant arrogance to speak of clean balance sheets. The article did not mention of Trebing’s stint at Bordier’s during its downturn. Just as it isn’t a requirement that a nursery CEO know how to grow plants, it is also not a requirement that a bakery owner know how to bake. However, it is of great benefit to his busines if he possesses a sense of taste. The “little numbers in little boxes” fixation that rules the life of Bob Sands has left destruction and discarded bodies behind. What a crime! Emplouyees, those both with and without formal education, built Bordier’s into an example of professionalism and product quality envied by the nursery. Their hands, minds, and hearts all strived for quality with the common goal being sucess. Enter the Pale Rider.
    One can blame weather, fire, or economic downturn, but Bob Sand’s fingerprints are on the gaveyard shovel. How very sad. Black Diamond must use the same press release media as did the Lusitania.

  16. Some idiot uttered…

    There is alot of ignorant comments on here. The previous leadership at hines was by far the main reason for there failure. Not the current one. Arrogance for just stating the facts? Some of these insecure winers on here should realize that the whole nursery industry suffers when the housing market collapts.

    You Sir, (or Madam) are awash in the arrogance of those of whom you defend. as a former employee of Bordier’s I witnessed up close the demise brought on by Bob Sands and his ilk. This arrogant S.O.B. even has the guts to sign up as a claimant in the Bordier’s bankrupcy to the tune of $14,000.00 for accrued vacation, even as the charred remains of HUNDREDS of employees smolder in his wake. But now another group of sheep are bleating his name, only to soon be offered up for slaughter.

    Nice knowin’ ya Bob, have fun in Hell you self important gas bag.

  17. Another ignorant comment. Charred remains of hundreds of employees smolder in his wake? Sheep are bleating his name only to soon be offered up for slaughter? What is this guy Adolf Hitler? Put down the bong there is help out there. I am sure there is a support group near you.

  18. If by “previous leadership” you mean Madison Dearborn, Tennant, Rob Ferguson, Dunbar, Krajanowski, Pieropan and the other two dolts Ferguson brought in ’05 & ’06 then you are absolutely correct. This previous leadership is absolutely responsible for the failure of Hines financially and culturally. These people cashed in on all this once great company stood for and achieved to promote themselves. If you will notice two of these people are still here. These two also made significant bonuses in 2008 while Hines avoided paying what they owed to their vendors partners.

    How Circle-K (as Krajanowski is known) ever talked his way into remaining with and positioning himself in his current position (COO and CPO?) at Hines is a mystery to all who know him and his skill level. I guess continuing to blame Dunbar and others for the complete failure of the systems he developed is working. His absolute arrogance and complete lack of operational experience and leadership is exactly what Hines doesn’t need at this time.

    Pieropan has been there for the entire show and failure. It is easy to monitor numbers (as an accountant) if you don’t have to take responsibility or ownership for the failure of the leadership or its strategies. She puts in allot of hours but that is it. I know this is not PC to pick on a nice lady but it is an accurate accounting of her contributions and skill level.

    Pieropan and Circle-K have formed a strange alliance that will continue to inhibit Hines from bringing in leaders with actual Industry experience that could help Hines.

    Unfortunately Trebing was simply stating the company line (Sands/Pieropan/Black Diamond’s) about having the “cleanest balance sheet in the industry”. The rest of us actually have to pay our partner vendors. This is simply stupid public relations and a complete lack of respect for all of us out here that had to write off all that was owed us so that Hines could clean up their balance sheet.

    Black Diamond is as blind to the needs of running a business in this industry as every other investor and financial player who has ever tried in the past. This is obvious by the players they have assembled to try to turn Hines around. Circle-K who is a legend in his own mind, Pieropan who is a hard working accountant and Bob Sands with a long history of failing. This combination of individuals would seem lethal to anyone with an ounce of business acumen or leadership experience. They are incapable of providing any new leadership or concepts needed to turn Hines around. This will be obvious as Black Diamond looks to spin off sites and land to recoup the cost of a foolish purchase

    Don’t be fooled into believing Hines failed because of the current economic conditions. Hines started failing 6-7 years ago- Mr Ferguson. It is public record. Check it out.

    Before too many people respond by throwing stones at Hines be careful, there are many other companies out there that will soon close their doors because of poor performance. Hopefully they will not personally profit, be abusive to their people, abandon common decency and leave others to pay for their debts as Hines has done this past 12 months.

  19. I find the last responder (dated May 7th) to the Hines’ management change article to be rather refreshing by comparison to a lot of the other comments that were made about the piece. I found it to be productive and heartfelt in its content. It still leaves, however, something unanswered: What would any of us propose that Hines do to “get it the right” this time. I have been in this business for perhaps too many years and am fully aware of the changes that have happened in the last number of them to our industry. When one considers the ever shrinking margins, the demands being made by the customer, their lack of real commitment to any ownership of forecasted product and the challenges of the business itself, one must ask “how does one survive in this industry?” Perhaps it is time for us all to understand that our business is changing and certainly driving towards new vistas. These new vistas will obviously create new requirements and demands that have never been a part of this business before. Maybe it’s no that we work together and assess where it is we are as an industry and collectively come up with solutions rather than fighting the inevitable. As Pogo once said “we have found the enemy and he is “us”. Those that develop the things that will help us to survive in the future will be the survivors of the future. I would strongly recommend that we use this and other sites as a forum on how we can “do it right” in the next step of our journey to first survive and then succeed.

  20. As mentioned above, the downward slide of many large growers began in the late 90’s — Hines got to play its role out in the media as a public company. As these companies either crumble or re-emerge better structured for the future, the same mis-informed commentary like much of the above that helped drive those companies downhill will continue to follow them as beacons as to what should be. In line with the May 8th comments, time to tune out the complainers and get behind those that are working to drive our industry to survive and thrive going forward.

  21. I don’t know some of these guys but I do know John K from when he was in the northeast. He’s been called a lot of things (good and not so good depending what side of the room you were on, never something goofy like circle k, I guess some bitter dude has a chip in his shoulder) but he’s an upfront guy that I would work with again anytime. Anybody who has been in a bankruptcy knows that it is full of tough choices. Don’t envy any of them.

  22. Bob Sands and Mike Trebing left Bordier’s high and dry only caring about themselves. They did so in a very sneaky, unprofessional way. How many more lifes are they going to destroy. As long as they have their big salaries, nice cars, and big houses that is all that matters to them. Stay clear of anything they are involved with. Sad the Bordier brothers spent years building a great business and it took them only 5 or 6 years to destroy. Karma is going to come back and bite them in the —!!!

  23. To many anonymous responses. Why not come together to discuss your problems? The sneaking around is how you all get into these problems.

  24. It was interesting reading some of the comments contained herein.

    It is obvious that many nursery companies have been undergoing hard times over the past many years. Those years have included economic stresses all over the US and in many industries. Those years also included the ever increasing power of the large retailers like Walmart and Home Depot. Cost management is the main driver for these companies. Their secondary driver is to put their competition out of business with low prices. Hines and many other companies have been hurt in this environment. My point is that individual managers have been fighting a difficult battle for a long time and that it is unfair to blame them solely. I didn’t read anything from any other posters who give me any confidence that they would know what to do.

    Some posters representing suppliers are mad because they didn’t get paid for recent purchases. That is what happens in bankruptcy. Every supplier knew the environment, particularly for a public company like Hines. Terms of sale are always negotiable and cash in advance is always an option. In other words, vendors need to have their eyes wide open at all times. After considering debt load and payroll, there is no reason for anyone to have lost a great deal of money on Hines.

    Some former employees of Hines and other nurseries are mad. This is happening everywhere. Have you heard of 10% unemployment? Have you heard of permanent unemployment? How about pay cuts? There is plenty of pain out there and it is not just in the nursery industry. The heady days of the nineties are over and they are not coming back anytime soon. The world has changed. The economy has changed. We now live in the land of bubbles, deficits, deflation maybe instead of inflation, tax increases, the demise of the housing industry, uncertainty in areas of war and peace and things like fuel supply, and layoffs in the public sector including the threat of bankruptcy in government entities. It is easy to make bad guys out of a few management members, but lets get realistic here.

    The comment from the sales manager about a clean balance sheet is valid. During the nineties Hines and other nurseries got involved in leveraged buyouts which did make some investors wealthy, but also set up the method to expand by acquiring other businesses. With the changed environment all mentioned above, this strategy obviously did not work. The debt incurred by this stategy became too onerous and strangled the company. Employees and vendors got hurt. Other than downsizing and restructuring, what other avenues would have worked? I am sure that over the last ten or more years, current management and prior managements looked diligently for the winning formula. What did they miss? In all likelihood, everything tried made sense at the time. The sands shifted and shifted some more and finally nothing worked. If, in fact, debt levels really are down to a low level, Hines will have a chance to regroup and come out fighting in this increasingly difficult economy. Good luck.

    My big question is, can any large nursery company survive in this new business environment? Hines always stressed high quality of product and continuous improvement, but at the cost of HIGH overhead. I think that they forgot to keep things simple “stupid” and made some things too complicated. When business declined Hines was caught with too many employees, too many high paying employees, expensive systems and processes which no longer could be justified, and a lack of imagination about how to get back on the winning track. The main ingredient to success today is LOW cost. There are plenty of small, regional nurseries who already have low costs and are taking costs lower out of necessity. Passing along cost increases like in the old days is not going to happen. You have got to compete with these guys. During an economy like the one we have today, it is totally justified to take the axe to all cost areas including and especially payroll. Pay levels in all areas should be closer to starting pay rates than not. Even experienced people need to be reevaluated with pay reset at competitive levels. If travel and expensive junkets are still happening, take a closer look. Don’t commit to customer driven cost increases unless the customer will pay for it with a profit on top. The small nurseries will be happy to fill any spots which Hines turns down. If the small companies can make money, watch how they do it and then copy them. I was sorry to read of Hines recent struggles and I hope Hines makes it.

  25. It looks like Hines is going down for a second time in two years. It is their own fault. They should have replaced the CFO two years ago with a financial person that can make the tough decisions. Hines has to much SG&A. They wanted their customers to pay more for the product they sell versus what the competition charges. That is not going to happen. Cost reduction is the only way to make money in this market. With the demise of Hines and a few other nurseries the market will get stronger for the rest of us who made the right decisions in the past several years. Sweet Dreams

  26. Unbelievable, this guy is bragging about having one of the cleanest balance sheets in the industry. Wouldn’t we all like to have all our debt just disappear? However, this is at a horrendous cost to suppliers who were just discarded. Are these same suppliers going to do business with them? Experience?? Why should this team, whom all come from companies that they helped bankrupt–Bordiers, Hines, and Powell be expected to do anything different? They can continue doing the same things that bankrupt their respective companies now that their debt load is gone.

  27. I have to agree with the previous comments. Besides, isn’t it a condition of Chapter 11 that you have to maintain a very clean balance sheet?

  28. You can’t blame one person for the bad judgement of a few, But the fact is the same person has run mutible companies and those companies are in restructure? Is there more to this? I have been in the industry for many years and have been fortunate to work for people that make the priority customer service!! Customer service!! And More Customer Service, by the way kinda bugs the crap out of me when I shop, And then take care of the EMPLOYEE, for those that have worked for this co. it was at one time the best of the best, I can honestly say that this in a way is a personal and finacial way was the best time of my life, I guess what I’m saying is that I hate to c as the my kid’s say are good people and JOBS go because of a few bad mistakes or dicision’s. I no better time’s are coming but I never made the bad times.

  29. PA-LEEZE tell me we are being “punked” here. When does Ashton Kutcher jump out from behind that last ridiculous paragraph and say “gotcha”? Do I hear the “Candid Camera” theme song playing? Black Diamond, I hope you are prepared to have your balance sheets cleaned.

  30. And they laughed when Nardelli took over Chrysler… these Equity dudes are just following Cerberus’ business model. Hines should now merge with FIAT.

  31. Black Diamond isn’t interested in the nursery business! They are ONLY interested in the Land that these businesses are on. At least the land that is owned, not the leased portions. My understanding is that Black Diamond is behind: Bordiers and Color Spot (which now includes Powell). These businesses will only be memories in the not so distant future. However, how many other nurseries and suppliers will they take down as they decline.

  32. A great leadership team built on a record of failure.In addition to Bordiers,Hines and Powell, how many other greenhouse operations have closed or filed for bankruptcy since January 1,08? Perhaps, those are the places to look for leadership talent!

  33. They may have a clean balance sheet, that debt did not
    blow in the wind. It takes a hit on the vender balance
    sheet. No one should brag about that.

  34. This must be a belated April Fool’s Joke. The new CEO is a big time loser. The COO is the guy who failed several times in the past for Hines. The CFO was there during all of this trouble, and did nothing. The VP of Sales and Marketing is a castoff from before and a complete fraud. This is a perfect example that just because someone has money it does NOT make them smart…

    Bordier’s Nursery was driven into the ground due to Sands. His record at Powell is just as bad. Who is the idiot that hired this people? My company will NOT sell anything to Hines Nursery. They screwed us once, but not again.

  35. I agree with all of you. What arrogance!! Cleanest balance sheet at the cost of others!!!! This guy should be fired just for that comment alone. Don’t come knocking on our door for a job after you Bankrupt this one too Mike!

  36. There is alot of ignorant comments on here. The previous leadership at hines was by far the main reason for there failure. Not the current one. Arrogance for just stating the facts? Some of these insecure winers on here should realize that the whole nursery industry suffers when the housing market collapts.

  37. Bob Sands and his associates ruined Bordier’s. That’s a fact. Bordiers, (along with Monrovia Nursery) had for many years established the standard by which it’s competitors were measured. Mr. Sands should be ashamed of himself. The way he ran Bordier’s into the ground and more importantly took the suppliers down with him is sickening. What is more sickening is that he deludes himself into thinking he did a great job. What a sad, sick person. I pity him.

  38. They were forced into bankruptcy by Black Diamond, as the senior debt holder, in order to acquire the assets and position themselves for other acquisitions. A smooth move in the business world, but very negatively viewed by the old school nursery industry. There are other nurseries, with even greater arrogance than Hines, who are in similar positions financially and could come under the same umbrella. Consolidation is inevitable at this point, so be careful who you “partner” with in the future. The good old days of integrity and honor may be soon gone in our business.

  39. Bob Sands, president and chief executive officer…indeed…This guy has ruined every nursery he has come in contact with…his style is nothing but self-empowered and arrogant…The Black Diamond guys and the Hines group will see what he really is…Sands is nothing more than a charlatan.

  40. Having Bob Sands at the wheel is like hiring a kamikaze pilot to fly the corporate jet with Trebing on board as a time bomb to ensure the craft goes down. I’ve never seen such egos or complete dependence upon glib tongues, acronyms, the need to demean others, and a committee or consultant to approve toilet visits. What blatant arrogance to speak of clean balance sheets. The article did not mention of Trebing’s stint at Bordier’s during its downturn. Just as it isn’t a requirement that a nursery CEO know how to grow plants, it is also not a requirement that a bakery owner know how to bake. However, it is of great benefit to his busines if he possesses a sense of taste. The “little numbers in little boxes” fixation that rules the life of Bob Sands has left destruction and discarded bodies behind. What a crime! Emplouyees, those both with and without formal education, built Bordier’s into an example of professionalism and product quality envied by the nursery. Their hands, minds, and hearts all strived for quality with the common goal being sucess. Enter the Pale Rider.
    One can blame weather, fire, or economic downturn, but Bob Sand’s fingerprints are on the gaveyard shovel. How very sad. Black Diamond must use the same press release media as did the Lusitania.

  41. Some idiot uttered…

    There is alot of ignorant comments on here. The previous leadership at hines was by far the main reason for there failure. Not the current one. Arrogance for just stating the facts? Some of these insecure winers on here should realize that the whole nursery industry suffers when the housing market collapts.

    You Sir, (or Madam) are awash in the arrogance of those of whom you defend. as a former employee of Bordier’s I witnessed up close the demise brought on by Bob Sands and his ilk. This arrogant S.O.B. even has the guts to sign up as a claimant in the Bordier’s bankrupcy to the tune of $14,000.00 for accrued vacation, even as the charred remains of HUNDREDS of employees smolder in his wake. But now another group of sheep are bleating his name, only to soon be offered up for slaughter.

    Nice knowin’ ya Bob, have fun in Hell you self important gas bag.

  42. Another ignorant comment. Charred remains of hundreds of employees smolder in his wake? Sheep are bleating his name only to soon be offered up for slaughter? What is this guy Adolf Hitler? Put down the bong there is help out there. I am sure there is a support group near you.

  43. If by “previous leadership” you mean Madison Dearborn, Tennant, Rob Ferguson, Dunbar, Krajanowski, Pieropan and the other two dolts Ferguson brought in ’05 & ’06 then you are absolutely correct. This previous leadership is absolutely responsible for the failure of Hines financially and culturally. These people cashed in on all this once great company stood for and achieved to promote themselves. If you will notice two of these people are still here. These two also made significant bonuses in 2008 while Hines avoided paying what they owed to their vendors partners.

    How Circle-K (as Krajanowski is known) ever talked his way into remaining with and positioning himself in his current position (COO and CPO?) at Hines is a mystery to all who know him and his skill level. I guess continuing to blame Dunbar and others for the complete failure of the systems he developed is working. His absolute arrogance and complete lack of operational experience and leadership is exactly what Hines doesn’t need at this time.

    Pieropan has been there for the entire show and failure. It is easy to monitor numbers (as an accountant) if you don’t have to take responsibility or ownership for the failure of the leadership or its strategies. She puts in allot of hours but that is it. I know this is not PC to pick on a nice lady but it is an accurate accounting of her contributions and skill level.

    Pieropan and Circle-K have formed a strange alliance that will continue to inhibit Hines from bringing in leaders with actual Industry experience that could help Hines.

    Unfortunately Trebing was simply stating the company line (Sands/Pieropan/Black Diamond’s) about having the “cleanest balance sheet in the industry”. The rest of us actually have to pay our partner vendors. This is simply stupid public relations and a complete lack of respect for all of us out here that had to write off all that was owed us so that Hines could clean up their balance sheet.

    Black Diamond is as blind to the needs of running a business in this industry as every other investor and financial player who has ever tried in the past. This is obvious by the players they have assembled to try to turn Hines around. Circle-K who is a legend in his own mind, Pieropan who is a hard working accountant and Bob Sands with a long history of failing. This combination of individuals would seem lethal to anyone with an ounce of business acumen or leadership experience. They are incapable of providing any new leadership or concepts needed to turn Hines around. This will be obvious as Black Diamond looks to spin off sites and land to recoup the cost of a foolish purchase

    Don’t be fooled into believing Hines failed because of the current economic conditions. Hines started failing 6-7 years ago- Mr Ferguson. It is public record. Check it out.

    Before too many people respond by throwing stones at Hines be careful, there are many other companies out there that will soon close their doors because of poor performance. Hopefully they will not personally profit, be abusive to their people, abandon common decency and leave others to pay for their debts as Hines has done this past 12 months.

  44. I find the last responder (dated May 7th) to the Hines’ management change article to be rather refreshing by comparison to a lot of the other comments that were made about the piece. I found it to be productive and heartfelt in its content. It still leaves, however, something unanswered: What would any of us propose that Hines do to “get it the right” this time. I have been in this business for perhaps too many years and am fully aware of the changes that have happened in the last number of them to our industry. When one considers the ever shrinking margins, the demands being made by the customer, their lack of real commitment to any ownership of forecasted product and the challenges of the business itself, one must ask “how does one survive in this industry?” Perhaps it is time for us all to understand that our business is changing and certainly driving towards new vistas. These new vistas will obviously create new requirements and demands that have never been a part of this business before. Maybe it’s no that we work together and assess where it is we are as an industry and collectively come up with solutions rather than fighting the inevitable. As Pogo once said “we have found the enemy and he is “us”. Those that develop the things that will help us to survive in the future will be the survivors of the future. I would strongly recommend that we use this and other sites as a forum on how we can “do it right” in the next step of our journey to first survive and then succeed.

  45. As mentioned above, the downward slide of many large growers began in the late 90’s — Hines got to play its role out in the media as a public company. As these companies either crumble or re-emerge better structured for the future, the same mis-informed commentary like much of the above that helped drive those companies downhill will continue to follow them as beacons as to what should be. In line with the May 8th comments, time to tune out the complainers and get behind those that are working to drive our industry to survive and thrive going forward.

  46. I don’t know some of these guys but I do know John K from when he was in the northeast. He’s been called a lot of things (good and not so good depending what side of the room you were on, never something goofy like circle k, I guess some bitter dude has a chip in his shoulder) but he’s an upfront guy that I would work with again anytime. Anybody who has been in a bankruptcy knows that it is full of tough choices. Don’t envy any of them.

  47. Bob Sands and Mike Trebing left Bordier’s high and dry only caring about themselves. They did so in a very sneaky, unprofessional way. How many more lifes are they going to destroy. As long as they have their big salaries, nice cars, and big houses that is all that matters to them. Stay clear of anything they are involved with. Sad the Bordier brothers spent years building a great business and it took them only 5 or 6 years to destroy. Karma is going to come back and bite them in the —!!!

  48. To many anonymous responses. Why not come together to discuss your problems? The sneaking around is how you all get into these problems.

  49. It was interesting reading some of the comments contained herein.

    It is obvious that many nursery companies have been undergoing hard times over the past many years. Those years have included economic stresses all over the US and in many industries. Those years also included the ever increasing power of the large retailers like Walmart and Home Depot. Cost management is the main driver for these companies. Their secondary driver is to put their competition out of business with low prices. Hines and many other companies have been hurt in this environment. My point is that individual managers have been fighting a difficult battle for a long time and that it is unfair to blame them solely. I didn’t read anything from any other posters who give me any confidence that they would know what to do.

    Some posters representing suppliers are mad because they didn’t get paid for recent purchases. That is what happens in bankruptcy. Every supplier knew the environment, particularly for a public company like Hines. Terms of sale are always negotiable and cash in advance is always an option. In other words, vendors need to have their eyes wide open at all times. After considering debt load and payroll, there is no reason for anyone to have lost a great deal of money on Hines.

    Some former employees of Hines and other nurseries are mad. This is happening everywhere. Have you heard of 10% unemployment? Have you heard of permanent unemployment? How about pay cuts? There is plenty of pain out there and it is not just in the nursery industry. The heady days of the nineties are over and they are not coming back anytime soon. The world has changed. The economy has changed. We now live in the land of bubbles, deficits, deflation maybe instead of inflation, tax increases, the demise of the housing industry, uncertainty in areas of war and peace and things like fuel supply, and layoffs in the public sector including the threat of bankruptcy in government entities. It is easy to make bad guys out of a few management members, but lets get realistic here.

    The comment from the sales manager about a clean balance sheet is valid. During the nineties Hines and other nurseries got involved in leveraged buyouts which did make some investors wealthy, but also set up the method to expand by acquiring other businesses. With the changed environment all mentioned above, this strategy obviously did not work. The debt incurred by this stategy became too onerous and strangled the company. Employees and vendors got hurt. Other than downsizing and restructuring, what other avenues would have worked? I am sure that over the last ten or more years, current management and prior managements looked diligently for the winning formula. What did they miss? In all likelihood, everything tried made sense at the time. The sands shifted and shifted some more and finally nothing worked. If, in fact, debt levels really are down to a low level, Hines will have a chance to regroup and come out fighting in this increasingly difficult economy. Good luck.

    My big question is, can any large nursery company survive in this new business environment? Hines always stressed high quality of product and continuous improvement, but at the cost of HIGH overhead. I think that they forgot to keep things simple “stupid” and made some things too complicated. When business declined Hines was caught with too many employees, too many high paying employees, expensive systems and processes which no longer could be justified, and a lack of imagination about how to get back on the winning track. The main ingredient to success today is LOW cost. There are plenty of small, regional nurseries who already have low costs and are taking costs lower out of necessity. Passing along cost increases like in the old days is not going to happen. You have got to compete with these guys. During an economy like the one we have today, it is totally justified to take the axe to all cost areas including and especially payroll. Pay levels in all areas should be closer to starting pay rates than not. Even experienced people need to be reevaluated with pay reset at competitive levels. If travel and expensive junkets are still happening, take a closer look. Don’t commit to customer driven cost increases unless the customer will pay for it with a profit on top. The small nurseries will be happy to fill any spots which Hines turns down. If the small companies can make money, watch how they do it and then copy them. I was sorry to read of Hines recent struggles and I hope Hines makes it.

  50. It looks like Hines is going down for a second time in two years. It is their own fault. They should have replaced the CFO two years ago with a financial person that can make the tough decisions. Hines has to much SG&A. They wanted their customers to pay more for the product they sell versus what the competition charges. That is not going to happen. Cost reduction is the only way to make money in this market. With the demise of Hines and a few other nurseries the market will get stronger for the rest of us who made the right decisions in the past several years. Sweet Dreams

More From Varieties...
Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation logo

September 1, 2015

Gloeckner Foundation Elects New Directors And Board Member

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc. held its annual meeting on May 30, 2015, electing a new president, vice president and one new board member. Newly elected officers, directors and board members are: Former vice president of the foundation, Dr. Richard Craig was elected president and chair of the research committee. Craig, a professor emeritus of plant breeding and the J. Franklin Styer Professor Emeritus of horticultural botany at Pennsylvania State University, is considered a pioneer breeder in the industry. In 1990, he was inducted into the Floriculture Hall of Fame, the industry’s highest honor. Craig has spent 45 years in genetics and breeding research, and has made countless contributions to horticultural science. Dr. Paul Allen Hammer, professor emeritus of floriculture at Purdue University, was elected vice president. Hammer has served on the Gloeckner Foundation board since 2001. His expertise in greenhouse production and management, experimental design and analysis and plant […]

Read More
Bill Lewis grower manager at Delray Plants

August 31, 2015

Delray Plants Takes Preventative Approach To Pest Control With Biological Controls

The 300-acre nursery in Venus, Fla., has made biologicals its first line of control when dealing with pests.

Read More
Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation logo

August 31, 2015

Gloeckner Foundation Awards 15 Research Grants

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation recently awarded 15 grants totaling $149,776. Fred C. Gloeckner had a keen interest and firm resolve to facilitate innovation and improve practices in floriculture. It was this vision that inspired him to start The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc. 55 years ago. Since the foundation’s inception, more than 66 institutions have been awarded grants for this purpose, and the foundation’s support of floriculture research has totaled $6,525,642. The following grants were recently awarded: $14,000 – Kansas State University, to study the effect of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana and the rove beetle, Dalotia coriaria, in suppressing populations of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis $12,264 – North Carolina State University, for expanding leaf tissue nutritional standards in bedding plants $12,000 – University of Florida, to illuminate Lilium floral fragrance $11,842 – Stephen F. Austin State University, for its herbaceous perennial species trial garden $10,000 – Iowa […]

Read More
Latest Stories
LuckyLotsAbelia_featured

August 18, 2015

Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase Will Spotlight 2016…

Featuring a spectrum of new market introductions, the 2015 Farwest Show, August 27-29 in Portland, Ore., will display 49 plants in the New Varieties Showcase, a mainstay favorite every year on the show floor. Seventeen companies from all corners of North America, the Netherlands and Canada have submitted material that covers the best and brightest of perennials, shrubs, conifers, shade and flowering trees and edibles being introduced for 2016. This year’s entries will display the prized characteristics that growers and retailers are seeking— new features, improved performance in production environments and landscape, compact sizes, enhanced disease resistance, performance in urban settings and drought tolerance. In particular for garden retail benefit, consumer appeal for this year’s showcase is excellent with choices for spectacular foliage, blooms, seasonal interest and overall wow factor. Check out the slideshow for a sampling of the new varieties. Plants are creatively displayed in retail fashion and well tagged with full descriptions, compliments of showcase […]

Read More
Cayman

August 17, 2015

21 New Blooming Potted Plants For Trouble-Free Greenhou…

Blooming potted plants brighten up almost any occasion. With new colors and an abundance of blooms, these 21 new introductions add a unique, finishing touch to even the most diversified crop mix. Here are 21 new varieties available in 2015 that will hit retail in 2016.

Read More

August 4, 2015

New 2015 California Spring Trial Edibles For The Patio …

If you are looking to capitalize on the foodie trend and spread your risk beyond Spring sales, new vegetables showcased at 2015 California Spring Trials offer plenty of opportunities to focus on unique, flavorful vegetables and edible plants that also hold ornamental value. Here are a few of new varieties Editor Laura Drotleff and Group Editor Carol Miller discovered at Spring Trials that will help diversify your crop mix.

Read More
llan Armitage Syngenta Starcluster

July 30, 2015

Allan Armitage: Let’s Talk About Starflowers. Why Is Pe…

It is good to talk about production techniques, performance results and then to see how our friends garden. Diversity of plant material has always been a strength in American garden centers, and we should never run out of plants to get people excited. However, perhaps people are tired of Petunias or Callas or Geraniums, but we will never run out of options to put in front of them. One plant that is often overlooked is Pentas, a fabulous summer crop for late spring sales. These are heat-tolerant plants, and growing them below 65°F in the greenhouse results in significant delay. Fertility should be at least 150ppm nitrogen, but avoid ammonia in the fertilizer. Plants are best grown at a somewhat higher pH than usual, between 6.4 to 6.8. For best presentation, pinch out the center bud. Side flowers will bloom together, and plants will walk off the shelf. Garden centers […]

Read More
Bunching onion warrior

July 27, 2015

All-America Selections Introduces First AAS Winners For…

All-America Selections announced another group of edible AAS Winners for home gardeners, gourmet gardeners, farm-to-table growers, market growers and anyone interested in a unique, delicious addition to their vegetable assortment. These three winners are the first for the 2016 Garden Season. Additional winners will be announced this fall and winter as the 2015 trials conclude and the breeders meet specified criteria. The first group of AAS Winners for 2016 includes: Bunching Onion ‘Warrior’ (Regional Winner) Mizuna ‘Red Kingdom’ F1 (National Winner) Radish ‘Sweet Baby’ F1 (Regional Winner) All-America Selections has had bulb onions as award winners in the past, but ‘Warrior’ is the first bunching (or green) onion. Similarly, there have been green mustard AAS Winners, but never a red Mizuna (or Japanese Mustard). ‘Sweet Baby’ radish joins nine other radishes that are previous AAS Winners adding a violet colored beauty to an assortment of radishes that range from white […]

Read More
Coleus-Campfire-BallFloraPlant

July 21, 2015

Costa Farms Trial Garden Update: 2015 Late-Season Top-P…

The Costa Farms team announced its late-season top performers in the 2015 Season Premier Trial Garden in Miami, Fla. Its research and development team has been working to grow and evaluate hundreds of varieties and have published their findings here. The plants you’ll find in the link have thrived in Miami’s late-spring conditions. Every spring, the research and development team trials 500 varieties of annuals, perennials and tropical plants from plant breeders around the world. All of the varieties were tested in the 2-acre trial garden. Varieties are assessed for abundance of bloom, crop uniformity and overall performance, which includes factors such as clean foliage, little to no pest damage and the plants’ overall habits and appearances. About 70 varieties scored as top performers during the evaluation period, which lasted from week five to week 19. Transplanting into the trial garden occurred at week 51, and plants were grown in 6-inch pots to finished […]

Read More
Cornell_annual-bed

July 20, 2015

Cornell Floriculture Field Day To Take Place August 11

Cornell’s Floriculture Field Day will be Tuesday August 11 at the Cornell campus in Ithaca, N.Y. An alumni event will be held the evening prior. More information and online registration for both events is available online. Here is some of what will be happening during Cornell’s Floriculture Field Day: 1. New Cornell Alumni and Friends reception. Come to Ithaca, N.Y an evening early for the 2015 alumni and friends event at the Cornell Plantations visitor center. The event, which will be Aug. 10, 5:30-7 p.m., will feature appetizers, New York wine and jazz. It will take place at the Nevin Welcome Center. 2. Armitage and Konjoian kick off the morning program. During the morning program at the Cornell Veterinary School, Allan Armitage, professor emeritus, University of Georgia, will talk about some of his favorite annuals, perennials and veggies for the landscape. Peter Konjoian, of Konjoian’s Floriculture Education Services, will inspire you to […]

Read More
Dragon’s-Breath-Celosia_featured

July 15, 2015

Greenhouse Grower Honors 2015 Medal Of Excellence Breed…

Greenhouse Grower announced its Medal of Excellence winners at the Evening of Excellence, held Monday, July 13 at Cultivate’15  in Columbus, Ohio. The Readers’ Choice Award was presented to Terra Nova Nurseries for Leucanthemum ‘Luna,’ the Industry’s Choice Award went to Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ from Sakata Seed and the Editor’s Choice Award was given to Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ from EuroAmerican Propagators Read on to learn more about the varieties that were finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice, Industry’s Choice and Readers’ Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ […]

Read More
Pleasant View Gardens Open House

July 8, 2015

This Summer’s Can’t Miss Tours And Events

July and August are packed with events, from greenhouse tours and seminars, to the new Summer Vegetable Trials in California. Check out the list of events for dates and times, as well as information on how to plan your visit. Bailey Nurseries Bailey Nurseries will hold its Minnesota Expo 2015, a jam-packed event showcasing its farm and plants, on July 30, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in St. Paul, Minn. In addition to farm tours, participants can enjoy new varieties, hot picks and merchandising displays, as well as attend various seminars throughout the day. A continental breakfast and lunch will be served during the event. Visit the Bailey Nurseries website for the complete schedule and to register online, or contact Sue Gundersen at sue.gundersen@baileynursery.com or 651-768-3372 for more information. Ball Seed Field Day & Landscape Day Ball Seed’s Field Day & Landscape Day will take place July 31, at 8 a.m. in West […]

Read More

July 8, 2015

The Kientzler Group Is Honored For Industry Achievement

Kientzler is one of the world’s most prolific and innovative breeding powerhouses. It has built on its rich history by providing new and exciting genetics to the floriculture industry, with the creation of the market for New Guinea Impatiens with its Paradise and Pure Beauty series, as well as bringing Scaevola, Bracteantha, Sutera and other plant genetics to the marketplace, introduced in the U.S. through the Proven Winners network. Through its Innovaplant facilities in Costa Rica, Kientzler has also become well-known for establishing high standards for quality and cleanliness, and providing a dependable supply of young plants to growers in the U.S. for more than 20 years. With the company’s new business direction starting this past winter, providing its own genetics directly to the U.S. market, 2015 is a great year to honor Kientzler’s past accomplishments and celebrate its new horizons.     Building On A Legacy Of Greatness Kientzler […]

Read More
Medal of Excellence Award

July 6, 2015

Get To Know The 9 Variety Finalists For Editor’s …

Greenhouse Grower‘s Evening Of Excellence reception is rapidly approaching. Here, you can learn more about the varieties that are finalists for the Medal Of Excellence Editor’s Choice and Industry’s Choice Breeding Awards. Thank you to the 2015 sponsors of Greenhouse Grower‘s Medal Of Excellence Awards, Landmark Plastic, Nufarm and Stockosorb. Editor’s Choice Asclepias ‘Monarch Promise’ (Hort Couture) Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Salvia Grandstand Series (Green Fuse Botanicals) Scabiosa ‘Kudos Pink’ (Hishtil Nurseries) Industry’s Choice Basil ‘Balsamic Blooms’ (EuroAmerican Propagators) Bidens BeeDance Series (Suntory Flowers) Celosia ‘Dragon’s Breath’ (Sakata Seed) Dianthus Jolt Series (PanAmerican Seed) Lobelia ‘Starship Deep Rose’ (Kieft Seed) Vinca Valiant Series (PanAmerican Seed)     Join us Monday, July 13 in Ballroom 2 at the Columbus Convention Center to find out which varieties will receive the coveted awards. The reception begins at 5:15 p.m. and the ceremony […]

Read More

June 24, 2015

Perennial Container Combos And New Intros Shine At 2015…

Despite a rainy start to the day, more than 300 perennial enthusiasts showed up at 2015 Darwin Perennials Day to see the latest perennial introductions first-hand and connect with some of the best suppliers in the business.

Read More
2015 Readers' Choice

June 24, 2015

The 2015 Readers’ Choice Finalists Up Close And P…

You’ve narrowed the Readers’ Choice Finalists down to top picks in the Annuals, Perennials and Best of the Rest categories. Now it’s time to pick the overall winner. Here’s a closer look at the three finalists to help you make your choice. Then join us during Cultivate'15 at Greenhouse Grower's prestigious Medal of Excellence reception on Monday, July 13, where we will reveal the winner.

Read More
WavePetunias-GrowIt_contest_featured

June 18, 2015

Wave Petunias Sponsors Photo Contest Through GrowIt! Ga…

The gardening season is heating up and the Wave Petunias Team wants to see the #WildestWave. The popular plant brand has joined forces with the GrowIt! Garden Socially app to host a two week contest in June that encourages Wave Fans to share and rate photos of their favorite Wave Petunias. The grand prize is a $100 gift card to the garden center of the winner’s choosing. “We are excited to work with GrowIt! and see our Wave Petunias tagged in cities from coast to coast,” says Claire Watson, brand manager for Wave. “Seeing gardeners’ creative photography, awarding a winner, and learning what each region likes about Wave Petunias will be extremely useful as we further promote our ‘Wow ’em With Wave’ ad campaign this season.” Gardeners can place an entry into the contest by downloading GrowIt!, filling out a profile, and uploading photos of Wave Petunias. Placing the tag #WildestWave in the photo’s comments section […]

Read More
Kaleidoscope Abelia (Plant Haven International)

June 17, 2015

PlantHaven International Launches National Campaign To …

PlantHaven International has partnered with BlueSkye Creative to initiate a national consumer ad campaign that carries across radio, video, print and social media to increase sales of Abelia Kaleidoscope.

Read More

June 17, 2015

Green Leaf Plants Plans Two Open House Events June 25-2…

Green Leaf Plants will hold two open house events this summer to give the public a chance to view trial gardens, take guided tours and learn about new varieties and programs. Both events will be held at Green Leaf Plant's facility in Lancaster, Pa. The event in July will coincide with Penn State University Extension Trials in nearby Manheim.

Read More
Suntory_EuroAmerican Propagators_CAST2015

June 17, 2015

ePlantSource Welcomes EuroAmerican to list of Partners

ePlantSource recently announced a new partnership with EuroAmerican. A complete assortment from EuroAmerican is now available on ePlantSource.com and varieties are available for sale now to customers for the 2015-2016 season. In addition to the innovative varieties included in EuroAmerican’s “Growing Opportunities — 365 Days a Year” program, Savvy Succulents, the Sunny Collection, the Senetti Collection and offerings from breeders such as Suntory and Ball Ornamentals, ePlantSource customers will also gain access to the well known Proven Winners assortment and combination containers. “During the recent California Spring Trials, I had the opportunity to sit down with John Rader at the impressive display in Ventura from EuroAmerican and I couldn’t be happier to now offer the complete EuroAmerican assortment to our customers,” says Gary Falkenstein, president/CEO of ePlantSource. “EuroAmerican is a visionary company and we are proud that they have chosen to work with ePlantSource for the coming seasons.” Catalog listings, […]

Read More
Pleasant View Gardens Open House

June 14, 2015

Pleasant View Gardens And D.S. Cole Growers Open House …

D.S. Cole Growers and Pleasant View Gardens, both a short distance away from each other in Loudon, N.H., have set July 30 as the date for their open house events. Attendance is free, but registration is required.

Read More