AmericanHort launches event to engage and retain young professionals

AmericanHort launches event to engage and retain young professionals

CareerUP will be a day-long workshop and inspiration series at Cultivate'17.

March 10, 2017
Press Release
Association News Grower News Industry News Retail News

The AmericanHort GenNext community is excited to reveal the first event of its kind, according to a press release. CareerUP, a Cultivate’17 experience, is a day-long workshop and inspiration series that provides the industry’s young and emerging professionals the skills, information and inspiration they need to advance their careers, love their jobs and help the industry grow.

“A growing concern in our industry is the serious need to develop young, skilled professionals who will continue to move the industry forward," said Ken Fisher, AmericanHort president and CEO. "This generational transfer is reaching a critical point, and AmericanHort is working to address the issues. CareerUP is just the starting point for helping young professionals achieve the skills necessary for healthy careers while developing skills to support business growth and industry sustainability.”

Nancy Fisher, Ohio State University professor and communications expert, will lead the “High Stakes Communication” workshop where attendees will focus on building credibility and confidence to handle any high-stakes situation. From sales calls to conflict resolution, participants will practice simple yet effective strategies for achieving win-win situations.

The inspiration series will highlight four stories from horticulture trailblazers who have faced challenges common to young professionals and gone on to build a career they love:

  • Bridget Behe, PhD, professor at Michigan State University
  • Kelly Norris, director of Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • Steve Black, owner of Raemelton Farm and Nursery Management Magazine Grower of the Year 2017
  • Tyler Baras, farm manager at Dallas Grown; special projects manager at Hort Americas; video contributor to Urban Ag News; and owner of Farmer Tyler LLC

"Young professionals are the lifeline of the industry, and our success determines the future of horticulture," said Stephanie Whitehouse, GenNext community coordinator and general retail manager at Dickman Farms. "One of the biggest struggles we’ve heard from our peers is the desperate need for communication strategies, which is why we’ve centered this first CareerUP event around that. Strong communication abilities are the foundation that every successful career needs, so we’re excited to provide our peers this opportunity.”

CareerUP was developed by the ambitious and diverse group of Gen X and Millennial professionals who comprise the AmericanHort GenNext Community, along with passionate professionals involved with the industry Facebook group Emergent.

Participants can register for CareerUP when they register for Cultivate’17 at To learn more about CareerUP, visit