The 2016 IGC Show Chicago kicked off at Navy Pier on Aug. 16, and Jeff and Cheryl Morey celebrated their trade show’s 10th anniversary. In addition to keynotes, educational sessions and entertainment, about 500 exhibitors showcased their plants and products. We rounded up some of the products that caught our eye during the show.
Calcium (Ca) is an important element for plant growth, and plays a critical role in the plant cell and in cell membranes. It is considered to be a secondary macronutrient. Calcium is important for its various structural roles in plant growth and increasing cell wall strength. It is also involved with cell elongation, as well as cell division. Cell wall thickness and strength are increased with increased Ca levels.
Calcium is also an element that influences cell pH and acts as a regulatory ion in carbohydrate translocation. It has been shown to increase a plant’s resistance to disease, salinity tolerance and drought protection.
If calcium is deficient in the media, there will be cell wall stability problems. Calcium levels will vary by species and even cultivars in greenhouse crops, but typically are between 0.5 to 3 percent dry-weight of shoots in most plants.
A look at growing media
Typically, most growing media contain calcitic and dolomitic limestone, and frequently gypsum (CaSO4). In most cases, these media-incorporated materials will provide sufficient calcium for the crop cycle. Calcium from limestone is typically about 70 percent Ca. Gypsum will dissociate in the soil solution into Ca2+, and SO4 -. The rate of gypsum dissolving into the media solution will depend on particle size of the gypsum, with small particles dissolving more rapidly than large particles. The calcium (Ca2+) will become attached to the surfaces of media particles after incorporation and blending, and is held on the media particles by the negative electrical charge on those particle surfaces. As plant roots give off H+ ions to the media, calcium and other cation species are exchanged from the media particle to the soil solution, and subsequently to the root surfaces.
Unlike some of the other ionic species taken into the plant, calcium is taken up with the transpirational stream when the plant is experiencing a high transpirational rate. Plants that are not transpiring at a high rate will not be taking up large amounts of Ca. Once Ca2+ is in the plant, it will be translocated upward through the xylem and becomes a constituent of the plant cell wall tissue, or is deposited in the cell vacuoles.
Symptoms of low calcium levels
The plant’s calcium level depends on the growing media calcium supply. Deficiency symptoms include roots browning, short, stubby axillary roots, and shoot injury showing necrotic (brown) areas, distortion and stunting.
Plants with calcium deficiencies are smaller than normal, with dark green lower foliage, as well as flower bud abortion or reduced flower size. If a plant has damaged root tips, the deficiency symptoms can occur even if the media calcium level is adequate, as the plant’s root tips take up this element. Blossom end rot (a well-known Ca deficiency symptom) on tomato es and tip burn of lettuce are a result of low Ca and possible moisture stress.
Adjusting Ca in growing media
As peat moss is typically at a pH of 3 to 5, limestone can be incorporated to raise the pH. If the media contains coir, the starting pH of the media will be higher than one based predominantly on peat. Coir usually is at a pH of 5.5 to 6 and, after blending, would require less limestone to adjust the media pH level.
If the water source used for irrigation contains high levels of calcium, it would then be advisable to use fertilizer with low or no calcium, such as a 20-10-20 formula. Target ratios for fertilizing should be potassium (K) to Ca to magnesium (Mg) 4:2:1.
Coir typically contains more potassium and magnesium than peat, but equal or less Ca. K+, sodium (NA+), NH4+, and Mg2+ can be antagonists in Ca2+ uptake, so it is important to keep these elements at appropriate levels. Therefore, if the level of an antagonist such as K+ is too high in the media solution, Ca+ may not be taken up at the appropriate rate.
Calcium nitrate (CaNO3) or potassium nitrate (KNO3) combinations can be used in a fertility program to reduce micronutrient toxicity caused by using the peat-lite fertilizers (such as 15-16-17, 20-10-20), as these peat-lite formulas have higher levels of micronutrients than some others, and an abundance of nitrate (NO3-) in their formulas. These peat lite formulas can raise iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) to toxic levels in low pH conditions, so careful monitoring of media pH is critical.
Nutritional best practices
It is advisable to check pH and EC on a regular basis, and with bedding plants, this should be done weekly. A useful tool is the pH/EC combination meter, and there are a number of options available. The pH electrode often has a limited lifespan, so growers should get a tool that has a replaceable pH electrode. If the unit is properly cared for, including using an electrode storage solution, the maximum life of the instrument will be obtained. The cost of a replacement electrode is much lower than replacing the pH meter, and the lifespan of the pH electrode should be from two to many years with proper care.
Plant tissue testing and media tests are tools that should also be regularly utilized by growers. Crops that have a short growing cycle may only need a tissue test one time, but plants that are growing on a longer cycle may need to be tested several times during the growth period. Many lab options are available to a grower, but choosing a lab is not a random decision. Select your lab based on their quality of testing and service. Stick with the same lab for tissue and media tests, as labs differ in their testing procedures. Switching between labs can only create confusion as to the results of the tests.
Managing calcium in your production situation is not only important for optimum plant growth, but to yield a greater understanding of the nutritional management of the crop as well. Many growers keep very good records and routinely test media and plant tissue for nutrient status. Good record keeping of the testing results and environmental conditions the plants were grown under will provide the best information for future crops.
Sinclair is an extension educator at Penn State University specializing in floriculture, propagation, breeding and nutrition.
Unhappy employees are costly. Poor morale can destroy teams, erode profit and ultimately destroy your business. Managing employees is already a tough job; managing their morale can be one of the toughest challenges you face as an owner, CEO or middle-manager.
From the top down
Company culture may be built from within, but it typically starts at the top. Know your limitations as an owner or manager; self-evaluation is key when it comes to running a successful business. You have to be honest with yourself about your skills and strengths. Just because you own the business, or are the CEO, it doesn’t mean you’re automatically good at managing or relating to your employees. According to Entrepreneur magazine, CEOs tend to rank at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to “emotional intelligence,” or EQ as it’s referred to in high-stakes business coaching circles. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to identify, assess and influence one’s own feelings and those of others, according to BusinessDictionary.com.
Disruptors, big-idea people and profit drivers don’t always make the best managers. If you fall into one of these categories, then you may be better off hiring direct managers who focus less on big ideas and more on relating to people. Consider splitting existing roles that require top-level managers to focus on both big-picture development and day-to-day staff management.
Warm and fuzzy?
Most businesses are rooted in a drive for profits. But if that’s the only foundation of your company culture, morale can suffer. And, if you fall into one of those personality categories I just mentioned, you may not take the most delicate approach to your work; creating a warm and fuzzy work culture may be tough for you. Regardless, you need to figure out how to anchor your company culture with respect and relatability if you want to boost productivity and morale. Again, right person, right job.
Passion over profit
It’s a given that if you expect to have a talented and qualified staff, you’re going to have to pay for them. However, handing out higher salaries is something we struggle with in the green industry. Like singer Cyndi Lauper says, “Money changes everything.” Yet, it seems not everyone in our industry is totally comfortable with this philosophy. Ironically, while the biggest complaints I hear from those working in the green industry are low-pay woes, “more money” is rarely, if ever, offered when you ask the same people for solutions to low employee morale.
What is this disconnect about? Ultimately, the kind of people who tend to be passionate about plants also tend to be the kind of people that don’t directly equate money with happiness. In an unfortunate twist of fate, it’s this very “passion over profit” mentality that can contribute to keeping industry members from earning what they’re worth and what they want. That goes for green industry business owners and employees alike. When it comes to value, one rarely gets what they don’t demand or ask for.
So, your employees tend to not put wages over happiness and you can’t (or won’t) pay big wages: Are you seeing the big opportunity here? Considering what unhappy employees can cost you and your business, imagine what could happen instead if you got creative with how you invest in them.
When you interview employees, you’ll find that what they really want in order to be happy and fulfilled in their job isn’t necessarily a big paycheck; it’s to matter. A path to growth, respect, responsibility, travel opportunities, team outings and a voice in the day-to-day operations carry much more weight with your staff than you might think. Having a boss that offers a simple “thank you” now and then is equally important.
Listen and get vocal
Employees want to hear from you and be heard themselves. Publicly acknowledging staff for their achievements goes a long way to building personal and team pride. Listening to your employees and giving them a voice in the business also has powerful value.
Internal company marketing, such as newsletters that call out specific employee achievements and solicit employee ideas and suggestions, help maintain positive team vibes. Annie Stuart, marketing specialist at Weston Nurseries in Hopkinton, Mass., advocates employee participation in public company marketing efforts as well. “We have a blog and a weekly newsletter at Weston,” she says. “And I give any staff member that contributes photos or an article a $10 gift certificate.”
Cash isn’t always king
Beyond a fair salary, cash bonuses and incentives may not always take morale to the next level. While some employees will work for and appreciate extra cash bonus incentives, others may feel they’ve already “earned” the extra cash, and so the positive effect it has on their morale may be limited. Company-sponsored lunches, bonus work-at-home days, bonus vacation days, gift certificates for spa or golf outings and the like can make employees feel more personally appreciated than a straight cash offering. Often, these incentives can cost you less than a cash bonus or pay raise, but ultimately pay you better dividends when it comes to morale.
Build a network
Resoundingly, “more professional networking” is one of the responses provided most often to the question, “What’s the one thing your employer could do to improve employee morale?” If you want your staff to behave like professionals in the industry, treating them as such has to start with you. One powerful employee benefit or incentive that seems to have fallen off the bargaining table over the past 10 years is that of professional memberships and travel to industry conferences. Yet, industry networking in a new environment is often what most rejuvenates an employee’s productivity and creative juices.
When I asked green industry communicator Brie Arthur for her thoughts on employee morale, she agreed about the power of networking. Her advice? “Offer professional memberships [and travel to corresponding meetings] as an employment benefit,” she says. “Networking opportunities and general ‘meetings of the minds’ encourage employees to get out of a rut, see the world in a broader perspective and gain inspiration from others in the green industry.” Arthur also notes that by sending your staff to industry meetings, you’ll also benefit from the collateral marketing outreach their presence as an ambassador offers your company.
Weston Nurseries has combined on-site lunches and breakfasts with vendor networking opportunities. “Our garden center does a big pre-season bru-ha-ha where we invite 20-plus vendors and all the staff to meet and greet and get product training,” Stuart says. “There is free lunch and breakfast, and the vendors bring fun product swag like T-shirts and tools.” If you truly can’t find a way to make staff travel a possibility, then consider looking for ways to bring the networking to them.
My bet is that green industry employees may be more fulfilled with their job and a salary that’s a bit below what they’d hoped for, if their benefits package included a trip to one key out-of-town industry event each year with a corresponding membership. The investment you make for that employee to attend relevant events equates to professional training and education, and will pay your company dividends that far outweigh the cost of the trip. This type of in-kind benefit is also more affordable for you than a higher base pay or meaningful cash bonuses. Inclusion is a powerful tool.
Path to growth
Most people are geared to plan for the future, and most don’t want to get “stuck” in a job. When you put a lot of strategy and effort into hiring smart and capable people, you should strive to have their growth in mind when you hire them. If you don’t, then you’re probably going to lose them in a few years once they’ve “hit a wall.” In fact, most high achievers will prioritize a path to growth right alongside, if not before, pay grade. When employees have a job figured out, get bored, and then can’t see a way for them to grow within your company or take on new challenges, their morale and productivity can tank.
When you make a hire, think about what type of promotion or new position the hire would be suitable for in a few years. By doing so, you’ll help keep your staff pipeline moving so your company can grow and thrive, and you can continue to create new opportunities for existing staff. Can’t offer your valued employee a pay raise just yet? Often, providing new responsibilities and challenges that help them grow their professional skill set is often a worthy trade that can reset attitudes.
Cull the herd
Sometimes saving morale isn’t about who you bring onto the team, but rather in who you take off the team. Banishing bad attitudes is a must. Like the old saying goes, one bad apple is all it takes to spoil the bunch. Negativity is contagious, and one “Negative Nancy” can enact a lot of sabotage if allowed to run free. Even if this person is a hard worker, if their negativity brings other employees down or influences them into poor job performance, then they negate their value.
Ultimately, when someone is unhappy in their job, it’s their responsibility to make a change for the betterment of their own life. However, that type of self-selection out of the business doesn’t happen as often as it should. As the owner or manager, you’re probably going to have to take the situation into your own hands and counsel them off of your team.
If you want your employees to take more ownership in regard to their morale and professional growth, be sure that you’ve created opportunities for them to do so with tools and a visible path to progress and positivity.
Leslie (CPH) owns Halleck Horticultural, LLC, through which she provides horticultural consulting, marketing strategy, digital content creation, branding design, advertising and social media support for green industry companies. lesliehalleck.com
You’re driving your car, minding your own business when suddenly your brakes begin to shimmy and squeak each time you stop. What do you do? Ignore the problem and hope that your brakes will magically repair themselves? Tell yourself your brakes need attention, but keep on driving, only to be repeatedly reminded the problem hasn’t gone away? Or, schedule an appointment and get things taken care of immediately?
As you might have guessed, I recently experienced car trouble. Each time I hit the brakes, my car told me something was wrong. While I ignored its pleas for a couple of weeks, I wasn’t willing to jeopardize my safety, so I bit the bullet and finally made the repairs. What a difference. Although it’s been several months, I still notice how delightfully smooth things are when I stop. My only question is, “Why didn’t I take care of it sooner?”
What is your natural tendency when problems arise? Do you nip bad behaviors in the bud? Or, do you put off tough conversations and avoid taking action until things reach a critical point? Do you bury your head in the sand?
Like cars in need of repair, problem employees provide warning signals. Are you tolerating a Late Lucy, Caustic Clay, Lying Lizzy, Defensive Dan, Lazy Lynette, Snippy Sal or Explosive Erin? If so, I encourage you to consider the impact their behavior has on you, the rest of your staff and on your customers. Make no mistake, bad behaviors impact bottom lines.
Here are five quick tips for taking care of business.
1. Tell yourself the truth. Anything that happens twice is a pattern. The question is no longer if, but when, it will happen again.
2. Understand employees engage in “trial behaviors.” You are constantly training people how to treat you and others by how you respond to what they do. Tolerance and silence imply acceptability.
3. Remember that others are watching and waiting to see what you will do. When you fail to address problems and bad behaviors, you send a loud, crystal clear message to everyone else. They will either know that the environment is unsafe and they must self-protect, or they will decide, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.” Unfortunately, both responses hamper productivity and profitability.
4. Refrain from making excuses and allowances for bad behavior. Telling yourself or others things like, “That’s just Sherene” or “Alex is going through a difficult time” is never helpful. Add, “But it’s not ok to engage in XYZ behavior” to the end of the sentence, and you are well on your way to resolving the problem.
5. See it, say it. The most effective formula for addressing problems is “A Bug and A Wish.” “It bugs me when [insert problem behavior,] and I wish you would [insert desired behavior.]” As a leader, instead of “bugs,” you’ll use more descriptive words like concerns or frustrates. You’ll also want to replace “I wish” (which is peer to peer and an option) with “I need,” which is a directive. For example, “It concerns and frustrates me when you don’t greet customers with a smile. I need for you to ensure they know they are welcome and wanted here.”
As you step up and speak, you will encounter resistance from your problem employees. Everyone else will thank you for leading with integrity. Drop me a line and let me know how it goes.
Sherene works with organizations that want to boost their Leadership IQ so they can enhance effectiveness, increase employee engagement and raise productivity. Learn more at sherenemchenry.com.
The industry continues to churn out new plants like clockwork, often before the nuances of last year’s introductions are completely understood. Even seasoned growers find themselves daunted by the sheer amount of new varieties.
If a dedicated plantsman has trouble staying on top of all the new genetics, imagine how intimidating it is for consumers. A plant neophyte who enters a garden center for the first time is likely to be overwhelmed by the choices.
We might be suffering from new plant fatigue, but consider where the industry might be without Knock Out roses, Endless Summer hydrangeas or the countless other smash hit introductions that pumped a shot of vitality into the market.
New genetics are the adrenaline of our industry, says Ed Overdevest, president of Overdevest Nurseries. Reducing consumer choice is not the way forward.
“We see the ever-increasing supply of new varieties as an opportunity — if processed properly,” he says.
Overdevest is part of a collaboration of growers, new plant introducers and retailers that is trying to solve this problem. The group, called Syn-RG, includes five wholesale nurseries: New Jersey’s Overdevest Nurseries, Connecticut’s Prides Corner Farms, Virginia’s Saunders Brothers, Ohio’s Willoway Nurseries and Ontario’s Sheridan Nurseries. These growers have one major factor in common: a dedication to the independent garden center.
The group was announced in January at the MANTS trade show. Its goal is to provide better choices to the consumer by improving the plant pipeline process. Not every new choice is a better choice. Retailers try to help consumers, but the fear of failure, especially among new gardeners, is a major impediment. And when a plant fails, the consumer feels that fear was justified. By filtering the myriad new varieties, “rush to market” failures can be avoided.
“By thoroughly trialing in all settings: production, landscape and retail, we expect to narrow the field of selections down to the truly outstanding,” Overdevest says. “That way, retailers, and ultimately consumers, can have confidence in the merit of these introductions.”
Handpicked for You
In 2014, the Syn-RG group commissioned Kip Creel’s StandPoint Marketing to survey consumers about their gardening concerns. What stood out loud and clear among all age groups was a desire for plants to be “tested to succeed in my area” and accessing those “grown specifically for my area.”
Similar to the way “trustmarks” such as the Good Housekeeping Seal of approval have provided helpful reassurance to consumers for decades, the wording for a new plant certification program clearly emerged from this research. The group consulted with its collaborators, and the “Handpicked for You” trustmark was born. It emphasizes the selective process, while reaching the consumer at the most local, personal level possible: “you.”
More than 1,400 logo designs were submitted, as part of an online crowdsourcing project. The top three were presented to a focus group of IGC owners at MANTS 2016.
This collaboration with IGCs is a vital part of the Syn-RG group’s DNA. The growers involved all understand the value of reinforcing IGCs as trusted plant experts.
“We’re competitors, but we realize how much we can benefit from working together because we are aligned with the same values and marketing strategies of making IGCs successful,” says Mark Sellew, president of Prides Corner Farms. “We want them to be involved in trialing as much as we are as growers, so we can foster a partnership with them, and also know that these plants aren’t going to run off to a box store.”
Independent garden centers have been unofficially involved in Syn-RG since its early days, as growers called upon a cross-section of their retail customers to weigh in on the StandPoint surveys, Overdevest says. Garden centers also provided input during focus group sessions, which ultimately helped shape the Handpicked for You program.
Syn-RG is still developing its network of independent garden centers that will sell Handpicked for You plants, he says.
“During the lead up to spring, each Syn-RG grower will be reaching out to interested garden center customers to be a part of our Handpicked for You certification network,” he says. “Actual ‘membership’ involves the original group of five Syn-RG growers. These companies are providing all the investment capital for the Handpicked for You program. Retail participation is open to all garden centers purchasing the regional brands offered by the member growers.”
The initial plant focus will be shrubs and perennials, but Overdevest says that it is likely that trees and annuals will be added as the program matures.
Sheridan Nurseries, which runs both robust growing and retail operations, is already gearing up for a soft launch at retail in 2017, says Rob Naraj, vice president of nursery sales for Sheridan Nurseries.
They are trialing 150 new plant varieties that are not available in the marketplace from several different breeders and propagators, Naraj says.
“I can tell you right now that there is a very large number that will be ripped out of the garden by spring of next year,” he says. “We already know that they’re not cutting the mustard.”
The plants aren’t fed fertilizer and only get watered about once a week to test their strength in conditions that a typical consumer would provide, Naraj says.
Overdevest says that in 2017, roughly 20 plants out of the initial varieties trialed will be introduced in a soft launch-like introduction of the Handpicked For You program.
“Based on all the interest, we expect [the number of plants] to increase substantially with each year,” Overdevest says.
As the initial stream of new selections gets narrowed down from a production and landscape perspective, IGCs provide valued input on appearance and performance. Those that ultimately get the thumbs up are certified as Handpicked for You and marketed through each participating grower’s regional brand and network of IGC customers.
Handpicked for You is not intended to be another brand. The founding growers believe there are already enough good national brands in the market.
The certification will be added as an overlay to the Syn-RG growers’ own regional brands — by virtue of an additional tag — and marketed only through IGCs. Although new genetics from national brands will be trialed on an early access basis at the grower level for better mutual evaluation purposes, the release of these new plants is not currently authorized to be part of the Handpicked for You certification, distribution and marketing process.
Naraj says the main goal throughout the trialing process is to test plants over a long period of time and within a variety of conditions and areas to pinpoint plants that will thrive locally. They are also still hammering out a marketing and advertising plan to figure out how to communicate to consumers that these plants have been thoroughly vetted by a group of growers and retailers.
The overall goal is simple for Naraj. He hopes Handpicked for You allows “the retailer to sell it in confidence, and, more importantly, the consumer to purchase it with confidence.”
Overdevest says he’s excited to collaborate with garden centers, and to “be able to partner with local garden centers in a way that respects their opinions and values their input — with the end result being a strengthened future for the independent channel.”
Trial by fire
The regional trials are a key part of the process. Throughout 2016, the first year of access to promising new varieties, Syn-RG growers have collected data on production capability and landscape performance in their specific climatic region. During 2017, which will be year two of the process, the growers and their IGC partners will trial for hardiness, drought-tolerance, production performance, landscape value, disease and insect resistance, invasive tendencies and duration of interest. Retailers can use these samples for planting in their own trial areas or as displays in their sales yard to gather consumer reactions. If a variety receives a consensus positive opinion, the Handpicked for You certification will be awarded, and initial production will be targeted for sale at partnering IGCs during the third year, 2018.
Some new varieties will emerge from “Year 2” trialing for certification in 2017. But there is a strong possibility that consumers might see the Handpicked for You logo as soon as this spring on select varieties.
“Interestingly, we have been encouraged by IGCs in the meantime to extend this certification to existing outstanding performers that have already proven themselves in the market,” Overdevest says. “We have this under serious consideration for this coming spring.”
Certain plants may receive the Handpicked for You certification in some states, but not others. For instance, while a crape myrtle may meet the standards in Virginia, it might not in Connecticut. The respective region will be reflected on the tag.
“That’s the magic of our regional network,” Sellew says. “Each of us will have a different mix. We have Ohio, New Jersey, Virginia, Ontario and Connecticut. We all made a promise that we were going to trial these not just in the container but in the garden to ensure it doesn’t just have good container performance, but also good garden performance.”
Earlier access to plant material is another lynchpin to the process. For that, the Syn-RG growers needed to get the new plant producers on board. Luckily, that was an easy sell.
“We have a group of similarly minded growers who share the same goals as independent retailers and new plant introducers,” Overdevest says. “This common philosophy sets the stage for a supply chain process that respects independent perogative while providing a framework for success at each level. Specifically, this means new plant introducers have enough faith in the integrity of our group to allow us access to new genetics so we can conduct early trialing without slowing down the march to market.”
The plant pipeline
The Syn-RG group is currently trialing several significant new selections. Among the highlights include boxwood selections from Saunders Brothers nursery. As one of the top boxwood producers in the U.S., they have been very actively studying new selections for blight resistance. Trialing of these varieties has been extended to the rest of the Syn-RG growers — with retailer input being sought in the coming years.
Tom Saunders, container nursery manager at Saunders Brothers, used Kelly Ivors’ research into boxwood blight as a starting point. Ivors, currently of Cal Poly’s Horticulture & Crop Science department, was previously at North Carolina State University, where she researched which varieties are more susceptible to boxwood blight and which are more resistant. That, along with his own research into leaf miner resistance, helps him determine what to grow long term.
“Our goal is to release a couple varieties that are less prone to boxwood blight and not as susceptible to leaf miner injury, as well,” Saunders says.
Outside of boxwood blight, Saunders says leaf miners are the second-biggest threat to boxwood, because of how they change the aesthetic appeal of the plant.
Syn-RG also will be the exclusive marketing entity for a collection of virtually sterile barberries developed at the University of Connecticut by Mark Brand. Many current varieties of Berberis are on the hit list in several states because of their invasive nature. This collection represents the only barberries currently allowed to be sold in “barberry banning” states like New York. Licensed propagation began in 2015. Grower trialing took place throughout 2016, and retailer samples will be available for testing in 2017. Handpicked for You certification for the barberry will be evaluated at the end of 2017 — with retail sales commencing in 2018.
There is also a series of five reblooming daylily varieties, and a Bambini series dwarf Phlox paniculata in the program. Both are existing performers and potential “fast-track” candidates for a 2017 certification.
Overdevest says the group eventually intends to add more growers to the program, and has already had several inquiries.
“Right now, we are comfortable knowing that our five charter members give us the scale to launch this successfully, yet remain nimble enough to make good decisions quickly during this formative stage,” he says.
The group is optimistic about the collaboration, and its faith in the capability of its partners and its new executive director, Emily Bibens Chung. The vice president of Woody Bibens & Associates joined the Syn-RG venture in late August.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” Sellew says. “All our businesses have been successful because of our consistency and perseverance. I’m excited to be in this group because we’re not looking for a home run today. We’re looking for sustainability and success over a long period of time.”
Matt is managing editor of Nursery Management, a sister publication. Editor Michelle Simakis contributed to this article.