Garden Center Executive Summit kicks off

Garden Center Executive Summit kicks off

The inaugural educational conference for key decision-makers will begin with an opening keynote on hiring and company culture, as well as a networking reception.

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February 15, 2019

More than 100 people from the independent garden center industry are gathering on Monday, Feb. 18 for the first-ever Garden Center Executive Summit, an educational conference created in collaboration with industry leaders for key decision-makers in Denver, Colo. 

The Garden Center Executive Summit will also provide an opportunity for attendees to gather and network at several events during the conference, including an opening reception Feb. 18 and an awards celebration for the 2018 Top 100 Independent Garden Centers that will take place Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Stay tuned to our website, newsletter and social media pages for Garden Center Executive Summit updates. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and search for the hashtag #GCES19 for the latest from the conference.

The education track will kick off with a keynote from Chris Taylor, CEO, president and co-owner of Fisher’s Technology, who will give attendees an inside look at the culture at his company and how he cultivates successful employees. In part one of his keynote, he will detail the fundamentals of hiring for success, such as continuous recruitment, three must-have characteristics for every hire and onboarding new employees.

In part two of his session, he will discuss building and reinforcing culture, the difference between a smart organization and a healthy one, and the importance of constructive conflict, among other topics.

During Taylor’s 12 years at the helm, the 82-year-old Fisher’s quadrupled in size and received numerous awards including Idaho’s Best Places to work the last ten years straight and Inc. 5000 fastest growing U.S. companies for four years.

Tuesday, attendees will hear from speakers including Ian Baldwin, veteran retail consultant who will explain the 5 most important metrics successful garden centers track; Mark Graban, who will discuss how to incorporate lean business practices at garden centers; Susan Bachman West, president of Bachman’s who along with Mark Bigej, chief of operations of Al’s Garden & Home, will talk about improving the employee experience; Jessie Jacobson, president and owner of Tonkadale Greenhouse, who will share her experience developing a mission, vision and core values and what she learend; Mick Mulhall and Sarah Vanek of Mulhall’s who will share strategies to bridge the generational customer communication gap; and Rob Sproule, co-owner of Salisbury Greenhouse, who will explain how to find the right digital marketing strategies for your business.

Julie Kouhia, CEO of Molbak’s Garden + Home, will kick off the sessions on Wednesday with a keynote address on how garden centers can remain relevant in a rapidly evolving retail environment; Richard Christakes, CEO of Alsip Home & Nursery, will share his company’s efforts to let customers shop how they want to shop by offering e-commerce and in-store delivery; Jennifer Schamber of Greenscape Gardens and Lindsay Squires Chrisp of Tagawa Gardens, will discuss fostering community at your garden center; and Amy Andrle, co-founder of L’Eagle Services, will discuss lessons garden centers can learn from the cannabis industry.

Stay tuned for highlights from the Garden Center Executive Summit.