Garden center educational conference will help industry ‘navigate uncharted waters’

Garden center educational conference will help industry ‘navigate uncharted waters’

The Garden Center Executive Summit features sessions on hiring, company culture, marketing, lean management and more presented by knowledgeable industry leaders and outside experts.

January 24, 2019
Press Release

Excitement is building for the inaugural Garden Center Executive Summit, the educational conference for key-decision makers of independent garden centers, which will kick off Feb. 18 in Denver, Colo.

“The Garden Center Executive Summit is for the leaders who want to navigate their business, and our industry, into tomorrow’s uncharted waters,” says Rob Sproule, co-owner of Salisbury Greenhouse, No. 56 on Garden Center magazine’s 2018 Top 100 list.

Sproule is one of seven conference board members who helped shape the educational program for the summit and will be speaking at the event, which features sessions and panels from independent garden center leaders who will share ideas for best business practices and how they have managed industry-wide challenges like hiring, marketing, ecommerce and more.

View the schedule, speaker and registration pages for more information.

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

“The discussion and speaker topics for this event are exactly the subjects that owners and upper management in our industry need to stay up-to-date and relevant,” says Richard Christakes, CEO of Alsip Home & Nursery, No. 16 on Garden Center magazine’s Top 100 list, who will speak about his experience with online retailing at the event.

Julie Kouhia, CEO of Molbak’s Garden & Home, No. 19 on Garden Center magazine’s Top 100 list and one of three keynote speakers, will discuss how Molbak’s, and the overall industry, can stay relevant in a quickly evolving retail world. She’ll address essential questions like, “How do garden centers continue to be exceptional employers, provide inspirational customer experience and compete with retailers in other industries vying for consumers’ time, interest and disposable income?”

Chris Taylor, CEO of Fisher’s Technology in Boise, Idaho will provide actionable ideas for hiring for success and building a strong, healthy company culture in his keynote on Monday, Feb. 18. Taylor will explain what he has done during the past decade-plus to attract and hire driven people, build and maintain a culture that focuses on staff longevity and success and how Fisher’s developed and executed a strategy to continue to support its employees. 

Mark Graban, an expert in lean management strategies, will explain how garden center owners can incorporate lean business practices to improve customer experience, employee efficiencies and more during his keynote on Feb. 19.

The conference registration includes two evening networking receptions, breakfast and a lunch gathering.

“[The Garden Center Executive Summit] is such a welcome opportunity to stop, to free ourselves of our daily routines, and to get to know other people as passionate as we are about making our community more beautiful,” says Mick Mulhall, president of Mulhall’s and conference advisory board member.

The Garden Center Executive Summit will take place Feb. 18-20, 2019 at the Denver Hyatt, and is supported by a group of sponsors dedicated to the success of independent retailers. To learn more, visit our website