Ronald Valentin has been named director of technical business at BioWorks, home to the RootShield, BotaniGard, BotryStop, CEASE, Molt-X, MilStop, NemaShield, PreFence and SuffOil-X brands of biopesticides and Verdanta and ON-Gard brands of biofertilizers. In his new position, Valentin will be increasing BioWorks ability to deliver personalized programs and support to BioWorks customers in North America.
Valentin has over 20 years of sales and support experience in biological control, working closely with growers to set up sustainable and effective pest management programs. He previously held positions at Bioline AgroSciences, Biobest, Foliera and Koppert. With experience training and managing technical support teams in Europe, Canada and the United States, Valentin has become a recognized knowledge leader among growers and a sought after writer and speaker.
"Ronald is an exciting addition to the BioWorks team," said Bill Foster, CEO of BioWorks. "His experience and customer focus will make significant contributions to our ability to serve customers."
Valentin can be reached at (289) 213-6787 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Columbus, Ohio – The 2019 AmericanHort HortScholars program is now accepting applications through March 1, 2019, from students in horticulture-related degree programs of any degree level. Students wishing to apply may do so online at AmericanHort.org/Scholars.
HortScholars is a seven-day program that sets students in horticulture on a path to success by exposing them to the breadth of the horticulture industry, its opportunities, and its leaders at the industry’s leading trade show – Cultivate. The program offers a beyond-the-classroom experience, insight and awareness of the industry, and professional development via education sessions, networking, and working with industry mentors.
In 2018, AmericanHort received a record number of applications from students across the nation in top-level horticulture programs. Each year, the student’s applications show passions as vast as the horticulture industry. HortScholars’ majors have ranged from Horticultural Plant Production to Sustainable Plant Systems and from Landscape Architecture to Genetics.
Why should you become a HortScholar? To spend seven days in Columbus, Ohio prior to and during Cultivate’19 with paid-for meals, lodging, and an all-access pass to Cultivate, as well as a one-year membership with AmericanHort. HortScholars experience the behind-the-scenes logistics of readying the Columbus Convention Center for Cultivate and have exclusive opportunities for in-depth discussions with industry leaders, including the AmericanHort Board of Directors. These meetings provide HortScholars with insights into the industry and valuable contacts for their professional networks moving forward in their careers.
Daniel Greenwell, a 2017 HortScholar, highly recommends the program. “The HortScholars program connected us with important figures in the industry which helped me build my confidence in networking with new people. More important than anything, in my fellow 2017 HortScholars, I gained five amazing new friends and peers from very diverse backgrounds that I would never have met otherwise.” Daniel has now graduated and gone on to become the Horticulture Program Director at Piedmont Technical College.
Interested in applying? Simply visit AmericanHort.org/Scholars to complete your application by March 1, 2019. AmericanHort’s GenerationNext Community Connectors will evaluate the applications, then choose twelve finalists who will provide a short video on why they want to be a HortScholar. The six 2019 HortScholars will be chosen from those finalists. “HortScholar alumni have become valued members of the horticulture industry,” AmericanHort VP of marketing & member engagement, Mary Beth Cowardin says. “Whether they are running their own business, making new strides in crucial research, or pushing the limits of how horticulture products are marketed and shared, HortScholar alumni are the upcoming movers and shakers of the horticulture industry.”
Questions about the 2019 HortScholars Program? Contact Katie Gustafson at KatieG@AmerianHort.org for more information.
Check out our video interviews with the 2018 HortScholars:
Dale and Liz Deppe established the Spring Meadow - Proven Winners Endowment Fund with HRI in 1999 with the belief that bright, well-trained, qualified people are essential to the green industry and that backing motivated students plays a vital role in protecting and growing the industry. Through HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation acts as the administrator of endowments that help students to obtain the education necessary to successfully pursue horticultural careers.
“Our team has been blessed by this industry and the mentors who’ve helped us along the way. These scholarships represent our commitment to continue the encouragement of emerging professionals,” said Dale Deppe. “We are pleased to be able to support these students in such a direct way.”
Horticulture students Yufei Qian, Aaron Sledge, and William Lewis were each awarded $3,500 scholarships for the 2018-2019 granting period, bringing the total amount of awards distributed through the fund to $73,750. The students were chosen from a competitive national applicant pool for their academic achievements, exemplary leadership abilities, and commitment to pursuing careers in horticulture.
Currently an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech, William Lewis is working toward a bachelor’s degree in environmental horticulture. William has been working in his family’s nursery since he was 14 years old and hopes to take over the business in the future. Steadfastly committed to his family’s business and to the horticulture industry, William takes the two-hour trip home from school, where he is a full-time student, to work at the nursery each weekend.
Yufei Qian is a graduate student at the University of California-Davis where she pursues her passion for plants. Yufei notes she has benefitted from a series of internships while at UC-Davis, including stints in UC’s Teaching Nursery where she worked on plant propagation of ornamental plants, and on two lab internships where she worked on plant genetics and molecular level breeding. All of these experiences, Yufei says, are pointing her to a future career in woody plant breeding.
A well-rounded plant production student, Aaron Sledge just started his junior year at Penn State University and is especially interested in woody plant propagation. He has completed internships in arboriculture, interior plantscaping, and conservatory and historic landscape management, and has worked on-campus in the greenhouse and as head propagator for the horticulture club. Aaron was also selected as an AmericanHort Scholar at the Cultivate ’18 conference.
A total of 30 Spring Meadow-Proven Winners endowed scholarships have been awarded to students since 2004. Scholarship applications for 2020 will open in April 2019. Individuals who are interested in applying for a scholarship can check the HRI website or contact Jennifer Gray, HRI Administrator, at (614) 884-1155 for more scholarship application details.
Garden Center magazine has announced speakers for the Garden Center Executive Summit, an educational conference to provide key decision makers at independent garden centers with actionable ideas they can take back to their businesses and opportunities to network. The inaugural Executive Summit, planned in collaboration with Garden Center’s Conference and Editorial advisory boards, will take place Feb. 18-20, 2019, in Denver, Colorado.
The speaker lineup includes Julie Kouhia, CEO of Molbak’s Garden + Home, who will discuss how garden centers can remain relevant in a rapidly evolving retail environment; Susan Bachman West, president of Bachman’s who along with Mark Bigej, chief of operations of Al’s Garden & Home, will explain how IGCs can improve the employee experience; Richard Christakes, CEO of Alsip Home & Nursery, who will share his company’s efforts to let customers shop how they want to shop by offering e-commerce and in-store delivery; and Rob Sproule, co-owner of Salisbury Greenhouse, who will explain how to find the right digital marketing strategies for your garden center.
Al’s, Alsip, Molbak’s and Salisbury are among the 100 companies honored in Garden Center magazine’s 2018 Top 100 Independent Garden Centers list, and the companies will be recognized during a celebration and networking event on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
An outline of the conference schedule is below. To take advantage of the lowest pricing available, be sure to register by Jan. 15. For more details about the Garden Center Executive Summit and to register, visit www.gardencentersummit.com.
Monday, February 18, 2019
Keynote: Strategy to Survive, People to Drive and Culture to Thrive – Hiring for Success and Developing and Reinforcing Culture, Speaker: Chris Taylor, CEO, Fisher’s Technology
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Keynote: The Lean Garden Center: How Owners Can Incorporate Lean Business Practices to Improve Customer Experience, Culture and More, Speaker: Mark Graban, Author, Speaker, & Consultant, Constancy Inc
Panel Discussion: The Employee Experience: How to Attract Career Staff and Create an Environment and Culture Where People Want to Work, Speakers: Susan Bachman West, President, Bachman’s and Mark Bigej, Chief of Operations, Al’s Garden & Home
Panel Discussion: What’s Driving Consumers: Authenticity, Transparency, Education and Experience, Speakers: Lindsay Squires Chrisp, Events & Community Outreach Coordinator, Tagawa Gardens, and Jennifer Schamber, Greenscape Gardens
Panel Discussion: Why I Bought a Garden Center: Setting a Direction for a Newly Acquired or Created Business, Speakers: Casey Landa and Madison Landa Williams, Co-Owners, Boulevard Flower Gardens
Session: Developing a Mission, Vision and Core Values: The Process of Creating and Implementing Guiding Business Principles, Speaker: Jessie Jacobson, President and Owner, Tonkadale Greenhouse
Session: How Garden Center Owners Can Adapt to Rapidly Evolving Marketing Strategies, Speaker: Rob Sproule, Co-Owner, Salisbury Greenhouse
Top 100 Awards Ceremony and Reception
Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Keynote: Staying Relevant in a Quickly Evolving Retail World: What Are Other Retailers Doing and How Can Garden Centers Compete? Speaker: Julie Kouhia, CEO, Molbak’s Garden + Home
Session: Letting Your Customers Shop How They Want to Shop: The Pros and Cons of E-Commerce, What I Learned from Offering E-Commerce, In-Store Pickup and Delivery, Speaker: Richard Christakes, CEO, Alsip Home & Nursery
Roundtable: 30 ideas in 30 minutes
Session: Benchmarking: What Metrics should we be Watching and What are the Benchmarks for our Industry?