May 17, 2017
I’d Like to Introduce You …By Tim Hodson

Have you had the chance to meet GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2017 yet?

If you haven’t, then there is no time like the present. They are all featured in the May issue of GPN.

These young men and women will have a major impact on our industry in the years to come, and, most likely, will influence how your company does business in the future.

The Class of 2017 is a very diverse group, but the one thing they have in common is they are our industry’s rising superstars — and none of them are even 40 years old yet!

Among the 40 members of this year’s class are business owners, head growers, breeders, research scientists, retailers, academics, technology innovators and marketers just to name some of their job “titles.”

We all know that titles can sometimes be rather nebulous, but one title they now share is Alumnus of GPN’s 40 Under 40. They join the first five classes of GPN’s 40 Under 40 who continue to rock and roll the horticulture industry.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to meet the Class of 2017 and learn more about what makes them tick, then click here and we will introduce them to you.

— Tim


Lowe’s Develops Robotic Suit to Aid Employees

Lowe’s and Virginia Tech are working together to develop an exo-suit — a wearable robotic suit with lift-assist technology — for Lowe’s store employees. Currently in pilot at Lowe’s Christiansburg, Virginia store, the lightweight exo-suit is designed to support employees by helping them lift and move product through the store more efficiently, to aid against muscle fatigue that can result from repetitive motion. The first four suits are currently in use by the stocking team at the Christiansburg store.

Wal-Mart Tests Next Gen Stores

Wal-Mart is testing two new store formats to meet the evolving digital lifestyles of its customers. The company recently opened supercenters in Tomball, Texas, and Lake Nona, Florida. These stores were fully reimagined from a new layout to building and environmental enhancements to added technology that all improve the shopping experience. The stores incorporate Scan & Go technology to help speed up checkout, interactive projection technology that allows customers to learn about connected devices, appointment and ordering programs, and integrated order pickup just to name a few of the enhancements.

Whole Foods Names New CFO and Directors

Last week, Whole Foods announced it had appointed Keith Manbeck as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He replaces Glenda Flanagan who announced her retirement last November. The grocer also appointed five new independent directors to its board. They are: Ken Hicks, Joe Mansueto, Sharon McCollam, Scott Powers and Ron Shaich. The company also announced that Gabrielle Sulzberger has been appointed the new chair of its board of directors. The news comes as the company looks for new ways to reinvigorate its declining sales.

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Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at [email protected]

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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