Cara Goch Widder is a member of GPN's 2024 Class of Forty Under 40 honorees
40 Under 40, Class of 2024

Cara Goch Widder


Proven Winners

Job Title

Digital marketing specialist


What 3-4 professional and/or personal accomplishments are you most proud of?

  • Utilized data to drive marketing decisions in a role that hadn’t focused on it in the past. This involved seeking out and learning existing reporting systems, creating surveys, developing email campaigns and more.
  • Self-taught a new marketing automation platform in order to segment SMS subscribers to create and launch targeted product messages for improved ROI and click rates.
  • Came to the industry with minimal horticulture experience and grew my plant knowledge and marketing skills through multiple internships and roles. As a bonus, I also gained several mentors and lifelong friends that have become a part of my inner circle.

What led you to work in the horticulture industry?

  • It’s a bit of a long story, but I’ll try to keep it concise. While I was in college, I worked a seasonal job at a local apple orchard. I was studying business management at the time and got into a conversation with my manager where I shared concerns about what I would do after graduation, as most of my prospects involved working for a car company. She knew I loved anything agriculture-related and suggested I take a look at the agriculture degrees at Michigan State University.
  • A few months later, I transferred and became a Spartan! Soon, I landed a job working in the blueberry research labs and greenhouses. This stint into the world of research and plant breeding opened my eyes beyond just corn and soybean sales, and I dove into the horticulture industry.
  • Through professors and classes, I was introduced to the world of floriculture and knew I had finally found my passion. I fell in love with the beauty and the variety of products and the fast-paced environment — both of which are enough to keep me creatively busy.

What’s the best thing about your job?

  • I get to do what I love, every day.

Describe to a 6-year-old what you do in life?

  • I tell people what flowers they should buy!


What are your favorite hobbies?

  • Cycling
  • DIY house projects
  • Camping

When you’re not working, what are two to three things we could find you doing?

  • DIYing a project at the house
  • Enjoying a cup of locally-roasted coffee
  • Exploring nature with my toddler

Fun Facts

Do you have any unusual talents, or can you tell us something interesting about yourself that other people may be surprised to find out?

  • I’ve owned Border collies since I was 13 years old and have competed with all four in AKC breed shows to earn their championship titles.
  • We’ve competed in several states and I even bred a few litters whose offspring went on to become agility and obedience champions.

What are you (un)secretly good at?

  • Finding the best coffee shops

What are your top three bucket list items?

  • I’d love to go to base camp at Mt. Everest.
  • Visit all 50 states
  • Show one of my dogs at Westminster

What’s your favorite plant variety and why?

  • Lately, I’ve really been loving the Mangave ‘Art & Sol Lavender Lady.’
  • Aside from the purple undertones of the foliage, I love that it’s drought tolerant and brings a unique texture to containers.

You’re buying a vacation package to anywhere in the world without a budget, where are you going?

The Maldives

One thing you can’t live without?

  • My family! Technically, they’re more than one thing — I can’t imagine life without them.