A Peek at the Summit By Tim Hodson

In February, GPN and our partners at the Visions Group hosted our sixth annual Big Grower Executive Summit (see story on page 7).

The Big Grower Executive Summit is a one-of-a-kind event that is dedicated to big grower business strategies.

Thirty-five growers from all parts of the U.S. convened at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando, Fla., to discuss the strategies, challenges and opportunities they face in their businesses every single day.

The Executive Summit provides large growers with a chance to interact with each other as well as experts both in and outside of the horticulture industry to gain a fresh perspective on their business operations.

One of the hottest topics that was discussed at the Summit was the presentation by Frank Gasperini of the National Council of Agricultural Employers. Gasperini provided the audience with an excellent overview on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its possible impact on the horticulture industry. While there still are a lot of questions how this legislation can and will affect growers there are NOT a lot of answers. He recommended that growers get in touch with their representatives in Washington, D.C., ASAP to learn more about the Act and how it might affect their business. You can learn more about what the NCAE is doing for growers at www.ncaeonline.org.

A special "thank you" goes out to Wayne Mercer at Mercer Botanicals and Dennis Chamberlain at Chamberlain's Exotic Foliage. These two growers opened the doors to their greenhouses and allowed us to tour their operations. Attendees had the opportunity to see some of the unique production techniques and merchandising ideas that these foliage growers incorporate into their products.

Plans are currently under way for the 2014 Big Grower Executive Summit.
Stay tuned for the details!

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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.
Erica Hernandez
Emma Lookabaugh
Melissa Maguire
Cole Mangum
Oz Marshall
Meagan Nace
Tiffany Nohl
Chris Plane
Mike Prol