Unearth your potential By Celina Young and Cindy Whitt

Take part in Grow Forward — an essential educational series for young professionals to nurture a successful career

A new online education series from AmericanHort has launched this year, specifically built for young and emerging horticultural professionals. “Grow Forward: Finding Success Beyond the Plants” is designed to equip young professionals with tools for success. 

During this ongoing series, subject matter experts lead sessions that provide practical insights, strategies and actionable tips to succeed in the workplace and beyond. Attendees will discover personal and professional development tools to help them cultivate leadership acumen, communication skills, emotional intelligence, strategic networking and personal branding. Each session includes peer-powered learning to foster engagement and will be moderated by a Generation Next Community Connector. 

“The Generation Next Community Connectors are excited to give young professionals in horticulture a place to connect, discuss and learn with their peers,” said Melinda Knuth, assistant professor at North Carolina State University, and community leader of the Generation Next Connectors. “This group has aspired to put together a program that provides actionable advice in a highly interactive, engaging way.” 

The year has started off strong in January with Becky Paxton of the Garden Media Group discussing “Building Your Professional Brand,” followed by Jeanie Chang from Your Change Provider sharing advice for “Managing Stress and Preventing Burnout,” in February. Recordings of both these programs are available for free to AmericanHort members. 

Are you ready to Grow Forward? Join us for our next virtual program on March 27, “Why Emotional Intelligence (EI) is Critical to the Green Industry.” Paige Franks from BEST Human Capital and Advisory Group will work with attendees to explore the meaning of EI, explain what makes EI competencies critical relative to leadership ability, stress management, job performance, employee retention and interpersonal functioning and provide resources to implement and measure EI in an organization. 

If you’re ready to participate in a dynamic discussion on leveraging your strengths and accelerating your career growth, join us at Cultivate’24 for a special in-person session with “Grow Forward: Leveraging Your Strengths in the Workplace.” This session brings together a panel of accomplished young professionals who have harnessed their strengths to thrive in their careers. Join us for an engaging conversation on navigating challenges, seizing opportunities and cultivating success in the evolving landscape of horticulture. 

AmericanHort is proud to partner with BASF to sponsor the Grow Forward series. “BASF is proud to be a part of this new, industry-led program from AmericanHort. We want to see young people develop themselves within the horticulture industry ensuring a continued legacy of passion and expertise. Programs led by green industry professionals, specifically tailored to those unique experiences and challenges, are a great way to encourage the next generation of horticulture,” said Liz Dunbar, marketing manager for the Greenhouse & Nursery industry. 

And the Grow Forward series won’t stop here! Throughout Fall 2024 and into 2025, the Generation Next Community will host even more programs discussing how to build trust, credibility and respect between generations, communicating virtually, how to create a career advancement plan and much more! 

Stay on top of all upcoming installments in this series at americanhort.org/growforward.

Celina Young and Cindy Whitt

Celina Young is the marketing communications specialist and Cindy Whitt is the marketing communications manager for AmericanHort.