Feb 2, 2023
HRI Leadership Academy Launches Its Second Year

AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) announced the second year of The HRI Leadership Academy, a one-year leadership program designed to develop the skills the green industry needs to perform better, grow faster and prepare for the future. Consisting of in-person training sessions and virtual online classes and meetings, the HRI Leadership Academy addresses the industry’s need for leadership development serving both current and future leaders.

“The HRI Board was inspired by both the quality and quantity of applications received for the inaugural class,” stated Brian Decker, HRI board president and president of Decker’s Nursery, Groveport, Ohio. “The industry’s response was a clear indication that a leadership growth platform like the HRI Leadership Academy is important and necessary for industry-wide success. We are excited to offer the program again this year, and we are thankful for AmericanHort’s continued support.”

HRI Leadership Academy curriculum is designed specifically for the green industry and is organized in four modules: Strategy, Leadership and People Management, Numbers and Advocacy, and the Value Chain. Participants will grow personally and professionally, through leadership and business skills training, engagement with a green industry network, and completion of a LEAD Project. The LEAD Project is a year-long assignment where participants “Learn” and research an industry issue, “Engage” with their team and others, “Adopt” a position and solution, and “Deliver” an analysis and recommendations. The first LEAD Projects will be presented by the inaugural HRI Leadership Academy class at Cultivate’23 in July.

“HRI and AmericanHort believe that networks of connected leaders throughout the industry are key indicators of industry health,” said Jon Reelhorn, AmericanHort board chair and president of Belmont Nurseries, Fresno, California. “The HRI Leadership Academy not only sets the stage for these networks to emerge and grow, but also ensures that these leaders are positioned to have a positive impact on their businesses, their industry, and their communities.”

The application period for the second class of the HRI Leadership Academy is now open and consists of a two-part online application with the first step due March 1. Following committee review, finalists will be invited to a video interview. The class will be introduced at Cultivate’23, the all-industry trade show and conference hosted by AmericanHort each July. In-person classes begin in September 2023 and conclude in July 2024. Applications may be submitted at www.HRILeadershipAcademy.org.

There is no fee to apply and program tuition is covered by AmericanHort. Those selected for the program will invest considerable time in preparing for the in-person and virtual class sessions held over the twelve-month period. Full details on class session dates and more can be found at www.HRILeadershipAcademy.org.

“Strong leaders and strong ongoing leadership development are mission critical for green industry businesses and the industry at-large,” said Ken Fisher, AmericanHort president and CEO. “The HRI Leadership Academy is an important investment in the future of our industry.”

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