Thomas K. McGregor, a passionate plantsman, friend and industry mentor, died April 10 after a long battle with cancer. He was 54.
His legacy: McGregor Plant Sales, an international plant broker that has brought countless new ideas and innovation to the market.
McGregor was born June 8, 1954 in Costa Mesa, Calif. He began his career during high school at Takata Nursery in Costa Mesa and later earned a degree in ornamental horticulture and an MBA at Cal Poly — Pomona. After graduation, McGregor began working for Sunnyside Nursery in Dayton, Ohio, where he learned the values and relationships of good business from Ichi Yoshida. He then moved to sales positions with Michell’s and K.C. Brown, after which he began his own plant brokerage, McGregor Plant Sales, out of his home in 1985.
McGregor viewed himself as a merchant whose success was defined by that of the vendor and the grower. His life was guided by the relationships that he created with the various farms, growers and their families; the people in the business were the most important. A strong family man himself, he valued his partnerships with other family-run organizations. McGregor often spoke about his business with great confidence and humility. He was excited about the future but never forgot his humble beginnings. His ideas were refreshing and stimulating and often seemed unachievable to his audience, but his determined personality for success always made things happen.
Plants were not McGregor’s only interests: He loved diversity in education, music, health and wellness, and spirituality. His positive attitude and determination throughout his illness inspired everyone around him.
He is survived by his two daughters, Meghan, 20, and Allison, 18; his mother, Emma; and his brothers Jim, Tim and Jeff.
Donations may be made in McGregor’s memory to the Lance Armstrong Foundation:
Lance Armstrong Foundation Endowment
P.O. Box 161150
Austin, TX 78716-1150