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March 19, 2014
Researchers at  Harvard University, the University of California-Berkeley and the United States Treasury recently addressed the question, “Is the United States still a land of opportunity?” in the  National Bureau of Economic Research (...
March 19, 2014
I’m sure you have heard the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I once heard that a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures.  Over the years, I have found by using metaphors to help illustrate a point, light bulbs go off (a metaphor...
March 19, 2014
What started in 1957 as a produce farm has now become an established greenhouse operation with multiple locations — Dan Schantz Farm & Greenhouses, based in Zionsville, Pa. While the product offering has changed quite a bit, Dan Schantz’s vision...
January 16, 2014
Everyone wants to grow and be successful in their personal lives and careers. Most people believe this growth is going to come from a business with great products, great service and a great team. In the 21st century, leadership skills are more...
January 16, 2014
Uncertainty has certainly been the key word over the last few months given the untimely government shutdown and the [now- expected] ritual of kicking the debt ceiling down the road. Congress was supposed to come up with some kind of budget by Dec....
January 16, 2014
One of the biggest challenges facing growers today is figuring out how to avoid the peaks and valleys of income and expenses over a 12-month period in a notoriously seasonal business. It can be tricky balancing a P&L statement when the bulk of a...
November 05, 2013
In business, we often need lessons from other worlds to help us understand and improve in the one we are the most familiar with. We often use metaphors or analogies to communicate, but we can also learn from our own real-world experiences....
November 05, 2013
The Congressional gridlock that we have become accustomed led to yet another government shutdown for 16 days. In the 11th hour, an agreement was reached that briefly diverted disaster. The debt cushion now extends through Feb. 7, with current...
November 05, 2013
Before he passed away in March 2010, Jake Koorn- neef, founder of Delray Plants, preached this philosophy to his team: Fewer, bigger, better. Koormneef’s son-in-law, Randy Gilde, CEO and president, has since brought that philosophy to life and is...
September 17, 2013
Time. We all know what it is. We all have it. Many people look at how we should be spending it differently. If you ask someone to define time, you generally get a pause followed by many different words to describe time. Is time a verb, a noun, or...
September 17, 2013
The 2013 OFA Short Course in July in Columbus, Ohio, was a hit again this year and many have even commented that it was the best in several years. The general attitude of folks I visited was positive and I heard many comments on the trade show floor...
September 17, 2013
Quality is important for all growers but for George Lucas and Lucas Greenhouses quality is a way of life. It always has been and always will be. It is that drive for the highest possible quality in plants and customer service that has helped Lucas...
July 22, 2013
A couple of years ago I was asked to give a keynote speech to a group on the state of the building industry. The primary interest on the part of the group was to have me make sense out of what was happening out there and hopefully give some insights...
July 22, 2013
The “green industry” is a mature industry. In short, this means that, over time, sales growth will track with the overall economy.Since the mid-1980s, the industry has had a demographic advantage and has grown faster than the overall economy –...
July 22, 2013
With a pair of strong, bipartisan procedural votes (one passed 82–15 and the second, 84–15) the United States Senate has embarked on the next phase of the journey toward a modernized immigration system. Those votes simply allowed for the debate to...
July 22, 2013
The economy seems to have done an about-face during the first few months of this year and after the hoopla otherwise known as the fiscal cliff came to an end.Housing is rebounding, businesses are starting to hire and shoppers are, well, shopping....
July 22, 2013
Mark Nash and his father, Howard, are not your typical greenhouse owners. They did not grow up in the business, nor do they have an educational background in horticulture. As a matter of fact, there’s a strong possibility neither one of them would...
May 09, 2013
Wouldn’t it be great to be able to predict the future? Wouldn’t it be nice to know who the industry’s most influential individuals are going to be in the coming years? Wouldn’t that make things so much easier? Looking at the list of individuals on...
March 20, 2013
Spring — we plan for it, we forecast for it, we buy for it, we hire for it, we train for it, we pray for good weather, and we even take vacation before the Spring season starts. I don’t know about you but each year I cannot wait to see the first...
March 20, 2013
If you’re currently in a position of leadership, you have obviously proven your skills, talents and capabilities over time. You’ve gotten to where you are through a series of smart decisions, hard work and quite possibly an incredible amount of luck...