Winners of the Garden Centre Association’s Rising Stars Programme, sponsored by Westland Horticulture are set to present on their experiences at the 2014 conference later this month.
Winning candidates George Bishop, assistant manager for Squires Woking and Will Michieli, plant advisor for Monkton Elm Garden and Pet Centre in Somerset will describe their journey to success to attendees at the Blackpool conference on January 28 and will also promote the launch of the 2014 programme.
Westland marketing director Keith Nicholson said: "The 2013 Rising Stars attracted 12 applicants and these were shortlisted to four for the full programme. These were go-getting ambitious individuals – two were promoted within their business during the year. As the whole process was so successful, in 2014 we’re hoping for a greater number of applicants."
The 2013 programme included three seasonal workshops facilitated by Ian Boardman, aimed at increasing awareness of key merchandising skills.
Those involved were then challenged to try these ideas back at their own garden centres and deliver measurable results.
All entrants were invited to attend the GCA Conference later this month, courtesy of Westland Horticulture as part of the overall prize.
The GCA and Westland Horticulture say the Rising Stars Programme will now be developed further for 2014.
Nicholson added: "This will allow more delegates to benefit from the workshops and the conference. They all have the potential of a great future in garden retail as the industry’s next generation of managers."