Westland rising stars announced

Five garden centres stars of the future have been revealed

The Rising Stars scheme has trained many young retailers

THE names of the five finalists of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) Rising Stars Programme, sponsored by Westland, have been announced.

Kirsty Clark (Perrywood Garden Centre), Matthew Fay (Stewarts GardenLands, Christchurch), Lisa Waim (Haskins Snowhill), Hannah Mason (Chessington) and Cerys Williams (Perrywood) have all made it through to the final challenge where they will present at the GCA Conference in Chester in January. The overall winner will then be chosen by conference delegates.

The results are the culmination of an eight month programme in which candidates attended three merchandising masterclasses run by IBBIS director and training facilitator Ian Boardman. Many of the Rising Stars went on to increase sales in their departments by keeping hotspots fresh, creating clear signage and organising themed displays throughout the year.

Boardman said: "All the Rising Stars that took part in the programme were top notch and I’d like to thank every single one of them for their efforts and praise them for the progress they have made. The results of their achievements in their workplace prove they are all stars in their own right."

Westland marketing director Keith Nicholson said: "On behalf of Westland I’d like to congratulate the Rising Stars finalists for getting this far. We now face a very exciting GCA conference final where delegates will get the chance to vote for the winner – Rising Star of the Year 2014."

GCA chief executive Iain Wylie said: "The five finalists have some really exciting presentations prepared for delegates at the GCA Conference in Chester on Monday 26 January 2015 but they will have to wait just a little longer to find out who’s won. The winner will be announced at the GCA’s annual gala dinner, the following evening. It is always the highlight of the GCA conference and this year will definitely not disappoint.

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