Greenhouse Product News

GPN's 40 Under 40 Class of 2019

The business magazine for commercial growers

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16 MAY 2019 GPNMAG.COM NATE BARKER DIRECTOR OF PURCHASING OLSON'S GREENHOUSE SALEM, UTAH Accomplishments: • Championed the company's technological efforts to be more efficient, such as redesigning shipping processes to getting an ERP system developed for the ever-changing mobile environments. • Helped implement lean flow manufacturing at the company's Utah location. These new practices resulted in a 10% decrease in production labor in the first year. Company is now implementing the new processes at its Colorado facilities. Can't Live Without: Exercise. "Starting my day off at 4 a.m. at the gym might seem like craziness to some people, but it's what makes my day more productive and keeps me sane." On a Mission: Nate is fluent in the Tagalog language and lived in the Philippines for two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. NIKHIL ARORA AND ALEJANDRO VELEZ CO-FOUNDERS/CO-CEOS BACK TO THE ROOTS OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA Accomplishments: • Launched the first tabletop aquaponic system to educate families about ecosystems and growing food in new ways. • Helped families and classrooms create over 1 million new organic gardens this year! Dual Goals: "We want to build a brand and live a life that leaves the world a bit better than we found it — and we know we can only do that by integrating our team, our community, ourselves (our own health), our families, our environment into everything we do and all decisions!" A Common Language: Both of their fathers spent years in Germany after immigrating from Colombia (Alex's dad) and India (Nikihl's dad). "When they first met at our college graduation, they both hit it off right away speaking German. Sometimes things are just meant to be." CATHERINE BLANEY OPERATIONS MANAGER DARWIN PERENNIALS WEST CHICAGO, ILLINOIS Accomplishments: • Participated in the initiation of the AutoStix transplant technology with the team at Darwin Colombia to provide labor-saving solutions for producing high- quality perennials. • Completed her MBA degree while working full time as a regional supply manager for the Ball Seed Co. She Practices What She Preaches: Cat is an avid gardener. "I grow everything from asparagus to zinnias. The garden usually produces a few hundred pounds of heirloom tomatoes, which I make into the best pasta sauce and bruschetta." Favorite Book: "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. "There are so many powerful messages in this story like, 'First with the head, then with the heart. You'll be ahead from the start.'" KEITH BEMERER DISTRIBUTOR AND REGIONAL SALES NEXUS GREENHOUSE SYSTEMS/ ROUGH BROTHERS INC. CINCINNATI, OHIO Accomplishments: • Treasurer of the Cincinnati Flower Growers Association that reintroduced the CFGA scholarship program, to award two $1,000 scholarships to horticulture students annually. • Participated in development of the HopsHouse, a hydroponic hops greenhouse for the production of wet hops for the craft brewing industry. Mow, Mow, Mow: Keith can't live without his lawnmower and cuts his lawn every five days up until Thanksgiving. "If my grass is not the greenest on my side of the fence, there is a serious problem!" Mechanically Inclined: "My co-workers and colleagues come to me to help with anything with an engine — cars, motorcycles, power equipment or tools. It's not unusual one weekend to fix a trimmer and the next be working on a skid-steer loader." SARITA CANTU MARKETING MANAGER SMITH GARDENS BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON Accomplishments: • Helped launch the ET Grow app throughout the company as an efficient way to communicate specifications on products and keep track of crop performance. • Responsible for the company's creative marketing programs as well as website, social media and all major company events. Just Try to Slow Her Down: Sarita has climbed Mount Whitney; ridden in a 50-mile gravel grinding bike race; participated in a Ragnar long distance race; and competed in a 250-mile, three-day relay race over several mountain ranges. And she's a certified yoga instructor. A Prodigious Family Tree: Horticulture runs in her family — her dad was an agriculture teacher, her brother currently teaches horticulture, her uncle was a plant breeder and her grandmother had "the craziest vegetable garden ever!" T Y BOLAND HORTICULTURE MANAGER AND BOTANICAL CURATOR THE OREGON GARDEN SILVERTON, OREGON Accomplishments: • Created and maintains the assession program (a database of every plant in the garden) of the more than 80 acres of plants in the 20 specialty gardens of The Oregon Garden. • Developed and grows the Garden's annuals program and is continually enhancing the greenhouses and propagation areas with better growing capabilities. The Music Man: A single father of three teenaged boys, Ty is also a professional musician with the band, The Standing. He plays both banjo and guitar and writes songs! In His Spare Time: He is "grateful to have grown up in the shadow of Oregon's Mount Hood" and enjoys fishing, nature, arboriculture and motorcycle riding. 40 UNDER 40

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