Making a Difference

Making a Difference

by Danny Summers

If we were to have any principle ideas to wake up to every morning one could very well be "making a difference." These three small words have a natural place in faith, family, friends and work. I think it also fits the purpose of our Garden Centers by encouraging guests to find joy through gardening and plants. The simple act of planting a tree or cultivating any plant helps make a difference in our shared world and can benefit many more people through the years.

The Fall Event 2022 will take place in Kansas City, Missouri, September 19-22. There is so much to see and experience and we will be sharing much more in the coming weeks leading up to our arrival. 

One organization that calls Kansas City home is Hallmark and I believe their mission parallels that of our Garden Centers. There are a number of similarities such as family-owned (and still directed) as well as core values. You will see why when we share more details during our Fall Event programming. A quick glance at the corporate Hallmark website provides a glimpse of their mission:

"Hallmark Cards, Inc. believes that when you care enough, you can change the world. That’s why we are dedicated to creating a more emotionally connected world and making a difference in the lives of others."

The portion that I have bolded here is what struck me to be similar to what you do today. Over the past two years we have seen the real power Garden Centers have in making a difference in people's lives.

Hallmark began in 1910 in Kansas City, as a young J.C. Hall stepped off the train with just a box of postcards to sell. There's so much to share about Hallmark in the coming weeks here in GROUPtalk. I can't wait to share more of what we are learning about them and how their story and mission can help our Garden Centers' messaging.

If you can't wait either, you can jump ahead HERE.

Making a Difference can also apply to how The Garden Center Group was formed and how Robert Hendrickson brought Steve Bailey, Sid Raisch, Robert Hayter, and Jean Seawright together to make a difference for the Garden Centers served. We are all thankful for the creative work these talented people have done to bring The Group into existence.

This week, we celebrate Steve and Bonnie Bailey as Steve officially passes the torch to Tim Quebedeaux in order to set a different pace. Over the 20+ years Steve has served The Garden Center Group he directed the development of both the Weekly Department Review (WDR) and the Annual P&L Study. Both of these are industry-exclusives and the most comprehensive benchmarking and data sharing programs for Garden Centers today. It is mind-boggling to think about the amount of data Steve and Bonnie have compiled over these years. Some very quick math on just the WDR estimates nearly 1,000 weekly reports and over 80,000 individual reports to craft into something our Centers can use. In addition, Steve developed the Retail Financial Basics Program that has helped numerous Garden Centers set new practices to manage their performance throughout the year to be more profitable.

We can easily say for more 20 years Steve and Bonnie Bailey were Making a Difference for The Garden Center Group and every participating Garden Center. Steve has mentored Tim over the past 3 years and we are confident Tim will continue to build upon the strong foundation that Steve has developed on our behalf. Just like Robert & Wendy Hendrickson who had the vision for The Group, Steve and Bonnie helped create a special part of The Group – our exclusive financial benchmarking programs.

Thank you Steve and Bonnie Bailey!

On Friday, April 1st, we hosted a Zoom Session for Group Centers to share they memories of working with Steve. You can see the recording of that session at the end of Steve's blog message 'Thank You (and more, there’s always more!)'.

Sharing is at the heart of The Group and your ideas are very important. If you have any trouble logging into The Group WebSystem, please let me know. Are you and your staff all subscribed to our eLists such as GroupEs, Retail-Grower, Retail-Landscape, Owners-Only, and a number of others such as Tropicals? Need help subscribing? Let me know so I can show you how you can sign up.
Thanks for sharing!

Danny Summers
[email protected]
Tel: 678-909-7770
Cell: 678-761-7145

REMEMBER: Your interaction (by phone and email) with Group Service Providers such as Tim Quebedeaux, Sid Raisch, John Kennedy, Jean Seawright, and of course Danny Summers are included in your retainer!

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