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The Fall Event is all about sharing, learning, and growing. And this year's event is packed full of incredible networking and learning opportunities. Our speakers are leaders in the industry – thought leaders that embody The Group spirit of ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive. These powerful presentations by inspired thinkers can shape your future in the ever-evolving world of garden retailing. Be ready to dive in, share and learn!

Although The Fall Event Program officially begins at 1:00 pm on Monday, September 19, 2022, you have the opportunity to participate in optional sessions Monday morning. For a list of POS User Group Meetings see The Fall Event 2022 Schedule.

Here's a short video compilation of our Team and Service Provides sharing their excitement about The Fall Event! 



Learn more about 
Danny Summers

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Welcome Session
Danny Summers, The Garden Center Group

The Fall Event is all about sharing, learning and growing, and this year’s event is packed full of incredible opportunities. Danny will set the stage for this distinctive, open forum loaded with powerful presentations by inspired thinkers that can help you shape your future in the ever-evolving world of garden retailing. This year’s focus is on exploring Beyond the Boundaries...  it’s time to analyze, shift, refine and create an effective plan to achieve your goals! This opening scene is a must-attend spotlighting your next three days in Kansas City!

You'll catch a glimpse of how to move Beyond the Boundaries and capture all of the inspiration, and creativity and tap into the wealth of information and collaborative knowledge this Fall Event has to offer!

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Exploring the History of Garden Center Profit
Tim Quebedeaux, RetailKPI Consulting

The Annual P&L Study has been an industry exclusive since 2004 and is the most comprehensive profit and loss study of its kind. While the WDR Report focuses on sales and margins by category and transactions on a weekly basis, the Annual P&L Study includes sales and expenses and compares the percent of sales for the garden center to both Best Practices and High Achievers Groups – and the total group as a whole. This study also includes Inventory Turns, Margin targets by category, and the resulting Gross Margin Return On Inventory Investment (GMROII).

There are always going to be Good Times and Bad. Group Centers have navigated through revenue spurts, recessions, and pandemics. What can we learn from the past that will allow us to move Beyond the Boundaries to prosper in the Future? Is there a secret? To answer that question and others, Tim will take a deep dive into the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) from The Group’s 2021 Profit & Loss Study. It’s all about managing the KPIs – of course!

Even if you didn’t participate in the 2021 P&L Study, you can benefit from Tim's analysis of the numbers, ratios, and trends. Everyone is invited to join this discussion that can help move your Center to a higher level of success.

Move Beyond the Boundaries by gaining a better understanding of the 2021 P&L Study!


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Panel Discussion:  Perennially Profitable Garden Centers
Tim Quebedeaux, RetailKPI Consulting

The Best of the Best group will share how they continue to be profitable. What's the common denominator? Do they have a formula for success? Does it lie in their strategic plan? Growing their customer base? Making better decisions through data analytics? Will you hear a common thread among all 10 Centers?

Join Tim Quebedeaux and these Group Centers for a lively discussion as he explores the strategies and practices that make these Perennially Profitable Garden Centers the Best of the Best. No doubt, you will gain invaluable takeaways to put into practice at your Center to help you move Beyond the Boundaries!


Learn more about 
John Kennedy

8:15 am - 9:15 am
Beyond the Boundaries of Magical Thinking
John Kennedy, John Kennedy Consulting

John picks up where he left off last year at the Fall Event with a follow-up session on innovation and magical thinking. If the past few years have taught us anything, it is the ability to not “think outside of the box,” but to actually make the box so much bigger…without boundaries! Remove our biases, remove our barriers, remove our boundaries!

John will address the four types of thinking, the art and science of innovation, and challenge you to close the year strong with a disruptive game plan for 2023 and beyond. All aboard the Blue Train of Thinking where anything is possible if you remove the barriers and boundaries that confine our thinking.


Learn more about 
Sid Raisch

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Beyond the Boundaries to a New Reality 
Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage

Leaders Define Reality – Then Create a New One

Paradigms of garden retailing are well known but often dismissed. "But Sid, it's different here..."

Many things are different between companies and industries, and differences no matter how small can be significant. I learned over 30 years ago when I first worked with branch offices in the lawn care business across the country that the 5% difference makes all the difference.

Distinguishing differences has always been a critical element of working with garden retailers. We’re different, and that’s why we are different could be a motto. Often our differences are generally accepted and lead people in our industry to say, “That’s the way it is and that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

The 95% that’s the same is still the same. But the differences of the 5% are notable and definable. 

Creating A New Reality means we’re going to have to let go of some of these current paradigms that have become generally accepted beliefs. Belief and reality are the same and not the same. If you believe it, then it's your reality. If you believe reality is a choice as to how we see it, and as limiting as we allow it, we’ve got the freedom to fly.

Your New Reality is the one you create first in your mind. Remove the blinders and invisible ceiling by removing stagnant paradigms and allow yourself the freedom to soar above where you’ve been – and move Beyond the Boundaries!

“Take time on a regular basis to look up and step away, to open our minds and imaginations, and to take in others’ perspectives. Let’s keep listening to people we have things in common with and those we don’t. Let’s keep exploring new ways to reflect people’s hopes, dreams, disappointments and needs for connection. And above all, let’s keep embracing the belief that our ideas can create positive change.”

~Darren Abbott

11:00 am - 12:15 pm
The Power of Emotional Marketing
Darren Abbott, Senior Vice President
Global Product Development and Consumer Experience
Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Every decision we make is rooted in emotion. These emotions influence our customers’ purchasing decisions and the actions they take in our garden centers, the way they react to our ads, our websites, and emails. Weaving emotion into your marketing can be the secret to success. Hallmark is in the business of connecting people through human emotion and the spectrum of human emotion is part of their currency. But regardless of the vertical a company is in, evoking a feeling in your customers can set you apart from other Centers. So who better to ask for advice on the subject of emotional marketing?

111 years ago, Hallmark founder J.C. Hall left a small town in Nebraska and set off for Kansas City with a shoebox full of postcards and a dream to keep Americans emotionally connected – regardless of the distance between them. A century may have passed since Hall first started the company, but the mission to keep those emotional connections flowing is as strong as ever.

Hallmark has cracked the code on emotional marketing and in this colorful keynote, Darren Abbott will provide insight and inspiration to leverage the power of emotional marketing to connect with and influence the consumer mindset.

As Senior Vice President – Global Product Development and Consumer Experience, and Corporate Officer at Hallmark Cards, Inc., Darren Abbott leads one of the world's largest and most renowned creative, product development and consumer experience teams, including more than 700 artists, designers, stylists, writers, photographers, marketers, data scientists, merchants, and other creative and product professionals. Throughout his career, Darren has led efforts to develop and build creative capabilities across multiple studios focused on product design, innovation, trend forecasting, writing, illustration, lettering, photography, marketing creative services, visual merchandising, and digital content.

Since joining Hallmark in 1996 as a typography artist in the lettering studio, Darren has been a pivotal creative leader at Hallmark, serving as a founding creative director of the creative marketing studio and as vice president for creative marketing before being named leader of Hallmark’s creative organization. Darren was promoted to his current role as leader of both creative and product development in 2020, and his accountabilities expanded to include marketing, analytics, and consumer care in 2022. Darren’s oversight extends across all of Hallmark’s product categories and the global marketplace.

Darren earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design with an emphasis in advertising from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

In addition to his professional achievements, Darren has made significant contributions to the local, regional and national creative community. He serves on the board of the Charlotte Street Foundation and has been named a fellow by AIGA, the national association for design.

This will prove to be an exciting and beneficial experience as we learn how to leverage The Power of Emotional Marketing in your Center! The following is a video created  a few years ago as the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) honored Darren as an AIGA Fellow:

Darren Abbott Article


Learn more about 
Jean Seawright

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Beyond the Boundaries of HR: Coaching Employees to Success
Jean Seawright, CMC, Seawright & Associates

Ever wonder what the secret is to bringing about a change in an employee? You’ll find out in this session!

Known for her unique and visionary approach to everyday human resource challenges, the Garden Center Group’s HR Consultant, Jean Seawright, will share useful and practical tips for coaching employees and addressing performance challenges. There’s no doubt about it, the workplace is the stage for acting out much of life’s drama! But Jean has solutions that are Beyond the Boundaries of HR!

Using the insights, inspirations, and proven principles she has applied to her successful consulting ventures, Jean will offer clear, passionate guidelines for effectively coaching employees, documenting performance issues, and bringing about changes in behavior. Don’t miss this insightful session!


"Power comes not from knowledge kept but from knowledge shared."

~Bill Gates

 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Beyond the Boundaries Breakouts
Facilitated by Thought Leaders

Sharing and collaboration are at the heart of The Group, and The Fall Event is the perfect time to team up with our experts, other garden retailers, and vendors to share new ideas, explore solutions to your biggest challenges, and tap into a wealth of knowledge.

During these two hours, we will open the gates to freedom of choice and allow you to pick and choose the topics of most interest to you. There will be room to run with big ideas and reap the benefits of connections and conversations within The Garden Center Group Community. No doubt, you'll find new energy fueled by creativity and entrepreneurial spirit!

More details on topics and moderators coming soon!


8:30 am - 7:00 pm
The Fall Event Tour

This year’s tour day is jam-packed with garden retailing at its best! We’ve put together a full-day tour of five of the Kansas City area's best retail garden centers and a little bit of emotional inspiration along the way. Be ready to network with fellow retailers, our service pros, and our sponsors and discover new possibilities for profit. Bus captains will provide behind-the-scenes statistics to prepare you for your exploration of each stop.

So hop on board and be ready to enjoy a beautiful fall day of discovery in America's Heartland and return to the hotel in time for dinner and more exploration in Kansas City!

Buses depart curbside from the InterContinental Hotel at 8:30 am and will return at 7:00 pm.

Click here for details of Tour Stops.


9:30 am - 10:30 am
Beyond the Boundaries of Entrepreneurial Thinking
Robert Hayter, LKC Engineering

Experience is a great teacher, except when it isn’t. We rely on the present, what we currently know, through what I call The Learning Cycle. Our perspectives of the past and future are formed by present thinking. And owning and or managing a small business are wicked learning environments.

Robert will offer a paradigm-shifting, and thought-provoking presentation on thinking, acting, leading, and changing your entrepreneurial perspective. Leaving the safety of your current position you will discover some myths, new realities, and pathways to breakthrough thinking leading you Beyond the Boundaries.

How we think matters. We act now, modifying our perceptions of the future. We recall now. We learn now, which is to say we modify ourselves to act more effectively in the future.

Why do most things stay the same? 
What is different about things that change? 
What can each of us do to ensure we will be ready for tomorrow as the present?

Don't miss this exercise of the mind to reset your entrepreneurial thinking!

11:00am - 11:45am

Beyond the Boundaries of Traditional Marketing
Moderated by Danny Summers & Tom Kegley

Being creative is absolutely essential in marketing. To stand out from your competitors, creativity is key. However, simply ‘being creative’ isn’t as easy as it sounds, so let's take a look "inside the box" and tap into our wealth of knowledge and talent that lies within The Group before we step "outside the box" to explore other alternative points of view and ways of doing things and discover even more novel ideas and solutions.

Let's take a look Beyond the Boundaries at the intersection of art and innovation where Creativity is King!

Learn more about 
Danny Summers

11:45am - 12:00pm
The Fall Event  Wrap Up
Danny Summers, The Garden Center Group

In this final wrap-up, Danny will highlight the past three days of intensive learning, stretching the mind, and expanding the vision Beyond the Boundaries. As he explores the many opportunities presented at The Fall Event, you will discover there are plenty of takeaways to wrap up and take home!

You'll be challenged to set new goals, take action, and move Beyond the Boundaries in the year ahead. And speaking of the year ahead... you'll be the first to know which road will lead to The Fall Event in 2023!



The Fall Event 2022 QuickLinks:  

The Fall Event 2022 - REGISTER
The Fall Event 2022 - MAIN PAGE

The Fall Event 2022 - SCHEDULE
The Fall Event 2022 - TOUR

The Fall Event 2022 - HOTEL & TRAVEL
The Fall Event 2022 - BEST OF KANSAS CITY

The Fall Event 2022 - SPONSORS

The Fall Event 2022 - FLIPBOOK   (Flipbook with hyperlinks for viewing)
The Fall Event 2022 - PDF (PDF Brochure with hyperlinks for viewing or printing)