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's 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 23, 2024, you have the opportunity to participate in optional sessions on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning (see below). See The Fall Event 2024 Schedule for a complete list of activities.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2024                                                                                                              




2:00 pm - 5:15 pm
Early Bird Marketing Workshop:  The 5 Pillars of Successful Brand Marketing
Facilitated by Steve Kendall, The Design Works & Kim Nelson, Red Chalk Studios

The early bird gets the worm... but you’ll get much more than a worm! Come early to Dallas and join other members eager to tap into essential marketing ideas, tools, and processes for building, refining, and reimagining your framework for successful marketing. This special 3-hour Brand Marketing Workshop is included with the cost of registration for those Early Birds arriving at The Fall Event on Sunday – made possible by our Sponsors.

Steve Kendall, one of our marketing service providers, and guest instructor Kim Nelson, owner of Red Chalk Studios, will guide you through the 5 Pillars of Successful Brand Marketing. Steve and Kim, two highly-respected marketing professionals with over 30 years of experience each, are eager to share their extensive marketing knowledge, resources, and solutions with Garden Center Group members as they guide you through this introduction to 5 Pillars of Successful Brand Marketing.

Immediately following the workshop (from 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm) – It's Tequilla Time! You'll have another Early Bird opportunity to network with your peers and enjoy some tasty Texas treats before heading out for the evening to discover Dallas.

This special workshop is designed to empower you through exploring five key marketing fundamentals:  Define, Design, Direct, Develop, and Deliver.

In this workshop you’ll learn to:

  • Define Your Brand Foundation
  • Design Your Marketing Assets
  • Direct Your Marketing Plan
  • Develop and Evolve
  • Deliver Excellence

For more details CLICK HERE.



John Kennedy is Co-Owner
of BoomerWrangle

Learn more about 
John Kennedy

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Emerging Leaders 2.0
Facilitated by John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle

Following the standing-room-only crowd at last year's Fall Event program, John will take your existing or emerging leadership role to the next level with a deeper dive into the art and science of influence.

This follow-up session on Monday, September 23rd will tackle the mindfulness of motivation and the unsung hero of understanding through a commitment to connection. From appreciating the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in today’s workforce to meeting employees, team members and associates at their place of comfort are key attributes today for tomorrow’s workplace.

A panel discussion will accompany this workshop to address the key aspects of changing employment expectations and a road map for success moving into 2025 and beyond.

This special Emerging Leaders session is included in the registration cost but seats are limited so you must select this session when registering to reserve a seat.

JOHN KENNEDY is Co-Founder of BoomerWrangle LLC with his amazing wife Souny. BoomerWrangle is the corporate entity that houses all of their talents & tools to support The Garden Center Group. 

For innovative solutions such as “Your GroupSpace” and customized on-boarding videos to strategic planning and team engagement through John’s coaching and consulting, BoomerWrangle LLC has become a single source digital & strategic agency to maximize employee engagement, strategic planning, organizational excellence, ease of ordering and operational efficiency! 

For more information and insights into their growing toolbox of IGC solutions... 




11:00 am - 12:00 pm
POS Users' Group Meetings

The POS Users' Group Meetings are designed to allow you to connect with other centers and see how they're leveraging these systems to meet their needs. You may learn something new – or teach others some of your tricks. Or, if you're considering purchasing one of these POS Systems it's a great time to learn more about it and talk with other centers. These meetings are hosted by the providers (except Counterpoint - but you can still learn from others and share.) Please see The Fall Event 2024 Schedule for Locations/Rooms.



 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Sponsor Showdown

Get in on the action as we kick off The Fall Event 2024 with our Sponsor Showdown – where you'll have the opportunity to face off with our Sponsors and see and hear about the biggest and best products in Dallas, Texas. This will be a fun and interactive time to mix and mingle with other participants and meet our Sponsors before our Welcome Session begins at 1:00 pm. 

Participate in this interactive challenge to win great prizes! Visit each sponsor for clues to enter our contest for exciting giveaways! Visit the Watering Hole to quench your thirst and grab some grub before the afternoon sessions begin.


Danny Summers is
Managing Director
of The Garden Center Group

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 jam-packed full of incredible opportunities. Danny will set the stage for this distinctive, open forum gathering loaded with powerful presentations by inspired thinkers who can help you shape your future in the ever-evolving world of garden retailing. This year’s focus is on Going Big...  everything is bigger in Texas, so why not act big, think big, dream big? The results could be bigger than you ever imagined! 

This opening scene is a must-attend spotlighting your next three days in 'The Big D' to help you capture all of the inspiration and creativity, and tap into the wealth of information and collaborative knowledge this Fall Event has to offer!


Tim Quebedeaux is Owner 
of Retail KPI Consulting and 
manages all financial 
The Garden Center Group

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Big Profits:  Aim Big, Don't Shoot for Average
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 Build Bridges 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 2023 Profit & Loss Study. It’s all about managing the KPIs – of course!

Even if you didn’t participate in the 2023 P&L Study, you can benefit from Tim's analysis of the numbers, ratios, and trends. Everyone is encouraged to join this discussion that can help move your Center to a higher level of success.

Going Big begins by gaining a better understanding of the 2023 P&L Study!

During this session, Tim will share some exciting news about upcoming changes to the P&L Study that will benefit you and help lead to even more profitability!


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Best Is Not Always the Biggest:  Surprising & Invaluable Insights
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 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 Go Big with more profit!


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Back to Basics:  Retail Revamp – Go Bigger on the Basics
Sid Raisch, Advantage Development

The Bigger Big Deal: Sell More, Attract More, Earn More.  Ready to simplify, amplify, and outpace the competition? Let’s kick up some dust and grow stronger, for results that are not only better but bigger!

It doesn’t matter how big your hat, what leather your boots are, or how long you’ve been riding the retail range—Sid will show why a solid grasp on retail basics isn’t just necessary to stay on the trail—it’s the secret to predictable growth! The trouble with “good enough” thinking is it never is. Trending products and new ideas never move the needle on real growth or profit. Transformative thinking on what and how we do things and why we do them always brings in a Bigger Big Payday.  
Going Bigger on the Basics is Trail Boss Thinking. Sid Raisch dives deep into the core fundamentals of products, places, and people with fresh insights and a challenge to go back to your ranch and cut through complexity to focus on straightforward strategies to keep your garden center thriving.
SID RAISCH is a dynamic thought leader and esteemed consultant in the horticulture industry, recognized for inspiring underperforming companies to overcome challenges and overachievers to command their futures. With his innovative strategies focused on profitability, marketability, operability, and owner-ability, Sid is referred to as the Swiss Army Knife of Horticulture Business Consulting as he guides client businesses to overcome complex challenges to seize market opportunities. His insights compel audiences to listen, think, and enact changes to realize their potential and reach their goals.

Learn More About
Katie Tamony

8:15 am - 9:30 am
The Evolving Customer
Katie Tamony, CMO, Monrovia

As Monrovia's Chief Marketing Officer, Katie Tamony serves the role of chief storyteller and trendspotter. We will begin the morning with a Big Vision as Katie shares her insights and research into the new connections, inspirations,  and opportunities in reaching today’s garden center customer. Don't miss this eye-opening session and all of the inspiration it offers!

With more than 25 years of expertise in lifestyle, leisure, and horticulture industries, Katie has been tracking trends to help companies and organizations prepare for the future throughout her career.

In 2001, KATIE TAMONY became the youngest editor-in-chief of Sunset Magazine and Sunset Books, leading the premier authority on lifestyle and gardening in the West for more than ten years. With an intuitive sense of what drives authentic shifts in consumer lifestyle interests and relationships with brands, she transitioned from publishing into marketing and communications, consulting with numerous companies and non-profit organizations that want to attract new audiences and drive loyalty. 

Katie has long been interested in the intersections of garden, art, health, and well-being. She joined Monrovia in 2014 to reimagine the company’s marketing strategy. After three years and thousands of flights commuting to headquarters, Katie left for a sabbatical to live in Spain and write a book. She returned to Monrovia in 2020 to once again lead its consumer and trade marketing into the future.


John Kennedy is Co-Owner
of BoomerWrangle

Learn more about 
John Kennedy

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Big Ideas for Big Business Thinking
John Kennedy

There are common characteristics to businesses that go big and go bold. They are less risk-averse yet not fearless in their decision-making.  They not only master the art of dreaming and planning, but they are excellent in execution and experience.

Join John Kennedy as he guides the audience through the decision-making process needed to GO BIG without going bust. Caution and calculus meet action and momentum and John will highlight success stories that have made the leap of faith and have reaped the revenue based upon the reward of Thinking Big in Business.

JOHN KENNEDY is Co-Founder of BoomerWrangle LLC with his amazing wife Souny. BoomerWrangle is the corporate entity that houses all of their talents & tools to support The Garden Center Group. 

For innovative solutions such as “Your GroupSpace” and customized on-boarding videos to strategic planning and team engagement through John’s coaching and consulting, BommerWrangle LLC has become a single source digital & strategic agency to maximize employee engagement, strategic planning, organizational excellence, ease of ordering and operational efficiency! 

For more information and insights into their growing toolbox of IGC solutions... Visit:

Jean Martin is an HR Management
Consultant for Seawright & Associates

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Big Trouble at the Employment Corral: Lassoing the Magnificent Seven
Jean Martin, PHR, HR Management Consultant
Seawright & Associates

It’s been High Noon for employers as The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly of social issues, regulations, and evolving workforces continue to horseshoe businesses from The Alamo to the Rio Bravo. Come Hell or High Water, employers must show their True Grit to make Happy Trails for their employees or risk being an Unforgiven Lone Star spending a Fistful of Dollars. Join Jean Martin from Seawright & Associates to hear about seven of the most prevalent and critical workplace issues today, and learn the latest HR ropes to herd your Mavericks and Cowboys into the sunset of compliance.

Don't miss this enlightening session that will guide you to better HR that can save you a Fistful of Dollars! 

JEAN MARTIN is part of the Seawright & Associates team that offers expert HR consulting and solutions to The Group. Since 1987, they have provided human resource management and compliance advice to employers across the country.

For centuries, businesses have turned to attorneys for litigation support and CPAs for tax advice, as they should. But many small business owners are at a loss when it comes to finding the expert advice needed to meet their challenges in the human resource arena. Unaware that professional human resources help is available, CEOs and business owners often call the wrong professional or “go it alone” and end up with a worse situation, losing valuable time and creating more legal and financial liability.

As a member of the Group, you don’t have to face daunting HR challenges alone! With our professional HR consulting firm, help is only a phone call away. The experts at Seawright & Associates are there to provide advice and assistance with hiring, coaching, and terminating your employees; employee handbook development; compliance with state and federal employment regulations; performance evaluations; job descriptions; compensation plans; management training and development; personality profiles; internal investigations; management advice; and a variety of other human resource services.


Robert Hayter,
Partner and Senior Advisor

LKC Engineering

Learn more about
Robert Hayter


View Robert Hayter's
Entrepreneurial Thinking Session
at The Fall Event 2022

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Big Bold Lone Star Thinking
Robert Hayter, LKC Engineering

Big is about size!
Bold is about Risk!
Lone is about You!
Star is about Performance!
Thinking is about everything!

Most often Group Members give me the privilege of offering them Site & Facility related insights. But after almost fifty years of design thinking on behalf of folks like you, I've learned it’s what and how we all think that seems to drive everything we do. So, offering a lifetime of perspective about thinking about thinking has become a passion. It’s not that your thinking is right or wrong. It’s that without each of us thinking about our thinking we risk limiting our insights and potential.

I don’t believe that my insights are better than anyone else’s. Just the opposite! But I do believe I can offer alternative awarenesses that can be helpful. After the session, if you do too, I am confident you will become a better leader, owner, partner, and person. So, my primary goal is to help you help yourself.

This year’s presentation will include aspects of small business context, choices, organizational structure, and non-financial KPIs. Think of it this way: thinking causes our behaviors, how we perform, profits are the result of our behaviors, and value is created not by us, but by those who experience our performance.

ROBERT HAYTER'S career path has progressed on parallel rails – contributing to the resilience and visual quality of built environments, and business strategy. Over his 48 years as a teacher, business owner, practitioner and consultant in the built environment and small business sectors, Robert Hayter has dedicated his career to three tenets: lifelong learning, framing a dialogue for strategic thinking, and drawing consensus that focuses on desirable outcomings. His critical thinking and analytical skills are equally balanced with a natural ability to create discourse among many disciplines. The result has contributed to an awareness of the unity of place-making, resource optimization and organizational effectiveness.

Robert believes that both environmental and organizational sustainability strikes a balance of resource allocations, where social, environmental and economic values are equivalent. As an agent for change, Robert seeks to explain the long-term values associated with each. He believes this type of thinking defines the future of resilient businesses and environments. READ ROBERT'S FULL BIO HERE.

As you may have realized, Robert is a very busy man... he is involved in numerous businesses he co-owns as well as businesses he consults outside of Garden Retail. But did you know this includes the Golf Industry? In a recent interview by the Pinehurst, Southern Pines & Aberdeen Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Robert was Referred to as the "modern-day Frederick Law Olmsted." In the world of Golf, there are but a few "Holy Grails" in American Golf Courses. Augusta National is on that list, and Pinehurst is there as well. Robert played an instrumental role in numerous projects at this iconic resort. We are fortunate Robert Hayter is part of The Group's Service Provider Team. His energy and passion are unrivaled. WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE.


"You have to think BIG to be BIG.”

~ Claude M. Bristol

The Magic of Believing

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Big Thinking 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. These Breakout Sessions are the perfect time to have authentic conversations...  conversations you can't have anywhere else.

During these two hours, we will open the gates to freedom of choice and allow you to choose the topics of most interest to you. There will be room to run with BIG ideas and reap BIG benefits from connections and conversations within The Garden Center Group Community.

The first hour will consist of relevant topics facilitated by our Service Pros designed to encourage your mind to wander... be creative, and Think BIG.

In the second hour, you'll be challenged to collaborate with others... observe, question, analyze, interpret, evaluate. Think BIG thoughts, ask BIG questions, find BIG solutions – and find your "aha" moment!

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


THINKING BIG: Profitability
Facilitated Tim Quebedeaux

Session Description Coming Soon


THINKING BIG: Sign Up! Make the Most of Your In-Store Signage
Facilitated Tom Kegley, Tom Kegley Communications

Sometimes underestimated and overlooked, in-store signage is one of the most valuable tools in your marketing toolbox. Signs come in all shapes, sizes, and substrates. They have multiple purposes– directing, educating, motivating, connecting, storytelling, brand building, and more.

This breakout session will spotlight the vital role signs can play in your business. We’ll consider strategies that should be the foundation of an effective sign program, when and where the opportunities for signs, elements of content, and integrating brand. Then, as form follows function, we’ll take stock of production aspects, pointing out the many choices and sources available to the Group for producing signs. With Group Service Providers and Sponsors and in-house/out-of-house resources, Group Members have all the means for dynamic and impactful signage that generates sales and enhances brand. Put it all together and get your signs up!


THINKING BIG: Marketing – What's On Your Mind?
Facilitated by Steve Kendall, The Design Works

As members of the Garden Center Group, we ask each other for advice, ideas, or help throughout the year. This Breakout Session will allow participants to select a marketing topic they are interested in to share their ideas or seek advice from others. To allow Steve to prepare for this Breakout Session:

If you want to share an idea, please submit your visual assets in advance so they can be prepared in a PowerPoint; you will have 3-5 minutes to present your idea during the session.

If you have questions and are seeking advice, Steve would like to have your questions submitted in advance.

CLICK HERE for a suggested list of topics for consideration and contact information for questions and asset submission.


THINKING BIG:  Working Smarter
Facilitated by John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle

Session Description Coming Soon


THINKING BIG: Performance Profits
Facilitated by Robert Hayter, LKC Engineering

Session Description Coming Soon


Jean Martin, Seawright & Associates

Session Description Coming Soon


THINKING BIG: Igniting Growth - Lone Star Lock & Load:
Profitizing by Modernizing IGC Operational Structure

Sid Raisch, Advantage Development

Lone Star Reboot: Transforming the traditional IGC model in Big Texas Style! Everything’s bigger in Texas, including our ideas for your company’s growth! From tools to build self-developing people to amplifying product sales, increasing transactions, and driving sustainable profit. Join Sid Raisch as he takes down the outdated IGC people pyramid and rolls out a customer-first strategy that’s as Bold and Dynamic as the Lone Star State itself.

Learn more about
Vic and Gail Vanik

THINKING BIG: Non-Traditional Revenue Streams
Gail & Vic Vanik, Seasoned Gardeners Consulting

Think BIG when it comes to opportunities to make money and increase your non-traditional revenue streams! Golden nuggets are just waiting to be discovered all around your garden center pardner. Sure, sellin’ plants and tools are fine and dandy, but why not throw your lasso even further? You can rope some big ideas if you are open to thinking outside the corral!

Little things around your garden center can make the greenbacks roll in faster than a tumbleweed in a storm if you’re willing to look at things with fresh peepers. Just like that stale bottle of whiskey you saved from last weekend's saloon roundup, be ready to toss out your old ways of thinkin.’ Mosey on over ready to share your non-traditional ideas and unique experiences so folks can hit pay dirt with an ace-in-the-hole idea to take away to turn their garden center into a real money-makin’ oasis!

Don't miss this insightful session with two seasoned garden center owners who achieved a 34% EBITDA –  setting a new bar as one of the Best of the Best centers in The Garden Center Group – and are now part of The Garden Center Group Team and ready to share their secrets to profitability!

Vic and Gail can help you with:

Content Creation, E-Newsletters and Blog Articles, Strategy for Direct Mailings, Tips for Photography,  Customer Loyalty Programs, Marketing Plans Winter Vegetable Program, Greenhouse & Horticultural Production, Developing Non-Traditional Revenue Streams, Preparing Your Business for Sale and Transition. 


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

This year’s tour day is jam-packed with garden retailing at its best! We’ve created a full-day tour of six of the Dallas area's best retail garden centers, including lunch and dinner. Be ready to connect 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 each stop, plus a little Texas Trivia along the way.

So hop on board and be ready to enjoy a beautiful fall day of discovery in Dallas and return to the hotel in time to relax and continue conversations with your Group peers.

Buses depart curbside from the front of the Dallas Marriott Downtown at 8:30 am sharp and will return by 7:30 pm.

Click here for details of Tour Stops.


7:30 am - 9:00 am
Dallas Post-Tour Panel Discussion

You just experienced some of the Dallas area's best garden centers. Now you can engage with the owners and/or managers up close and personal to ask all of those burning questions you wanted to ask during the tour. This interactive, audience-driven discussion will feature crowdsourced questions during and after the tour then upvoted for the best ones to kickstart a great list of questions to get the most out of our Q&A time. Don't miss this enlightening session guaranteed to be lively and fun!

Continental Breakfast will be served during this 1 1/2-hour session.


9:30am - 10:30am
Ask the Pros
Moderated by Danny Summers

Before you go home we want to make certain you have all of your questions answered... this audience-driven discussion is your chance to take the mic and ask those burning questions that haven't been answered over the past three days. We've lined up an expert panel of The Group's Service Providers – people who are highly skilled, knowledgeable, and qualified in their special field and always ready to share their knowledge and point you in the right direction. Our lineup includes:

Robert Hayter – Site Design, Entrepreneurial and Succession Expert
Tom Kegley – Branding & Marketing Expert
Steve Kendall – Digital Marketing Expert
John Kennedy – Leadership, Team Building and Succession Expert
Jean Martin – Human Resources Expert
Sid Raisch – Business Strategies Expert
Tim Quebedeaux – Financial Expert

Don't miss this opportunity to engage with The Pros as they join forces to deliver the answers you need for the challenges you face in your business!


Danny Summers is
Managing Director
of The Garden Center Group

Learn more about 
Danny Summers

10:30am - 11:00am
The Fall Event Wrap Up
Danny Summers, The Garden Center Group

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

You'll be challenged to set new goals, take action, and continue Building Bridges 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 2025!


The Fall Event 2024 QuickLinks:  

The Fall Event 2024 - REGISTER
The Fall Event 2024 - MAIN PAGE
The Fall Event 2024 - SCHEDULE
The Fall Event 2024 - 
The Fall Event 2024 - TOUR  
The Fall Event 2024 - HOTEL & TRAVEL
The Fall Event 2024 - BEST OF DALLAS
The Fall Event 2024 - SPONSORS