The 2012 Big Grower Executive Summit
 
 
Wayne Breitbarth
Wayne Breitbarth is an experienced businessman, speaker, and author. The LinkedIn expert has inspired audiences both locally, at many of Milwaukee’s most prominent companies and organizations, and nationally, at conventions, industry association events, and corporate training sessions. He has trained more than 10,000 businesspeople on how to effectively use the professional networking site. Breitbarth is also an owner of M&M Office Interiors in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to his involvement in the office furniture business, he spent nearly twenty years in the automotive industry. He received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin‐ Whitewater and his MBA from Marquette University. Wayne is also a Certified Public Accountant and spent the early years of his career as an auditor and small business consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. 
 
Dean Chaloupka
Partner
The Visions Group
The mission of The Visions Group is simple: Make a Difference. As a leader, teacher, trainer, mentor, and advisor, Dean seeks to make a positive difference with a personal, one-on-one approach to people and a shared passion for their success. Dean has been part of the horticulture industry for over 28 years. He has spent the last 3 years as a partner within The Visions Group and spent 25 years prior to that at Floral Plant Growers (FPG). There he served in various management capacities, most recently as President from 2001 through 2008. His experience includes leadership within Family and Private Equity Ownership Models, Multi-Regional Production Facilities, Facility Acquisition and Divestiture, Management of Retail Ready and Grower Ready Product lines, and Pay-by-Scan supply models. In addition to developing leaders and management teams within the businesses and clients he serves, Dean also continues his own leadership education through membership in TEC, The Executive Committee. TEC is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and enhancing the lives of CEOs. Dean is a "Midwest" product residing in Green Bay, WI. He attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1983 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Sales and Marketing.
 
Marc Clark
Executive Vice President
Rocket Farms
Mr. Clark brings more than 20 years of business experience to Rocket Farms. Under his leadership, Rocket Farms has become one of the largest greenhouse growers in the United States. Mr. Clark travels the world in order to stay on top of current industry trends and to make sure Rocket Farms remains a leader in technology and new product development. He has been known to frequent the jungles of Thailand and high mountains of Taiwan in search of products for Rocket Farms customers. Mr. Clark is a graduate of San Jose State University. His floriculture background includes management positions at Smith Gardens in Washington State and Valley Tropicals Inc. in California and the Northwest.
 
Dave Edenfield
Founder/Partner
The Visions Group
Dave is one of the original founders and partners of The Visions Group. When founded in 2005 the driving mission of Visions was, and is today, to work with growers, allied trade, and others to make a difference in how the horticultural industry is viewed in years to come. Dave has over 30 years of industry experience and has been a continuing student of retail. Over these years and prior to founding Visions, he worked first with a major, international seed company and then spent 17 years with large retail-ready and grower-ready plant producers. He seeks to understand what drives consumers to purchase and use horticultural products as they seek to improve their lives. He is pursued by mass market retailers, garden centers, and manufacturing companies to offer guidance on how best to introduce, position products and services for continued growth. In addition, his extensive experience and passion have made him sought after by companies for guidance on merchandising management, sales team development, national account management and mass market relationship development. Dave gives back to the industry as a frequent presenter at both public and private company functions within the US as well as internationally. His passion for making a difference carries over into his personal life as he spends his free time as an adult trainer for the Boy Scouts of America. He also volunteers locally and internationally to help in the fight against hunger with children. Dave graduated from Abraham Baldwin College, Tifton GA. with degrees in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design.
 
Kenneth W Gronbach
Kenneth W. Gronbach is a gifted keynote speaker and an internationally recognized expert and futurist in the field of Demography and Generational Marketing. Ken entertains his audiences with his own special brand of wit, humor and clear communication. He makes the science of shifting demography come alive with real life examples that make it relevant to today’s culture, business climate and economy. In his book “The Age Curve, How to Profit from the Coming Demographic Storm”, published by The American Management Association, Ken takes you through a fascinating common sense understanding of shifting demography and the related opportunities and challenges. The demographic landscape in the United States is made up a series of waves that are about twenty years in duration. It would follow that business will rise and fall according to the critical mass of customers heading toward it. Ken’s latest book “Decades of Difference, Making it Work” (HRD Press), about the United States workforce, was released in October 2010. Ken also writes for the CNBC Guest Blog.
 
Charlie Hall
Professor, Department of Horticultural Sciences
Texas A&M University
Dr. Charlie Hall grew up in the industry on a nursery in Western North Carolina. Although an economist by training, he is currently a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the Texas A&M University and also holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. His major areas of specialization include innovative management and marketing strategies, financial analysis and benchmarking, and the situation/outlook for nursery and greenhouse crops. He is an invited speaker at numerous regional, national, and international meetings of various industry-related associations and organizations. He is particularly known for the enthusiasm, passion, and intensity he exhibits when speaking. Dr. Hall is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and has received TNLA’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Nursery Industry. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association.
 
Gary Hudson
President
Hudson & Associates
Founded in 1984, Hudson & Associates is a business consulting firm that advises businesses in the horticultural industry on strategic planning, management issues, and market plan development and implementation. Gary has helped clients worldwide achieve success in business growth and improved profitability. In addition to consulting in the horticulture industry, Gary is a frequent speaker on business, marketing, and strategic planning methods. He has also served on the board of several companies and many trade associations. He is recipient of the Professional Plant Grower’s Association International Award and the Award of Excellence. In 1995, he was elected to the American Academy of Floriculture. Gary is a strong supporter of horticultural research and outreach at UC Davis. He serves on the Advisory Council for the Seed Biotechnology Center, serves as the Advisory Board Chairman of the California Center for Urban Horticulture, and is a very active member of the Deans Advisory Council, U C Davis. He is also a director and past President of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy.
 
Scott Manning
Merchandising Vice President -- Outdoor Landscape and Live Goods
Scott is currently the Merchandising Vice President (MVP) – D28O Landscape and Live Goods and has been in his current assignment since November 2007. Scott moved to Atlanta as Merchandising Vice President – Flooring in July 2001, assumed the role of MVP Kitchen & Bath in December 2002, and then became the MVP Northern Division in September 2004. After joining The Home Depot in 1983 and prior to his Atlanta assignments, Scott gained valuable experience in the West Coast and Northwest Divisions as Divisional Merchandising Manager, National Product Manager, Regional Merchandising Manager, Merchant, and Store Manager, giving Scott over 27 years of Home Depot experience. Scott, an Iowa native, resides in Atlanta with his wife, Diana, and their two children,
 
Bob "Suds" Sedlatschek
Divisional Merchandising Manager
The Home Depot
Bob is currently the Divisional Merchandising Manager for Dept. 28 Outdoor Live Goods and began his current assignment in July 2011. Before his most recent promotion, Bob was the Senior Live Goods Merchant and worked within the Midwest regions since 2001. Bob started The Home depot in 1993 as an hourly associate in New Jersey. He then held multiple positions of added responsibility through 1996 when he was promoted to live goods merchant for the Northeast regions. In 2001, he then moved to the Midwest. Bob now resides in Canton, Georgia with his wife, Amy and their 6 children.