2011 Big Grower Executive Summit
"Adding Value to Your Business"

3:00 pm - 8:00 pmRegistration open
6:00 pm - 6:45 pmWelcome Cocktail Reception
6:45 pm - 7:00 pmWelcome and Introductions
7:00 pm - 7:20 pm
Summit Kickoff
Dean Chaloupka/Visions Group LLC

7:20 pm - 9:00 pmDinner
7:00 am - 8:00 amBreakfast
8:00 am - 8:15 amIntroductions
8:15 am - 9:30 am
Session #1
Challenges for Business Leaders in the Nursery Industry
Speaker: Kelly Herndon

9:30 am - 9:45 amBreak (with refreshments)
9:45 am - 11:00 am
Session #2
Creating New Products and Consumer Awareness
Speaker:   Marta Maria Garcia, Costa Farms

11:00 am - 12:15 pm
Session #3
The Impact of the 2010 Mid-term Election on Horticulture
Speaker:  Craig Regelbrugge, Vice President, Government Relations and Research, American Nursery & Landscape Association
  • Learn how you and your business will be impacted by the recent shift in federal and state governments.
  • What does this mean for taxes, health care, regulation, labor and immigration, and other improtant issues?

12:15 pm - 1:15 pmLunch
1:15 pm - 2:30 pm
Session #4
New Research on Consumer Preferences for Plants and Product Forms
Speaker:  Dr. Dave Clark, Professor in Environmental Horticulture, Univeristy of Florida
  • Modern social science techniques are being used to study current and future consumers to understand how they respond to different types of plants, flowers, colors, and product forms.
  • Learn how this research will then ultimately lead to the development of new products by setting R&D goals based on consumer preferences.

2:30 pm - 2:45 pm


2:45 pm - 4:00 pm
Session #5
Transforming Commodities and the Consumer's Perception -- Lessons From the Produce Industry
Speaker:  Bruce Axtman, President & CEO, Perishables Group
  • There are many parallels between the produce industry and the situation we have with our perishable plant products.  This presentation will look at successful and less successful programs from the produce market.
  • Learn how produce suppliers have changed the view and price preception of their product.

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Session #6 Social Media and Beyond
Panel Discussion moderated by Dave Edenfield and Dean Chaloupka, Visions Group LLC
Industry leaders have moved beyond the "Getting Started" stage.  Learn the impact social media is having when implemented as part of a marketing strategy.  Discover how social media you don't control is also impacting your company.

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm
Light Snacks

6:30 pm - 10:00 pmDinner Open for Sponsors & Attendees
7:00 am - 8:00 amBreakfast
8:00 am - 10:00 am
Session #7
On-Site Consumer Focus Group and Discussion on "Value-Added" Attributes and Services
Speaker:  Kip Creel, Standpoint Marketing
  • A follow-up on last year's extremely insightful program, which will take an in-depth look at what consumers really think.
  • Direct consumer input of what "value-added" means to them.
  • Walk away with new ideas on what consumers will (and they won't) pay for.

10:00 am - 10:15 amBreak (with refreshments)
10:15 am - 11:45 am
Session #8
Economic Update:  Grower Benchmarking and Review
Speakers:  Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair, Texas A & M University, Dean Chaloupka, Visions Group
  • Prepare for the year ahead with a close look at the current economic conditions.

11:45 am - 12:00 pmPrepare to Depart
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Travel to Costa Facilities
Box Lunch
Get an insider's look at Costa Farms, the largest producer and supplier of plant material in the United States.  Costa is nationally recognized not only for the volume of product they grow, but for their forward-tinking approach to the marketing, packaging, and branding of their products.
This forward thinking also extends into their rapid adoption of social media, which they use to connnect with both new and existing consumers.  We will see how they grow, package and ship value-added foliage, tropicals, orchids and annuals. 

1:30 pm - 3:30 pmTour Costa Foliage and Orchids
3:30 pm - 4:00 pmTravel to Costa Color
4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Tour Costa Color
Owner to Owner Discussion with Jose Smith and Maria Costa Smith of Costa Farms.
Dinner on site will be a Cuban delight in the Costa Color Annual Trial Garden, which will be in peak bloom.

8:00 pm - 9:00 pmTravel Back to Hotel