Our Story...

It all started in the late '90s when Robert Hendrickson, our founder, began to get his garden center clients together to share ideas. By 2000, The Group was officially formed and met at the first Fall Event in Orlando, Florida in the fall of 2001. Robert started in a small garden center in Illinois and shortly became one of the industry's marketing "whiz kids" (technical term) in the mid-'80s as he worked for Metzler's Garden Center in the Baltimore area and soon began to "helping" other centers.

He continued helping garden centers, along with his wife Wendy, until his retirement in 2021. But Robert will long be remembered as one of the best marketing "whiz-kids" and storytellers.


Sid Raisch had built his service to garden centers from a broad base of experience. He was a landscape contractor, a national sales manager for one of our largest wholesale nurseries, and helped introduce the industry to new plant delivery systems. Sid has been inventing and reinventing the way things “don’t get done” into “get it done” strategies that increase profit-ability, market-ability, oper-ability, and owner-ability of garden centers, landscape operations and a few wise suppliers of plants and products.


 

Steve Bailey was a garden center client at the time and had a real gift for crunching numbers. Steve began to compile new ideas for sharing sales and other financial numbers within The Group. A standardized Chart of Accounts was developed and The Weekly Department Review (WDR) was born. Clients began to share weekly sales, by category, along with other basic transaction information. Within a few years, the Annual P&L Study was developed and with that, sales, cost of sales, and operational costs were compared. This simple process has now developed into the industry's most detailed P&L Study and the best benchmarking for retail garden centers. Steve and his wife, Bonnie, sold their garden center as Steve became The Group's official "financial guy." Steve was with The Group until retiring in 2022 when he turned over the reigns to Tim Quebedeaux – our new "financial guy".


Danny Summers arrived on the scene in 2015 to manage The Group when Robert and Wendy were ready to have a little more free time. Danny and Robert first met 30 years prior when Danny hired the marketing "whiz kid" as a speaker at a large industry event – and the rest is history...

In 2018, Danny and his wife Karen purchased The Garden Center Group. Their extensive business management experience in both non-profit and for-profit industries aligns perfectly with The Group, having managed membership of more than 1,800 and events for more than 10,000.

Danny’s areas of expertise encompass association/foundation startup and management, consulting and strategic services, event and trade show management, fundraising and marketing, and implementation of systems and workflows to support these programs. He is known for his no-nonsense and straightforward approach, and his ability to see the “big picture” and provide a roadmap for a business to succeed. He promotes participation in the common goal of helping all companies involved in The Group to increase market share, sales and profits.

Karen has an extensive business management background with more than 20 years of association management. During her early career, she was advertising assistant for one of the nation's largest retail chains, manager of a retail florist shop, and office manager of a large real estate appraisal firm. These positions developed her strong marketing, administrative and event planning skills. In addition, she is experienced in graphic design, desktop publishing, and website development. 


Today, there are even more professionals who bring their talents to work for The Group Clients.
For a complete roster of The Group's Service Providers, CLICK HERE.