Our Story...

It all started in the late 90's 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 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 80's as he worked for Metzler's Garden Center in the Baltimore area and soon began to help other centers. He continued helping garden centers until his retirement in 2021. But he 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 and Steve began to compile the new ideas of sharing sales and other financial numbers for The Group. A standardized Chart of Accounts was developed and The Weekly Department Review (WDR) was born and clients began to share weekly sales, by category, along with other basic transaction information. Within a few years, the Annual P&L Study was born 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 for garden centers and the industry's best benchmarking for this segment. 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 brings to The Group extensive business management experience in both non-profit and for-profit segments with more than 30 years experience in the horticulture industry. He served as Executive Vice President of the Southern Nursery Association (1988 - 2006), a regional trade association with more than 1,800 members, and developed one of the industry’s largest trade shows with more than 800 exhibitors and 10,000 attendees. His for-profit experience includes sales and marketing management of retail, wholesale, and manufacturing businesses. His career began in retail at Sears, Roebuck & Co., where he completed management training to become one of the company’s youngest managers at the age of 19. Danny 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.

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.


The Fall Event...

What started as a simple gathering soon identified some real needs and opportunities no other group or organization was fulfilling and that was financial sharing and benchmarking, in addition to all the general business assistance Robert and Sid provided their clients on a regular basis. See for yourself what this unique event is like today... READ MORE ABOUT THE FALL EVENT.