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 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 25, 2023, you have the opportunity to participate in optional sessions Monday morning (see below). Or see The Fall Event 2023 Schedule for a list of POS User Group Meetings.



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 (with exception of Counterpoint - but you can still learn from others and share.) Please see The Fall Event 2023 Schedule for Locations/Rooms.



John Kennedy is Co-Owner
of BoomerWrangle

Learn more about 
John Kennedy

11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Emerging Leaders Lunch & Learn: 
Developing the Leader Within You–Part 1
Facilitated by John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle

Building a leadership team starts with building a bench of managers who will be ready when needed to take on the role of leader. John Kennedy will take you through the difference between management and leadership and set you up for success in your emerging career in the retail garden center workplace. The tools and techniques for your toolbox will include effective communication, strategic thinking, impactful influence, and consistent engagement.

The emerging leader will find this workshop to be valuable to their skill-building and career development and set them up for success not only in the present but also long into the future of their careers.

Lunch will be provided during this session. Part 2 of this workshop will be presented on Tuesday afternoon during the Breakout Sessions.


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 packed full of incredible opportunities. Danny will set the stage for this distinctive, open forum loaded with powerful presentations by inspired thinkers that can help you shape your future in the ever-evolving world of garden retailing. This year’s focus is on Building Bridges...  it’s time to analyze, shift, refine, create and innovate to grow your business! This opening scene is a must-attend spotlighting your next three days in Cincy!

You'll catch a glimpse of how to Build Bridges and capture all of the inspiration, and creativity, and tap into the wealth of information and collaborative knowledge this Fall Event has to offer!




Maggie Nichols is CEO of
Eureka! Ranch

Learn more about
Maggie Nichols

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Building Bridges: Driving Your Eureka!
Maggie Nichols, CEO, Eureka! Ranch

We can't take you all to the Eureka! Ranch, so we're bringing Eureka! Ranch to you! With over 20 years of experience inventing and testing new products, services, and systems, Maggie Nichols has a wealth of practical knowledge and hard data that will motivate you to think more creatively and innovatively about the growth of your business. 

Eureka! Ranch! was founded more than 35 years ago by Doug Hall. Doug was at Proctor & Gamble and got a record number of innovations shipped in a short period of time with a tiny staff and budget (9 products in 12 months with a team of 3). He did this by using a systems approach because of his knowledge of the work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the inspiration for Lean, Total Quality and Six Sigma. Doug left P&G and founded Eureka! Ranch and started helping large companies like Nike, American Express, and Disney create big, disruptive ideas, which it continues to do today. In fact, their client list reads like a Who's Who of worldwide businesses.

Maggie Nichols joined the Eureka! Ranch in 1999 after graduating from Miami University’s Farmer School of Business. After reading an article about the Ranch during an Entrepreneurship class, she decided that the Eureka! Ranch was the place where she was going to work. Months and dozens of pestering visits later, Founder, Doug Hall, finally acquiesced and Maggie’s been part of the ranch ever since.

She started as an Apprentice Inventor working on innovation projects alongside Doug Hall and the team. After a short stint working on internet strategy at a large corporate bank, she moved to Oxford, England where she supported Eureka!‘s European efforts. In 2005, she returned to the US as Vice President of R&D while also, continuing to oversee innovation projects. During those years she helped to pioneer the development of Innovation Engineering.

In 2009 Maggie was named President & Chief Operating Officer – not only leading the team at Eureka! Ranch and the Innovation Engineering Institute, but helping C-Level Executives around the world guide their employees and teams through innovation. She has served as an innovation coach and educator to some of the world’s largest companies and non-profits including American Express, Humana, March of Dimes, and P&G. In Summer, 2018 Maggie was named CEO & President of Eureka! Ranch.

Maggie is a self-reported introvert, but when it comes to Innovation Education and Leadership you’ll find her passion makes her talk fast, furiously, and incessantly providing incredible energy to any event. She is a Miami University (that is Ohio) graduate who is married to her college sweetheart, Brian. They live in Cincinnati, Ohio with their two kids.


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Building Bridges: Innovation 101 Lab
Maggie Nichols & the Eureka! Ranch Team

In followup to Maggie's session, she and the Eureka! Ranch Team will teach you the simple skills needed to be successful with innovation. You will learn ideation skills to generate creative ideas that solve real problems, learn to communicate clearly ideas and solutions in a persuasive manner 5X more powerful, and how to test ideas through simple Fail Fast Fail Cheap cycles of learning. Stop struggling with where to start and how to approach innovation. These just-in-time tips will set you in motion to unlock your innovation potential through hands-on exercises and group activities that will help you put these skills to work to solve real problems. 

Don't miss this Innovation Lab designed to unleash your innovation potential!


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

8:15 am - 9:15 am
Building Bridges:  Breaking the Barriers of Garden Center Profit
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 2022 Profit & Loss Study. It’s all about managing the KPIs – of course!

Even if you didn’t participate in the 2022 P&L Study, you can benefit from Tim's analysis of the numbers, ratios, and trends. Everyone is invited to join this discussion that can help move your Center to a higher level of success.

Building Bridges begins by gaining a better understanding of the 2022 P&L Study!


9:30 am - 10:30 am
Building Bridges:  Profit Engineering
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 Build Bridges to more profit!


Jean Martin is an HR Management
Consultant for Seawright & Associates

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Navigating the Perilous Waters of HR: Managing Evolving Workplace Issues Today
Jean Martin, PHR, HR Management Consultant
Seawright & Associates

Ever feel like you're swimming in treacherous waters? Wonder if you're using the right stroke or how much longer you can simply tread water? Jean Martin to the rescue! Jean is part of the Seawright & Associates team offering expert HR consulting to The Group.

With hostile work environment harassment cresting and medical conditions generating rip currents; employers must take the helm and follow the course to stay in compliance and avoid troubled waters. Jean will lay the course for steering through the changing tides of today’s workplace rules, regulations, and expectations to ensure smooth sailing ahead.

Don't miss this enlightening session that will help with Building Bridges to better HR!


Sid Raisch is Owner of
Horticultural Advantage

Learn more about
Sid Raisch

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
When You’re Building Bridges, Build Them to Reach Your Future 
Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” ~ Lewis Carroll

The Portuguese proverb; “The road to hell is built with good intentions” applies to our businesses. We may intend to do certain things, yet fail to plan where we intend to go, how we’ll get there, and who will be there with us.

Our road will cross bridges. Will they be high enough to overcome obstacles? Do the bridges stand above the crowded marketplace? Will they support our load? Are they long enough, or do they leave us short?

The most important questions: Will our associates and customers come along? Will we find new customers there? Are roads and bridges even necessary in our future, or do we leapfrog?

Intrigued? Sign up today and begin our journey PRE Fall Event at

Sid Raisch is The Garden Center Group’s Chief Strategist and carries the Swiss Army Knife of Garden Retail Consulting. He can be reached via text at 937-302-0423 and by email at [email protected]

"Power comes not from knowledge
kept but from knowledge shared."

~Bill Gates

3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Building Bridges 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 with peers, providers and vendors... conversations you can't have anywhere else.

During these two hours, we will open the gates to freedom of choice and allow you to pick and choose the topics of most interest to you. There will be room to run with big ideas and reap the benefits of connections and conversations within The Garden Center Group Community. No doubt, you'll find new energy fueled by creativity and entrepreneurial spirit!

The first hour will consist of expert-led topics facilitated by our Service Pros. In the second hour, we will be tackling topics from all aspects of garden retailing based on crowd-sourced topics we gather from you before and during the event.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

 BREAKOUT SESSIONS (More Breakout Sessions to Come...)

Who Are You? Laying the Foundation of Your Brand
Tom Kegley, Tom Kegley Communications

View Session Description

Knowledge from Within:  Collecting 52 Weeks of Marketing Ideas from Your Team
Steve Kendall, The Design Works

View Session Description

Working Smarter: GroupSpace Intranet Platform for The Busy Retail Garden Center
Facilitated by John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle

View Session Description


Improve Your Customer's Experience Through Your Shopping Environment Design
Robert Hayter, LKC Engineering

View Session Description

The Top Five HR Trolls Under the Bridge for Owners to Avoid
Jean Martin, Seawright & Associates

View Session Description


Seasonality of Inventory - Seasonal Inventory Control
Tim Quebedeaux, RetailKPI Consulting


A Wild Ride:  Building Your Bridge to the Future with New Paradigms
Sid Raisch, Horticultural Advantage

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm



Emerging Leaders: Developing the Leader Within You–Part 2
John Kennedy, BoomerWrangle


Breakout Session 2 - 6 will be Based on Crowdsourcing


8:30 am - 7:00 pm
The Fall Event Tour

This year’s tour day is jam-packed with garden retailing at its best! We’ve put together a full-day tour of five of the Cincinnati area's best retail garden centers and a little bit of nature's inspiration along the way. 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 your exploration of each stop.

So hop on board and be ready to enjoy a beautiful fall day of discovery in the Cincinnati area and return to the hotel in time for dinner and more exploration in Cincy!

Buses depart curbside from the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel at 8:30 am and will return at 6:45 pm.

Click here for details of Tour Stops.





8:15 am - 9:15 am
Cincy Post-Tour Panel Discussion

You just experienced some of the Cincinnati 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!


John Kennedy is Co-Owner
of BoomerWrangle

Learn more about 
John Kennedy

9:30am - 10:30am
Building the Bridge from Good to Great!
John Kennedy

There’s an old saying—“successful people know what they need to do and do it! Unsuccessful people know what they need to do…and don’t.”

Join John as he discusses the journey from good to great with the unique qualities & characteristics needed to bridge the gap to greatness.

John will provide examples & samples of how some businesses fly & some businesses float and how the structure, design, and architecture of entrepreneurship and innovation created the right foundation for their business to span success from one year to the next, and the next and the next.

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!


11:00am - 11:45am
Ask the Pros
Moderated by Danny Summers

Before you go home we want to make sure 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

11:45am - 12:00pm
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 there are 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 2024!


The Fall Event 2023 QuickLinks:  

The Fall Event 2023 - REGISTER
The Fall Event 2023 - MAIN PAGE
The Fall Event 2023 - SCHEDULE
The Fall Event 2023 - TOUR
The Fall Event 2023 - HOTEL & TRAVEL
The Fall Event 2023 - BEST OF CINCY
The Fall Event 2023 - SPONSORS