Greenhouse Canada

The challenge of change: from the editor

The challenge of change

October 21, 2015  By Dave Harrison

November 2015 — This year’s Class of 2015 Top 10 Under 40 award-winners had a tough act to follow.

The 2014 award winners had set a very high bar with their accomplishments, and yet this year’s group matched them for industry passion, innovation, dedication and leadership.

This year’s award-winners are equally gifted. Simply put, we’ve had two great years, back to back.


The industry is clearly in very good hands as it goes forward. There will be few challenges that won’t be met head-on and successfully dealt with.

This year’s Top 10 Under 40 awards program was a little different than last year, the inaugural year. In 2014, the nominations came in quite early and held steady heading towards the end of August deadline. This year, however, the nominations were much later coming in, perhaps as those doing the nominating reviewed the standards set last year before putting forward the name of a co-worker, employee or friend.

This year’s winners include a couple of researchers with patent submissions for technologies that will significantly advance industry sectors, growers who have taken their farms to another level of sales and quality achievement, specialists with a dedication to helping growers succeed, and those with extensive involvement in advancing the industry through association work.

To summarize some of the qualities of this year’s group of winners:

  • They’re born leaders looking for a challenge, whether it be in facility expansion, new crops, new processes, new equipment or new markets.
  • They’re excellent communicators, able to work effectively with co-workers, fellow managers or customers.
  • They’re entrepreneurial in spirit. A few of this year’s winners have launched their own companies.
  • They’re keen to share information, and to help others grow. This is quite universal in the greenhouse sector among industry leaders. Other growers are seen as colleagues and rarely as competitors.
  • They’re life-long learners. They attend workshops and classes, meet with consultants, visit conferences, and “talk shop” whenever they’re with other growers.
  • They sincerely have a passion for what they do.

Sharing in some of the limelight are their employers. They have demonstrated the confidence necessary in their younger staff members to allow them to assume leadership roles.

And that’s not easy. If things have been done a certain way – successfully, or at least comfortably – for many years and someone suggests trying something new, the manager must be quite open minded and receptive to new ideas that might make the company even more successful. A tip of the cap is certainly in order to those managers and greenhouse owners who are receptive to change.

As we promoted on the Top 10 Under 40 microsite: “Canada is full of young, skilled and knowledgeable people who are driving the greenhouse industry forward. From commercial growers and wholesalers to manufacturers, equipment suppliers and service providers, they are the best and brightest in our industry.”

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