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GCU celebrates Class of 2014


February 3, 2014
By Canadian Garden Centre & Nursery

gcu_semester_5-132Feb. 3, 2014, Columbus, OH – The Garden Centre University Class of 2014 celebrated its completion of AmericanHort's intensive, two-year business program at the end of January in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The graduating class was comprised of owners and top-level garden retail operators throughout Canada and the United States. The GCU program spans two years and five "semesters." The focus of the program is on: financial management; use and cost of space and inventory management; marketing and merchandising; customer interaction and sales; and employee recruitment, retention and management.

Graduate Brianna Griffin of Living Waters in Westminster, Md., summed up the last semester of the program as "a fantastic escape to sunny Florida to meet with my peers. This meeting offered a great collaboration of minds over many critical points including communication skills, hiring key players, and executing a business plan for future projects. All important information that is crucial for a successful business."

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The 2014 GCU graduates included two Canadians: Rob Gemmell of Gemmell's Garden Centre (Smiths Falls, Ont.) and Dianne Lanteigne of Bloom Greenhouse & Garden Centre (Hammonds Plains, N.S.).

"There is great value in the sharing of similar experiences regardless of where in the U.S. or Canada the garden centre is located. GC provides an effective curriculum that focuses on independent garden centres," said Lanteigne.

Since its inception in 2002, over 200 owners and managers have completed the GCU program.


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