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Speaker: Jessica DeGraaf .... Retail Account Manager at Proven Winners®

Speaker: Jessica DeGraaf .... Retail Account Manager at Proven Winners® -
Speaker: Jessica DeGraaf .... Retail Account Manager at Proven Winners® -

Session Title: Their Business is Poppin!

 Sunday, July 11  4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Description:  They're popping up all over...and we aren't talking about ads! This panel of innovative pop-up plant shops are taking their plants to the people. From a successful pop-up buffet of Instagram-worthy plants, to a 1949 Chevrolet Farm Truck named Winnie packed full of foliage, these innovative owners are taking their passion and love for plants on the road and straight to the customer. Come prepared with your questions! Learn how each of these unique plant shops came to be and the journey they took to get here.  

Level: Fundamental     Type: Business Operations

Session Speakers:

Jessica DeGraaf, Retail Account Manager at Proven Winners®
Brian Wildeman, Owner at Wilde Horticulture
LaManda Joy, Owner City Grange
Tony Abruscato, Mr. Green Chicago FLOWER SHOW PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Jan Goodman, Owner/President at Cityscapes Inc

Jessica DeGraaf

Retail Account Manager at Proica ven Winners® 

Jessica DeGraaf is a lifelong gardening enthusiast who quite literally grew up in the horticulture business, learning about plants while toting hoses through her parents’ garden center in Northern Michigan. After receiving undergraduate and master's degrees in Horticulture from Michigan State University, she went on to work for numerous large grower operations in support-oriented roles. A year spent in Germany working for a global breeding company helped Jessica understand more about the European market and how to apply those lessons to her work in the U.S.

In her current position as Retail Account Manager for Proven Winners, Jessica is focused exclusively on building relationships with and innovative marketing programs for independent garden centers. She serves as an active member of AmericanHort’s Garden Retail Community Connector Group and is a recipient of GPN’s 40 Under 40 award.

Proven Winners® ... The #1 Plant Brand!
Looking for plants you can trust to create a beautiful, easy-to-maintain garden? All you have to do is look for the Proven Winners name to know you're getting the most distinctive plants on the market. That's because Proven Winners partners with the top plant breeders around the world to ensure our varieties are vigorous, healthy, vibrant, and unique.

Why Proven Winners Plants are Better --- Proven Winners searches the world to find and select plants which are clearly superior to others of their type in our trials in Michigan, New Hampshire, California, Germany, Japan, and Florida. Once a Proven Winners plant makes it to your house, you'll fall in love.


No Industry Is Greener Than Gardening

No industry is greener than gardening, and Proven Winners is constantly working to refine and improve our offerings for the North American garden and aid the nursery industry in using the best in new plant and production materials.  We are committed to doing this by providing the education and service to gardeners everywhere that helps them succeed.

And, from our inception in 1992, Proven Winners has made this same commitment to sustainable production practices in every one of our facilities in order to provide plants that are not only better for gardeners, but that are ultimately better for the environment too. 

It All Starts With a Better Plant

  • The right plant for all places: A plant with poor genetics or a limited range of performance requires more chemical inputs to survive and perform. Proven Winners searches the world to find and select plants which are clearly superior to others of their type in our trials in Michigan, New Hampshire, California, Germany, Japan, and Florida. This selection process translates into better performance for the home owner with fewer chemical inputs. These plants are more resistant to disease and insect pests, have heat and humidity tolerance and the broadest geographic range of superior performance. All of which means they require fewer insecticides and fungicides, perform well at lower fertility levels, and overall are just tougher, proven performers.

  • Start healthy – stay healthy: In addition to strenuous testing for consumer performance, Proven Winners goes the extra step in protecting our plants and the consumers who use them. Every Proven Winners plant has been screened of all plant disease and viral organisms.  It is not a fast or inexpensive process and usually amounts to about $5,000.00 per plant.  Why do we do it? So that when the plants arrive at your local garden center, we know we have done everything possible to assure our consumers of the healthiest plant possible.  It is really a simple concept – the gardener is more likely to succeed and value Proven Winners if they start with the healthiest plant possible, and we want people to remember Proven Winners as the best plants they have grown!  Hence the slogan: A Better Garden Begins with a Better Plant.
  • Educate for success: One of the biggest causes of environmental pollution is a lack of education. We have a primary commitment to our consumers, and to that end our website is the gardener's link to experts in all aspects of gardening and garden ideas. If we don't know the answer we will send you to the people who do; because if our consumers are well informed they will have more success in their garden and make fewer mistakes that may have environmental impact. Our website, webmail, and publications reach millions of gardeners annually with accurate information tailored to their specific location: advice on which plants do best in their area, how to water and fertilize, seasonal issues such as pruning and overwintering, lifestyle concepts, and most of all a commitment to their success.
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