Get Rising Stars nominations in by March 1st

Company: GCA
  • Rising Stars
  • GCA Inspector and Rising Stars programme mentor, Gordon Emslie

THE Garden Centre Association (GCA) is urging members to get their 2024 Rising Stars nominations in by March 1 to help showcase and develop the industry’s most talented individuals this year.

The Westland Horticulture sponsored programme offers those who participate the chance to be mentored by experts in the horticultural industry.

GCA Inspector and Rising Stars programme mentor, Gordon Emslie says: “An eligible candidate, in your opinion, should be a rising star or have the potential to be one within your garden centre, have a passion or desire to contribute to this year’s topic of environmental and sustainability and hold a position below management level.

“They need to be available to attend several workshops throughout the year and a mixture of face-to-face and virtual meetings, have access to financial data including sales and cost prices and demonstrate drive and commitment. Lastly, they need to have a sales idea for growing an area of your garden centre in a sustainable or environmental manner.”

Applications, which are available from should be completed and submitted before Thursday, March 1, 2024.

After all the nominations are received, they will be reviewed, and successful candidates will be invited to join the programme for 2024.

The finalists will be requested to take part in a series of workshops held by Gordon on topics such as retail disciplines, driving sales, financial awareness and presentation skills.

Their work will be assessed throughout the year to review the various elements on which they have received coaching.

Peter Burks, GCA Chief Executive, says: “Our Westland Horticulture sponsored Rising Stars programme is a wonderful opportunity for nominees to hone their skills, while being guided and supported by experts in our industry. It’s unlike any other training they may receive throughout their career. Plus, all they learn will be brought back and used at the garden centre where they work, to the benefit of everyone. We’re indebted to and can’t thank enough Westland Horticulture for sponsoring the programme and for all the support it provides.

“If garden centres think they have a team member who is a ‘rising star’ within their organisation, they need to put them forward today.

“The best performing finalists will be asked to the seventh and last workshop in the series and will then be invited to the annual GCA Conference in January 2025, where they will present the progress made on their project idea to the conference. Gordon will also provide coaching in presentation skills in advance of this. Delegates will then vote for our winner, who will receive their award at the conference too. It’s a wonderful accolade for both the winning team member you nominated and your garden centre too.”

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