We are thrilled to introduce you to our Keynote Speaker for the 3rd annual Slow Flowers Summit, Terri McEnaney.
As President of Bailey Nurseries, Inc., Terri McEnaney is a 4th Generation leader in her family’s nursery business.
Since 1905, Bailey Nurseries has remained a family-owned company serving customers in North America and beyond. Partnerships have been established in the past decade introducing Bailey genetics and brands like Endless Summer Hydrangea to the world.
Terri graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 1982 with a degree in Business with emphasis in Accounting. After 8 years working at 3M Company, she joined Bailey Nurseries, holding various positions in the business and becoming the company’s first female president in 2001.
Terri has served on the board at various organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, Horticultural Research Institute, AmericanHort, and Seed Your Future.
We recently caught up with Terri and asked her to share more about her unique role in the green marketplace:
GIVE US A CURRENT SNAPSHOT OF BAILEY NURSERIES -- what is your primary brand focus and market reach?
Bailey is focused on being a progressive partner to its customers, serving through innovation and focus on the needs of its customers.
Primarily to growers and retailers through a diverse product mix including bareroot, potted liners, finished plants and especially through its consumer brands: Endless Summer®, First Editions®, and Easy Elegance®.
Support these initiatives with a dedicated team of people from sales & marketing to production, all here supporting our customer’s needs.
Bailey Innovations is the engine that fuels Bailey’s R&D efforts, continuing to bring new and unique genetics to the market.
Specifically, to the grower market, our acquisition of Carlton Plants reinforces our commitment to the grower channel with a wider product mix of bareroot trees, shrubs, and potted liners.
WHAT ARE THE HALLMARKS OF THE BAILEY BRAND THAT MEAN THE MOST TO YOU?
We are all about “Growing What’s Next” whether it is a new introduction like Endless Summer ‘Summer Crush’ hydrangea, improving a process for shipping at our docks, or integrating a team of employees to assess and develop the best safety training or wellness program. This has significant meaning to us as an organization not only for our vision, but what it means internally to our employees.
Our People. Because we are a fifth-generation, family-owned company, we believe strongly in the relationships we form with our customers and employees.
WHY HAS THE HYDRANGEA CAPTURED THE HEARTS AND PASSION OF GARDENERS AND FLORISTS?
Hydrangeas come is so many forms and colors and are just so beautiful. There is an old-fashioned romance to their look. We have focused on celebrating life in full bloom bringing together of family and friends and being outdoors in nature as these are garden hydrangeas that we sell. Many in the stores are florist that you enjoy and then toss.
Endless Summer® paved the way in how consumers experienced hydrangeas.
Consumers see the natural beauty associated with hydrangeas
Because of people’s natural draw to the beauty of hydrangeas we know they fit into all aspects of life.
Endless Summer® fits that promise and believes anyone can experience life in full bloom no matter if they own a home, are at work, or at play.
WHAT ROLE HAS BAILEY NURSERIES PLAYED IN POPULARIZING HYDRANGEAS IN THE ORNAMENTAL LANDSCAPE?
We have worked to continue to elevate the brand with exceptional genetics, including BloomStruck® and most recently our newest introduction, Summer Crush®.
Endless Summer® supports consumers throughout their journey through not only a robust awareness campaign, but we also support retailers with information and training tools including a rich website and content that inspires people on how to use and how to be successful with hydrangeas.
Follow it up with post purchase support with its mobile care program with customized care information for all parts of the United States and Canada.
HOW HAS YOUR TENURE AT THE HELM OF BAILEY NURSERIES BEEN INFLUENCED BECAUSE OF YOUR GENDER?
When I came back into the business after working at 3M Company for several years, I did not really think about my ownership partners and most of the people I worked with being men. I realized I could bring a different perspective to the business. Our target customer is women. Over the years more and more women have come into horticulture, taking on more leadership roles, and many have started their own businesses. It has been an exciting evolution and has made our industry stronger and better.
"Our target customer is women."
WHAT VALUES TO YOU BRING TO LEADERSHIP?
My grandparents were incredible people. They were so humble, caring, and giving. The values were demonstrated by their actions and how they treated others. My grandfather was very disciplined and often serious in his work, but he made a point to treat each person with respect. We give out the JV Bailey Award each year to an employee that exemplifies the values of our founder and these values are ones that I and my family live by in and outside of work – honesty, integrity, creativity, leadership, and dedication.
HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO ENCOURAGE OTHER WOMEN IN THE GREEN MARKETPLACE?
Believe in yourself, listen without judgment, focus on lifelong learning, and be a servant leader. Each of us has the opportunity to achieve our goals. Attitude is everything. The green marketplace is welcoming, collaborative, and exciting. Finding your niche, your unique offering doesn’t always come easy and there can be setbacks. I’ve shed tears of frustration and disappointment along the way, but I have always come back to the bigger picture, contributing at times and making mistakes at other times. A career is a long-term commitment and the joy and satisfaction of accomplishing your dream is the worthwhile reward. You can make a difference with hard work and dedication. And no matter how difficult, strive to do the right thing, even when it’s hard.
More about Terri McEnaney's SUMMIT KEYNOTE: "Branding Your Green Platform"
Lessons from Bailey Nurseries, and from one of the only women CEOs in commercial horticulture. Terri McEnaney is the great-granddaughter of Bailey Nursery founder John Vincent Bailey, Jr., who began the company in 1905.
She will share key strategies for developing innovative brands, including the award-winning Endless Summer Hydrangea, and for finding new ways connect with consumers. Terri's insights will address the importance of forging connections throughout one’s career to drive professional and business success.