HRI Leadership Academy

Nov 27, 2023
HRI opens Leadership Academy applications

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) is now accepting applications for the HRI Leadership Academy Class of 2025. The one-year program is designed for professionals at all levels who aspire to take on greater leadership roles. It teaches participants business strategy, leadership and people management, advocacy, and value chain management skills through in-person training sessions, virtual online classes and meetings, and a LEAD Project and presentation.

The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 9.

Applications will be evaluated on demonstrated leadership qualities; past evidence of or estimated future potential for contribution to the green industry; ability to consider the broader interests of the community; the applicant’s character and ability to grow because of this experience; and personal and employer commitment to the program. Preference will be given to candidates with at least five years of leadership experience and seven years of relevant industry work experience.

Application Timeline

  • Application window: Open now until Feb. 9, 2024
  • Interviews: March and April 2024
  • Class selection and notification: May 2024
  • Class announcement: Cultivate’24, July 13-16, 2024, in Columbus, Ohio

“We are excited to open the application window for the HRI Leadership Academy Class of 2025. Our goal is to empower leaders in the green industry, and we look forward to welcoming dedicated individuals who are passionate about horticulture and eager to lead the way,” said Brian Decker, board chairman of the Horticultural Research Institute.

Past Classes

This will be the third year of the program. The Class of 2023 includes:

  • Susannah Ball, Ball Horticultural
  • Melanie Bedner, Bedner’s Farm and Greenhouse
  • Sander Brooks, Palms & Pahoke Growers
  • Hamza Daour, Dan & Jerry’s Greenhouses
  • Kyle Fessler, Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas
  • Matthew Foertmeyer, Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse
  • Christine Fortman, Berridge Nurseries
  • Jonathan Jasinski, Microplant Nurseries
  • Andy Klittich, Otto & Sons Nursery
  • Adam Kobes, Kobes Nurseries
  • Denise Mullins, Smith Gardens
  • Tyler Richardson, DeGroot
  • Jacob Stidman, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
  • Ryan Watkins, Brownswood Nursery.

The Class of 2024 includes:

  • Tabatha Beier, A+ Garden Center
  • Jennifer Broersma-Neujahr, Profile Products
  • Mark Daniels, Bonnie Plants
  • James Hines, Hales & Hines Nursery
  • Jared Hughes, Groovy Plants Ranch
  • Joel Kempfer, Express Seed
  • Eric McKie, Green Oak Garden Center
  • Jennifer Moss, Moss Greenhouses
  • Alfredo Rios, Loma Vista Nursery
  • John Terhesh, Goodmark Nurseries

There is no fee to apply and program tuition is covered by AmericanHort. Applications should be submitted through the HRI Leadership Academy website during the specified application window.