The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has appointed its new chief executive officer (November 2022).
Peter Burks, who has a wealth of horticultural industry experience, having spent nearly 40 years working in the sector, and was a previous GCA Chairman, has taken over from Iain Wylie.
Tammy Woodhouse, GCA chairman said: “We are delighted to announce that we have appointed Peter Burks to the role of Chief Executive of the Garden Centre Association.
“We were inundated with more than 200 applications for the job and were helped to shortlist to five candidates by external recruitment consultants.
“A recruitment day was held in London where we put the candidates through their paces, with group exercises, a presentation and interview panel. Peter brings a wealth of experience to the role, along with the passion and enthusiasm to take the GCA forwards.”
Peter has a degree in horticulture from the University of Bath and is well known in the industry.
His family also has an extensive background in horticulture. Peter ran garden centres with his parents until they retired and three other members of the Burks family work in the industry.
Peter said: “I’m very pleased to be involved with the GCA again, as I enjoyed my many years on the executive committee and as chairman. We are very fortunate to work in a great industry with a good number of excellent businesses and characters.”
He helped to set up and went on to run the multi award-winning Sanders Garden World in Somerset for more than 10 years. The garden centre was named as GCA ‘Garden Centre of Year’ twice during this period.
Peter then went on to become regional manager for the south west for Wyevale Garden Centres, before becoming general manager for Trelawney’s in Cornwall, and then managing Fermoys Garden Centre in Devon, which is part of the Blue Diamond group of garden centres.
Tammy added: “We are looking forward to Peter joining us in early January 2023 and will be working hard to settle him into his new role as quickly as possible in preparation for our annual conference and the new spring inspection season, which is not far around the corner.”
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.
Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.
The GCA’s annual conference will be held at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa in Blackburn, Lancashire from January 22 until 25, 2023 and places can be booked via www.gca.org.uk.
The conference pages on the website will be updated with speaker announcements and full listings as the programme develops and exact timings are confirmed. There is also a dedicated email for any queries members, and those wishing to book for the event, may have: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please visit www.gca.org.uk.