Rising Star 2016 winner announced

Daniel Holden has been revealed as the winner of the Westland/GCA Rising Star of 2016.

Daniel from Barton Grange Garden Centre was voted for by delegates at the Garden Centre Association (GCA) Conference in St Andrews, Scotland and picked up his award on stage at the Gala Dinner on Tuesday night. Now, he is urging other garden centre staff to sign up for the 2017 programme before the closing deadline of February 24.

Daniel said: ?I’m delighted to have won Rising Stars 2016, it?s been a superb experience with excellent coaching which has developed my skills and boosted my confidence. I would really encourage Garden Centres to put forward enthusiastic staff and take advantage of this amazing experience.?

The Rising Stars Programme, run by Westland Horticulture and supported by the GCA has been running since 2009. Its aim is to develop the best new talent in the garden centre industry through a year-long training course facilitated by Ian Boardman, IBBIS director.

The course helps the Rising Stars understand the importance of merchandising and Ian works with each candidate to show what they could implement at their own garden centres and how to measure results. He said: ?Huge congratulations to Daniel. A worthy winner of the title. His project was excellent ? boosting sales of several products by more than 45% against last year on hot spots using the principles learned. He has been at Barton Grange for two years and is now a senior sales assistant. He enjoys a challenge. Especially ordering stock, taking responsibility and the ability to talk about products more confidently to customers. He likes designing point of sale for the department as he knows it helps to drive sales.?

Keith Nicholson, marketing director for Westland Horticulture, said: ?Encouraging new and emerging talent is essential for the future of our industry, bringing fresh ideas and inspiration. That?s why Westland will continue to invest heavily in training for garden centre staff and will once again support the next Rising Stars programme.?

Iain Wylie: ?We are delighted to announce that nominations are now open for the 2017 Rising Stars Programme. I?m sure garden centre owners will once again be encouraging their own employees to benefit from initiative.?

Anyone interested in applying for the 2017 programme should contact the GCA by emailing info@gca.org.uk or complete the application form online at http://trade.gardenhealth.com/rising-stars-programme?

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