Rising Stars finalists announced

The names of the six finalists of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) and Westland Rising Star Programme have been announced.

Will Clark (Barton Grange), Kathryn Bailey (Barton Grange), Sophie Leibthal (Coolings), Sam Clark (Cowells), Matt Turner (Squire?s, Badshot Lea) and Jack Fillingham (Sunshine) have all made it through to the final challenge where they will present at the GCA Conference in Brighton in January. The overall winner will then be chosen by conference delegates.

The results are the culmination of an eight-month programme in which candidates attended three merchandising masterclasses run by IBBIS director and training facilitator Ian Boardman.

Ian said: ?Each year I am blown away by the quality and professionalism of all the Rising Stars taking part and this year was no exception. We may have picked a final six, but their achievements in the workplace prove they are all stars in their own right. They have grown as people over the course of the programme, with more confidence and self-belief.?

Iain Wylie, chief executive of the GCA, said: ?This year it?s the 50th anniversary of the GCA. The Rising Stars presentations are always the highlight of the GCA conference and this year will definitely not disappoint.?

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