ANLA Opens GCU Registration for First Time in Two Years

Registration for the American Nursery & Landscape Association’s (ANLA) retail program, Garden Center University (GCU) Class of 2008 is now open. GCU is ANLA’s “mini-MBA” program for garden center owners and managers. The first of five semesters will take place in Louisville, Ky., on Jan.31 through Feb. 1, in conjunction with the association’s 2006 Management Clinic. Each semester is led by Ian Baldwin of Nursery Business Consultants and held in different U.S. locations over the course of two years.

Going into its fourth class since 2002, GCU has been a secret to success for dozens of retail garden centers throughout the country. “Ian’s ability to communicate, understand and train the unique individuals that make a living in the green industry is as rare as it is appreciated by those of us who have benefited from it first hand,” says GCU graduate Jeff Griff, Lowes Greenhouse in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

The program is primarily targeted at retail owners and managers in the sales volume range of $500,000 to $5 million per year, who want to double or triple their size. Five core ‘threads’ of learning (Fiscal Know How, Profit Management, Human Skills, Sales & Merchandising and Marketing) link the five-semester program together.

“We see the growth of people each time we meet. Over coffee or around their network tables, they chat about their results since last meeting, using phrases such as ‘gross margin dollars,’ ‘amortization,’ or ‘open-to-buy’ that they never felt comfortable with before,” says Baldwin. “I look forward to meeting and steering another group of progressive garden center owners and managers on the journey that is GCU.”

Registration is available online at For more information, visit or contact Amanda at 202.789.5980 ext. 3010 or

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