Every month, our executive team, corporate department heads, division leaders, region managers, and branch managers from all 20 branches convene at our corporate headquarters in Laytonsville, MD for a financial meeting. Several times a year, we hold our financial meetings offsite at organizations which are considered leaders in their industry or are deemed educational and enlightening for the group. We tour their facilities and learn about their technology and unique business practices with the idea that this exposure might help managers reframe challenges and/or implement new ideas within our organization.
For this month’s financial meeting, our managers visited the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. This site was selected in light of our continued focus on horticultural training in an effort to provide our customers with high-quality services using horticulturally sound practices and plant material.
Upon arrival, our team was greeted by the Arboretum’s director, Dr. Richard Olsen, who spoke to the group about the organization’s history and purpose. In short, he described that the Arboretum was established 90 years ago by an Act of Congress and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. In addition to their support role in plant breeding with other scientists and colleagues throughout the world, they perform a wide range of research which ultimately leads to the development of new plants and the protection of woody and ornamental plants against known and unknown diseases and threats. Ultimately, their research makes its way into yards and commercial job sites which contributes to the sustainability of landscapes by improving the environmental, economic and aesthetic value of plants. The Arboretum welcomes over 500,000 visitors per year to their 446-acre campus and gardens.
Following the financial meeting, our group was given a tour of the extensive and beautiful gardens, which includes their Asian collection as well as their National Azalea and National Boxwood collections, just to name a few. We’d like to thank Dr. Olsen for the warm welcome and introduction, Kevin Conrad for the tour, Susan Bentz for coordinating the meeting, and the rest of the National Arboretum team for their hospitality and for the one of a kind experience!
To learn more about the U.S. National Arboretum, visit www.usna.usda.gov.