Antecedentes de la Empresa

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Bob y Shirley Mangum fundaron Bell Nursery, en 1978, para cultivar plantas para algunos de los negocios de horticultura de la familia – Mangum Florist, Interior Plant Distributors y Creative Plantings. En 1994 ellos vendieron el vivero a su hijo Gary, y a su yerno Mike McCarthy. Los nuevos socios inmediatamente cambiaron el enfoque de la empresa hacia el cultivo de plantas de floración anual y a la búsqueda de nuevos clientes.

A comienzos de 1995, Mangum se reunió con un comerciante de The Home Depot, quien reconoció la calidad de las flores y le ofreció a Bell una oportunidad de abastecer 100 impatients de Nueva Guinea en macetas colgantes en una tienda en Catonsville, Md. Las macetas se agotaron en un día. Ese verano, Bell se abasteció de un pequeño porcentaje de las plantas anuales en la misma tienda.

En los años siguientes, Bell ganó espacio adicional en las góndolas de los centros de jardinería de The Home Depot. Actualmente, Bell cultiva más de 100 millones anuales, 5 millones de plantas perennes y 1 millón de poinsetias todos los años, y se ha ampliado para atender a cerca de doscientas tiendas desde Raleigh hasta Filadelfia, y al oeste hacia el Valle de Ohio.

A medida que crecía la sociedad con The Home Depot, la empresa necesitaba expandir su invernadero y el rango de sus operaciones. A finales de la década de 1990, agregaron invernaderos adicionales en Sudlersville, Md., pero cuando las ventas exigieron espacio adicional para el cultivo, Mangum y McCarthy cambiaron hacia un modelo de Red de trabajo utilizado por primera vez por Purdue Chicken para mantener las inversiones de capital al mínimo. Durante el primer año del programa, firmaron contrato con 11 familias de granjeros que invirtieron en invernaderos, generalmente hipotecando sus propiedades, y comprometiéndose a cultivar plantas para Bell. Aún cuando Mangum y McCarthy originalmente vislumbraron solo 20-25 acres de espacio de cultivo en la Red de trabajo, ahora tienen 35 familias que cultivan 75 acres de plantas y flores.

Rápidamente, Mangum se dio cuenta que las plantas presentadas adecuadamente y mantenidas en las tiendas tenían un mejor margen de venta a través de la caja registradora. Los equipos de comercialización de Bell, líderes en la venta minorista presentan y cuidan las plantas, y les proporcionan información para su cuidado y otros servicios de asesoramiento al cliente, lo que aumenta las posibilidades de éxito del consumidor cuando llevan las plantas a sus hogares.

Por último, el compromiso de Bell en el traslado de las plantas y flores únicamente cuando se encuentran en su estado óptimo necesita de paciencia de parte de los agricultores y clientes. Las plantas se mantienen en invernaderos o en campos hasta que alcanzan determinadas especificaciones de crecimiento, lo que da como resultado productos de excelente calidad para la venta minorista, una ventaja notable sobre muchos competidores.

En el 2011, Bell expandió sus operaciones comerciales, aumentando el personal a tiempo completo y en forma anual en alrededor del 15%. La compañía trasladó su sede central de Burtonsville, Md., a un depósito de distribución en Elkridge. Md., lo que hizo aumentar los almacenes de carga de 3 a 20, e incrementó en gran medida la capacidad para recibir y distribuir productos de gran calidad. Las instalaciones en Burstonsville continúan sirviendo como el nodo del crecimiento de las operaciones de Bell.

McCarthy se retiró del negocio en el 2010, mientras que Mangum continua en su cargo de CEO.

Hoja Informativa

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Cronología Histórica

Bell Nursery está fuertemente arraigada en la Agricultura de Maryland. Aún antes de comenzar la cronología, la familia Mangum operaba invernaderos en Montgomery County. Esta cronología muestra tres generaciones que llegan a la actual Bell Nursery USA.

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Executive Team

Gary Mangum

Gary Mangum

Chief Executive Officer

Gary's Mangum's horticulture career came about naturally, as his family has been in the plant and flower business for nearly a century. Mangum became involved in the family business, and began showing his entrepreneurial spirit early on. Between the ages of 12 and 16, he successfully raised quail eggs and sold them to New York City restaurants, and later grew spider plants in the high school greenhouse, selling them to teachers and family friends for $5.

After high school, Mangum worked doing plant maintenance for Creative Plantings, his family's business, in Baltimore while attending the University of Maryland and Towson State. He handled plant maintenance at the McCormick Headquarters, Morgan State University, and the old C&P Telephone Headquarters.

In 1994, Mangum and brother-in-law, Mike McCarthy became partners when they purchased Bell Nursery from the family, and began looking for new customers. Soon, Mangum met Home Depot Merchant Vinnie Naab, and Bell Nursery began stocking a small number of plants in one Home Depot location. Over the next few years, Bell Nursery grew to provide 100% of the live goods to more than 200 Home Depot stores in seven states.

In addition to building The Home Depot relationship, Mangum devised an industry-leading merchandising program through which Bell employees work as a team with Home Depot associates to support presentation, plant vigor, and customer service at the stores Bell serves. This successful program has led to increased plant sales and improved customer satisfaction.

Mangum has served on various boards of directors. He is past president of Landscape Contractors Association (LCA) and chairman of the Interior Plantscape Division of the American Landscape Contractors Association (ALCA), and past-chairman of Plants for Clean Air Council. In addition, he has served on the Business and Economic Trends Committee for the Society of American Florists (SAF), the Legislative Affairs Committee of American Nursery Landscapers Association (ANLA), was a trustee to the Horticultural Research Institute, and was appointed by Maryland's governor to serve on the State Water Resource Advisory Committee. Mangum also had a unique opportunity to share his thoughts on strengthening of the economy with then President Bush.

Mangum resides with his wife, and two sons on Kent Island, Md. He has grown twin daughters, one of whom works for Bell Nursery. He is the proud grandpa of a happy baby boy.

Vinny Scalese

Vinny Scalese

Chief Operating Officer

Vinny Scalese is chief operating officer at Bell Nursery, where his role includes overseeing all aspects of day-to-day operations, merchandising, and steering the company toward long-term success.

Scalese came to Bell after more than 21 years with The Home Depot, where he started in loss prevention, and most recently served as regional vice president in the mid-Atlantic region. In that role, he led one of largest and most complex regions in company consisting of 100 Stores with 15,000+ associates, and generating in more than $ billion in annual sales.

Scalese currently resides in Bel Air, Md., with his wife, Theresa, and their two sons.

Bryan Ulery

Bryan Ulery

Vice President of Operations, Ohio

Bryan Ulery is a fourth generation greenhouse operator. Ulery Greenhouse was started in 1908 by his great-grandfather O.B. Ulery. Carl and Dale Ulery operated and grew the business beginning in the 1930's until their sons Phil, Jake and Wayne Ulery became involved in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the coming years, the Ulery family expanded the greenhouse operations to multiple location sites within Springfield, Ohio. In 1966, the business broke ground at the current single site location, which now operates 15 acres of greenhouse production space and ten acres of outdoor growing area under the banner of Bell Nursery, which purchased the company in 2007. Ulery is a 1989 graduate of Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Communication. He went to work full time in the greenhouses out of college and has been involved in all aspects of the family business.

Steve Crider

Steve Crider

Chief Financial Officer

Steve Crider is chief financial officer at Bell Nursery, where his role includes, but is in no way limited to, overseeing all aspects of finance, such as legal, health insurance, business insurance, reporting, banking relations, human resources and tax compliance.

Crider came to Bell after more than a decade working with various companies in the Lindsey Goldberg portfolio. In his roles, he has enhanced the performance of acquired assets, while providing executive guidance in all areas of the business. Prior to joining the Lindsay Goldberg companies, Crider served as CFO for various companies serving numerous markets including capital goods, office products, hospitality, signage, and other consumer products.

Crider is a proud graduate of the University of Mississippi where he earned a bachelor's in accountancy. He went on to earn his MBA from Northern Illinois University. He is married with two daughters and his hobbies include golf and running.

Brett Guthrie

Brett Guthrie

Vice President of Operations, South Atlantic

Brett joined the Bell Team as part of Bell's acquisition of Virginia Growers, which he co-owned with fellow team member Jonathan van Wingerden. Brett attended the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business. He is currently the Vice President of the Virginia Division of Bell Nursery and manages the delivery and acquisition of merchandise. In addition, he works closely with the Home Depot to ensure Bell's product is merchandised to Home Depot's standards. In his spare time, Brett enjoys saltwater fishing, cooking, and golfing.

Joe Perret

Joe Perret

Vice President, Systems & Technology

Joe joined Bell in 2009 and is responsible for the company's information systems, inventory planning tools, and IT infrastructure. He came to Bell with more than 25 years of manufacturing and engineering experience, primarily in capital goods. Continuous product and process improvement have been a theme in his career.

Joe has graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland and holds four US patents. He is married and has a son and two daughters. Joe enjoys tinkering in his garage workshop and backyard birdwatching.

Cole Mangum

Cole Mangum

Vice President of Production

Cole joined Bell Nursery full time 2008 working alongside Tom Wheeler assisting with growing operations. The following year, he moved to Allentown, Penn., to manage Bell's distribution center. He returned to Burtonsville in 2011, and now coordinates all annuals in and out of the greenhouse. Beginning with plugs, Cole coordinates labor and timing for planting, and shipping into Network and company green houses for finishing. When plants are finished he manages their return to the distribution center where they will be shipped fresh to The Home Depot.

Cole also oversees Bell's Maryland recycling program, working with industry partners to recycle everything from pots and trays to sleeves, boxes, tags and signs.

Cole started with Bell when he was 11, helping to build greenhouses at the Burtonsville location. Later he spent summers unloading trailers and housekeeping on the dock, before heading off to Salisbury University in pursuit of a degree in history, with a minor in philosophy. Cole currently resides in Baltimore with his wife.