February 24–26, 2020

The ultimate learning experience for landscape professionals,
by landscape professionals.

Join more than 550 ambitious landscape pros from around the country at The Westin Charlotte for this one-of-a-kind conference led by award-winning entrepreneur Marty Grunder and The Grow Group, along with some of the most successful leaders in the green industry. You’ll enjoy three days of innovative programming focused on real-world solutions to the challenges owners and their teams face; a behind-the-scenes tour of LOVING, one of the fastest-growing landscaping companies in the US; and a truly inspiring line-up of speakers.


If you’d like to join our waiting list, please e-mail grow@growgroupinc.com.
If there are cancellations and additional tickets become available, we will let you know on a first-come, first-served basis.
Thank you for your interest, and don’t lose out next year—tickets for GROW! 2021 will be available online soon.

Want free tips and tactics for growing your business delivered to your inbox every week? Sign up here .

In 25 years of green-industry involvement, I have never once come across a conference that delivers so much practical information. If you’re really serious about growing your company, I would beg, borrow, or steal the money needed and make this three-day commitment that will truly revolutionize the way you run your company.
— Jarod Hynson, Earth, Turf, & Wood Inc., Denver, PA

Set Your Year Up for Success

Our GROW! Conference provides owners and their teams with a great opportunity to take a step back from their day-to-day routines and really think about what changes they want to make in the year ahead to move their companies forward. Armed with the advice and inspiration of industry leaders, you’ll find yourself taking your business to new heights in 2020.

You’ll enjoy:

  • Three days of interactive presentations, panel discussions, and breakout sessions led by the best in the business

  • Programming tracks specially designed for owners, their right-hand men and women, department leads, and office managers

  • An all-access tour of LOVING, including time with their management and team members (North Carolina contractors are eligible for 1L CEU credit for the tour)

  • Proven strategies for attaining and retaining a winning green-industry workforce, managing up and down, optimizing your profit margins, streamlining operations, and using technology to your advantage

  • Numerous opportunities to network, learn, and have fun with industry VIPs, like-minded landscape pros, and some of the sharpest and most supportive people in the business

In addition to being home to LOVING, Charlotte is a booming city filled with restaurants and nightlife for you to enjoy at day’s end. And The Westin Charlotte is located right in the middle of it all, with easy access to local attractions.

View the Full Agenda and Speaker Slate


Since attending GROW! 2019 in Denver, the course of my life and my business has changed drastically. I really want to thank all of you for this awesome opportunity.
— Larry Petretti, Petretti Landscape & Pools, Diamond Springs, CA

Event Details


February 24–26, 2020. Check-in begins at 10 a.m. on Monday, February 24. The conference starts at 1:30 p.m. that day and ends at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.


The Westin Charlotte
601 South College Street
Charlotte, NC 28202

As of January 21, we have completely sold out our hotel block. You may check with The Westin directly regarding additional availability and rates here or by calling them at 704.375.2600.

There are also a number of other hotels within walking distance to The Westin, including:
Home 2 Suites by Hilton
Hilton Charlotte Center City
Courtyard by Marriott
Embassy Suites
Hilton Garden Inn
Hampton Inn Charlotte-Uptown
Omni Charlotte
SpringHill Suites
Fairfield Inn


The nearest airport, Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), is seven miles from the hotel. View ground transportation options from the airport to The Westin Charlotte here.


The dress code is business casual.


If you have dietary restrictions, please let us know in advance by e-mailing lindsey@growgroupinc.com so we can plan accordingly.



Standard Ticket: $1,195 per person

Includes all educational sessions, the tour of LOVING, two cocktail receptions, breakfast and lunch on Tuesday, and breakfast on Wednesday. Hotel, travel, and other meals are not included in the registration fee.

ACEs and their team members receive a special rate of $850. Please e-mail lindsey@growgroupinc.com for details.

Teams of three or more receive 15% off. E-mail lindsey@growgroupinc.com for details.


VIP Ticket: $1,790 per person

VIPs enjoy VIP privileges, including dinner at LOVING president Mike Haynes’s home with Marty and industry leaders; front-of-the-room seating; exclusive networking opportunities; and a special gift.


If you need to pay for your registration in installments, please call The Grow Group office at 1.937.847.9944 and we’ll try to accommodate you. You’ll need to provide a credit card number that we can process automatically on agreed-upon dates, and you must pay the entire balance before the event.



If you cancel your registration more than 30 days before the event, we’ll refund your money, minus a processing fee of $125 per registration; alternatively, you may opt to have your registration fee credited to your account and redeem it for another offering provided by The Grow Group. No refunds or credits will be issued for any registration cancelled 30 days or less before the event. You may transfer your registration to a substitute participant on or before February 17, 2020; no refunds, credits, or additional transfers are available for a transferred registration. Credits must be used within 18 months of their issue date.


February 24

Subject to change.

10 A.M.–1:30 P.M. 


1:30–2:15 P.M.

Marty Grunder, President and CEO, The Grow Group and Grunder Landscaping Co.
Vince Torchia, Vice President, The Grow Group

2:30–3:15 P.M.

Breakout Session I

  • Stop the Madness! How to Manage Your CEO 
    Whether you have the best boss in the world or the worst, working for someone else comes with challenges. In this session, Vince Torchia, vice president of The Grow Group, and Seth Pflum, general manager at Grunder Landscaping Co., will show you how to understand what makes your CEO tick, establish and align priorities, work together productively and disagree respectfully, and use your unique skill set to create value for your company. 

  • Vendor and Subcontractor Management: Building Strong Relationships
    Building strong relationships with vendors and subcontractors is a must in our industry. In this session, Chris Psencik and Tommy Cole will discuss how to structure your team for success and ensure you’re utilizing outside partnerships in the best way possible.

  • What’s Next? Building the Future Picture of Your Business 
    Grow Group executive coaches Jim Cali and Jason New will draw from a real-world case study to show you how to lay out a clear plan for where your organization is intent on going, how to communicate it to your team, and how to measure your success along the way.

  • H-2B or Not To H-2B? How to Make the System Work for You   
    H-2B can be a lifeline for your company or an endless frustration. In this session, Patrick Wilson, executive recruiter at McFarlin Stanford, and Amber Fox, director of HR at Grunder Landscaping Co., will lead you on a deep dive into the current state and future of the H-2B program and show you, step by step, what you can do to increase your chances for securing workers, integrate them successfully at your company, and get the most out of your investment. 

3:15–3:30 P.M.


3:30–4:15 P.M.

Breakout Session II

  • Sales Management Simplified 
    Processes and systems enable ordinary people to do extraordinary things. In this session, Marty Grunder, president and CEO of The Grow Group and Grunder Landscaping Co., and Chris Psencik, Grow Group executive coach, will share with you the processes and systems your company needs to succeed at sales, from setting and meeting goals, to job-costing, assessing poor performers, grading clients and exceeding their expectations, and driving accountability.  

  • Make It Real
    As business owners and leaders, we are tasked with not only creating a vision, processes, and strategies, but also with getting those things to become “real” in our companies. In this session, True Homes executive partner and LOVING colleague Scott Wentz will share practical ways that his company—a Carolina homebuilder and recognized leader in processes, systems, client experience, and culture—has made things real in their business. You’ll leave with solid strategies for “making it real” at your company and the steps you need to take to see them through.

  • Let’s Book: A Hands-On Finance Workshop
    Join Grow Group executive coach Jim Cali and McFarlin Stanford vice president Liz Helton for this fast and focused workshop on the financial knowledge and tactics you need to succeed at business. Together they’ll cover the fundamentals, from your chart of accounts and class systems, to depreciation, QuickBook journal entries, and using your P&L as your dashboard. 

  • How Distributor-Driven Operational Efficiencies Can Reduce Costs in Your Business
    Just as with landscaping companies, suppliers come in all sizes, types, and capabilities. In this session, SiteOne East Division president Taylor Koch will provide a fresh perspective on the real value that a supplier partnership can deliver to your business and how to get the most out of the relationship, from consolidating purchase power and reducing unbillable hours, to optimizing the business development resources and support they can provide.

4:30–4:45 P.M.

What You’ll See Tomorrow at LOVING
Founder and president Mike Haynes started in our industry the way so many of us did, by mowing lawns in high school, and through drive, acumen, and a truly remarkable team, he’s led LOVING to become one of the fastest-growing landscaping companies in the country. Mike is also one of the humblest and kindest people you’ll ever meet, and he’s surrounded himself with the same—you can’t help but learn and get inspired when you’re around the LOVING team. Marty Grunder and Mike will set the scene for what you’ll see on your tour of LOVING and what we can all beg, borrow, and steal to implement back home. 

4:50–5 p.m.

In the Spotlight: STIHL

5–6 p.m.

Cocktail Reception sponsored by STIHL

6:30 P.M.

For those who want to get to know other attendees better, we have made reservations for groups of 11 at eight local restaurants. Use the event app to sign up if there’s a group you want to join for dinner. Each diner pays their own way.

February 25

6–7 A.M.

Grab-and-Go Breakfast

6:45 A.M.

Buses Begin Loading for Tour of LOVING
(North Carolina contractors are eligible for 1L CEU credit for the tour)


Tour of LOVING
We’ll go behind the scenes of one of the fastest-growing landscaping companies in the country to learn directly from founder and president Mike Haynes and his close-knit team how they optimize each area of their business.


Buses depart for hotel

12:30–1:45 P.M.


1:45–2:40 P.M.

Critique of LOVING: What Would You Start, Stop, and Keep?

2:40–3 P.M.


3–3:45 P.M.

Breakout Session III

  • Should I Stay or Should I Grow? When and How to Enter into New Markets  and Find the Labor You Need to Succeed
    With the economic boom of the last several years, many landscaping companies are thriving and eager to grow, whether it’s expanding into new markets, opening a branch office, offering a new service, or acquiring another company. How do you assess the cost and benefit of expansion and determine if it’s right for you? How do you attain and retain a winning team? How do you maximize your chances for success? In this panel discussion, Scott Jamieson, vice president of Bartlett Tree Experts’ Midwest Division and Community Business Partnerships; Jason New, Grow Group Executive coach; and Mike Rorie, founder of GroundMasters and owner of GroundSystems, will pull the curtain back on what smart companies do to grow wisely, find and keep talent, and mitigate risk. 

  • It’s All Relative(s): How to Navigate and Succeed in a Family Business 
    Most family businesses start out with the best of intentions and yet many end in utter frustration. Why isn’t my son pulling his own weight? Why can’t my brother stop talking about work for two hours and watch the football game? How do I get the older generation to loosen the reins and embrace the changes we need to make to stay competitive? We’ll learn directly from those who have been there how to set a family business up for success with proven strategies for taking the emotion out and keeping the passion for success in, working productively across generations, establishing clear boundaries between work and life, and building a prosperous future for your family. Marty will moderate the panel, featuring Bob Grover and his son, David, of Pacific Landscape Management; Jeffrey Johns and his wife, Misty, of Coastal Greenery; and Josiah Peterson and his brother, Jonathan, of Summit Landscape and Design.

  • Getting the Most Out of Social Media for Business Success
    It’s become conventional wisdom that businesses need to be on social media if they want to compete, but without a deliberate strategy you can find yourself wasting precious time with little to show for it. In this session, STIHL’s social-media agency will share with you the ROI you need to work toward, what to measure and when, and how to create content that drives engagement and fosters conversions.

  • Women Get the Job Done: How to Lead in a Male-Dominated Industry 
    It’s no secret that the green industry continues to be dominated by men, but it’s also true there’s tremendous opportunity for women who know how to seize it. In this panel discussion, leading women in the green industry will share how they rose to the top, how they overcome stereotypes and everyday challenges, and how to foster inclusive organizations that enable talented team members to thrive regardless of gender. Listen and learn from Claire Goldman, principal, R & R Landscaping; H. Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, president and CEO of Gachina Landscape Management; and Jennifer Lemcke, COO of Weed Man USA.

4–4:45 P.M.

The Frank Tank
If you’ve ever watched the hit show Shark Tank and wanted a piece of the action, this is your chance. In the Frank Tank—named for beloved industry great Frank Mariani—you’ll have the opportunity to go before some of the sharpest minds in the business and pitch your ideas, problems, and wildest dreams. In return you’ll get frank advice on conquering your greatest challenges and a path forward for what to do next. On the panel are Bob Grover, president of Pacific Landscape Management; Jennifer Lemcke, COO of Weed Man USA; and Mike Rorie, founder of GroundMasters and owner of GroundSystems.

4:45–5:05 P.M.

The Year in Review
GROW! 2019 took us behind the scenes of Lifescape Colorado, one of Denver’s best landscaping companies. We’ll check in with the Lifescape team, learn what changes they’ve made in the last year, and where they’re headed next.

GROW! 2021
Learn where we’re headed next year.

5:05–5:15 P.M.

In the Spotlight: Gravely

5:15–6:15 P.M.

Cocktail Reception sponsored by Gravely

6 P.M.

Buses load for VIP Dinner at LOVING president Mike Haynes’s home


6:30 p.m.

For those who want to get to know other attendees better, we have made reservations for groups of 11 at eight local restaurants. Use the event app to sign up sign up if there’s a group you want to join for dinner. Each diner pays their own way.

8:30 P.M.

VIP Dinner Ends

February 26

7–8 A.M.



8–8:45 A.M.

Breakout Session IV

  • Get Equipped: How to Decide What to Buy and When 
    We all know landscape pros love their toys and trucks. But how many do you really need? What equipment should you have, and when should you replace it? How do you account for depreciation? What questions should you ask yourself before every purchase? Together Marty Grunder; Seth Pflum, Grunder Landscaping’s general manager; and Enviroscape founder and CEO Todd Pugh will share with you everything they know to help you make the right decisions for your company. 

  • Improving Profits through Better Landscape Design 
    The ongoing labor shortage in our industry has made the need for operational efficiency even greater—we all need to do more with less. Yet many of us are continuing to design landscapes that are difficult and time-consuming to maintain. In this session, Dr. Phil Allen, professor of landscape management at Brigham Young University, will share what landscaping companies can do to create designs that can be maintained with less time and cost, how to take advantage of the rise of robotic mowing, and how to reap the profits that these forward-thinking tactics put within reach. 

  • Streamlining Operations: The Kaizen Approach
    Are you looking for ways to eliminate waste at your company? Vermeer Corporation has been on a continuous-improvement journey for more than 20 years, utilizing kaizen events to create positive change. In this hands-on session, Brett Newendorp, Vermeer’s landscape market manager, will guide you through the five stages of a kaizen event, as if it were being held with a production team. You’ll leave with a whole new approach to improving efficiency and a fresh understanding of the cultural impact that a continuous-improvement mindset can have at your company.

  • Become a Water-Management Company!
    Water is the fastest-growing utility expense in America, and properties are looking to you for solutions now! Meanwhile, you know irrigation labor is the hardest to find and most expensive. Join Weathermatic’s Brodie Bruner and Lex Mason as they share how you can use smart irrigation technology and mobile app-based inspections with automated proposals to generate 20% of your maintenance revenue through high-profit water-management services. You’ll leave with a formal program on how to execute immediately to achieve your customer retention and business development goals—with no additional labor or upfront capital investment.

8:45–9:15 A.M.

Group Photo

9:15–9:45 A.M.

Act It Out!


Keynote Address
Creating a Culture to Attract and Retain Talent
Join us as Chris Allen, senior business consultant with Ronald Blue Trust in Charlotte, shares his unique insights into what landscaping companies can do to conquer the ongoing labor challenge our industry faces. Chris has more than 20 years’ experience with rapidly growing organizations, including serving as the chief talent officer at Movement Mortgage during its transformation from 1,600 to over 4,000 employees and working closely with LOVING to move the company forward.

10:30–11 A.M.

The Wrap-Up


GROW! 2020 Speakers

Marty Grunder
Vince Torchia
Jim Cali
Jason New
Chris Psencik
Chris Allen
Phil Allen
Brodie Bruner
Ryan Dudik
Amber Fox
Jennifer Glasser
Claire Goldman
Bob Grover
David Grover
Mary Haynes
Mike Haynes
Liz Helton
Jim Howie
Jackie Ishimaru-Gachina
Scott Jamieson
Ben Johnson
Jeffrey Johns
Misty Johns
Kevin Kehoe
Taylor Koch
Jennifer Lemcke
Phil Marcantonio
Heather McCollough
Jonathan Peterson
Josiah Peterson
Brett Newendorp
Seth Pflum
Roger Phelps
Todd Pugh
Bill Roddy
Mike Rorie
Ben Stout
Patrick Wilson
Meghan Yates

GROW! 2020 Sponsors

Lead Sponsor

The Aspire Software Company
Vermeer lockup
McFarlin Stanford


We’re happy to answer them. Please e-mail us at grow@growgroupinc.com or call The Grow Group office at 937.847.9944.