Paul Cooling has recently (October, 2013) been elected to the International Garden Centre Association (IGCA) board replacing Sue Allen who is retiring from the role.
The Chairman of Coolings Nurseries has been a long-time supporter of the IGCA and his appointment continues the UK presence on the international board.
He said: “My father, Michael, was an early supporter of the IGCA. He spoke German and this endeared him to many of the host nations at the early Congresses. He took me to my first International Congress in Holland in 1978 and since then I’ve attended 18 in total.
“Carrying on the family tradition, I took my daughter Jessica to the most recent Congress I attended in Germany in 2012, where she participated in the study tour.
“I am delighted to have been elected to the board and look forward to representing the UK.”
Coolings Nurseries evolved in the 1960s and was one of the first to be inspected by the HTA and accredited as an approved garden centre, this being the forerunner to the Garden Centre Association (GCA).
The business relocated in 1990 and now has two sites in Kent, sales in excess of £6 million and employs more than 190 staff.
Paul continued: “I’d also like to thank Sue for her time serving on the IGCA board. She has most recently been Past President and was previously the President.”
The IGCA is committed to improving the state of the art of the garden centre industry. It exists to provide a forum for the mutual exchange of information to benefit similar minded independent garden retailers on a world-wide basis.
The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.
Through sharing information and its inspection programme the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.
The GCA annual conference will take place from January 26 until 29, 2014 at the Hilton Blackpool Hotel.
For further information, please call 0118 930 8918 or visit www.gca.org.uk. Alternatively, please log on to www.facebook.com/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter.