The Retail Division of the American Nursery and Landscape Association has named Frank Fernicola Jr. of Fairfield Garden Center in New Jersey the 2006 Retail Rising Star. The award recognizes young retail professionals with the passion, talent and vision necessary to maintain and improve the independent garden center industry in the future.
Fernicola, who has a degree in fine arts and photography, focuses strongly on store layout, enhancing “shoppability,” cross-merchandising and creating personalized customer service for clients. He is a second-generation member of the family business at Fairfield Garden Center, where he began working at an early age. As a student in the Garden Center University program, Fernicola has been an active participant in the ANLA Management Clinic and Retail Roadshows.
“I encourage other young people of the green industry to get involved in events like this, as soon as they can, to be sure they are seeing the bigger picture,” Fernicola says.
As part of the award, ANLA and Meister Media Worldwide provided a scholarship package for Fernicola to encourage his continued participation in education and networking as part of his career in the retail garden industry. Fernicola received airfare, hotel and registration fees to attend ANLA’s Retail Roadshow, Legislative Conference and the 2008 Management Clinic.