Chairman and Chief Executive
Robert is the Chairman and Chief Executive of Crowders. He was brought up on the nursery and has been immersed in horticulture from childhood. He studied Horticulture at Hadlow College before starting full time with the business in 1977. He has represented the sector in many organisations and committees over the decades including being Chairman of the Joint Hardy Nursery Stock Committee (HTA/NFU), Chairman of the Agricultural Training Board Management Training Centre, Director and Treasurer of BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) and has also been a Council member of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), The Garden Centre Association (GCA), The Joint Council of Landscape Industries (JCLI) and The European Nurserystock Association (ENA). He is a member of The Worshipful Company of Gardeners.
His passion for the mountains and winter sports led to him becoming the Chairman of The Ski Club of Great Britain from 2012-2017. He also enjoys Mountain Biking, road cycling and hiking and has a love/hate relationship with golf.
Head of Operations
Jason started his career at Crowders in 2008 working out on the nursery. He achieved his horticultural qualifications and gained experience and knowledge which he now uses daily in his role as supply chain manager. His responsibilities include managing some of the key accounts and working closely with the supply chain and team to ensure customers get an efficient and high-quality service.
Away from work he enjoys travelling, watching sport especially Lincoln City (he’s a season ticket holder) and spending time with his family including his Springer Spaniel called Bella.
Sarah joined Crowders in November 2017. Sarah’s background is in languages having previously worked as a tri-lingual P.A in the international property department of a firm of Lawyers in Birmingham. After moving overseas for 3 years, Sarah re-located back to the UK, and worked for HSBC Bank both as a Personal Banker and a Customer Service Representative. Due to a programme of extensive branch closures, Sarah decided to leave the bank and embark on a complete career change fuelled by a desire to try something new. As a complete novice in the world of horticulture, (apart from being a keen gardener), Sarah is keen to expand her knowledge, and is looking to start a horticultural qualification. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Languages for Business and holds Retail Banking Conduct of Business qualifications. She has lived in both Spain and Germany.
Her role as the Office Administrator plays to her strengths of organisation, time management and attention to detail. She is responsible for all the administrative and clerical aspects of the Sales Office and deals across all areas of the business. She is involved in the” end to end process” from order processing through to delivery and the production of weekly invoices. Having recently taken on extra responsibilities, she is looking forward to expanding her role within the Company further.
Outside work, she enjoys cinema, concerts and musical theatre, foreign travel and is a member of a local quiz team.
James joined Crowders in early 2018 as Sales and Marketing Director. Three years on achieved promotion as the Commercial Director. He is responsible for company sales and marketing strategies focusing on all commercial activities including customer service, procurement, estimating, logistics and internal/external business development. The best aspects of James’s job are working with people, both within Crowders and externally, and his love of plants. James is an experienced horticulturalist and holds eleven horticultural qualifications. His interest in horticulture stems from his parents; he was encouraged by his Dad to join a local garden centre at age 16. James is passionate about all aspects of horticulture; he also loves history, attending air shows and spending time on holiday with his family.
Head of Sales & Estimating
Jenny has been working at Crowders since 1999 when she joined the company having completed her school education. She started as an Office Junior and went on to gain NVQ’S in Business Administration Level 2 and Level 3, and Customer Service Level 2. This role enabled Jenny to gain a strong foundation and knowledge into the basics of the Horticultural Industry. Jenny progressed through the company, taking on new positions such as, managing the order status, account management, and even being the Supply Chain Coordinator for several years. Jenny now is a senior estimator, pricing, negotiating and account management.
When not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and also enjoys the occasional drink at the local pub!
Account and Contracts Lead Assistant
Shona joined Crowders in May 2019 when she decided to have a career change from childcare, after working in that industry for over 3 years. She qualified in Business, Finance, and Childcare, but wanting a change of environment and to expand her knowledge brought her to Crowders. In the office Shona is responsible for several administrative jobs as well as market research.
When not at work she enjoys spending time with her family, and spending time horse riding.
Neil has been employed by Crowders since 1983, filling the role of Company Secretary since 2001, and Finance director since 2003. He is responsible for accounts, finance and wages and holds a BTEC National Certificate in Business & Finance and is AAT qualified. From starting out as a Trainee Accounts Assistant in 1983, he never expected to become a Finance Director, but is proud of what he has achieved, and extremely grateful for the opportunities he has been given. He enjoys working with the other staff at Crowders, which he describes as like an extended family.
He spends as much time as possible with family, with three daughters and a wonderful granddaughter. He is a lifelong supporter of Liverpool FC, going to games whenever the opportunity arises. He enjoys trying to keep fit through going to the gym, swimming, running, or just walking through the countryside, although admits his ageing body doesn’t always feel very fit!
Gavin joined Crowders as an Estimator in 2017. He comes from a horticultural background having previously been involved in his family business, Bells Nurseries, for 15 years. He made the decision to move to Crowders to experience something different and move from the retail to the landscape sector. He is responsible for providing quotations., liaising with customers who have secured contracts and negotiating and securing orders for the Company. He has a wealth of plant knowledge and provides excellent customer service and after care.
When not at work he enjoys spending time with his young family. He is keen on keeping himself fit and active and belongs to a local triathlon club.
Head of Production
James was appointed in June 2019 as Production Manager. He has worked in horticulture for the last 10 years in a variety of roles, most recently for Joseph Rochford’s Gardens growing a wide range of hardy nursery stock while studying for his BSc in Horticulture at Writtle University College. He is looking forward to immersing himself in this new role and becoming an established member of the Crowders team. He enjoys the management of pests and diseases, with a focus on Integrated Crop Management and how this can contribute towards sustainable crop production.
When not working he enjoys spending his time climbing and hiking throughout the UK.
Nic joined Crowders in May 2019 as Finance Manager; she is responsible for all things accounts related, including the sales and purchase ledgers. Before joining Crowders she worked in the printing industry for 26 years, both in administration and finance. Nic is AAT Part Qualified and hopes to continue her learning. Since joining Crowders she has enjoyed working with the Crowders team and
has settled into her new role. Nic has always enjoyed looking after her garden at home, and since beginning at Crowders her knowledge of plants is expanding.
Outside of work Nic keeps busy with her two children. She is also a parent governor at the primary school attended by her son; a challenging but enjoyable role. When she does have free time Nic enjoys going to the gym and watching boxsets; her absolute favourite thing is a walk along the beach.
Sales Estimator / Website & Social Media
Hannah has been working at Crowders since 2018 when she changed career from working as a research geologist. A keen interest in horticulture brought her to Crowders, where she is now a member of the sales team. As well as being responsible for several administrative jobs she is also involved with transport and estimating. Outside of work Hannah is working towards a qualification in horticulture to develop her horticultural career.
Away from works she enjoys mountain biking, hiking and looking after the vegetable patch.
He joined Crowders in 2017 after deciding on a career change. He was a professional honeybee farmer for the previous 6 years with 15 years in the industry as a whole. He enjoys working outdoors and the natural environment which led to his employment at Crowders. He started his time working in the forestry nursery before moving into his current role as Technical Support for all 3 nurseries.
In his spare time he enjoys travelling and photography.