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 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 the Head of Sales and Estimating.
When not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and also enjoys the occasional drink at the local pub!
Connor joined the company in February 2021. After completing his education, he worked in various customer service/sales roles before securing a position in a retail nursery. For three years he was involved in all aspects of the business from the sales office, to working outside on the nursery.
Since becoming a member of the Crowders team, Connor has been involved in the estimating process, liaising with customers to provide quotations and assisting across all areas of the sales process, focusing on customer satisfaction. Driven by a desire to improve his plant knowledge, he has recently enrolled on a horticultural course and is working towards a Level 2 Certificate in Plant Growth, Propagation and Development.
Outside of work, Connor enjoys cycling, walking and music and is a keen boxing enthusiast.
Shona joined Crowders in May 2019 with qualifications in Business, Finance, and Childcare. After having a career in childcare for 3 years she wished to expand her knowledge through a career change to horticulture at Crowders. Shona was originally employed as ‘Sales Administrator,’ a role she carried out for a year, before achieving an internal promotion. Within her new role as ‘Assistant Buyer’ she works closely with the supply chain while assisting with all matters concerning plant health.
When Shona is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends; she also enjoys spending her free time horse riding.
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.
Sarah joined Crowders in November 2017 with qualifications in Retail Banking Conduct of Business and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Language for Business. Sarah’s background is in languages having previously worked as a tri-lingual P.A in the international property department of a law firm in Birmingham. After working overseas in finance for three years Sarah relocated back to the UK and worked in HSBC Bank as a personal banker. Due to a programme of extensive branch closures, she decided to leave the bank and embark on a complete career change, fuelled by the 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 within the industry. She has spent time living 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 of work she enjoys walking, the cinema, concerts, musical theatre, foreign travel and is a member of a local quiz team.
Lynsey joined Crowders in June 2021 – after completing a Foundation Degree in Fashion studies at London College of Fashion. Lynsey has a working background in retail from her time in New Zealand, however, after coming back to the UK she changed career and worked as an ‘Advertising Sales Executive’ at a publishing company.
Having grown up with keen gardening parents Lynsey has inherited the interest, so was a great opportunity to join Crowders and be involved in the horticulture industry and develop her skills and knowledge.
Outside of work, Lynsey enjoys 50’s Jive dancing and the Rock n Roll scene and is often at events and concerts across the UK.
Head of Production
James was appointed in June 2019 as Head of Production. 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.
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.
Marketing and Communications Assistant
Polly joined Crowders as a 2021 graduate after achieving a First Class Honours Degree in Journalism and Public Relations at the University of Lincoln. Polly has a great passion for marketing and communications after completing numerous internships within this field throughout her time at university and volunteering as a board member for her university PR company. Outside of this field Polly has worked within retail and hospitality while completing her studies.
Polly’s family are nature enthusiasts, so she has grown up with a horticultural influence, she hopes to use this within her work at Crowders while expanding her knowledge and experience within marketing and communications.
Outside of work Polly enjoys cocktails with friends and spending time with her family.
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. 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.
Head of Finance and HR
Hannah joined Crowders in November 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. Initially Hannah was employed as a Sales Administrator before moving to her current role as Sales Estimator. To expand her knowledge of horticulture Hannah has been working towards an RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture, which she hopes to complete in September 2021.
Away from work she enjoys mountain biking, hiking and looking after the vegetable patch.
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 Head of Operations. 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.