Get to know Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall is the head of marketing at Syngenta Flowers.

PHOTO courtesy of Ryan Hall

NM: How did you get started in horticulture?

RH: I started in high school, working for a retail nursery in the city I grew up in, Fremont, California. I started as a carry out, loading potting soil and whatnot in customers cars. From there, I really learned to appreciate horticulture and learned it was a proper career track. It was actually my math teacher that told me there was a degree in horticulture, and that’s when I learned about the path I wanted to take. The rest is history. I applied to Cal Poly to get a degree in horticulture and fortunately got in. Once I graduated, I worked for a grower here in California.

NM: What do you do as head of marketing at Syngenta Flowers?

RH: There’s a number of different areas that marketing covers. Marketing communications: that team is responsible for all of the sales collateral that the growers and brokers use on a day-to-day basis. Product managers: they work with research and development on all the new breeding initiatives, and they manage the active portfolio. Our technical team: anything that a grower needs to be successful, whether it be growing advice, culture advice or product genetic recommendations, they’re leading that. Then the last part is pricing: all of the pricing strategy for our portfolio sits within marketing as well.

NM: So can you give me insight as to what a day or week in the office looks like?

RH: No day is the same. In my role, I spend a lot of time with my team, working through problems, giving them the support they need whether it be resources, time or advice on how to approach a particular problem. I spend a fair amount of time on special projects – what are our strategic objectives and how are we going to get there, whether it be growth opportunities or just managing the business more efficiently. Another good part of my typical day-to-day would be getting out in front of our products and customers, whether it be visiting customers or industry events, listening to what our customers are excited about or what they’re not excited about.

NM: What’s your favorite part of your job?

RH: If I had to pick one thing, I love getting out in the greenhouse and looking at our breeding pipeline. That’s probably the most exciting because you get to see what the future holds and how our products stack up against others. Product development is still my key passion at heart. I’ll go to an event and the first thing I’ll do is walk over to the plants and do a quick cruise through the trials just to see what pops out that’s interesting (laughs).

NM: Is there something you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of?

RH: I have a pretty long track record of new product introductions that I’m quite proud of. It’s fun to see the ones I introduced multiple years ago still relevant in the market. Overall, I’m most proud of just where we started and where we’re now from an overall marketing standpoint. I’m super proud of the team every year when the catalog comes out, events are hosted and when we get great feedback from our customers.

NM: When you’re not working, what are some of your hobbies?

RH: I have a young family with kids that are 11, nine and seven. They keep us quite busy outside of work hours with just their schedules. We do a lot of hiking. When we can take vacations, we are very much on the national park kick right now. If I do have down time, I’m usually in my garage messing around with all sorts of things. I’m a tinkerer (laughs). I like woodworking, metalworking and forging. All that type of stuff I really enjoy.

NM: So what kind of things do you make?

RH: I started making kitchen knives, and that’s been a fun journey. I’ve made furniture in the past, but nothing to really lay claim to. I always tell everybody I don’t guarantee my work (laughs). Also gardening is a sense of pride for me. I like my garden to be in a great place, so I’m constantly ripping things out and planting new things. It’s a small yard, but it’s amazing how many times I can fill that green compost bin.

January 2023
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