With a passion for efficiency and doing things right the first time, Paul Ecke III has been instrumental in leading the Ecke Ranch since 1990. Combining a B.S. in horticulture from Colorado State, and MBA from Duke University and three years of offshore production management experience with Hewlett-Packard, Paul has brought a progressive business perspective to all Ranch operations and has led the way in implementing high-tech growing processes and procedures. Under his watchful eye, the Ranch shifted business focus into three primary strategies: to offer lower cost options for grower customers, to diversify the product offering, and to get a better match of company offerings with the needs of customers. Using the knowledge and technical expertise associated with vegetative cutting production from poinsettias, he dramatically expanded the product line to include vegetative spring annuals. Today about half of the Ranch business results from the vegetative spring annuals. Paul drove the processes and efficiency changes internally, working to provide customers with the right quality at the right prices. Paul's knack for viewing obstacles as opportunities provides fresh motivation to those who work closely with him.
Jim grew his first poinsettia crop in 1987 and readily admist having absolutely no clue what he was doing until Dr. David Hartly, research director at the Paul Ecke Ranch at the time, visited the greenhouse that season. He was amazed that someone understood every little detail about the poinsettia, and at that point decided that he, too, wanted to have that degree of expertise someday. So after spending a couple of years as a grower, Jim decided to go to graduate school at Michigan State in order to learn more about the physiology of floriculture crops, especially the poinsettia. Over the past 15 years, Jim has conducted important research on a number of poinsettia issues including: stem breakage, branching issues, photomorphogenesis, stock plant production techniques, and plant growth regulators. Jim is currently on the horticulture faculty at Clemson University (which is, coincidentally, near the South Carolina home of Joel Robert Poinsett).
With a background din both finance and horticulture, Andy Higgins has been a key figure in the Ecke Ranch's growth and development as an international company. Andy and his team were responsible for founding and integrating the Ranch's offshore facilities into the business, which allowed for drastic expansion of the Ranch's crops and programs for North America. Without the combined focus on good horticulture and good business, expansion of that size and scale had the potential to put the Ecke Ranch at risk both financially and as a supplier of high-quality cuttings to the customers. Key to this success is Andy's belief in an integrated production system that can meet ever-increasing customer expectations. Through Andy's leadership, the organization is stronger and positioned to continue its role as a reliable, quality supplier for the years to come
Poinsettias are an important crop in virtually every country of the world. Regardless if they are used for the traditional Christmas season or as a specialty crop for the Chinese New Year, the beauty of poinsettias has made them a favorite with consumers everywhere. But producing poinsettias in the heat of summer in Australia or the better cold of winter in Mongolia can be a challenge for growers located in these regions. And just like in North America, these grower can count on support from Ecke. As a technical specialist for Ecke, Jack works with agents and growers worldwide to troubleshoot crop problems and help growers do a better job producing quality crops, regardless of where they're growing. To this end, Jack's boundless enthusiasm and commitment to high service standards earns him great respect throughout the industry.