I am Christine Hetz Phillips, CEO of Fairview Evergreen Nurseries, Inc. (Fairview, PA), a family business my grandfather, Frank C. Hetz, and his wife, Mary, began in 1911.
I joined in 1974, after earning my degree from Penn State University, and spent my first 14 years in propagation, leading a team of women older and more knowledgeable than I. They taught me the nuances of the trade, and together we produced over one million rooted cuttings annually. What I love about my job is getting to know all our employees and most of our customers, at least by voice.
Our industry has the distinction of high integrity on a personal and business level. Maybe we all just work too hard to live any other way, but that, in itself, makes me proud. We’ve supported HRI since 1989. I feel the same way about HRI as I do about our democracy: if I don’t participate, I cannot make a difference.
Favorite plant: Taxus baccata repandens, a truly “green” evergreen that provides a graceful background for annuals or perennials and works on carbon sequestering year round.