Seed World

Bonnie Plant’s Stan Cope Retires

Bonnie Plants announced that president and CEO, Stan Cope, has decided to retire after 51 years of valued service.  Mike Sutterer, formerly the senior vice president and General Manager, Gardens Business, at Scotts Miracle-Gro, has been appointed to the position of President, effective April 1, with Cope remaining as CEO through December 2019.

Cope, the grandson of Bonnie Plants’ founders, Livingston and Bonnie Paulk, led the company for over 10 years and worked within the company for more than five decades. During his tenure, the company delivered consistent top and bottom line growth ahead of its markets. Cope’s tireless, inspired leadership and innumerable contributions secured Bonnie as an industry leader, well positioned for sustainable growth and continued success.

“It has been my honor to lead Bonnie over the last 10 years,” Cope says. “Throughout this time, I have been humbled by the commitment and hard work of our people and their passion for creating a truly purpose-driven company. I am extremely grateful to my Bonnie family, as they have worked passionately to help build our long-term success and sustainable future.

“I congratulate Mike on his appointment and look forward to working with him during the transition period. Having worked closely with Mike for the past 3 years, I am highly confident that under his leadership, Bonnie will continue to grow and prosper long into the future.  This is the right time for me personally and for the company to transition to the next generation of leadership. Bonnie is well positioned for future success with an extraordinary team, solid foundation and exciting growth prospects,” says Cope.

Mike Sutterer assumed the role of president, on April 1, and will become CEO upon Cope’s retirement in December. Sutterer worked with Scotts Miracle-Gro for 19 years in several key marketing leadership roles, including leading the Miracle-Gro brand.  His deep understanding and experience in the gardening industry, makes him an outstanding choice. He is a strong, dynamic and a values-driven, natural leader with an impressive history of delivering consistent, high-quality performance.  Sutterer brings with him a focus on marketing innovation, including championing two major 2019 new product introductions that will revolutionize both Organic and Indoor gardening.  Sutterer’s vision, drive and performance focus, combined with his commitment to serving the best long-term interests of Bonnie, will materially strengthen the company moving forward.

“I am humbled and excited by this opportunity to lead Bonnie Plants,” says Sutterer. “The Bonnie brand has been around for over 100 years and there aren’t many brands that have that type of rich and deep heritage.  My #1 focus is to steward and care for the Bonnie brand, while we grow and evolve to ensure it is strong for the next 100 years. We’re going to look to innovate in all areas of our business to continue to stay relevant to the next generation of gardeners.

“I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to Stan for his remarkable leadership, unique and authentic character and look forward to working closely with him during the transition,” he says.