J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. nursery (Boring, Oregon) has appointed Ben Rough as its new chief executive officer (CEO), the company announced April 2.
Rough brings more than 20 years of green industry experience to his new post, climbing up from an entry-level customer service position to several executive leadership appointments. He most recently served as director of sales and distribution for DCA West Nursery (Banks, Oregon). Prior to that, he served as vice president at Glenn Walters Nursery (Cornelius, Oregon), then transitioned the ownership of the company to Ameriscape. He then served that company’s chief operations officer, and later, CEO. Rough has a Master of Business Administration from Marylhurst University, as well as a degree from University of Oregon.
The Schmidt family ownership council hired Rough in the tumultuous period of the COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused disruption throughout all workplace environments across the globe. However, he has seamlessly adjusted to taking charge while adhering to executive orders from the state and CDC recommendations for the safety of all employees.
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. began its executive search last fall, after former General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Art Anderson, who had managed day-to-day operations of the nursery since 2012, announced his retirement . Rough will report to the company’s 10-member board of directors, of which six people are Schmidt family members. In related changes, past president and CEO J. Frank Schmidt III will transition into the role of board chairman, and Jan Schmidt Barkley, executive vice-president, will transition into an advisory role and become the chair of the J. Frank Schmidt Family Charitable Foundation.
J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. has been in business for 74 years. The company has introduced more than 100 unique tree cultivars to the nursery trade, and is recognized for its innovative growing techniques, quality products, industry leadership and philanthropic influence.