Hillier Nurseries has announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors; George Hillier and Martin Hillier, marking the fifth generation of the Hillier family to join the board.
Both appointments were effective from Thursday, September 6, with George continuing to manage the property portfolio as director of property and Martin taking on the role of a non-executive director.
Hillier chairman Robert Hillier commented: “We are delighted to welcome George and Martin to the board. We are extremely proud to be a family business that looks to the future, so it is wonderful to have the fifth generation of the Hillier family involved at board level to continue to build on the fantastic achievements of the last 154 years, and to drive this forward in the coming years.”
George, who is Robert Hillier’s son, has worked in the company for 17 years. He began as a garden centre assistant, and worked his way up to become manager of the Hillier Chichester Garden Centre, before progressing to area manager for three years and then into his current role, where he manages property acquisitions and developments.
Discussing his new position on the board George said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Hillier board. These are very exciting times for our business! We have such a strong and experienced team, and are in a great position to make the most of our existing business. This is of course whilst pursuing future opportunities and focusing on what we do best - trees, plants and great customer experiences.”
The second board appointment is George’s cousin, Martin, who joined Hillier in 1992 as a supervisor at the company’s Brentry Container Unit. He moved to Andlers Ash tree production nursery where he created the craftsman training programme, and then in 1998 he took on the role of senior manager at Broadmead Trees where he remains today, running the production and despatch of Hillier containerised trees.
“I feel very honoured to be joining the board as the family representative. I see it as a custodial role continuing the stewardship of the four previous generations but especially that of my father John Hillier, whilst carrying on my senior management role at the nursery. The Hillier business is continually evolving and adapting to changes in market forces and environmental pressures and I’m excited to be even more of a part of that.”
Hillier was established in 1864 by Robert and John's great grandfather, Edwin Hillier when he purchased a two-acre nursery with a companion florist’s shop in Winchester. Their father, Sir Harold Hillier, Edwin's grandson, who also went into the family business, was responsible for creating the internationally-renowned artboretum in the grounds of his home, Jermyns House near Romsey in Hampshire. The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, which spans 72 hectares and features more than 42,000 trees and shrubs, has since beeen entrusted to the Hampshire County Council.