Meet Hal Thorne of GSky Plant Systems in Delray Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hal Thorne.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Hal. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up moving around a lot as my father was with the government. Sports were an important part of my early life through college (basketball and baseball). I have been fortunate to have had three careers each with a leading institution or company in its industry. I first started out in education as a coach and administrator at a leading private school in the Boston area. After going to business school after 10 years, I worked for the leading seed genetics company in the world, Pioneer Hi-Bred International. We developed and sold corn, soybean, canola, cereal and other seeds to farmers worldwide. I finished my career there as VP for Global Sales and Marketing when Dupont bought the Company.

I worked several years thereafter doing the same but including Dupont’s Agricultural Chemicals. I retired and found my present business as a part-time consultant. They were in Vancouver, British Columbia doing green roofs but had a small wall product. I bought some investors in and took the company out of the green roof business and into living green walls. I somewhat jokingly say buildings have only one roof, but they have eight walls (four inside and four outside). This Company today is the leading Global Provider of green wall systems.

Through this journey, I learned to be competitive but fair, to value different people and cultures, to appreciate getting things done, and to be a good and trustworthy partner. After all, in the world of business one rarely gets things done by themselves.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For some reason, I always had positions and jobs a little ahead of my time or training. Gaining acceptance and trust was a constant effort. Learning also became more of a challenge as technology increasingly has come to dominate business and keeping up is no small feat.

From a physical perspective, I literally flew around the world on a monthly basis and I learned it took real stamina and drive, as well as some amount of adventure to be willing to try new things. Finally, communication skills are vital to a successful career and effective leadership.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with GSky Plant Systems, Inc. – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
GSky Plant Systems is a leading supplier of living green wall systems with over 525 wall systems in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Today we offer four different green wall systems for interior and exterior use. This sets us apart from our competitors who mostly sell one type of system. Also, our geographic span sets us apart as we have learned to remotely manage our products through partnerships.

We design, install and maintain walls, and each system is unique in terms of design flexibility, installation location versatility, plant selection variety, size, cost, coverage time-line, and components. We are developing partnerships with installers, dealers, and maintainers of green wall systems which allows us to expand internationally as well as an ad to our knowledge base given the diverse locations we have product in. Our systems are turn-key and plants are guaranteed as long as maintenance is in place.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Being in a young and growing industry, our vision is that over time wall systems will become more functional in providing benefits such as air quality, acoustical absorption, toxin degradation, heating and cooling properties, workplace productivity, and someday real screening of all the unsightly tall, concrete structures going up in ever-increasing populated areas.

Plants are essential to our eco-system so we must find ways to grow them in places that they normally wouldn’t. So GSky’s plan is to become a learning organization, to continue to develop new and improved systems that support plant life while offering added befits, and to be a global company to take advantage of the diversity in ideas and people.

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