Happy Retirement to David Steiner

Chris Beytes

If you know pot, tray and seeder company Blackmore, then you know David Steiner, long-time VP of the company. Well, David is retiring from The Blackmore Company, his only place of employment since September 1977, when he was a fresh-faced college graduate.

Just for fun, David recalled some of the history and changes at Blackmore in that time:

When I started at Blackmore, fresh out of the University of Michigan, there were only four of us trying to get the [bedding plant] plug thing up and running: Skip, his dad, me and another guy who is still here, amazingly enough. Skip made me VP in 1982; of course, I didn’t have anyone working beneath me, so I still had to do most everything.

Back then we made about 500,000 trays year. Now we make four times that a month! I remember when Jack Van de Wetering ordered 5,000 waffle trays; we were jumping up and down, we thought we had made the big time! I spent that first summer at Blackmore making 20,000 of the old 648 waffle plug trays and we shipped them all to Gavin Wilton in Adelaide, Australia.

The old Blackmore “flip-flop” seeder sowed about a tray a minute. Now the Cylinder seeder can sow one every three seconds!

David concluded his musings with this: It has been fun and rewarding to be a part of a company that has literally led the industry in helping to change the way the world grows plants. So many wonderful, smart and dedicated people.

I asked David how “retired” he’d be in retirement; he replied with a long list of hobbies and activities, including travel, volunteering, gardening, concerts, exercise and flying.

“It will be fun to have time to do it,” he said. GT