Bonnie’s Stan Cope to Retire

Chris Beytes

President and CEO of Bonnie Plants for more than 10 years, Stan Cope stepped down from the president role April 1 and will back away from his CEO position at the end of the year. Taking his place will be Mike Sutterer, formerly the Senior Vice President and General Manager, Gardens Business, at Scotts Miracle-Gro. Mike started as president April 1 and will take on the additional CEO duties January 1, 2020.

Bonnie Plants of Union Springs, Alabama, is the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America.

What many may not know is that Stan is the grandson of Bonnie Plants’ founders Livingston and Bonnie Paulk. They started the company in 1918.

“It has been my honor to lead Bonnie over the last 10 years,” Stan 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.”

Mike Sutterer worked with Scotts Miracle-Gro for 19 years in several key marketing leadership roles, including leading the Miracle-Gro brand. He brings with him a focus on marketing innovation—including championing two major 2019 new product introductions.

Says Mike of his new opportunity, “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 No. 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.”

What’s Stan’s plan in retirement?

“I will stay involved in the business for a while, offering advice when needed.” He added that he enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and gardening, “So I doubt if boredom will set in any time soon.” GT