Gilroy Today 2011 06 Summer - Page 16

The Legacy of Goldsmith Seeds By Larry J. Mickartz Jane & Glenn Goldsmith “Goldsmith Seeds was family, a family that extended across continents, cultures and the unique personalities that were attracted to the breeding of flowers. There was pride in working for the common goal, in creating something beautiful year after year. Opportunity, possibilities and recognition were there. But central to it all was the Goldsmith philosophy that employees, community and customers all felt that they belonged to an extended family. They could come to a place and share a common passion. It is a gift to be able to create a life working at what you like doing. I think we are are grateful for that.” On March 26, 2011 the multinational corporation Syngenta hosted a reception at the beginning of their Spring Trials. The reception recognized the Goldsmith Family who founded and grew a passion for seed propagation into a very successful business. In 2008 Syngenta bought out Goldsmith Seeds. Spring Trials are an annual showcase for new plant variations. Visitors from all over the world come to Syngenta during the Spring Trials. A few years ago the Goldsmith family started a tradition of giving the greenhouse demonstration flowers to the Gilroy Rotary Club after the Spring Trials. The Rotary Club then orchestrates the annual Flower Fest where the flowers are sold to the public. The proceeds from this event go towards Rotary service and charitable giving activities. Jane Stoppel, Elite Stock Manager, Syngenta Flowers On June 5, 1962 Glen Goldsmith founded Goldsmith Seeds in Gilroy. He remembers the exact date. The first location was an abandoned barn on the east side. Along the way this small operation grew to a huge business with facilities in Guatemala, Holland, Kenya, and Gilroy employing as many as 4,000 employees around the world! The story of the Goldsmith family and Goldsmith Seeds is one of those remarkable American success stories. Fifty years later Glen’s body feels the effects of age and illness but his mind remains sharp and informed. Back then he received his bachelor’s degree and came very close to finishing his doctoral degree. Reflecting on the Tribute Reception, he quips that it was like attending your own funeral! As he recalls it, things were not that perfect! 16 G I L R O Y T O D A Y S U M M E R 2 0 1 1