Sean McG. Powell is the CEO and President of Gledhill Nursery, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors, among several other hats that he wears there. He has led the senior management of the company for over 21 years.
He started out in the business as a teenager, working his way up from groundskeeper, to garden center sales representative, then landscaper crew worker, and finally to landscape crew foreman.
He then left the region to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Rochester, and C.Phil. and Master’s degrees in Biology from UCLA, where he taught numerous university-level classes in biology.
Sean has conducted research studies on diverse plant, mammal, and bird species in western New York, California, British Columbia, Vermont, and Massachusetts, including work on several threatened and endangered species. He has been employed as a biologist by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and and as an independent ecological services and information technology services consultant. He has worked collaboratively with the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, the U.S. Forest Service, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, and with most of the state and federal natural resource agencies in the northeastern United States and in California.
Sean is a published author of numerous journal articles, books, and book chapters. He is a co-author of a book on wild turkey biology and population management, and a contributing author on a book on the biology of the pine marten family of tree-dwelling carnivores. He spent a few years doing field research on coastal river otters and mink on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.
Having returned to the company in 1998, Sean uses his experience with nursery operations, and his knowledge of plant biology, computer systems and applications, and his experience with technological applications, to streamline operations and enhance the accessibility of the nursery and its resources to the community. He designed, constructed, and maintains the company’s web site.
As CEO and President of the company, he oversees and administers general nursery operations, financial analysis, and data analysis. As Information Technology Director, he is responsible for administering and managing the company’s technological, IT, telecommunications, and computer systems. As Human Resources Director, he recruits new talent, administers employee benefits programs, and ensures compliance with labor laws.
In his spare time, Sean enjoys hiking, inline skating, genetic genealogy, landscape photography, and has been known to cut a rug with swing dancing, particularly Lindy Hop. He enjoys a wide variety of music, including alternative rock, classic rock, grunge, swing, jazz, blues, classical, modern country, punk, new wave, traditional Irish, and Celtic rock. Build a festival, and he will come.