Michael Massat

Board Member Spotlight

Michael Massat
The Growing Place

Michael is one of our newest board directors starting July 1, 2021.  Michael is currently the Manager for The Growing Place at the Aurora location. His favorite activity is when it’s time to prune the trees and he gets to climb them. His second favorite is driving heavy machinery around. He also enjoys running the register on the retail side and interacting with the customers. Michael has served on IGIA's former retail committee, worked on the retail track of InVigorateU, and volunteered for the Perennial Plant Association. Michael's father, Rich, also served on the association's Board of Directors and as President in 1999-2000.

Q: What motivates you on a Monday morning?
Michael: Not much, as mornings are not really my thing. But, the dog needing to go out usually helps.

Q: What has been your proudest moment in business?
Michael: I don't wish to repeat it but, re-creating our business for drive-through garden center shopping at the start of the spring 2020 season was pretty unique and very well-received.

Q: What has been your biggest business challenge?
Michael: Growing the customer base for our second store, as it took a pandemic to finally achieve the numbers that I knew were possible all along.

Q: Share a fun fact about you that many people don't know.
Michael: I once built a battery-powered motorcycle. I promptly took it apart, as it wasn't good enough.  I never did get it put back together.

Q: Do you have a horticulture or business mentor?  Is there any wisdom they have given you that you'd like to share?
My wife, Christina, has helped counsel me more times than I can count. It never fails to amaze me how she can hear so much of a situation from just my side.

Q: What's your favorite plant?
Michael: Recently, I was astonished at the length of flower time on my newly planted calycanthus, at my home.

Q: If you could go back in time and offer words of wisdom to a younger version of yourself starting out in this business, what would that be?
Michael: Try to limit how much you are personally doing. Delegation is a powerful skill and you can't delegate your time with your family.

Q: What made you decide to become involved in a leadership role in the association?
Michael: My father, Rich, served on the IGIA board when I was young. That helped me to forge the relationships I have in the industry. I feel it to be very beneficial for our businesses and employees. If we don't look out for each other, no one else will.

Q: What would you say to your peers who may be hesitant to get involved with the association or not understand the importance of belonging to an industry group?
Michael: To gain the experience of others is the wisest choice anyone can make. It's not something that will be easily measured on the bottom line but, knowing you have supportive peers is everything in times of need and can make times of success a true celebration.

About The Growing Place

The Growing Place is a family-owned garden center run by the Massat family.  It is filled with inspirational gardens, a wide selection of plants, knowledgeable staff, garden & home accents, containers, & landscape design services.  They have locations in Aurora and Naperville.  Customers can find organically grown vegetables and herbs, fruits, berries, perennials, annuals, natives, trees, shrubs, and much more!