Hall Of Fame Inductees
The individuals nominated should have made a significant impact or positive influence that assures the future of our industry in the lives of generations to come.
Once nominated, an individual’s biography and photo are updated on the site, and he or she is placed in the polls for voting. At the end of the year the committee takes into consideration the votes and decides which candidates are inducted.
Those with a star (*) next to their name below were either inducted posthumously or have passed away since being inducted.
- Person with integrity and passion
- Minimum 20 years in industry
- Someone who has developed or invented new technology
- Has made contributions that resulted in change
- Contributed to mankind’s needs in his field
- Provided education and encouragement with self-sacrifice
- Changed the industry
Walt got his start in the green industry in 1974 working for Berchin Enterprises doing display work and setting up end caps. He enjoyed talking to everyone in the stores, getting to know the distributor salesmen, and getting familiar with all the products. It wasn’t long before Walt moved into the sales side of the business, making presentations and promoting his products to the store buyers at corporate offices directly.
During those early years, Walt took several classes at Foothill College, De Anza College, and West Valley College. He wanted to learn more about gardening, plants, chemicals, and all things related to his new business dealings. Walt worked his way up the ladder at Berchin Enterprises, ultimately becoming a Vice President before leaving to start his own business, Hagen Enterprises, in 1983.
Walt was very involved in the Nursery Industry and the CANGC. He held several positions on the board of the Peninsula chapter from 1999-2003, including President. He was the first recipient of the Associate Member of the Year Award. Walt was the Chairman of the 1990 Floral Fiesta held in San Mateo and generated prize money in the amount of $13,663 for the chapter. The display that the chapter built as a team won Best in Show for Horticultural Excellence. The team also won eight first place awards, five second place awards, and three third place awards. Walt was awarded the Golden Shovel Award for this event.
Walt was also instrumental in obtaining a donation of a Greenhouse for Prusch Park in San Jose, as well as helping to procure and plant a small orchard at that same site in 1997. During the 12 years he served on the Board of Directors for the State CANGC, he worked his way up the board to become Chairman of the Board for the State of California Nurseryman Association, now known as the CANGC, in 2003.
Walt was instrumental with many startup companies too. He enjoyed helping them get going in their business, mentoring them and helping them acheive success.
in 1998, Walt moved to Discovery Bay, where he resided for the last 22 years. Ten years ago, he became a member of the Discovery Bay Yacht Club and was elected to the Board of Directors in the position of Director of House and Grounds within one year. He took great pride in managing the maintenance and landscaping of the grounds and the building. He made many improvements to the landscaping, which included the addition of a bocce ball court and two decks. He also supervised the cleaning staff and handled general maintenance around the building. This was a volunteer job that he loved being a part of. He was elected twice to this position, serving three years at a time, for a total of six years.
In 2010, Walt became a personal consultant for the company that he and his wife Jan ran and changed the company name to JHagen Enterprises. In 2016 Walt suffered three strokes in five days. That only slowed him down a little. He still got up every morning, went into the office and made his phone calls to customers and salesmen… he loved to talk. He was always available if someone needed something and was always willing to go the extra mile to get there.
Walt passed away on March 13, 2020.