Supply Chain Operations Manager
Time with Star® Roses and Plants:
A: I became employed in the horticulture industry in 2011 when I was hired as the Communications Manager for a sustainable landscape design/build firm in Tucson, Arizona. I remember walking projects with my boss. He would spout out the botanical name of each plant, along with interesting facts about the plant, including origin, habit, likes, and dislikes. I thought to myself, “Man, I want to be this knowledgeable about plants someday.” So, I got to work.
I became a Master Gardener, earned various certifications through the state Contractors/Nursery Associations, studied to become a docent at the campus arboretum, became a member of the city’s landscape advisory committee, and eventually earned my ISA Arborist Certification.
During that time, I gained experience in the retail world and in wholesale growing. I remember each year when we would receive our bareroot rose orders from Star®. It was like Christmas came early! We were so excited to receive beautiful, high-quality products from such a highly regarded company. I thought to myself, “I would love to work for Star® Roses someday.” And here I am.
A: I love the fact that my work makes the world a greener place.
A: The industry is so innovative! From plant breeding and tissue culture to information technology and mechanization—it’s all so fascinating. I love visiting Cultivate each year to see the latest and greatest gadgets and plant introductions. It’s just too cool!
A: Being a plant nerd, the horticulture industry means the world to me. Plants are my “why.” This isn’t just a job for me—it’s a lifestyle. I walk in nature’s beauty every day and feel blessed to be a part of bringing beauty to the world’s gardens.
A: Nothing will ever touch Flame Thrower® in my mind. I’m pretty sure I shed a couple of tears the first time I saw it in person. That color! That stature! It’s the most perfect Cercis that has ever been introduced.
A: This is a tough question. Plants don’t ever go out of style in my world. I have African Violets. I have Orchids. I have a Spider Plant in a macrame hanger. They all have their place in my world. The only thing I DON’T want to see make a comeback is fake plants—or painted plants for that matter. Just gross.
A: Never sacrifice the long-term for the short-term. It’s so true in every aspect of our industry. Whether you’re breeding plants, sowing crops, creating production plans, updating infrastructure, or developing SOPs, every step of the journey matters.
A: It’s a fact—the Knock Out® Rose revolutionized our industry, as well as the expectations of the public and the way people garden around the world. The breeding set a precedent and a standard for the rose industry. Prior to Knock Out®, roses were viewed as hungry, thirsty, dainty little things. Knock Out® is versatile and bulletproof in the commercial landscape, as well as the home garden.
A: I love to garden and visit public gardens in my spare time. Philadelphia is America’s Garden Capital—there’s so much to see! Last weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the first time. I was blown away to see familiar desert plants, like Chilopsis linearis and Tagetes lemmonii, growing on the East Coast. A few weekends prior, I visited Ladew Topiary Gardens. Each room of the garden is beautifully curated. The topiaries are perfectly manicured and provide year-round interest. I can’t wait to go back!