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Meet our Sales Team

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Tom O'Connell

Tom always had an interest in sales and first joined the horticultural industry by way of a friend’s suggestion. In 1991, he began working in sales at Northern Nurseries in Schenectady, New York where he quickly found his passion for plants. Striving to learn more, he went on to work at Faddegon’s Nursery as a buyer where he created a relationship with the Conard-Pyle Company, now Star® Roses and Plants. Hearing of an opening at Conard-Pyle in 1996, he joined the company and took over sales in upstate New York. He managed the Northeast territory until 2018 when he took on his current position, Director of Sales.

Director of Sales and Licensing

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Dave Alm

Dave grew up in the horticultural industry. He started his career at Hicks Nurseries in Westbury, NY on his 14th birthday and has been working in the industry ever since. He graduated from SUNY Farmingdale and worked for Star® Roses and Plants for over seven years in the 1990’s as the New York Metro Area Territory Manager. He then left to start his own company, DCA Horticultural Services, which he ran for twenty years before returning home to Star® Roses and Plants in 2018. 

Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont

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Tyler Brown

Tyler comes from a lineage of nurserymen and grew up in the horticultural world. Prior to joining Star® Roses and Plants in 2020, he worked at Horticultural Identification Products (HIP) Labels as their Southeast Sales Manager where he honed his sales skills and plant knowledge. Tyler has an enthusiasm for helping his customers find the very best products for their needs.

Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia

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Jim Darden

Jim grew up in a family owned agri-business and started his career in horticulture with Pioneer Southern, selling decorative bark and soil products. He segued over to the green good side of the business with Star® Roses and Plants in 1998 as the Southeast Territory Manager. He enjoys introducing customers to new and improved genetics to trial and seeing them be successful in production and sales of these new varieties. Jim currently resides in Chapin, South Carolina.

Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina

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Guy Hartsell

Guy’s plant journey began when he was a young boy helping on the family farm. As he matured, his appreciation for nature and plants turned into job hunts at a local garden center. He received a two-year Horticulture degree from Lenoir Community College in Kinston, NC. Since then, he has worked at various garden centers and nurseries in North Carolina in Sales Support, as well as grower and management positions. He began his role at Star® Roses and Plants in May, 2020.

North Carolina, Tennessee

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Josh Long

 Josh grew up on a nursery in the Portland area, starting on the potting bench and moving on to other tasks like tagging orders, grafting, trimming, spraying and staking. After college, he rejoined the family nursery business where he helped with production, management of harvest, shipping, sales and marketing efforts. In 2016, he joined Star® Roses and Plants, managing the Northwest territory. In this role, he enjoys working with customers to help grow their programs and sharing the new and exciting products that set Star® Roses and Plants apart.

Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan

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Laurie Mazzella-Bennett

Laurie’s passion for plants was cultivated as a kid when she would help her father with gardening and yard work. She attended Oregon State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Horticulture Studies. After graduating, she worked for Monrovia Nursery as an Inside Sales Associate, and later on, at Boynton Botanicals, selling to landscapers, retail garden centers and theme parks. In 2019, Laurie’s career path led her to Star® Roses and Plants, where she enjoys selling to Southwest territories.

Arizona, Hawaii, New Mexico, Southern California (Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties)

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John McDonough

John began working in the horticultural industry and graduated with a degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Michigan State.  He’s held different roles at many major wholesale nurseries across the country, primarily in sales and production. He began working at Ball Horticultural in 2011 and has been with Star® Roses and Plants since 2016. John loves working with customers and strives to bring them exciting, new plants that have a positive impact on their bottom line.

Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Ontario, Quebec

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David Pratt

David started working at a retail garden center as one of his first jobs in high school where he quickly became enamored with the exciting world of plants. He truly enjoys trying different varieties, especially ones with proven attributes of better blooms and better growth habits, and those that add an element of excitement to the landscape. He has been a part of the Star® Roses and Plants family since August, 2019, and he loves being able to share the joys of new and improved plants with his customers.

Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas

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Dave Shanklin

Dave has been in the ornamental horticulture business his entire vocational life. After completing a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture, he owned a retail garden center/landscape contracting business. He is proud to have been a part of Nursery Supplies Inc., Weyerhaeuser, Jackson and Perkins®, and Greenleaf Nursery. However, his best adventure began in 2011 whehe joined Star® Roses and Plants 

Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Northern California (Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, Fresno, Kings, Lake, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare, Yuba, and Yolo counties) 

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Tim Wood

Tim gained a degree in Horticulture from Owens College and then attended The Ohio State University. After graduating, he worked for Anderson’s General Store where he spent the next 10 years in retail, managing several garden center locations. In 2003, he joined Star® Roses and Plants, and he currently covers the Midwest region. Tim thoroughly enjoys working with and learning from his customers. Whether its introducing them to new genetics and solving problems or learning about new varieties and techniques that they have to offer, his passion for plants shows through.

Illinois, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin