Columbus, Ohio- Dümmen Orange, the world’s largest breeder and propagator of cut flowers, bulbs, tropical plants, container plants, bedding plants and perennials, has appointed a new department head, recruited new staff and repositioned its team members to redesign its annuals, perennials and potted plants (APP) product management team in North America.
“Having such a talented mix of dedicated professionals with floriculture experience, deep product knowledge and a passion for progress is essential to the success of any business and we are delighted with all the wonderful additions to our team,” said Nathan. Sell, managing director of APP for Dümmen. Orange North America. “We are thrilled to have our full North American product management team.”
Rebecca Siemonsma has been promoted to head of product management for Dümmen Orange in North America. Based in South Dakota, she is responsible for coordinating product development and go-to-market strategy in conjunction with the North American product management team. All of Dümmen Orange’s regional product managers in North America will report to her, and she will continue to serve as regional poinsettia and pelargonium product manager.
Siemonsma’s horticultural expertise is the result of over 25 years of experience in the floriculture industry in various roles. She started out as a grower of potted flowering plants, then focused on technical services and sales before joining Dümmen Orange a year ago. Siemonsma earned a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from South Dakota State University. She is also currently treasurer of All-America Selections (AAS).
Leslie Bayas is regional product manager for tropical flowering plants and heat-loving annuals. Based in South Florida, Bayas worked as a research and development grower and trial garden manager before joining Dümmen Orange last year. A native of Miami, she received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Florida International University.
Sarah Brackman is a regional product manager for container crops. With 25 years of experience, she is a leader in product innovation, portfolio management and successful product launches. Prior to joining Dümmen Orange earlier this year, she was a technical sales representative and served as a greenhouse manager, grower and propagator for various greenhouse operations in the Pacific Northwest. Brackman received his Bachelor of Science in Horticulture from Michigan State University. She is also a board member of the International Plant Propagator Society in Washington State.
QuiXia Chen is the National Testing Manager and Regional Product Manager for Garden Moms. She joined the company in 2017 after serving as a research manager and lab manager for garden industry brands in Ohio, Michigan and South Carolina for nearly a decade. Now based in Ohio, Chen earned a Master of Science in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Science in Horticultural Therapy, and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of State of Kansas.
Arnetia Jackson, a recent addition to the team, is responsible for specialty annuals as regional product manager. With a longstanding connection to the industry, she has over 25 years of experience in managing growth, sales, production and operations. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Computer Science from Parks College. His extensive experience and training in horticulture translates well into product management and will allow him to adapt quickly to the Dümmen Orange product line and the company’s North American team.
Zoltan Kovacs is regional product manager for perennials. He came to the United States as an exchange student in 1995 at the University of Minnesota where he majored in horticulture after earning a degree in chemical engineering in Hungary. His professional experience includes being a greenhouse manager, perennial program manager, winning numerous commercial industry awards from the prestigious Boston Flower Show and being named 2008 Grower of the Year by Grower Talks magazine. He also served as Chief Grower and Vice President of Operations before joining Dümmen Orange in 2013, where he pioneered the perennial breeding program early on and has since introduced over 150 commercial varieties.
Heather VonAllmen leads the Welcome to the Jungle program as product manager for foliage and succulents. Based in California, her experience in sales, marketing, purchasing and account management gives her a solid vision for new product development. She led sourcing efforts at Armstrong Growers before joining Dümmen Orange in 2020. Known in the industry for her passion for succulents and tropical plants, VonAllmen has enjoyed significant success during her tenure at Dümmen Orange .
Stephanie Whitehouse is Regional Product Manager for Decorative Annuals. She joined Dümmen Orange last year after gaining valuable experience in horticulture as General Manager of Retail and as Head of Sales and Marketing. Previously, she was a graduate fellow in residence at Cornell University as well as a field research assistant in its horticulture department, a teaching assistant in the plant biology department, and a horticulture intern. Whitehouse earned a Master of Science in Weed Ecology from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science in Plant Science from Cornell University.
For more information about Dümmen Orange, visit na.dummenorange.com.
About Dummen Orange
Dümmen Orange represents a heritage of floricultural excellence spanning more than a century. Bringing together the world’s best breeders under one distinctive brand, the company combines traditional techniques and emerging technologies to provide the largest selection of premium flowers and plants on earth. Globally accessible and locally integrated, Dümmen Orange continues to be at the forefront of its industry while bringing stability and opportunity to partners and associates around the world. Rooted in this rich history, wise growth and deep commitment to customers, Dümmen Orange flourishes year after year. For more information about Dümmen Orange, visit na.dummenorange.com.