Dümmen Orange strengthens its North American product management team

The Dümmen Orange North America product management team now includes (left to right): Arnetia Jackson, Zoltan Kovacs, QuiXia Chen, Stephanie Whitehouse, Heather VonAllmen, Rebecca Siemonsma, Leslie Bayas, Sarah Brackman.

Dümmen Orange, one of the world’s largest breeders and propagators of cut flowers, bulbs, tropical plants, pot plants, bedding plants and perennials, is strengthening its team. The company recently appointed a new department manager, recruited new employees and repositioned team members to revamp its annual, perennial and potted plant (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 thrilled with all the wonderful additions to our team,” says Nathan Sell, APP General Manager for Dümmen Orange North America. “We are thrilled to have our full North American product management team.”

  • Rebecca Siemonsma was 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 retain her role as poinsettia and pelargonium regional 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 a 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 regional product manager for pot cultures. 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, who recently joined the team, is responsible for specialized annuals as a 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. 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 Von Allmen leads the Welcome to the Jungle program as Foliage and Succulent Product Manager. 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 a 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 residential graduate fellow 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.