Dümmen Orange has named a new department leader, added new personnel, and repositioned team members to redesign its annuals, perennials, and potted plants (APP) product management team in North America.
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.
“Having such a talented mix of dedicated professionals with floriculture experience, extensive product knowledge, and passion for progress is vital to any company’s success, and we are thrilled by all the wonderful additions to our team,” said Nathan Sell, managing director of APP for Dümmen Orange North America. “We are excited to have our North American product management team at full strength.”
Rebecca Siemonsma has been promoted to the head of product management for Dümmen Orange in North America. Based in South Dakota, she is responsible for the coordination of product development and go-to-market strategy in collaboration with the North American product management team. All Dümmen Orange regional product managers in North America will report to her, and she retains her regional product manager duties in poinsettias and pelargonium.
Siemonsma’s horticultural expertise is the result of more than 25 years of experience in the floriculture industry in various roles. First, she was a grower of potted flowering crops, and then she focused on technical services and sales prior to joining Dümmen Orange one year ago. Siemonsma earned a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from South Dakota State University. She also currently serves as treasurer for All-America Selections (AAS).
Leslie Bayas is a regional product manager for flowering tropicals and heat-loving annuals. Based in South Florida, Bayas worked as a research and development grower and a trial garden manager prior to joining Dümmen Orange last year. A Miami native, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in biological sciences from Florida International University.
Sarah Brackman is a regional product manager for potted crops. Having 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 greenhouse manager, grower, and propagator for various greenhouse operations in the Pacific Northwest. Brackman earned her Bachelor of Science in horticulture from Michigan State University. She also serves as a board member for the International Plant Propagator Society in Washington state.
QuiXia Chen is the national trial manager and regional product manager for garden mums. She joined the company in 2017 after being a research leader 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 degree in plant breeding, genetics, and biotechnology from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Science degree in horticultural therapy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from Kansas State University.
Arnetia Jackson, who recently joined the team, is responsible for specialty annuals as a regional product manager. With a lifelong connection to the industry, she has more than 25 years of experience in growing, sales, production, and operations management. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and computer science from Parks College. Her deep horticultural background and training translates well into product management and will allow her to quickly adapt to the Dümmen Orange product lineup and the company’s North American team.
Zoltan Kovacs is a regional product manager for perennials. He arrived in the U.S. as an exchange student in 1995 through the University of Minnesota, where he majored in horticulture after earning a chemical engineering degree in Hungary. His professional experience includes being a greenhouse manager and perennial program manager, winning numerous trade industry awards from the prestigious Boston Flower Show, and being named the 2008 Grower of the Year by Grower Talks Magazine. He also served as head grower and vice president of operations prior to joining Dümmen Orange in 2013, where he started the perennial breeding program from its very beginning 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 background in sales, marketing, purchasing, and account management gives her a strong vision for developing new products. She led procurement efforts at Armstrong Growers prior to joining Dümmen Orange in 2020. Known around the industry for her passion for succulents and tropicals, 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 horticulture experience as a retail general manager and as a sales and marketing manager. Prior to that, she was a graduate residential fellow at Cornell University as well as a field research assistant in its horticultural department, a teaching assistant in the plant biology department, and a horticultural intern. Whitehouse earned a Master of Science degree in weed ecology from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science degree in plant sciences from Cornell University.
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