Pablo Alonso began working for Seeds, Inc. in 2001, and 3 years later transferred to the nursery. Pablo's calm and easy approach to things out of the ordinary are very important to the whole crew. His ingenuity has packed many difficult orders for delivery, without so much as a damaged leaf. His carpentry skills have also come in handy, building and re-building benches each winter.
Leonarda Ramirez began in the spring of 2004. Sowing, thinning, cleaning, pulling, packing and shipping are just some of her daily duties. She takes great pride in her work and in making sure that each order goes out looking good and - most importantly - correct!
When they aren't at the nursery, Leo and Pablo both spend their free time doing yard work and housework for others in the area, and enjoying family time with their 4 kids.
Paul Williams has been with Plants of the Wild since 1996. Growing up in Illinois, Paul said his love of plants started when he began mowing lawns at a tender age. Working in grounds maintenance and as a landscaper as well as for the forest service allowed him to experience nature on many different levels, and he got to experience first hand how the plants relate to each other and compliment one another.
Watering, fertilizing and pest control in the greenhouses keep Paul busy as well as any special projects that come along. He is always ready and willing to listen to customer's questions, concerns and ideas and is helpful in guiding them in making good planting choices.
In his free time, he spends time hiking the fields and hills around the area with his dog. Paul is an avid gardener and each year has a bounty from his vegetable garden that he shares with many.
LaDonna Sienknecht has now officially been on staff for about 9 years. Coming from a background of owning her own hair salon for 18 years, she understands the bottom line: If you aren't working, you aren't earning!!
She isn't afraid of hard work or long hours, and is willing to do what ever it takes to get a job done. Quickly working into a management position seemed natural for her.Having her communicate with 'the office' to see that jobs are getting done, quotas being met and projects are on schedule has been a positive thing for everyone. LaDonna and Leo work side-by-side preparing and packing orders, as well as sowing, thinning and cleaning plants.
Besides her time at the nursery, LaDonna has been a volunteer EMT with the Tekoa Ambulance for nearly 25 years, spends any extra time with her dog, Molly and grandsons Zeke & Eli.
Armando Sanchez came to Plants of the Wild in the fall of 2000 as part of our first Sage Crew. He has seen lots of changes over the past almost 17 years, and has had a hand in making many of those changes happen. The 1 gallon, 2 gallon, & 5 gallon Canyard is Armando's playground, and he has it down to a science (or as close as you can get with native plants!) Transplanting, irrigating and preparing orders take up most of his time, and packing orders for delivery is his specialty.
Cesilia Gatica began working on our crew in the Spring of 2016. She is a great help to Armando with organizing the larger containers, the Canyard orders and is always willing to jump in to an "emergency" project when needed. In addition to Plants of the Wild, Armando and Cesi care for many yards in the area as well as the local city parks. They have also recently begun maintaining the Goldenrod Cemetery - no small task! In their spare time they enjoy spending time with their son and daughter.
Carrie Garcia, Assistant Nursery Manager, began working for Seeds, Inc. and Plants of the Wild while still in High School. After college she came back to the nursery for "a couple of weeks" while going to some interviews, and she hasn't looked back! That was in 1994. Carrie has enjoyed learning "Tricks of the Trade" in seed stratification, shipping, sales, nursery management, and is also the receptionist for Seeds, Inc.
Some of her other duties include managing the website, online updates, billing, inventory, processing online orders and the "Plants Gone Wild" newsletter!
Carrie says that living in Tekoa with her family close-by is a true blessing....and spends most of her free time keeping up with nephew Zeke and all of his activities. For her, being a "Titi" is a full time... job x 4! She also enjoys time spent with friends, road trips, crafts, gardening, and, of course, shopping!
Various paths and decisions have brought each of us to Plants of the Wild.
We remind ourselves regularly that we are all here for the same reason,
we just didn't take the same route.
Our purpose is to provide you, our valued customer, with the best possible product for the best value. Native plants that thrive in your projects are the reason that we are here, and we take pride in the success of YOUR projects.
Jason Fletcher is the newest addition to our team. Born and raised in Tekoa with farming in his blood, Jason worked on the family farm from a young age. After spending many years on the road doing long-haul trucking, Jason and his wife have returned "home" to raise their family. Jason's truck-driving experience, handy-man abilities and willingness to help have been a fantastic addition to Plants of the Wild!
Kathy Hutton, Nursery Manager - and Fearless Leader - has been with the nursery since 1987. Her knowledge of native plants, which was passed down to her from her late father, has been a perfect fit here at Plants of the Wild. As she says, "My dad was into natives before it was the cool thing to do", and he shared that love with Kathy. After college, when her husband applied for a job in Tekoa as a Vo. Ag. teacher she couldn't imagine what a Horticulture degree could be used for in Tekoa, of all places... then she heard about a small nursery, just down the road. The rest, as they say, is history!
She began working in the greenhouses soon after, and quickly worked her way to the top. Her leadership, patience and guidance have been invaluable to each of the employees as they have found their place at the nursery. Along with her husband Dan, Kathy enjoys entertaining and gardening, spending time at both Clear Lake and Big Creek with family and friends, and of course keeping up with daughters Jordyn, Kayla, son in law Ryan, and granddaughters Brooklyn & Brexley!