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Meet the People Behind the Plants

  Curt Varsogea

Curt Varsogea – National Sales Manager

Curt is a Marine Corps veteran and a multi-engine commercial pilot who met Four Star owner Tom Smith through their shared hobby of flying. Curt’s former professional experience in the automotive industry ensures he knows how to connect Four Star customers with plants that will drive their business. He has been with Four Star since 2006.

 
    
  Angie VanWashenova

Angie VanWashenova – Inside Sales Supervisor

We are proud to have Angie on the team, with her unique creative and business background. Before joining the company in 2013, she worked in advertising sales for Disney. Today she heads a sales force that has a real magic touch with both plants and customers. 

 
    
  Jessica Schuster – Quality Assurance Line Leader

Jessica Schuster – Quality Assurance Line Leader

Jessica performs her job with accuracy, inspecting billions of liners to ensure our high-quality standards are met. A second-generation Four Star team member since 2004, she enjoys working with her mother and sister.

 
    
  Josh, Sandy and Joe

Josh Miller – New Product Development Manager
Before joining Four Star, Josh was the Director of Horticulture at a public garden and worked as a professor of horticulture at a local college. Josh is our brand ambassador, traveling the globe cultivating relationships with breeders and growers. He is a member of GPN’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2018.

Sandy Metzger – Trials Assistant
Sandy brings color to the cold winter, growing beautiful plants for shows and events. Creativity flows from her home garden into production trials where she has created thousands of combinations and brought new plants to market for more than 20 years.

Joe Weillnau – Trials Coordinator
Joe started as a section grower and is now keeping the beat with the trials team as he cares for new varieties and occasionally works in some cardio drumming.

From the right, Josh Miller is pictured with Sandy Metzger, Joe Weillnau and Section Grower Susan Tyer.

 
    
  Doug Parkinson – Regional Sales Representative

Doug Parkinson – Regional Sales Representative

A graduate of The Ohio State University, Doug brings his 25 years of horticulture experience to the Four Star team in of all places, Michigan! His home and garden back in Ohio are a favorite stop on the Zoar Garden Tours, which sees 300 – 400 visitors each summer.

Doug, left, is pictured with Dave Konsoer of Proven Winners®.

 

 
    
  Robert Zannini – Product Line Manager

Robert Zannini – Product Line Manager

Robert comes to Four Star from Orlando, Fla., where his interest in horticulture was inspired by the magical plants of Walt Disney World. Now at Four Star, near his Michigan State alma mater, Robert grows shrubs and designs landscapes. In his free time, he enjoys traveling.

 

 
    
  Amanda Vallade – Product Line Manager Assistant/Site Manager Assistant

Amanda Vallade – Product Line Manager Assistant/Site Manager Assistant

Amanda’s upbeat, can-do attitude has brightened our Indian Trails site since 2005, where she began as a section grower. Over the years, her increasing knowledge and sunny disposition have made her the perfect person to oversee nine growers and nine acres.

 

 
    
  Mary Antwi – Production Crew Member

Mary Antwi – Production Crew Member

Mary has been producing quality plants with her husband, also a Four Star employee, for more than three years. They enjoy working together and jogging at a local park.

 

 
    
  Susan Tyer and Pat Kime

Susan Tyer – Level 2 Section Grower
Susan is always up for an adventure. Whether it’s riding roller coasters or caring for trial plants, she can’t wait to tackle the challenge. She’s been with Four Star since 1987 and has enjoyed all 32 years of growing because she loves to be outside and in the sun.

Pat Kime – Level 2 Section Grower
Years of fostering children have contributed to Pat’s nurturing attitude toward the most tender-age plants. She has been caring for plants in the Four Star propagation and stock plant sections since 2007. She’s proud to have created the bundled combination kit, Jaesey’s Smile, named for her granddaughter.

Sue, left, and Pat have been growing with us for a combined 44 years.

 
    
  Andrew Luxon – Integrated Pest Management Supervisor

Andrew Luxon – Integrated Pest Management Supervisor

Andy has never met a bug he couldn’t tackle. His comprehensive approach to pest management stems from his background working with invasive insects at the USDA. He keeps crops clean and reduces our environmental impact.

 

 
    
  Manuela Castellanos – Production Crew Member

Manuela Castellanos – Production Crew Member

After nine years of service in the production department, Manuela was excited to be offered a position in the automated sticking department, overseeing three ISO machines with the same care, dedication and precision she learned when hand sticking. She provides a human touch within the automation.

 

 
    
  John, Linda and Julie

John Antonelli – Regional Sales Representative
A Michigan State University alum with a strong background in sales and a love of gardening that comes from his grandfather, John is an advocate for growers and landscapers. The heirloom tomato seeds passed down for generations in the Antonelli family have been added to our Tasty Treats line as the Gino Tomato. Family legend has it that they were brought from the Old Country more than 100 years ago.

Linda Domingue – Regional Sales Representative
Linda’s love of flowers stems from her mother and grandmother, who both had flower gardens. After years of working in finance, Linda joined the Four Star customer service team in 1999, and her love of gardening keeps growing. Her home garden has been featured several times in the Four Star catalog.

Julie Bergmoser – Regional Sales Representative
Julie has a passion for Proven Winners® plants that she cultivates with trips to growers, retailers and trial sites. She’s dedicated to seeing all the industry has to offer and will often plant competitors’ varieties to see how they compare to our genetics. Julie has been working with Key Account growers since 1998 and is dedicated to seeing her customers succeed.

John, Linda and Julie provide friendly customer service.

 
    
  Jake Amberg – Level 2 Section Grower

Jake Amberg – Level 2 Section Grower

With a degree in Media Arts from Wayne State University, Jake never imagined he’d be a grower, but his acuity has led him to achieve Level 2 in growing within just two years. Jake has a love for running, so he likes that his job helps to keep him physically fit.

 

 
    
  Brian Bourdon – Product Line Manager

Brian Bourdon – Product Line Manager

Brian is our resident expert in Supernova® Liners – he even contributed the name. Although he has a Bachelor’s degree in Floriculture and Agribusiness from Michigan State University, Brian has had an interest in astrophysics since he was a child. That led him to name the liner Supernova because its growth “explodes” when planted.

 

 
    
  Tom Brown – Logistics and Customer Fulfillment Manager

Tom Brown – Logistics and Customer Fulfillment Manager

When Tom joined the Four Star team in 2015 he brought a wealth of knowledge from his 31-year career in logistics, sales and management. Ever the outdoorsman, he spends his free time camping, hiking and fly-fishing.