NAPERVILLE, Ill. – McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture recently created a new vendor management department as the next step in the ongoing expansion effort of the two companies. With this move, department personnel will now support both organizations’ customers, vendors and growers.
The new vendor management department allows for McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture to establish closer partnerships with vendors while facilitating more innovative solutions and enhancing product support for customers and sales teams throughout North America.
“We are rapidly expanding and very excited about growing our vendor management department,” said Nathan Lamkey, president of McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture. “This move will allow us to develop customer solutions through vendor partnerships with a focus on regional opportunities to better serve growers.”
Overseeing this new vendor management department is team director Jessie Montgomery, a McHutchison sales representative prior to transitioning into this senior management role. Given her strong background in project management and product development as well as sales experience, she will ensure that customer-driven decisions directly address all concerns and the end grower will benefit. Prior to joining McHutchison in 2015, Montgomery managed trial gardens and worked on product development for Ball Horticultural Company, was a grower for Family Tree Nursery and grew up helping her family with its business, Pleasant Valley Garden Center.
The vendor management department will build preferred and exclusive vendor programs as well as facilitate strategic breeder and vendor partnerships. This new department is comprised of an experienced group of horticultural experts with a strong emphasis in floriculture.
A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Kelly Uchneat joined McHutchison in 2019 and is now the vendor program manager who focuses on Dümmen Orange. Her background in supplier relations as well as breeder associations and genetic knowledge gives Uchneat a strong industry awareness. She brings a high level of professionalism to the new team.
Pamela Straub joined McHutchison in 2020 and she is now a vendor program manager who focuses on root and sells, seeded plugs and bare root suppliers. She gained 15 years of experience in sales, promotions and product positioning while previously working for Emerald Coast Growers. Straub will create new opportunities for partnerships with some long-tenured suppliers among other things.
Christy Dresser is the vendor program manager who specializes in tropicals and tissue culture suppliers. Working for Vaughan’s Horticulture over the past 20 years, she understands the importance of clear and efficient communication among suppliers, vendors and sales representatives. Developing and managing the importation of off-shore shipments for McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture, Dresser possesses a wealth of knowledge regarding logistics and new international opportunities.
Having served in multiple, impactful nursery roles since joining McHutchison in 2014, Mark Feier will primarily focus on the west coast, mid-Atlantic and northeast regions as a vendor program manager. He will continue to support operational efforts of the nursery division as needed. With the vendor management department, Feier will offer new and current nursery vendors even more support which is required by the continual industry demand.
Kim Burns, a new employee and vendor management department team member, was recently hired as a vendor program manager. With 25 years of industry experience, she has worked in a high-volume purchasing environment and gained extensive knowledge in vendor relations, negotiations, logistics coordination and inventory management. Burns previously worked in a variety of roles at SiteOne Landscape Supply and Shemin Nurseries prior to joining McHutchison and Vaughan’s Horticulture. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from the State University of New York at Purchase (SUNY – Purchase).
To view vendor management department personnel photos, click here.
Founded in 1902, McHutchison was built on service, quality and dependability. Our company provides the most service-oriented wholesale distribution of plants and related products in North America. The most important resource we have is our dedicated staff, which provide tailored business solutions that drive growth and value for our customers and suppliers. Extensive experience and creative thinking ensure that McHutchison purveys the best suppliers and most sustainable solutions to build any business.
Our virtual store provides online access where customers can select horticultural materials ranging from tissue culture and unrooted cuttings to finished annuals and perennials including trees and shrubs along with supplies. We take pride in maintaining our vision filled with growth and opportunities while staying true to an unwavering commitment to distribute the best quality products and services. For more information on McHutchison, please visit www.mchutchison.com.
About Vaughan’s Horticulture
Vaughan’s Horticulture delivers its customers more insight, worth and support. This objective is embedded in the company’s daily actions and is a powerful call among its employees that unlocks Vaughan’s value to their customers. “Delivering More” is not just a tagline, it is the manner in which Vaughan’s Horticulture does business every day. For more information on Vaughan’s Horticulture, please visit www.vaughans.com.