Putting A Face On Syngenta

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Putting A Face On Syngenta

At Syngenta, we’re starting to see results from the synergies of bringing companies together. Nearly two years ago, Syngenta purchased Goldsmith Seeds after purchasing vegetative breeder-producer Fischer and Fafard, a growing media company. Syngenta already had its own breeding company, S&G Flowers, a crop protection company producing and distributing chemicals, and a brokerage division, Syngenta Horticultural Services.

The objective always had been to bring companies together to provide more comprehensive solutions and drive innovation. But when a global company becomes that large, you wonder if it’s possible or even practical to facilitate. Another concern is losing the personal touch and relationships.

This year at the California Spring Trials, Syngenta put the personal touch front and center while providing updates on the latest programs and innovations. On the Syngenta Flowers side, the company published a booklet, “Our Stories–A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the People and Products of Syngenta Flowers.” It starts with Retail Account Manager Faith Savage sharing her story working with Armstrong Garden Centers. Seed Supply Manager Rhonda Jones shares her personal success at home with EZ Combos. Plant Breeder Todd Perkins shares the story behind breeding ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ rudbeckia. Technical Specialist Manager Don Snow tells his story of driving to Guatemala to donate his pickup truck to an orphanage in Jalapa. It was his way of giving back to the great people who produce Syngenta’s seeds and cuttings.

On the technical support side helping growers, Syngenta announced an integrated Technical Services Team that spans all crop input needs—genetics, biological and chemical controls and growing media. The team is directed by Joe DiPaulo, who has a strong tenure on the controls side in turf and ornamentals. The team is divided into two subgroups—one that’s on the front lines working with growers and broker customers and one that’s more behind the scenes, writing technical communications and working on research and development.

Technical service representatives include Harvey Lang, Karl Trellinger, Mark Trellinger and Mark Smith, who came from Yoder. Behind the scenes as technical service specialists are Don Snow as the leading seed expert, Jane Trolinger in disease diagnostics, Paul Winski on biological lines, Nancy Rechigle on the chemcial controls and Hugh Poole and Jamie Gibson on the growing media side. Outside contractor experts include David Koranski, Ron Derrig and Paul Pilon. Syngenta is opening a disease diagnostics lab in Gilroy and just built a research greenhouse at the Fafard facility in South Carolina.

“We have a lot of resources to leverage to our sales groups and broker companies to educate the growers,” Lang says. “It’s exciting. We’re working closer together and talking about projects. Yes, we have innovative breeding but this will leverage Syngenta to a whole new level. We need to build synergies and not be so fragmented.”

Delilah Onofrey directs Flower Power Marketing for the Suntory Collection. She can be reached at donofrey@gmail.com

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