Stuppy Greenhouse has added four industry veterans to its sales team, as part of an expansion by the company to provide greater coverage to all 50 states. The new sales hires will join the existing team of five sales representatives to allow much more extensive customer service throughout the country.
Stuppy Greenhouse, which has been associated with the horticulture industry since 1873, made this move as a commitment to the industry and its future growth, according to Matt Stuppy, President of Stuppy Greenhouse.
“Each of them are extremely knowledgeable about greenhouse growing, and all have served as trusted experts who find the ideal solution for their customers” Stuppy says. “By expanding our coverage, Stuppy can partner with growers nationwide to provide exactly what they want and need for their success.”
Expanded Sales Team
Longtime Stuppy sales representative Neil Devaney and the existing team will continue to serve their current customers. In addition, Devaney, who has 25 years of industry experience, will also continue to spearhead institutional greenhouse projects and have some sales management responsibilities.
Here are the new team members joining Devaney at Stuppy.
• Michael Kovalycsik brings 30 years of greenhouse and horticultural experience to Stuppy. He has handled all aspects of greenhouse design and construction on a wide variety of projects from coast to coast. In addition to his role in sales, he will serve as Stuppy’s new Marketing Manager with additional sales management responsibilities. He is located in Aurora, OH, and will work with growers in the Northeast, Ohio, and Michigan areas.
• James Parris has been involved with greenhouse and system design and project management on large and small greenhouses throughout the Southeast since 1986. He is located in Hendersonville, NC, with easy access to locations in the Southeast.
• Kevin Innes brings 25 years of experience to the team, having covered the western U.S. for industry manufacturers. He is located in Portland, OR, and will serve customers in the Northwest and mountain areas.
• Armando Echavarria’s 24 years of industry experience include work with commercial and institutional greenhouse design and implementation, as well as custom conservatory applications. He is highly knowledgeable in heating, cooling, controls, and design. He will work with growers in the Southwest.
Getting to Know Them
As they prepare for Cultivate’18, Greenhouse Grower recently caught up with the new team members at Stuppy and asked them about their new roles.
Greenhouse Grower (GG)How did your previous experience prepare you for this new role?
James Parris: Through past experience, I have learned that being able to help design projects in the preliminary stage, as well as helping provide more in-depth detail for specifics in the project as well as assist in project management, provides a clearer path throughout the project stages, which then allows for more efficient costing, fewer issues with installation, and a more satisfactory result for everyone involved.
Kevin Innes: I have been covering the Pacific Northwest and the Western U.S. for more than 20 years in the horticultural industry. These opportunities range from selling for a wholesale distributor, container manufacturer, and automatic equipment company in the nursery and greenhouse trade. This has given me knowledge on a wide base of products for the many stages of the growing process.
Mike Kovalycsik: With 30 years in the horticultural industry working both for manufacturers and for a large distribution company, I have been privy to all sales and marketing facets of the industry. From covering regional territories in the field to working as a national sales manager, I have been involved in all types of greenhouse designs, small to large, based on regional weather requirements and based on specific crop development.
Armando Echavarria: I have had the privilege of working directly with greenhouse and nursery owners and growers for just about a quarter century. This has given me an excellent sense of how to help them define their needs by listening to them. Coming from a greenhouse systems background has allowed me the opportunity to be a part of a diverse mix of greenhouse builds and a multitude of horticulture industry companies and members.
GG: What are the some of the biggest issues or concerns you’ve heard from the growers you work with, and how do you plan to help them deal with these issues?
Parris: Costs and a timely delivery are always a concern, so I hope to be able to help offer cost savings through the structure/greenhouse environment design and sourcing to ensure that we are providing the most economical structures and systems as well as best quality to meet their needs.
Innes: Labor shortages and transportation cost for shipping products are the two concerns I hear the most.
Kovalycsik: Once they commit to a greenhouse project, their concern becomes having a clear and concise schedule from delivery to completion of the construction. Weather is always a factor, but receiving timely and fulfilled shipments from the manufacturer are key to a successful build.
Echavarria: The two biggest concerns I hear are regarding confidence in capital expenditure and the changing landscape of our industry with some of the new influences and factors of the last couple of years. I strive to provide our customers with high-quality growing tools to help them grow a better crop faster, more efficiently, and by extension more profitably.
GG: What are the biggest challenges this industry is currently facing? Conversely, what are some of the biggest opportunities on the horizon?
Parris: For challenges, it seems that quality labor for growers is an issue, as there are fewer folks in the workforce now. So as a result, finding the right labor at fair rates and managing costs is always tough to balance.
Innes: The biggest challenges are labor costs, energy costs, and safety costs. As a leading greenhouse manufacturer, Stuppy can offer ways to have an efficient environment for better growing. As technology increases, new opportunities become available in lighting, heating, and controls. A great opportunity for growers is adding vegetable production to their mix.
Kovalycsik: Available labor and labor costs are always an issue. Tariff and steel prices keeping U.S. manufacturers competitive with international companies is an increasing challenge. The greatest concern used to be high energy costs, but with the way natural gas pricing has dropped, that has saved growers from the need to install high-cost alternative heating systems with low-end payback.
Echavarria: The industry landscape is changing. I think there is great risk of losing touch with customer needs as next-generation ownership and management in growing operations continues. Conversely, this also presents an outstanding opportunity to a company willing to take the time to foster established grower relations and grow new ones, with an emphasis on working as a cooperative partner.
GG: If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be doing?
Parris: Most likely I would be in architectural design.
Innes: Trying to grow some kind of plant.
Kovalycsik: Stand-up comedy,
Echavarria: I love our industry and have a difficult time imagining not being a part of it.