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Jeff’s passion, and pride in his family’s business, propelled BTN from being a first-time home improvement store and supermarket supplier, to International Grower of the Year in 2022. The level of entrepreneurial spirit Jeff carries with him everyday is contagious and is clear in the drive and passion those who work with him also possess. Jeff’s career began after graduating from the University of Guelph in 1991 where he studied Horticulture. When he first started working for the family business as a grower, BTN was primarily landscape suppliers. Shortly after Jeff’s start, BTN began selling to home improvement stores and supermarkets (1993). As BTN continued to flourish and grow, so did Jeff’s role at the company. He moved from grower, to sales, VP of sales, President and then in 2009 when he purchased Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited, he became the CEO. Since that day Jeff has created a familial environment for all his workers and propelled this company into a leader of horticulture. He has served on many industry boards and committees throughout his career and is currently the Treasurer of Landscape Ontario and Grower’s Chair of the Canadian Nursery & Landscape Association. Outside of the industry, Jeff is a board member of the Young Presidents Organization as well as a co-founder of Friends for Life, a cancer research charity which he founded with his wife Carol. During his free time, Jeff is playing hockey, or guitar, travelling, and spending time with family and friends.
Richard is Vice President of Sales, and member of the Executive team at Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd. He assumed this position in July of 2018, soon after BTN acquired the former Valleybrook Gardens, where Rich served as General Manager. With over 25 years working in the green industry, Rich began his career as a landscaper. Now, after more than a decade in a Senior Management role, Rich is proud of his record leading his team to success. Rich received his Bachelor of Arts from Sir Wilfred Laurier University where he studied Economics. Rich is an active member of a peer group within TEC Canada, allowing him to collaborate, share best practices, discuss challenges, and engage in collective problem-solving with like-minded professionals. In 2019, Rich was awarded the Top 40 under 40 award for horticultural professionals by Greenhouse Magazine. Rich’s mission in life is to help people be their best; whether BTN customers, his sales team, friends, family or even someone he just met, he defines success by the positive impact he has on those around him. Rich genuinely wants everyone to be successful in life and will assist in any way possible to make that happen. In his spare time, Rich can be found at the hockey rink with his son where he helps coach, at a swimming pool cheering on his daughter in competitive swimming, or at the roadside supporting his wife who runs marathons.
Ashley became rooted in the Floral/Garden décor industry when she started her first part-time job, in the floral shop of her local Garden Centre in Mississauga, in 1999. Being exposed to Floral Design at birth, Ashley is a Third-Generation Florist, introduced to the industry by her father, Don Waltho, President of CIFD; and floral Master Bill Waltho, her grandfather. Ashley formally studied Floral Design with Bob Ross, at Canadian Institute of Floral Design in 2000. She is certified as a Professional Floral Designer and Instructor who has taught at Sheridan College, and at Canadian Institute of Floral Design, Toronto. With a passion for learning current design trends, and incorporating that into Floral Design trends and techniques, Ashley went on to acquire her advanced diploma in Business Marketing in 2008 from Sheridan College, Oakville. From 2005 to 2015, Ashley was amongst one of the most sought-after floral designers in the GTA, creating Wedding Masterpieces under her very own Waltho Floral Collection. From 2009-2015 Ashley was a speaker at Canada Blooms, Toronto teaching workshops. In 2014 Ashley was awarded Top 30 under 30 Floral Designer by Canadian Florist Magazine, in Toronto. Ashley’s Marketing and Design expertise at BTN is apparent in her creative and technical development of new product designs. Ashley has successfully been Managing all eCommerce accounts at BTN and creating new and innovative product designs since 2016. Ashley is a member of The 519 – offering Safe Service, Space and Leadership to LGBTQ2S Community in Toronto. In her free time, Ashley enjoys exploring the beautiful outdoors with her son. Camping, hiking, skating, and biking are amongst her favourite avenues to get lost and inspired in nature.
Danny joined the BTN team in 2021 as one of the National Account Managers, where he utilizes his skill set in organizing and managing sales to retail accounts across Canada. Danny takes pride in developing and maintaining relationships with customers stemming from a sincere desire to offer the best service possible. Danny has over two decades of experience in the horticultural industry, owning & operating a commercial groundskeeping business as well as a retail garden center. Danny is a father/uber driver of two boys, and you can be sure to find him coaching a hockey or baseball team in his spare time. When he isn’t listening to music or rockin’ out on drums and guitar (the louder the better), Danny would rather hike up a mountain than surf on the couch.
Tracy is the Sales and Program Development Manager at BTN. Tracy’s focus is on developing partnerships with her customers and guiding her IGC team in doing the same. Her extensive background in garden centre retail and wholesale sales is a great asset in creating programs for customers. She is a University of Guelph graduate with a BA degree and a diploma in agriculture. In her spare time Tracy loves to read, watch stand up comedy, and go on road trips to visit family and friends.
Sabrina became a member of the BTN team in 2005 after studying Visual Merchandising Arts at Sheridan College. She initially worked as a merchandiser in Home Depot Garden Centre’s building her knowledge and expertise for how this industry functions, before accepting a position in sales at BTN head office. She has since worked in various administrative roles within the company and is currently an Account Specialist for multiple mass merchant accounts. Sabrina continuously creates a warm and friendly environment for the head office team that she seamlessly translates into her mass merchant relationships. Outside of work, Sabrina loves spending time with family, gardening and enjoying the outdoors.
Cheryl is an Account Specialist at BTN, working with a few big box stores daily to build a great relationship and smooth-running program. Cheryl started working at BTN in 2004 in the Landscape yard where she gained valuable information on plants and customer service. Through the years Cheryl has carried on multiple roles throughout BTN, succeeding and obtaining experience from each one. Cheryl graduated from Guelph University with her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, which has assisted her in every position at BTN. In her spare time, you’ll find Cheryl behind the camera taking beautiful photographs of the surrounding landscape, and spending time with her family and friends.
Sylvia is a Sales Account Specialist and has been with the company for 16 years. She joined the sales team at Valleybrook Gardens which was acquired by BTN in 2018. Sylvia’s responsibilities are looking after small garden centres and landscapers, inputting weekly orders/credits, data entry, ensuring that all IGC customer information is up-to-date, pulling weekly sales reports and doing what she can to keep the IGC sales team in line.
Sylvia received her diploma in Early Childhood Education and worked with children for many years. When she married and had children of her own it was time for a change, so she traded one nursery for another, and hasn’t looked back since. Helping customers fulfill their perennial needs and bring colour to their gardens gives her so much joy.
In her spare time Sylvia enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, baking, reading, and putting her organizational skills to good use by helping friends and family turn their chaos to calm.
Brittani has been surrounded by plants and inherited a deep appreciation for agriculture and gardening from a young age; her Nana’s backyard was all garden. Since 2011 Brittani has been working in the horticulture industry, starting out in municipal landscaping, moving into sales when she joined the BTN team in 2018, and is now the Marketing and eCommerce Account Specialist. Brittani’s love for design and background in Psychology, along with many years of personal marketing experience are what propelled her into the Marketing field. In her spare time, you’ll find Brittani hiking, doing yoga, creating cards for her side passion project, or travelling the world.
Kelly is the IGC Territory Sales Manager for BTN. She has worked in a wide variety of roles in the horticulture industry before joining our team in 2019. Kelly has ten years of practical experience in the industry and a Horticulture Diploma from Niagara College of Canada. Kelly values biodiversity and sustainability, traits that she integrates into her work at BTN. She spends most mornings enjoying a coffee while observing all the beautiful pollinators her perennials have drawn to her garden.
Tony began his career in horticulture by working at his neighborhood garden centre to pay for his university degree. After several decades running successful perennial departments at two Niagara area garden centres, Tony joined the sales team at Valleybrook Gardens which was acquired by Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited in 2018. In his current position as Territory Manager, he now represents the successful perennial brands he once sought as a perennial buyer. Tony has a happy and positive outlook on life, and enjoys meeting all the fantastic people in the green industry. His colleagues, customers and virtual ‘friends’ in online garden forums are some of the most genuine and sincerely fun people. In his spare time Tony enjoys travel and exploring new places with his wife, guiding his daughter to confident independence, gardening, photography and supporting local small businesses.
Kevin has been with Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd. (BTN) for 15 years. He has worked in various roles across the company, on the operations, logistics and finance side of the business. Kevin’s operational passion was the primary driver and motivation to what has led him to his current role as Chief Operating Officer (COO), where he leads, manages, and strategically plans BTN’s Operational goals and objectives. Kevin is inarguably the backbone of the BTN group.
Prior to BTN, Kevin worked as an operations manager for his family run business, where the fire was lit, and passion sparked for operational related processes. While overseeing the family business, Kevin concurrently achieved his CPA designation after successfully graduating Western University’s Finance and Administration program (ACS) with honors.
In his spare time, you will find Kevin working on his golf game, in Barrie where he has been a member of a local golf course for over 30 years, while actively participating on its board of directors and committees. Kevin is dedicated to his growing family and friends, who provide the perfect social balance, to his busy schedule.
Tim is the National Operations Manager and provides support and guidance for the BTN Farms located across the country. 2023 will mark Tim’s 15th year with the company and 5th year at the National level. Tim previously worked in the Wholesale/Landscape Yard as the General Manager, where he helped grow the department and mentor those on his team to excel into other positions within the company. Tim is a graduate of Brock University with a General Arts BA majoring in Accounting and Economics. When he’s not focused on labour, processes, and units per hour you will find Tim practising his lumberjack skills, camping with his Family, or telling hilarious Dad jokes.
Marc is the National Distribution Manager at BTN, where he has been for 21 years come 2023. Within this role he provides guidance in matters relating to transportation, packaging and logistics for all BTN farms and departments. He is a strong advocate for innovation and business improvement drawing on his education in Engineering from McMaster University and Humber College. In his spare time, Marc can be found by the lake or hiking another portion of the Bruce Trail.
Jason has been the National Production Manager at BTN since 2018, with the focus of building strong production plans, and teams who deliver high-quality, cost-effective products that delight customers. Jason started with (previously named) Valleybrook, now our Niagara farm in 2001. When BTN obtained the Valleybrook farm in 2017, Jason was a part of that wonderful integration. Jason has over 20 years experience in the industry in various capacities including Sales, Operations, and Production. This experience and dedication have greatly facilitated Jason with his overall knowledge of this industry, allowing him to be a phenomenal educator for those who work on his team. Jason got his BA in History and Political Science, and Secondary Education teacher’s certificate from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI. Although teaching high-school was not his ultimate passion he certainly enjoys educating our teams about production, and it shows. Part of his work-life balance involves playing hockey, soccer (as a striker), and getting out fishing on local rivers when the bite is on.
Alvin is the National Fulfillment Analyst at BTN supporting end-to-end fulfillment by ensuring that departments can work effectively and efficiently together. After graduating from University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Commerce, he taught English in Korea for a year and a half before settling into office life. After work, Alvin enjoys reading and lounging with his three cats.
Mike is the National Purchasing Manager for Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Limited. He has been with the company for almost 40 years. Mike grew up in the greenhouse industry working from a young age alongside his father, Ib Petersen, in his cut flower business in Nobleton, ON. In 1977 Mike’s father, Ib, became one of the original partners in Treeland Wholesale Nurseries and then a few years later Brookdale Treeland Nurseries began the next steps of Mike’s career path.
After Highschool, Mike attended Humber College and graduated in 1984 with a diploma in the Horticulture. Eager to learn more of the industry, Mike sought out more hands-on experience and learned many aspects of the business operations over the next few years working alongside various Mentors. This knowledge has proven to have been a great asset in the role he holds today.
As the business grew, it was decided to split the original Wholesale Landscape Supply and the Retail Chain Business. From 2000 through 2003 Mike managed the Wholesale Supply Center’s operations, along with taking care of the sales and purchasing. In 2004 Mike transferred from the Wholesale Supply Center, to focus on purchasing for the entire company. Since then, Mike has traveled throughout North America and Overseas, building relationships with different vendors and trading partners. His mission has always been to source the best items for both Nursery and Christmas related products.
When Mike isn’t out searching all corners of the world for the latest and greatest product offerings, he happily spends most of his time with his growing family, friends, and adding in a few rounds of golf.
Lisa is the Purchasing Manager of the Production team at BTN. Her passion is finding and sharing exciting new varieties of plants and programs that the BTN sales team can offer to customers. Her main role is to source and purchase all materials needed for plant production; looking for the best quality, price and timing when purchasing material. Lisa went to Brock University for Sports Management where she fell in love with plants during a summer job at a local garden center and has been in the industry ever since. Lisa has been in this role since 2017 with BTN, as well as a purchasing role for (formerly) Valleybrook Gardens, 10 years before BTN acquired the farm. When Lisa isn’t looking for a good deal on plants, she can be found training for her next running race, or taking her beautiful children to hockey or swimming.
Tina is the Purchasing Assistant at Brookdale Treeland Nurseries Ltd. She is a long-standing employee with the company having worked 22 years in a few different positions. Her primary role in the purchasing dept is to ensure orders arrive on time and without delay. Her high attention to detail is key when working closely with vendors and the logistics department for each shipment. During her free time, Tina enjoys listening to music, and cooking new things, but what she cherishes most is spending quality time with her family and close friends on adventures, and exploring the great outdoors.
Ben Woodard is part of the Purchasing team at BTN, and currently fulfills the roll of Purchasing Administration – Production. In this roll, Ben primarily works assisting with purchases and maintaining ERP software and spreadsheets to ensure that BTN’s various locations have the information they require. His area of expertise are Microsoft Excel and SAP. Ben started at BTN in 2019 and has worked in a few different key positions within the company that gave him insight into what the production and receiving teams need to succeed. He has also helped to improve current, and create new processes related to receiving and production that have been implemented across all divisions of the company. Outside of work, Ben enjoys cooking, music, gardening, and spending time with his family.
Irene is the Transport Manager – Local/Domestic at BTN. Irene has worked in the Transport industry for decades now & has been with BTN for six years. Irene is a strong believer in “Family is not defined by the blood in your veins but by the love in your heart”. The moment you meet Irene you can feel that come through. When she isn’t spending as much time as possible with those she calls “family”, you will find her doing all the activities most wouldn’t dare. Jumped from a plane – done it; Skywalk the CN Tower – done it; Riding a Harley – done it; White Water rafting – done it. Challenges, resolutions, speeds & risks are what make her adrenaline soar …. Probably why she stays in Transport! To help balance her hobbies out, if Irene isn’t out enjoying wild and crazy endeavors, you will find her in remote and exotic waterfront locations relaxing.
Gana is a Logistics Coordinator with the Ontario Transport Team at BTN. Prior to joining BTN in 2021, Gana worked in the transportation industry for 6 years. In his spare time, you will find him playing a round of golf, going to a Jays or Raptors game, or exploring various cuisines with his friends. Gana also enjoys travelling and has travelled to over 30 different countries.
Elizabeth is an experienced International Dispatcher with a demonstrated history of working in the wholesale industry. Elizabeth has been with BTN since 2020, starting in her role of Shipping Coordinator. With her hard-working skills and love of transport, she was promoted to the position of International Dispatcher back in September 2021. Previously, Elizabeth worked as an Accounts Payable Coordinator for an Aluminum company. She brings strong business development skills and has recently become a Certified International Freight Forwarder through CIFFA. In her spare time, you will find Elizabeth enjoying the outdoors and spending time with her family. She is also always looking for more ways to further her education.
Dan is currently working with the transportation team at Head Office as a Dispatcher. Previously, he was working in the distribution department at the Niagara farm in the role of Shipping Receiving Coordinator. Dan joined BTN in 2009 as a labor worker while writing and performing music with his band. During the next few years Dan held many roles within the company including growing assistant, shipping lead hand, maintenance, and operations coordinator at the Niagara location. Dan realized from all the experience he obtained, that he could best use his knowledge to help with transportation. While still playing music every chance he can get, Dan can also be found chasing around his two very rambunctious boys and spending as much time outdoors as possible; cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Robert is the Freight Administrator for BTN and works to make sure that budget reporting is done in a timely manner. Robert went to school for Information Systems Technology at Cambrian College before starting his career in transportation. His transport background has increased his affinity for number crunching, public speaking and performing, excel programming, conflict resolution, and creative problem solving. Robert enjoys board games, spending time with his family and friends, and is a big football fan! Fun fact: His favourite football team is the Las Vegas Raiders, who he’s seen play 3 times. The NFL even did a short film about him and his wife!
Peter is the Project Manager for BTN. He started working in 1978 at the old Mississauga farm when he was 10 years old (back when it was Treeland Wholesale Nursery). In the beginning Peter spent most summers travelling with his father (and founder) Paul Olsen to work in the fields down by Credit River. As Peter got older, he started to work with the truck drivers, loading and unloading trees at jobsites which was a catalyst for him to get his license as soon as he could so he could start driving those same trucks.
Peter drove transport for BTN until 1995 before purchasing his own trucks as a contract carrier to BTN. During that time, he also had contracts with just in time service providers supplying parts. The knowledge gained from all of these experiences was integrated into BTN’s logistics department allowing BTN to deliver anywhere anytime. Our current logistics department has now taken that base and improved many times over to develop the standard by which we ship today. After moving through logistics Peter became the GM of Schomberg where he spent several years building a team that he’s very proud of; most of which have now moved on to run their own departments.
Although Schomberg has always been his home base, whenever a need arises for expansion Peter can be found at the forefront. Peter has been and continues to be the leader in developing farms in new areas (ie. Chilliwack BC, and Niagara).
In this company he has seen and done it all; from field worker to transport driver, then General Manager, to now Project Manager for the company. Peter is based out of our Niagara farm location, where he also raises 4 young kids with his wife. They absolutely love the area, and the wine isn’t too bad either!
Ryan has been with BTN for 14 combined years. He started his journey with the Brookdale family in 1996 (to 2007). In 2019, Ryan re-joined the team and now sustains the role of Chief Financial Officer. Having graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor’s in Accounting Science, and Georgian College as a Chartered Public Accountant (CPA, CGA), Ryan’s 22 years in the industry, along with his lighthearted humour shows in everything he does! His primary focus is on financial governance, reporting, cash flow management and payroll. When Ryan isn’t busy actively working with numbers, you’ll find him being a proud father to three very active boys. Ryan, his boys, wife, and puppy are most likely to be found enjoying their time on a baseball diamond, in a swimming pool in the summer, or on a ski hill in the winter. Ryan is an avid sports fan with aspirations to one day play professional baseball that are not at all based on reality.
Pam is the CPA, CMA, National Accounting Analyst for BTN, where she has been for 4 wonderful years.
Going to York University to study Economics, this is what lead Pam to her current role of a Chartered Professional Accountant with a background in manufacturing. In her role, she analyzes SAP data to understand product costs and support reporting. Her affinity for plants is rooted in her 5th generation family farm, which used to be dairy, but now houses cash crops of corn and alfalfa. Pam is a busy bee, but when she isn’t working hard at BTN, she’s playing golf, curling, quilting and touring Ontario with her small travel trailer.
Susan has been an essential part of BTN since her first starting as the National Human Resource Manager in 2020. With over 15 years in the area of Human Resources, Susan’s experience in Health and Safety, Recruitment and Employee Engagement has led her to growing this department and helping many employees over the years transition into their new roles. Susan carries her passion for Human Resources outside of work as an active member with Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA). A busy mom of 2, Susan finds there is never a dull moment juggling two very active kids who are involved in sports and extra curricular activities. Since starting at BTN and discovering a love for plants, Susan has become an avid gardener.
Diane has been with Brookdale Treeland Nurseries since 1998. Having worked in all departments throughout the years, Diane has gained valuable knowledge that she’s been able to apply to her current role, and her life outside of work. She has led the International Agricultural Worker program since the beginning and built it from 40 people to almost 385 during our Christmas peak season. As Payroll Manager, Diane is responsible for up to 500 employees annually. When Diane isn’t taking care of her work family of (up to) 500, you will find her spending time with her actual family enjoying baseball and hockey. If they aren’t at the diamond or arena, they’re off enjoying the occasional road trip as a group.
Some people think money grows on trees… Lauren knows differently! She’s been an Accountant with the BTN family since 2015 and has been “paying” for it since- her main accounting function is accounts payable. Lauren is originally from Sarnia but graduated from McMaster University with an Honours degree in Commerce. When she’s not paying invoices, she’s spending time with her husband and daughter. A self-proclaimed Disney fanatic, Lauren can be found whistling while she works, knows it’s a small world after all and is happy with the bare necessities of life.
Gloria has worked at BTN as an HR Coordinator since she graduated from York University in Human Resources Management in 2021. Gloria has brought all her experience working for more than 20 years as a Hospital Director and Human Resources Manager in her home country to this position. With a Professional Nurse degree, Gloria pushed towards management. She complimented her knowledge in health care with an academic specialization in Administration, Human Resources Management, Quality Audit and Medical Law. Gloria has been a beacon of light since she started at BTN; you’ll always find her with a smile on her face and a welcome hello. Gloria dreams of publishing a book because she has always liked writing and enjoys time with her family and her dogs which she loves passionately.
Victoria started with BTN in 2022 and has been a fantastic addition to the Finance department. Her study in Professional Purchasing and Computer Engineering has helped Victoria in her Accounts Payable role she is currently rocking. Her passion for travel is something she’s always loved and passes down to her daughters to help broaden their horizons. Victoria also loves to read and pick up a book any chance she can get. Fun fact: Victoria has been running since she was little and has accomplished a few ½ trail marathons.