Loma Vista Nursery Employee Features
We at Loma Vista Nursery are not only proud of our plants, but we are also proud of our operations and the people who work here, which is why we are featuring blogs and videos about the people who make up our incredible team and how we run our nursery.
Introducing: Karen Brooks
Karen is our Quality Control Manager here at Loma Vista Nursery. In fact, she is the first ever Quality Control Manager we have ever had. We wanted to have a person solely dedicated to ensuring our plants meet our high quality standards before sending them off to our customers, so we created Karen’s position. Her job has three main duties. The first is to asses our ‘priority pulls.’ We are a large, 350 acre container facility, which means we have multiple crops of the same plant. Karen’s job is to determine which batch of crops is the best. She then informs the sales team so that the sales team can sell the best group of that crop while we get the other groups up to our premium standard before we start selling them.
above: Karen checking our Apricot Drift Roses.
Her second duty is to check the ready dates. We propagate and grow the majority of our own crops, and our head growers have a fairly accurate idea for when the plants will be mature enough to sell. However, we have all sorts of different weather patters here in Kansas, so that can affect the growth of our plants. Sometimes the plants are ready earlier than we projected, and sometimes the plants are not quite ready when we anticipated. As the plants approach the ‘ready by dates,’ Karen goes out and assesses the true ready date for the plants.
Karen’s last role is to do the final check on the shipping dock. Once the plants are ordered, pulled, processed, and tagged, they are put on the shipping dock before getting loaded into our trucks. Right before the plants are loaded, Karen checks each and every single plant to determine if it meets our quality standards for our customers. If she deems a plant unfit to ship, she removes it from the dock and communicates to the shipping and sales department, so they can replace the plants with ones that do meet our high standards. All-in-all, Karen is our team member who ensures our plants represent our nursery and our business as best as possible because our customers deserve nothing but the best from us.
Karen is a native to this area. She grew up in Shawnee, KS and has always loved plants. When she grew up, she entered into the green industry. Her first job was as a driver at a sod company where she was the first woman ever to be hired there. She then worked at various nurseries around the KC area. Through her time in the industry, she got acquainted with Loma Vista Nursery. After working with them for a number of years, Karen wanted to see if they could use her help, so one day she called Loma Vista Nursery to inquire about a job there. Karen was immediately hired as has been working here for fifteen years as of this year. She first started as a shipping assistant, and from there she then managed shipping and then worked as an outside sales representative before we created the Quality Control Manager position for her.
above: Karen holding Goldie, our Loma Vista Nursery cat.
When Karen is not busy working checking plants, she spends her free time with her grandchildren or relaxing by her pool. She also loves to garden. She’s most proud of her tomato plants right now, and she also has some impressive landscape beds that she tends to. She loves Loma Vista Nursery, but when she inevitably retires, her dream is to move to Florida where she can relax on the Gulf Coast surrounded by seashells on the beach.
A True Lover of Plants
Karen is in the correct industry because she truly does love plants, and she loves the opportunity to work with them here at Loma Vista Nursery. “My favorite part of my job is getting to work with plants,” she says. “The whole process amazes me from when the plants first are propagated to canning and then to when they flower. There is nothing more beautiful than flowers.” Loma Vista Nursery allows for Karen to learn about new plants and new things about each plant time and time again. She always gets extremely excited for the spring and the summer to see what kind of blooms the plants will have for the new year. Our nursery does a wonderful job of creating the highest quality of plants, and much of that is thanks to Karen’s thorough knowledge of plant standards. If you are interested in learning Karen’s favorite plants, check out her Top 5 Plants list HERE.
above: Karen helping one of our pullers, Kevin, select some grasses for an order.
Come Work With Us (And Karen!)
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