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Kelly Staats' original plan was to work in greenhouses and get her hands dirty, but has instead found her niche with Eason Horticultural Resources, Inc. As a Plant and Plug Product Manager, Staats puts her passion for plants and her knowledge of horticulture to work by working with suppliers, customers and fellow sales-reps. "Most young horticulture grads are not aware of the plant brokerage sales opportunities, and it's a huge career field that needs more qualified young people," says Staats.
Staats' major responsibilities with EHR are to develop and maintain the company's relationships with current suppliers, communicate product information to salespeople and customers, and make sure that the process of buying plants goes as smoothly as possible. EHR serves as a consultant and broker to retail garden center growers, wholesale greenhouse growers, nurserymen, and landscapers. "My typical day is very fast paced and exciting," says Staats.
Staats found her experience with student organizations at OSU to be a huge asset for her career, and also relates, "My class work offered a great base, but it is important to stress how much you learn from work experience."
Through building relationships with industry clientele, Staats' budding career has produced many rewarding experiences. "When I started no one knew who I was and they were leery of me handling their business, but over time I have proven myself and developed many trusting relationships." Staats eyes a long career at EHR and offers sage advice, "Don't limit yourself to just being a grower or a landscaper. The opportunities in this industry are endless, yet the industry itself is relatively small which enables you to really play a part in the market."