Deborah Rodgers, Owner/President
Deb Rodgers’ love affair with the business started many years ago when she worked for the well respected Lois Woodhull, the former owner of the Plantage. Lois built her business and reputation on providing quality products and was recognized as one of the best perennial growers in the region. Deb is now modeling the North Fork Boutique Gardens on the knowledge and teachings of her former mentor.
Deb has a wealth of experience in operating a business and understands the importance of customer service. She has helped grow WRS Environmental Services Company, a family owned business which remediates and restores land and water through out the tri-state area and beyond, serving as Office Manager and Quality Assurance Director. She is also the Owner of the Indy 3000 Inc. family of companies, a woman owned automotive lubrication, NYS inspection and small repair shop servicing the public together with fleet accounts & contracts servicing all county vehicles for over 15 years.
Michelle Stoetzel, Vice President
Since Michelle was young, sustainable agriculture and farming has been a way of life. Growing up on a dairy farm in Upstate New York instilled a solid work ethic and a general love for nature. Michelle graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with her B.S. in Soil Science and minor in Environmental Policy. While pursuing her education she helped run an organic farm and brewery.
Saying goodbye to the lovely New England weather was not too hard, as she ventured to Florida and joined a dynamic team as a section grower at a 1200 acre tree farm. Eager to learn more about growing woody ornamentals and production management, Michelle achieved her certification as an International Certified Arborist and was promoted to head propagator and grower, with more than 60 people under her. Actively involved in the local chapters of the International Plant Propagators Society she encountered many contacts, one who led her to the 2nd longest island in the United States where she now calls home.
Michelle continued her growing career and expanded her purchasing and production knowledge, while working at a 200 acre wholesale nursery on the east end of Long Island. Now a NYS Certified Private Pesticide Applicator, Michelle added one more facet of being a well versed grower to her resume. The hands on experience and various hats worn in this company really forced her to step outside her comfort zone and learn the dynamics of running a functional and successful farm.
From plant health care, to propagation, pruning, scouting, or making her own soil mixes, Michelle was involved and committed 100% as with every endeavor pursued. Having achieved growing her career and experience Michelle, chose to grow her family. Now a happily married mother of 2, Michelle has jumped on board to represent a new and upcoming wholesale growing facility. Welcome to North Fork Boutique Gardens, home of natives.
Kathryn Donoghue, Controller
Prior to NFBG, Kathryn (Kat) for 8 years worked in “High-end” retail, managing multiple stores from Manhattan to The Hamptons developing exceptional customer service skills, visual merchandising, loss prevention, marketing and business etiquette skills. No wonder she was quickly promoted to Executive Manager. If you’ve had the opportunity to chat with Kat at NFBG, you get it.
Matthew Purcell, Director of Operations
Matt caught the bug early in life starting on a family trip to Sequoia National Park at age three. He assures all this was not a glamping trip, tents up and down every day with his four siblings a schedule like no other, cross country in a two-tone gold and green Dodge van. Whatever it took to reach the next museum, art gallery, statue, campground or national park. He remembers the van driving through the trees as well as running atop those magnificent although fallen trees. The size of the trees was enough to influence his direction in life.
In high school he worked as many hours as he could, around a busy sports schedule, mostly lawn jockey but also on landscape and patio installations. Matt holds a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from Delaware Valley College and is a NYS Certified Pesticide Applicator.
Matt has had the pleasure of working in landscape, retail, re-wholesale and wholesale segments of the industry for nearly 30 years and believes a quality first approach is priority one.
Matt built and managed a 20 acre wholesale perennial growing facility from the ground up for the last 18 years, delivering product throughout the northeast. He has assisted in design of custom software packages focusing on customer relationship management, inventory and product availability, order entry and packaging for retail sales.
Although Matt is a workaholic he likes to spend time with his wife and four children on the family land barge, all kidding aside the boat is in the yard more than on the water. Fishing, tubing and sightseeing on the waters off eastern Long Island. No more glamping for him it’s all about the plants and reaching new heights with NFBG.
Joshua Scruggs, Director of Sales and Business Development
Joshua (Josh) Scruggs is Director of Sales and Business Development. He partners with green industry professionals to ensure that NFBG can fulfill their nursery needs.
Josh has over two decades of green industry experience working in nursery management and operations, as a nursery buyer and in sales for family-run businesses and national corporate nurseries. He believes that customer service and quality plant material are the key to building long-lasting professional relationships.
Josh has a Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Industries Management with an emphasis in horticulture from the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Minn.
He enjoys family time with his wife and two boys and is active in greyhound rescue.
After more than 4 decades working in garden center related businesses I always come back to an old saying: “Good plants sell themselves”.
With this in mind, let me show you what NFBG has to offer.