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Harris Seeds promotes vice president
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Horticultural supplier Harris Seeds has announced the promotion of a member of its executive leadership team and the hiring of a manager for one of the company's key product divisions.
Vicky Rupley, a vice president with the company and an officer on Harris Seeds' board of directors since 2005, has been named executive vice president. Rupley will move into her new role with the company on July 1.
Also this month, Harris Seeds hired Michael Wells as manager of the company's ornamentals product group, a role previously held by Rupley. Wells brings to the product group more than a decade of experience in ornamentals and extensive knowledge about the floral and farming industries.
“Harris Seeds has a storied 137-year history of leadership within the horticultural industry. This is directly attributable to our company's multi-generational dedication to attracting and retaining the best and the brightest talent within the industry,” said Ken Wasnock, Harris Seeds chief executive officer. “The appointment of Michael to ornamentals manager and the promotion of Vicky to this key leadership position further reflects Harris Seeds' unwavering commitment to that guiding principle. They will undoubtedly enhance our ability to deliver exceptional products and an exemplary customer experience.”
Rupley, a respected leader in her field, has worked in the horticultural seed industry for more than 30 years, including 22 years at Harris Seeds. She has helped grow the company's ornamentals line, developed new products, established positive relationships with vendors and maximized operational workflow efficiency.
As executive vice president, Rupley will work with Wasnock and the Harris Seeds management team on strategic business development, general operations and sales innovations. Wasnock was named CEO in April.
“I am very happy about my new role with Harris Seeds. Our company has an extensive, solid foundation of providing growers and gardeners exceptional products and services, and it's really exciting to be teaming up with Ken and our staff as we move into the next phase of our company's growth,” Rupley said.
Wells has hands-on experience growing, selling and marketing seeds, plants and cut flowers to retail and wholesale customers. Before returning to Harris Seeds, where he worked as a web marketing manager and regional account manager, Wells served as the lead floral designer for Stacy K Floral & Designs. As the owner of 365 Fresh Specialty Cut Flower Farm, he managed the planting, maintenance and harvesting of more than 80 species of flowers. Wells will begin his new position at Harris Seeds on July 18.
“Working in the ornamentals marketplace all these years has been a fantastic experience, and Michael is the perfect person to take our ornamentals product line to the next level,” Rupley said. “His passion, expertise and skillsets will definitely grow this part of our business, and I'm eager to work with him as we make this transition.”