At Van Belle, we’ve always been passionate about growing premium products to set our customers up for success. Our grower team leaders are very happy to be working with a team who bring their very best to work every single day, who inspire all of us to work together on great plants, made easy.
Diego Martinez – Head Grower, YoungPlantsdiego@vanbelle.com
Diego, an expert in pest management and greenhouse growing, joined Van Belle from Ecuador, where he operated a cut flower export business. In the time he’s been with Van Belle, he’s made a significant difference: “I am starting to implement and improve on the processes that already exist here, and to utilize the resources available to produce the kind of plant our customers look for and need.”
Nigel Taggart – Head Grower, Retail Readynigel@vanbelle.com
Nigel first learned the trade managing a large horticultural operation in Africa. An expert in systematic crop management, Nigel is excited about the opportunities ahead: “I’m ready to jump in and contribute to what Van Belle has established, and I’m impressed by the company’s philosophy of always striving for continual improvement. I’m going to do everything I can to build on the momentum and to hopefully make our customers even more happy to see a load arrive from Van Belle!”
Valerie Sikkema – Staff Horticulturistvalerie@vanbelle.com
Van Belle takes pest and disease prevention seriously. Valerie is our Staff Horticulturist, rounding out our grower team. Valerie grew up at a garden centre in Orangeville, Ontario, working with her Dad since she was five. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Agr.) in horticulture from the University of Guelph, and a B.Ed. in science teaching from the University of Western Ontario. Before starting at Van Belle, she taught high school science and math, and ran chemistry labs, maintained an academic greenhouse, and established perennial gardens at an Iowa college. She and Arnold (currently a physics professor at Trinity Western University) have three children. In her spare time, Valerie loves to garden, hike, canoe, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors in beautiful British Columbia.