Staff

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Mandy Leifheit

Sales Manager

Mandy’s main focus at Pizzo Native Plant Nursery is to develop new customer connections in addition to providing excellent customer service to existing customers and vendors. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm of native plants and how to best execute successful and beautiful native plantings.  Mandy started her career in the Landscape Industry in 2001 as a Landscape Designer where she worked for both landscape contractors and growers. Mandy joined the Pizzo Nursery Team in 2015 and continues to strengthen her knowledge of horticultural and ecological applications of native plants and functional landscape systems.

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Haleigh Cummings

Sales Representative

Haleigh joined the Pizzo Native Plant Nursery Team in 2020. She grew up on a local farm and entered the horticulture industry in 2014. Haleigh has always enjoyed nature, gardening, & growing plants, which naturally lead to a Certificate in Horticulture from Kishwaukee College. Earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Northern Illinois University furthers her ability to share her interest and knowledge of plants with others.

Haleigh comes with experience and a strong background in green industry customer service. She enjoys working closely with all customers, developing resilient relationships through clear, consistent and reliable communication. Through all her pursuits she continues to expand her knowledge of horticulture and native plants.

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Kyle Banas

Nursery Manager

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Jan Sorensen

Inventory Coordinator

Kyle brings over 20 years of diverse greenhouse and nursery experience to the Pizzo Native Plant Nursery team. His main responsibilities include staffing, budgeting, business development and production scheduling. Kyle leads the Pizzo Native Plant Nursery team to shape and realize their mission and vision statements as well as foster a productive, engaging and passionate company culture

Jan joined the Pizzo Nursery team in 2017 and brings over 30 years of knowledge and expertise in native plant production and nursery management.  She is responsible for all crop inventory and availability management facilitating the link between production and sales. Jan also plays a pivotal role in assisting our Nursery Manager in the day to day management of nursery operations.

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David Marek

Grower

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Susan Booker

Nursery Propagator

David is responsible for all crop health care and growing system maintenance. He brings 15 years of growing experience and plant knowledge, which he applies to crop management and shares with the rest of the team. David is responsible for the integrated pest management program and manages all crop input schedules.

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Stephanie Pinkous
Production Coordinator

Susan has been in the green industry for over 12 years and has been with Pizzo since 2014.  From collecting to sowing, she considers herself “all things seed.” She spearheaded the nurseries Monarch Waystation Program, raises several Monarchs for educational purposes, then in the fall tags Monarchs out in the wild.  She keeps our social media up to date with her beautiful photographic images of the Prairie.

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Cassidy Gawne
Order Fulfillment Coordinator

Stephanie is a founding staff member of Pizzo Nursery since 2009.  She has worked diligently over the years to bring the production numbers from 300,000 plants produced annually to over 1,200,000.   Stephanie coordinates production, trains seasonal staff, supervises transplanting, and implements changes that improve plant quality and nursery organization. Her positive attitude and focus on bringing out the best in people motivate seasonal staff to exceed and achieve production goals. 

Cassidy first joined PNPN in 2020 as a Seasonal Nursery Tech. After graduating from Illinois State University in 2021 with a B.S. in Horticulture and Landscape Management she joined the team full-time. Cassidy’s main focus is to work with sales and inventory to understand each customers unique needs prior to fulfilling their order. She hopes to continue expanding her knowledge in both native plants and in the green industry through Pizzo Native Plant Nursery.

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Scott Hines
Assistant Grower

Scott has over 10 years of experience in the green industry and has recently graduated from Kishwaukee Community College with an A.S. in Greenhouse Management and a certificate in Sustainable Gardening. He is passionate about helping people and the environment through the use of plants and to spread awareness of the numerous uses of Illinois natives. He is happy to be working with such a kind and generous crew here at Pizzo Native Plant Nursery

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Sarah Ehrhart
Production Assistant

Sarah joined our team five years ago as Seasonal Nursery Tech. With her attention to detail and excellent observational skills she has moved into the role of Production Assistant, supervising transplanting, and training seasonal team members.  Additionally, she is responsible for training our rodent control team and has become known as the ‘Cat Wrangler.’ Sarah’s practical and simple approach to problem solving helps improve the everyday processes of PNPN.