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Meet the Staff
Tropiflora has always taken pride in having a qualified staff of experts in their fields, working with the plants and helping customers. All of our growers have years of experience including some with considerable field experience, and a personal interest in the plants under their care. Tropiflora is more than an ordinary workplace, more like a family, and our employees and their families are like extended members of our own. We have very little turn over and most of our employees have been with Tropiflora for quite a few years. Customer service is a point of pride at Tropiflora, and your orders or your visits will be handled with professional courtesy. We now welcome you to meet our staff.
We have always considered Tropiflora to be a ‘mom and pop’ operation and Linda is definitely the mom. This is especially true now that our two children Robin and Scott are part of the business. She has always treated our employees as extended family and keeps us all well grounded. When Linda and I married, Tropiflora was a tiny, fledgling business and Linda poured herself into it wholeheartedly, doing everything from potting to landscaping and all the office work. She is still active in all aspects of running the nursery and takes care of ‘the books’. Linda is very customer oriented and handles much of our telephone business and wholesale customers. Though she claims not to be an expert about plants, her knowledge of our stock, especially bromeliads, is very impressive. Linda has traveled the country and the world along side of her husband Dennis (that’s me) collecting plants in the jungles and deserts and attending conferences, sales, and aiding in our lectures across the globe. She is the face and voice of Tropiflora to many of our long time clients.
Always the dreamer and adventurer, he started Tropiflora in the early ’70s as an outgrowth of a bromeliad collecting hobby. A “hobby gone bad” he says. Following years of collecting reptiles and traveling the Caribbean and Latin America, he discovered bromeliads or they discovered him and the direction of his life was changed for evermore. Collecting and exploring were always his first interests in the plant world and over the years he and Linda have visited over 25 countries on more than 100 trips and expeditions. Together they have made travel, adventure, plant exploring, speaking, writing and the nursery business a way of life. He and Linda are now passing their passion for plants on to their children, to take Tropiflora into the second generation.
Brian Weber is the head bromeliad grower at Tropiflora. He is originally from Chicago and has been interested in plants since 1975 when he bought his first bromeliad; an Aechmea ‘Burgundy’. Brian has traveled to Singapore, Mexico, and Canada and throughout the United States on plant related travels. Brian has a broad knowledge of the latest cultivars, especially Neoregelia, Billbergia and Cryptanthus, but his interests and expertise extend to the whole bromeliad family. Brian can recommend the best bromeliads for landscape and his personal background with reptiles and amphibians gave him a good base knowledge of bromeliads for terrarium use as well. Though not in Brian’s sphere of responsibility at Tropiflora, Brian also has a good knowledge of orchids as well. On his time off, Brian enjoys keeping up his personal bromeliad collection and collecting New Guinea tribal art.
Head bromeliad grower
Veronica Orozco, now our head Tillandsia grower and Administrative Assistant, started with Tropiflora in 1994. While working in the Tillandsia collection she took a personal interest in these fascinating plants, and has now become a real expert in the field. Veronica is a keen observer and has spotted many natural hybrids and special clones among our imports and seed grown plants. Her careful cultivation has increased our numbers of rare and unusual Tillandsia varieties and several of her selected clones have been named and registered. Veronica enjoys working one-on-one with customers and they appreciate her broad knowledge of Tropiflora’s vast Tillandsia stock. Veronica is fluent in Spanish and assists most of our Spanish-language customers.
Tillandsia grower and Administrative Assistant
Ray Lemieux is our long-time succulent grower at Tropiflora. Ray is the most knowledgeable person on the nursery in the area of terrestrial bromeliads and succulent plants in general. He has always had a serious interest in plants and has been a collector for more than 15 years. Ray has traveled to Mexico, Venezuela, Madagascar and Singapore for Tropiflora in search of plants and has helped us build a really world class succulent collection. He has also been a past president of the Sarasota Bromeliad Society and is a current member of the Central Florida Cactus & Succulent Society, Bromeliad Society International, Sarasota Bromeliad Society, and the Cactus & Succulent Society of America. Ray enjoys playing softball and tending his personal collection of asclepiads and caudiciforms on his time off.
Long-time succulent grower
Robin Lockhart is Tropiflora’s Office Manager, in charge of any and all office work. Whether it is answering the phones, taking phone or email orders or handling accounts receivable, Robin will always give you cheerful professional courtesy. She is Linda and Dennis’ daughter and like her brother, Scott, she has also fallen prey to working in the family business. After graduating from Florida State University in 1995 she honed her customer service and office skills, eventually joining Tropiflora in 2003.