Marivi Ponce

Marivi Ponce

Marivi Ponce

Office Manager - Purchasing

My name is Marivi Ponce. My first job was in a daycare as a part time, after I graduated from high school I had 2 part time jobs then I started a family which pushed me to find a full time job which I found in a nursery in the year 2000 that’s how my journey started in the nursery industry. I have been working in the nursery industry for about 18 yrs. I came in to the nursery industry not knowing anything about plants, but along the way I pushed myself to learn as much as I could I believe I have accomplice what I wanted. Island Tropical Foliage gave me the opportunity to join them again since I worked with them in past doing sales, now I am in the purchasing department been here for almost 2 years. I believe with the experience that I have has helped me in the position I have now in purchasing even though you never stop learning something new every day about plants. Our duties here are to locate plants, visit other nurseries to make sure we are getting the quality our customers expect since I see it as we are our customer’s eyes. We also provide our sales people with pictures, specifications and any other information they might need. We locate anything from palms, trees, shrubs, native plants these are just some of the varieties we look for, also anything else the customer might request. I have now taken on another duty in managing the office for Island Tropical Foliage. I really believe we have a great team here and really enjoy being part of it.

Larry Barr

Larry Barr

Owner

My introduction to agriculture came at about age 5 when our Dad made us trim the annuals and spray the roses. I hated doing those chores. After high school, I went to work for a music distributor and when that business closed a few years later, the owner purchased a nursery in Homestead, Florida. My first day was picking up rocks from a field so a new shade house could be constructed. The nursery, Margo Farms, grew into one of the most progressive nurseries of its time and the owner had ties to Europe, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. I managed shipping for a few years, and then sales and sales management. I owe Mike Spector much gratitude for trusting me to grow with his company. Margo Farms was known for introducing new varieties, and we traveled around the world, establishing some of the relationships I still value today. From there I joined Foremostco, which opened a finished plants division called Ready Plants. It was a fantastic experience, working with some of the best people in the industry and learning some very valuable business skills. The owner, Joe Roberts, taught me more in those 5 years than I could have learned in a lifetime. From there, I was finally able to open my own business with a partner, starting with a modest 1 acre nursery. Working weekends after our regular jobs, we bought 5 acres and then 10 more. The business grew and we enjoyed every year. When that partnership ended about 10 years ago, I opened Island Tropical Foliage. With the help of valued employees, we focused on exporting to the Caribbean, Spring Flowering and Ferns. We are at a comfortable 25 acres and because of our employee’s hard work and dedication, and the best customers in the world; we enjoy steady business and growth. Our philosophy is to help the customer in any way we can. We figure if we do that, the rest will come. We hire people with that same philosophy and the relationships we have are strong and we are grateful for that. My father passed away years ago and though I hated spraying those roses, I found myself spraying 20,000 of them. I had to smile.

Lilian Hernandez

Lilian Hernandez

Sales and Marketing

Lilian joined the domestic sales team at Island Tropical Foliage in 2015. She studied Anthropology and Sociology for 5 years in the University of “Las Villas” in Cuba, after she graduated she worked in a fine arts museum and also as a Tour-Guide, she is not afraid to try new things and loves the challenge of a new career. When she first started she had no experience in the industry, and she is very grateful for this opportunity. Since the first day she was fascinated with the nursery business and after 3 years in the company she has grown a lot and learns more every day. She will be happy to host you on a personal tour of the farm or work with you by phone, fax and email so that your orders are properly processed. She handles customers all over the United Stated and Canada, she is in charge of sending out our monthly newsletter, and also ensures that our website and our availability in the Plant Finder are up to date.

Claudia Ordonez

Claudia Ordonez

Office Assistant

Claudia Ordonez came from Venezuela; there she studied Industrial Relations in the University Dr. Rafael Belloso Chacin for 5 years. She developed her career in the Human Resources and business organization area, gaining 10 years of experience. In the year 2017 she joined the team at Island Tropical Foliage, having no experience in the nursery business. Shortly she proved her organization skills and joined the export department as an Export Assistant. Today she plays another role in the company; she is part of both teams now: "Export" and "Domestic" and she assists Ali Barr in our sister company "Tropical Trading". She loves her job and everyday she comes with the willingness to learn more and give her best to our company.

Marivi Ponce

Marivi Ponce

Office Manager - Purchasing

My name is Marivi Ponce. My first job was in a daycare as a part time, after I graduated from high school I had 2 part time jobs then I started a family which pushed me to find a full time job which I found in a nursery in the year 2000 that’s how my journey started in the nursery industry. I have been working in the nursery industry for about 18 yrs. I came in to the nursery industry not knowing anything about plants, but along the way I pushed myself to learn as much as I could I believe I have accomplice what I wanted. Island Tropical Foliage gave me the opportunity to join them again since I worked with them in past doing sales, now I am in the purchasing department been here for almost 2 years. I believe with the experience that I have has helped me in the position I have now in purchasing even though you never stop learning something new every day about plants. Our duties here are to locate plants, visit other nurseries to make sure we are getting the quality our customers expect since I see it as we are our customer’s eyes. We also provide our sales people with pictures, specifications and any other information they might need. We locate anything from palms, trees, shrubs, native plants these are just some of the varieties we look for, also anything else the customer might request. I have now taken on another duty in managing the office for Island Tropical Foliage. I really believe we have a great team here and really enjoy being part of it.

Tracy Smith

Tracy Smith

Purchasing

My name is Tracy Smith. I started working in the nursery industry when I was in High School. My parents had a Ficus nursery and I worked for them part time after school. I went on to do other things for a few years and then in 2000 I went to work for Green Leaf Nursery and worked for them for 18 years as a plant buyer. Green Leaf sold to Costa Farms in early 2018. I started working for Island Tropical in August, 2018 in the purchasing department along with Marivi Ponce. Marivi and I locate plants over the phone and by visiting the nurseries to make sure we are getting the quality our customers expect. We provide our sales people with pictures, specifications and any other information they may request so that they may forward the information to their customers. We locate everything from annuals, big trees, palms, shrubs, flowering, and natives and anything else the customer might request. We also oversee quality control. In the short time I have worked for Island Tropical Foliage I have really enjoyed it and am blessed to be able to say I enjoy my job.

Karen Hill

Karen Hill

Accounting

Karen is all things money here at Island Tropical Foliage. Born and raised in the Redland on a dirt road, on the edge of the Everglades, she is a South Dade native. She’s happily married with one son, and loves going fishing on the weekends and riding her Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. She started working in the accounting business in 2006 at Redland Nursery, and worked for them for over 5 years. She’s been with Island Tropical Foliage for over a year now, starting in the fall of 2017. While at work, you’ll find her in her office keeping our money in check, from paying the bills, receiving customer payments to making sure our awesome employees get paid every week.