Our Team

Our Team

our design + sales team ranges from landscape designers and architects, interioscapers, floral designers, special events and holiday coordinators. we will match you with the individual who will assist you with exploring creative horticultural and design solutions. our extensive resources enable us to offer every level of interior and exterior plantscaping products. from foliage and specimen plants to containers and hard goods, blondie’s can source specifically what you need.

our operations and installations team are there to support each project every step of the way. from procuring the highest quality plant material to managing a custom container order, they are reliable and consistent. our clients can rest assured that their project will be installed in a timely and professional manner.

our horticultural service team is responsible for the care and maintenance of live plants. supervisors insure that all aspects of your interior and exterior plantscapes are tended to thoroughly and efficiently. we encourage education and individual growth within our company. we are very proud that the majority of our staff have been with us for more than a decade.

Arita Herbsta

upon completion of her degree in horticulture from the university of agriculture in latvia, arita moved to the unites states and began working in the hudson valley region of new york. she quickly found blondie’s and has been with the company since 1998. entering first as a horticulture technician, arita was able to utilize her knowledge and horticulture expertise. over time her interest in floral design grew and she began to work with blondies flower studio; that was over 10 years ago.
it was immediately evident that arita’s was meant to design with cut flowers and quickly developed a style uniquely her own. with her sensitivity to color and her eye for detail she has artistic command over her designs. with a client list of luxury hotels and high profile accounts, arita has contributed greatly to the look and style that blondie’s has come to be known for. as the assistant manager of the flower studio she is constantly coordinating with a team of 8 designers and maintains a very full schedule of weekly floral programs and special event installations.

“it is always very busy here in the studio, but we know our clients very well and listen to what they are looking for. they have come to expect a level of service from blondie’s that they cannot find anywhere else.”

design + sales

646.486.1323

nyc

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Carrol L. Gingold

design + sales

212.966.4344

mamaroneck

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Read More carrol’s career was off to an early start when she attended new york’s high school for art and design. there she learned how to cultivate her attraction to design and develop a keen sense of style. she continued her interests at new york university and understood that design would be a lifelong career. with over 17 years of experience in horticultural design, she has developed relationships with new york city’s major corporations, financial institutions, real estate firms and non-profit organizations. she has been a member of new york horticultural society, metro hort group, i.f.m.a. greater n.y. chapter and the association of real estate women. arriving at blondie’s in 1995, she quickly developed the nickname of the “queen of christmas”. carrol has taken holiday décor to a whole new level. she delights in the entire process from meeting with clients and brainstorming ideas, to working with blondie’s production team creating holiday decorations. she is on-site throughout her many installations and is always accessible to clients. throughout the year carrol continues to work with her client’s developing custom interior plant programs. botanical design is a creative outlet for carrol and she enjoys working with tropical plant material, fresh floral arrangements and designer containers. when she is not decking the halls, carrol enjoys traveling and seeing the world. when she is at home, she enjoys spending time in her kitchen and taking walks in nature where she finds something to enjoy in every season.

Charles Casanova

Read More charles casanova has worked with blondie’s since 2001 and is a cornerstone of the blondies exterior department. he is a skilled senior project manager and has the ability to schedule and stage multi-phase projects and oversee their progress along the way. charles expertise illustrates his vast knowledge of design, estimating and installation, for rooftop, terrace, greenwalls and greenroofs as well as large scale seasonal design.

director of sales

646.828.2749

nyc

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Daria Snyder

design + sales

720.987.9979

mamaroneck

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Read More if you have been amazed by the interior and exterior plant design of a major national brand, there's a good chance that daria snyder was involved. she recognizes that great national brand experiences all have consistency and creativity in common. that type of insight and vision has been driving many well-known brands across the country to utilize her services.

daria is responsible for developing, designing and implementing national consumer sites - including interiors, exteriors and holiday decor programs. she has the uncanny ability to meet with a customer and immediately understand their brand and their vision and can instantly create a solution & plan that best works for them. daria is a great communicator and is a stickler for details and works incredibly fast - without ever missing a beat.

daria holds a bachelor's degree in fine arts from manhattanville college in ny and has been in the interior plantscape industry for 28 years. her ability to translate art into functional, inspiring spaces has earned her the loyalty of some of the biggest brands in north america.


David Mendelson

Read More A gardener and plant collector since he was five, Mr. Mendelson is driven by sustainable and universal design principles. David obtained a BS in Horticulture from Cornell University and Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His professional mentors include Michael Van Valkenburgh, Martha Schwartz, Dennis Piermont, Greg Lombardi and Mario Schjetnan. 
David's professional focus ranges from highly detailed residential to large scale urban design projects. He's developed extensive knowledge in plazas, parks, playgrounds, sports & recreation facilities, streetscapes, green roof projects and rooftop developments. He has public and private projects built in California, Florida, New York, and Massachusetts. David has completed International projects in Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. Additionally, his extensive travel has provided him with a vast understanding of plant palettes in Temperate, Mediterranean, and Sub Tropical climates.  

design + sales

646.828.2798

nyc

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Eileen Green

design + sales

646.828.2784

nyc

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Eileen was raised in Los Angeles. On the east coast by her mid-twenties, after on and off spurts in college and some international travel, she knew that she had to choose a career she would love. Knowing that nature and beauty have great impact on all life, she found her path working with plants.

Believing in the importance of design and related to her work, she completed a course at the New York School of Interior Design. Years later, she was delighted to go back to study again and receive a Certificate in Landscape Design from NYBG.

Upon the original suggestion of fellow plantscaper Sara Baerwald, Eileen Green, Inc. joined Howard and Blondie’s Treehouse, Inc. in 1991. One of her original employees, now a dear friend, Ricardo Carcamo, heads Blondie’s floral division. It has been a wonderful collaboration.

Eileen’s focus is always to give the utmost care to clients and to enrich our personal and shared environments through the incredible world of horticulture. Whether a vase, an office planting, or a rooftop garden…..Nature restores us.

Eva Vessio

Born and raised in Eastern Europe, Eva has received her Bachelor Degree in Environmental Engineering and a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from Korvinus University in Budapest in 1987. She joined the Blondie's team in 1994 and shortly thereafter became a company's Creative Director. Eva's abilities and innate creativity have enabled her to work nationally and internationally in all aspects of design especially branding in co-relation with horticulture. In 2011, Mrs Vessio designed and oversaw the construction of our companies New York Sales Office at 242 West 30th Street. She frequently travels to Europe and Asia in search of new materials and inspiration to implement creatively in our designs. Eva has been instrumental in the company's growth from a local horticultural business to a national corporation.

design + sales

646.828.2655

mamaroneck

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Fran Schreibman

director of design + sales

646.828.2651

mamaroneck

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fran began her career with a degree in horticultural studies from farmingdale university. her first experience was at martin viettes nursery in east norwich, which was the largest horticultural center on long island. she delighted in working with plants and knew this would be a lifelong career.

she began working with blondie’s in 1982 and is now the director of interior sales responsible for business development in new jersey and the tri-state area. one of fran’s many talents is really listening to what her clients are looking for. she is able to take an idea and actualize it. also known for being present every step of the way, her clients have developed complete confidence in knowing that fran will give every project the attention it requires.

as an active member of the plantscape industry alliance and as a certified instructor for green plants for green buildings, fran believes that education is the key that sustains our industry. “being a horticultural resource for our clients is what makes our relationship so valuable. they know that they can come to us for solutions.”
fran’s other passions include being in the kitchen, where she delights cooking for friends and exchanging recipes, and spending time in the serenity of nature.

Howard K. Freilich

Read More howard’s passion for people and plants has resulted in a lifelong career. in 1979 he started blondie’s treehouse with $100 worth of plants and a watering can. along with these humble beginnings came his tremendous drive that has grown blondies into one of the industry’s most respected companies.

with work featured in the ny times, journal news, interiorscape magazine, interior landscape design magazine, the knott, and landscape contract magazine, blondies continues to set the standard in horticultural design and décor.

author of many articles for trade magazines howard is known as an active voice within the community. he is the founder of the tri-state interior landscape association and a member of American hort, green plants for green buildings, metropolitan horticulture group, queens botanical gardens, and the ny hotel association. he is known for traveling as an international speaker on topics such as green walls and green roofs, interior and exterior landscape design and maintenance, as well as floral design with live and preserved flowers. in 1992 he was a us delegate representing the united states for floriade, an international exposition of flowers and gardening held every ten years in holland.

the recipient of over 50 national and international awards, howard and his team at blondie’s continues to exceed client expectations and set a standard of excellence for the landscape industry.

president, ceo

646.828.2751

nyc

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Jeff Mendoza

principal jmg

646.828.2738

nyc

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the landscape architecture division of blondie's, j mendoza gardens, is led by jeff mendoza. trained as a sculptor, jeff leads a team of landscape architects and horticulturists to create gardens and landscapes that artfully manipulate space, volume and color. jeff has worked on a large variety of projects for both corporate and residential clients. his solutions to the complicated problems of urban rooftop gardening are admired for their originality and beauty.

jeff's designs feature refined structural and architectural garden elements seamlessly complement existing site conditions. also significant is the level of plantsmanship exhibited in all projects. jeff carefully selects and places plants to maximize their effect both as single specimens and in larger plant compositions. jeff's city and country gardens have been published internationally in numerous books and magazines including house & garden, garden design, horticulture and the journal of the royal horticultural society.

Kat Todd Wilcenski

Kat is a talented and multifaceted designer, and plant enthusiast.
With over 5 years of working experience in the landscaping and horticultural industries coupled with her academic background in art, ecology, and green building she is well equipped to take on any project at BTH large or small. She thoroughly enjoys working with clients to help realize their goals.

Having grown up on the North Fork of Long Island, surrounded by farms, the water and many of nature’s other bountiful resources; she cultivated an early understanding of human’s innate dependence on plants and ecological systems. This fueled her Environmental Studies with a concentration in ecological design & restorative health at University of Vermont with a minor in Green Building & Community design alongside additional formal training in fine arts and horticulture.

Kat is deeply passionate about the arts, plants, health and ecological development. She is most excited about creating functional biophilic spaces and restoring wholeness to a segmented ecology.

Kat has experience ranging from agroforestry work-studies on volcanic mountainsides in Nicaragua to designing and co-managing high rise roof top projects in NYC. She is well on her way to accomplishing her goal of creating an abundance of aesthetic multi- functional exterior and interiorscapes that improve the health and well-being of many.

design + sales

646.828.2801

nyc

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Meredith Dougherty

design + sales

646.758.6948

mamaroneck

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A Michigan State University alum with a degree in horticulture, Meredith has always had an interest in flowers. Her first "job" was helping to make bouquets in a small local flower shop around the corner when she was just 9! Just being around flowers and customers made her happy. Her ability to engage with the owner of the shop and the team foretold her future in design and sales. She's also passionate about design and merchandising, and has an eye for both. Before joining Blondie's Treehouse, Meredith launched the Philadelphia market expansion for a luxury floral company, expanding her knowledge of floral design for high-end hotels, residential buildings and corporate environments. She loves building relationships; learning what the client's visions are and exceeding their expectations with a best-in-class experience.

Michael J. Madarash

Read More Michael j. Madarash graduated from UMass’ Stockbridge School of Agriculture with a degree in Soil Science in 2000. In 2001 he launched kokobo greenscapes and currently holds the title of principal designer and director of business development. In 2016 Kokobo was acquired by Blondie’s Treehouse Inc. and maintains itself as a unique sub brand of high-end exterior residential and commercial landscape projects with a focus on urban environments. He approaches each project in a ‘boutique’ fashion; getting to know the clients’ goals and designing the project based on their ‘wish list’ while keeping within the prospective budget. Michael and his firm have been recognized for many award‐winning projects, including custom rooftop designs, suburban property renovations, and greenwalls. He is committed to sustainable landscapes and environmental improvement and looks for new and interesting ways to incorporate these ideals into each of his projects. He, and his work, has appeared on the pages of Better Homes and Gardens, Architectural Digest, Garden Design, and on national television shows such as The Victory Garden, Urban Outsiders and Landscapers Challenge. Michael has had the honor of being a speaker at the ASLA international conference, New England Grows, and many local garden clubs from Amherst, MA to Key West, FL. He is also a board member of LINLA (Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association). LINLA is the local chapter of the NY state Association that represents landscape design/build companies as well as growers and nurseries.

design + sales

646.758.6947

mamaroneck

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Nick Imperial

design + sales

646.828.2732

nyc

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Draftsman |Construction Foreman | Assistant Project Manager
After a brief foray into biology and animal behavior research, Nick found that he would only achieve true satisfaction if he pursued a profession that allowed him to create. While earning his degree in Landscape Architecture at SUNY-ESF, he spent much of his time researching the social function of public space, traveling to Puerto Rico and Rio de Janeiro to study urban plazas and streetscapes.
After graduating, Nick dove headlong into the world of urban design/build. Using accumulated knowledge from his formal education, supervising a vineyard, customer service, live sound engineering, and a decade of informal carpentry, automotive, and metalwork projects, Nick has found a multi-functional role at Blondie's Treehouse Inc., producing construction documents, coordinating install teams, and building and planting in the field.

Ricardo Carcamo

ricardo began his studies at the universidad centroamericana located in san salvador, el salvador. upon arriving in new york, he began his career at the eileen green company, where he received training in horticulture and floral design. once ricardo began his career as a horticulturalist, he was immediately hooked and knew that his career would be built around his passion.

ricardo joined blondie’s treehouse in 1991 originally as a floral designer and horticulture technician. seven years later, in 1998, ricardo became the manager of blondie’s flower studio and now manages 10 floral designers and over 100 client accounts. with the department’s designs encompassing a range of potted plants, from orchids to specialty exterior containers, ricardo’s vast horticultural knowledge is utilized in the selection, construction and maintenance for each account. under his direction, the flower studio maintains weekly floral programs which serve new york’s finest hotel establishments as well as luxury residential and corporate clientele. ricardo is often found running between the flower district and one of his many accounts making sure that everything is being taken care of and looking its best. he has also been instrumental in establishing blondie’s growing special events business as well as our specialty wedding and bridal services.

ricardo is a driving force behind blondie’s reputation of high-end design and client satisfaction. “one of our philosophies is to make sure that every client is completely happy with our services. we take the time to understand what each client is looking for and build that into our designs.”

floral manager

646.486.1323

nyc

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Samuel Jimenez, ASLA

Senior Associate

646.828.2736

NYC

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Read More With over a decade of experience, much of Mr. Jimenez's built work is in high-end hospitality and institutional master planning. His professional credits include designs and construction documentation for high-end residential clients, various developers, resorts and casinos as well as several institutional master plans throughout Eastern Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

In addition to Sam's private sector design work, he has worked as a design and planning consultant for the Dept. or Parks and Recreation for the City of Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, facilitating urban design & planning in Superstorm Sandy impacted areas of NYC.

Samuel Jimenez studied Landscape Architecture at the State University of New York - College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University (SUNY-ESF). He specialized in urban design, community planning and historic cultural landscapes. Mr. Jimenez has also participated in several initiatives abroad that include a planning charrette in Brazil, community-based design work in Costa Rica and his Thesis in the Basque region of Northern Spain.

Sara Baerwald

life as a gardener started for sara when she was just a kid, with her dad, when they would plant beefsteak tomatoes in their garden on the jersey shore. from those tender beginnings a lifelong career has been created. in addition to studying landscape design at new york botanical garden, sara has an mpa in environmental management from new york university. her experience stretches from working with the epa’s energy star buildings program to designing sustainable landscapes and greenroofs.

sara has been published in vogue, new york magazine, harper’s bazaar and other well-known publications. she has authored “greenworks, tender loving care for plants”, published by macmillan, selling over 190,000 copies and served as editor for h2o highlands to ocean, the geraldine r. dodge foundation.

arriving at blondie’s in 2011, sara brings a vast wealth of knowledge and in depth experience on a range of urban landscape specialties from green roof systems for commercial and residential applications to high end residential and cooperative gardens.

in more recent times you can find sara back on the jersey shore in her house with a garden of beefsteak tomatoes of her own.

design + sales

646.828.2761

nyc

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Seth Ruggiero

Project Manager

646.828.2747

nyc

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Seth Ruggiero holds undergraduate degrees in Architecture and Business Management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, as well as a master's degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University. He has previous experience working as a designer and administrator in architecture, planning, and engineering firms throughout the Northeast.
His role as Project Manager at J Mendoza Gardens involves coordinating design development, const estimating, project schedules and coordinating between various fields. his role as project manager means he acts as the main point of communication between clients, vendors, and contractors. Mr. Ruggiero also provides project graphics and construction documentation.

Tina Dituri

at the age of 20, tina moved to new york to fulfill the goals of her dance and painting college majors. at that time in her life she was a notorious black thumb, killing numerous topiaries and letting boston ferns disintegrate until friends put a moratorium on her plant buying forays. however, a fortuitous real estate purchase gave her a neglected exterior space to transform. this garden eventually became her passion, marrying the movement of a dance background with the color and texture of a painted canvas. and through a circuitous route involving ballroom dance, the bronx zoo, and event lighting she found her way to the new york botanical garden, where she established her identity and refined her education.

tina has been with blondie’s since 2002 and has helped to raise the standard of excellence that blondie’s has come to be known by. she is always striving for growth within the design community, building her technical and physical knowledge bank to bridge the gap between idea and implementation. she regularly consults on the build aspect of large scale rooftop construction to assist developers in the best practices to achieve their design goals.

while she is rooted in the technical aspects of design, don’t let that fool you. she still lives in a world of fantasy, which allows her to step outside of the cad box and imagine space as a sentient experience. smells, textures, and romance often take center stage in her conceptualization of space, all in the pursuit of fulfilling the desires of the user.

when tina is not at blondie’s she is enjoying time with her son in her quiet corner of brooklyn. they are both avid horse enthusiasts and enjoy the therapeutic nature of caring for farm animals amidst the constant buzz of the city.

Director, Design + Construction

646.828.2750

nyc

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Zeina G Zahalan, PLA

Landscape Architect

646.828.2738

NYC

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Zeina is a graduate of the landscape architecture program at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Zeina has spent nearly five years working in firms located in both New Jersey and New York, in which she served as a Project Manager for several large-scale residential developments. She has implemented storm-water management practices on designs for the NYC Department of Design and Construction, NYC and NJ Department of Environmental Protection while incorporating green infrastructure and structural flood reduction measures integrated with public realm opportunities. Most recently, Zeina spent nearly a year working on the construction administration phase for both Liberty Park and the Campus Streetscape at the World Trade Center. Zeina uses her extensive travel experience, environmental and urban design skills and construction knowledge to create ecological, culturally-sensitive and visually-pleasing landscape designs, translating the character of a city and its inhabitants into sustainable and stimulating urban spaces.

AJ Faltyn

Project Manager

914.777.6300 x 221

mamaroneck

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After earning a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Rhode Island in 2002, AJ began his career working for a landscape architect in Southern New Jersey. His work established a vast portfolio of landscape design and planning for luxury resorts, hotels, commercial, retail and mixed use developments. In 2006 he created his own residential landscape design firm which focused on projects for custom homes and private estates along the Atlantic Coast. By 2010, business had involved traveling to emerging real estate markets. From South Florida to Bergen County, New Jersey, he continued to pursue his passion for landscape design. The traveling eventually peaked interest to search for opportunity in New York City and during the summer of 2012 he was commissioned for his first landscape renovation project for a terrace on the Upper West Side. AJ navigated his way to owning and operating a full scale design + build landscape construction company providing custom built projects and quality service to residential and commercial clientele in and around Manhattan. AJ joined forces with Blondie's Treehouse in September of 2016 as a project manager adding on-site supervisory skills and construction knowledge to our growing team of professionals.

Bo Budzik

service manager

646.828.2702

nyc

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after attending the technical school of horticulture in ropczyce poland, bo had decided to continue her career in new york, and has been working with blondie’s since 1998. with over 16 years of extensive horticultural experience she leads a team of 15 technicians and is responsible for blonde’s interior accounts in new york city as well as high profile exterior properties. bo is consistently there to inform and educate, and can typically be found running from one place to the next making sure that all things are being taken care of. she prides herself on the close relationships that she has both with her team and with the clients that they serve. always interested in keeping current, bo frequently attends industry trade shows to stay in touch with all the industry has to offer.

“we are not only in the plant business; we are in the business of taking care of people, too. our main objective is to make sure our clients are happy. they know that they can come to us for anything.”

while bo and her family call brooklyn home, they also enjoy skiing in pennsylvania, day trips to bear mountain state park and being close to nature.

Christian Ochoa

Draftsperson

646.828.2755

nyc

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Christian Ochoa graduated from New York Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in Architecture. He entered the interior design world, where he modeled Revit projects, templates, libraries, and produced design development sets. He specializes in creating new parametric families for design use and creating workflows for faster and more organized drawing production. Christian continues to learn Revit and now is learning to use it more effectively for shop drawings at Blondies Treehouse Inc. He loves to play competitive team sports and work on graphic design projects.

Damon Arrington

Project Manager

646.828.2800

mamaroneck

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Damon's love of nature was born growing up on a dairy farm in Southwest Virginia. After receiving his BFA in Theater from Virginia Commonwealth University, he toured the world as a Production Manager with provocateurs and nightlife luminaries. He recently obtained his Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at City College of New York where he was selected as the 2015 Scholar for the J. Max Bond Center. His work at the Bond Center was focused on inclusion and equity within the Just City model of urban planning, feeding his passion for exploring subversive voices in crumbling cities across America. He was awarded the American Society of Landscape Architecture Honor Award for his thesis design strategy in West Virginia, which prompted a deeper study into the ability of horticulture to inform remediation in crisis landscapes. His work after graduation has been focused in the field as a Construction Supervisor of the highly publicized park space, The Hills at Governor's Island. Damon’s work bridges science and architecture with art and community.

Ian M Dana

vp of operations

914.777.6300 x 220

mamaroneck

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Ian joined the Blondie’s team in 2007 and in November 2016, was named VP of Operations. He directly oversees the organization of daily orders, purchases, and schedules for all Blondie's interior plantscaping and exterior landscaping projects. With Blondie’s extensive design build installations, Ian consistently works with Landscape Architects, Designers, General Contractors, Owners, Suppliers and Manufacturers to effectively sequence installations in order to hit important deadlines, and provide the best possible product to our clients. During the Holiday Season, Ian switches gears to schedule and oversee the installation of over 350 holiday accounts in a busy 4 week installation window. Overseeing a bustling department of over 10 managers and purchasers, 40 installation technicians, gardeners, craftsmen, and multiple sub-contractors, he likes to say that Blondie's is the best “one-stop-shop, from soup to nuts” in the industry. A NYC native, he is a lifetime lover of the New York Mets and Broadway.

Jennifer Lopez

design + sales

914.355.8251

nyc

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With a fondness for green plants and a great eye for design, Jennifer joined the Blondie’s team in February of 2016.
Jennifer's previous professional experience provides her with a positive can-do outlook in all things as well as a diverse background in service leadership and retail sales. She excels in building strong relationships with others and is focused on achieving the client's vision for success.
Jennifer's role at Blondie's organically evolved from interior service in Long Island to sales and account management for Long Island and the New York metro area. She also fits the role of key account manager for specific clientele, ensuring the successful exchange of dedicated client information.
In her down time, Jennifer enjoys all types of music, loves to dance and is an avid concert goer. She appreciates time with loved ones, is a health enthusiast and frequents her haven in the Pocono Mountains.

Ian Baxendale

service manager

646.495.3018

nyc

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Ian has always had an interest in horticulture. His love of plants and gardening began very early when as a child he was raised on Northwood Estate in Oyster Bay Cove where his father was the caretaker. Ian’s formal education in Architecture, Drafting Technology, Project Management and Horticulture has given him the background for a 20 year career in custom millwork, hardscaping, horticulture and sustainable design. With his specialty in project management, Ian has joined the Blondie’s exterior team as a service manager. It is in this position that he acts as a liaison between Blondie’s exterior clients and a staff of over 15 horticultural technicians. Being in touch with the day to day operations, Ian is a valuable resource for Blondie’s team and insures that each gardenscape is thoroughly cared for.

Josh Fleischmann

marketing director

646.649.9298

nyc

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josh fleischmann is blondie’s marketing director. relatedly, the word director is portuguese for assassin.

a native of park slope brooklyn before the days of artisanal mayonnaise boutiques and stroller mafioso, josh spends his days using an impressive arsenal of new and old tools to find people who need top shelf landscape services.

josh also manages the company’s seo, web analytics and social media presence.

when josh is off the clock, he is usually being stalked and attacked by a juvenile theropod dinosaur called liam, who occasionally acknowledges being josh’s human child.

Lauren Ziska

Asst. Project Coordinator

646.828.2737

nyc

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With a background in Landscape Architecture, Horticulture & Landscape Management, Lauren has a passion for improving and designing urban public spaces, believing they are the meeting places and “backyards” to city residents. In the past she was a Seasonal Gardener & Landscape Architect Intern with the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn, NY. Lauren enjoys being involved in the American Society of Landscape Architects & community design charrettes. She likes to imagine vegetated cities that aim to manage rainfall runoff. She received a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry (SUNY - ESF), and completed an independent study in Berlin, Germany; focusing on the incorporation of sustainable practices in the city. Her fascination in vertical gardens drew her to the Blondie’s family. As an Assistant Project Coordinator she is part of the design development & installation supervisory team for the Sales + Design + Construction departments. Creating project timelines & coordinating communication between client and interdisciplinary trades, Lauren manages interior & exterior projects from bid thru construction & onto completion. Her favorite project phase is the planting; usually the final stage to occur, because it ultimately reveals how the project has come together.

Len Marino

service manager

646.828.2779

nyc

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with a degree in botany from cornell university, len has always known he would work with plants. with over 30 years of extensive horticultural experience, len started his career at the new york botanical gardens where he was a manager of the propagation range. after being at the nybg for 13 years he spent time working at the old westbury garden, which is listed on the national registry of historic places and involves 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds and lakes.

arriving at blondies in 2001, len manages the exterior service for blondies landscape division, and in a city of 8.3 million people, that is no small task! len is skilled in managing his team of 6 gardeners working within the unique urban conditions of nyc, such as high traffic public areas and rooftop gardens. he is always eager to share his love of plants and believes that education and diligent maintenance is what makes blondie’s gardens so spectacular.

“we are fortunate here at blondies that each of our gardeners bring their own particular skillset and expertise. we are able to work as a team and customize our service to maintain and develop each unique garden.”

Leslie A. Baglio

horticulturist

646.828.2803

nyc

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leslie’s passion for horticulture began when she was a little girl. trees, plants, and flowers have always been close to her heart, ever since getting lost in her mums vegetable garden. to this day her favorite flower is the zinnia, which grew all over her garden. she soon found that nature held within it a certain brilliance of structure, architecture, and design and made the decision to attend pratt institute to study design, history, and theory.

following her studies she worked for an architect in boston, where she was first introduced to interior plant foliage. she acquired a job servicing interior plants in office buildings around the boston area, and spent her free time on her bicycle. while working as an interior foliage technician, she soon found that she loved to work with her hands. this, coupled with her other passion for bicycles, led her build custom bikes from scratch. although she thinks about this time in her life with great pride, she realized that she wanted to immerse herself back into the world of horticulture.

she moved back to nyc and began working/studying at the school of professional horticulture at the new york botanical garden. there she studied horticulture and worked side by side with expert gardeners, learning the practical use, and design techniques of exterior gardening. during her time at nybg she had a teacher, named jeff mendoza, who she fell love with, and soon thereafter, began working with him to fulfill a required internship. upon graduation, jeff hired her to lead his maintenance crew for his owned design/build firm, j. mendoza gardens.

leslie began working for blondie's treehouse, inc. after a merger with j. mendoza gardens in 2011. during her time with blondie’s she has overseen expansive exterior gardens, been an integral part in plant design concept, and worked alongside the exterior sales team and operations department in order to install and maintain healthy and beautiful gardens around the nyc area.

Matthew Bowman

Draftsman | Project Manager

908.477.0378

ny

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Matthew has always loved working with his hands. As a New Jersey native he grew up working with local landscaping companies and garden nurseries in his hometown. While earning a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Rutgers University he took an interest in design build and sustainability related projects. It was here that he first acquired the practical understanding of managing a project through all its phases, from concept through completion. Matthew also completed a successful internship at Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida. Here he worked as a Professional Horticulturist learning how to maintain and deliver pristine landscapes at the world class resort destination. Prior to joining Blondie’s exterior team, Matthew worked with site construction and landscaping contractor companies as a project engineer. It was here in NYC, doing construction documents and project estimating, that he discovered his passion for working on the city’s rooftops.

MacKenzie Sharp

Project Manager

864.360.2736

nyc

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MacKenzie possesses genuine enthusiasm for the challenges and rewards of urban landscape design/build, and brings extensive experience in a variety of roles related to the design, installation, and maintenance of NYC rooftop, terrace, and in-the-ground gardens. In the roles of project and construction manager MacKenzie has been installing urban landscapes in NYC since 2005, operating as an essential liaison between design and install teams, gaining particular satisfaction from the more complex aspects of landscape construction, especially the installation of architectural elements. MacKenzie enjoys working with related trades, and the opportunity to learn more about the technical aspects of rooftop construction, as well as working with architects, and clients to satisfy their needs, and vision for their outdoor space.

A few years after graduating from design school, MacKenzie decided to pursue a lifelong dream, and moved to New Mexico and Colorado, finding work as a ranch hand, and horse trainer, specializing in helping horses adapt to life with humans. After 8 years, the time came to return east, and to a career in landscape design/build. Since then, MacKenzie has worked with a number of NYC’s established landscape firms in the creation of unique, and beautiful urban spaces.

MacKenzie is a Certified Hydrotech and Live Roof installer, and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from University of Pennsylvania. MacKenzie is the proud, sometimes exasperated, parent of a teenage son, and together they enjoy dog rescue, riding and rebuilding fixed gear bicycles, and boxing. MacKenzie is also always willing to hop on a passing sailboat in need of seasoned foredeck crew.

Peter S. Dick

service manager

646.828.2645

mamaroneck

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peter arrived at blondies in 1990 with a wealth of horticultural knowledge. he has been working in the field of interior horticulture for nearly 30 years. along the way he was fortunate enough to learn from many talented and knowledgeable people as well as work from some of the top companies in the industry. with a pesticide operations license, he is blondie’s resident expert in insect pest control and plant disease diagnosis. leading blondie’s special services he is responsible for large specimen plant material, installation and tree pruning. peter is also the developer of blondie’s custom subirrigation watering system, which is proven to be beneficial to plants by regulating water conditions, extending plant life and lead to healthier and happier plants. managing a crew of 13 interior technicians, peter and his team service accounts across the tri-state area.

“the most important thing from all my experience is that this is truly a people business. while technical knowledge and skill are important, the ability to communicate clearly and respond to client needs in a timely and effective manner is what it’s all about and what blondie’s treehouse does best.”

Rebecca Henderson

vp of communications

646.828.2687

nyc

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Becky graduated from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) in 2004 double majoring in photography and textiles. She then moved to New York City to pursue her dream of working in fashion. Landing a job at a top modeling agency, Becky spent her time working on photo shoots and fashion shows. She relocated to California to be with her now husband and found work at a media distribution company based in Los Angeles. While there she was instrumental in creating the layout and design of the company's extensive medial catalog. Becky brought her talents to Blondie's in 2006 and has helped the company expand into event planning and styling. She has a unique ability to style an event's decor with floral artistry and is known for her unmatched attention to detail. Becky's love for event production led her to style and plan her own wedding which was prominently featured in The Knot Magazine. Aside from event production, Becky collaborates with the marketing department consulting on the branding and promotional aspects of Blondies.
When not busy wearing a million hats at work, you can find Becky at home playing dress up and having dance parties with her husband and two daughters!

Sergio Zapata

Draftsperson

646-828-2687

nyc

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Sergio Zapata was born into a family of architects and designers. It was only natural that he would pursue a career in architecture. He attended New York City College of Technology with an emphasis in Architectural Technology.

Sergio started his career at a residential architecture firm and freelancing for various interior designers and architects, in doing so he was able to experience a multitude of design styles and construction methods.

His ability to hand draft on site is an art that gives him both creativity, productivity and allows him to get a quick understanding of space and design.

Now part of the Blondie’s Treehouse team Sergio is looking forward to working in horticulture and landscaping which has become such an important element in urban living.

Victoria Shapiro

visual marketing | design

646.828.2787

nyc

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With a formal education in the fine arts, Victoria was drawn to the horticultural industry by the opportunity to work with plant material and botanical elements. Spending most of her earlier years traveling in search of unique work opportunities and adventure she has an array of experience to draw from. She has been in the commercial horticulture industry for over 12 years and partners with Green Plants for Green Buildings as a registered trainer for Living Walls and Green Roofs. Loving the art of presentation, she has been drawn to visual marketing where as a creative Capricorn she is allowed to obsess over detail, content and formatting. She believes that creativity and integrity are two of the most important aspects in life and hopes that her work reflects this more than anything else.

Zachary J. Madarash

lighting + irrigation

646.828.2675

mamaroneck

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Growing up on Long Island Zachary was inspired by his family at an early age to garden around the home and neighborhood. This inspiration lead to a desire to learn and be part of the landscape industry. By age of 15 he was managing a four man installation crew and at age 17 was involved on a large suburban project on Eastern Long Island installing his first lighting and irrigation system; 18 zone sprinkler system and 240 low-voltage landscape lighting fixtures. Attending Binghamton University for his graduate studies in Environmental Planning with a focus on Sustainable Ecosystems, he learned how to design systems that depended on water management and low energy use. Among Zachary’s professional projects are being involved in planting tens of thousands of trees during the milliontreesNYC initiative and lecturing/teaching courses on green roofs & walls, sustainability and rainwater management for The NYC Parks Department and New York Restoration Project. Zachary joined BTH in 2016 through the acquisition of kokobo greenscapes. He has spearheaded the launch of the new lighting and irrigation division and is a key member in Blondie’s exterior department. When not at Blondie’s Zachary LOVES traveling, eating and skiing around the world with his wife, Holly.
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