Staff

This is some of our Watkins Nurseries team, we are pleased to meet you! If you need to contact any of us, please visit the “Contact” page.

Shannon Bush

Shannon earned her degree in business from Virginia Commonwealth University. She handles everything pertaining to pavers and bulk materials. She has a record of completion in the ICPI Concrete Paver Installer Course and the NCMA Segmental Retaining Wall Installer Course. Shannon enjoys frequenting craft shows and spending time with her mom, brother, and kids.

Kyle Douglas

Kyle works to keep our Plant Center moving forward. He received his Associates of Arts in Horticulture in 2014 at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, but started working with plants 10 years ago in his senior year of high school, which is when he became passionate about it. He loves the outdoors, spending free time hunting, fishing, having target practice and being on the water in the summer time. He also enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Robert ‘Elvis’ Harris

Here at Watkins Elvis is not the King of Rock n’ Roll, but rather the King of the Dock. (He got the nickname from some stylish sideburns he sported in the early 1990s). Elvis has worked at Watkins for over 28 years and describes his official title as “dock foreman and precision loader.”

Sarah Holloway

Sarah handles our Purchasing here at Watkins Nurseries, in addition to working with our house accounts. Her experience with live goods, sales and merchandising allows her to fully understand the importance of quality and costs for your projects. She stays hard at work to ensure that materials not home grown by our company are entrusted only to top, capable vendors. Outside of the office, Sarah enjoys being outdoors and taking road trips in her Jeep to the mountains and beach with family and friends.

Jerry Lawson

As a graduate of the Virginia Tech School of Agriculture, Jerry focused his degree on Landscape Design and Ornamental Horticulture. He has been our residential and commercial landscape designer here at Watkins for over 36 years. Running the landscape department with finesse, he has obviously mastered the art of time travel because he, in fact, can be multiple places at once. Jerry is quite the outdoorsman and enjoys fishing and hunting, as well as time spent with his family.

Renee McDowell

In the landscape industry on and off for over a decade (she took a nice hiatus to the Outer Banks for a few years), Renee works mostly behind the scenes in our office to help oversee all facets of both Watkins Nurseries and V.R.R, jumping in to help different divisions as needed. She enjoys philanthropy (she's helped to raise millions of dollars over the years!) the beach, concerts, good sushi, quality time with her partner Matt & daughter Dev, playing outdoors and keeping up with her sports teams (Atlanta Braves, Georgia Bulldogs and the Seattle Seahawks).

Lacy Michael

Lacy is our receptionist and accounting assistant. Never without a chipper attitude, she helps customers, invoices orders, and handles the paperwork for the landscape department. Lacy enjoys spending time with her two daughters.

Missy Rogers

A graduate of the University of Tennessee’s education program, (GO VOLS!) Missy is our one-woman Human Resources department. She has been at Watkins for over seven years and handles payroll and taxes, insurance information, and all employee benefits. She never forgets anyone’s birthday and is always willing to help! Missy enjoys being active in her church community and spending time with her family.

Phil Slobodien

Phil comes to Watkins via New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C....yup, a Yankee. He has a BA in Advertising and has a non-traditional nursery background; having worked in the pharmaceutical industry as well as a number of technology startups. He has also owned his own successful Landscaping firm, so he’s not all BS with his BA. With such a diverse background, Phil wears many hats here, making him the perfect fit in his operations role.

Steven Spurlock

Steven earned his degree in horticulture from Christopher Newport University. He is our farm/production manager, but most enjoys propagation work on our Powhatan farm. Steven brings his dog (and professed life-partner), Hank with him to work often. They enjoy cuddling, playing fetch, and drinking mimosas by the river.

Alyssa Torre

Alyssa is a graduate of James Madison University and is earning her master's degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech. She is our Plant Center Manager and Logistics Coordinator. She acts as a liaison between the members of our our diverse team to ensure the seamless transfer of incoming and outgoing plant material and hard goods. Alyssa enjoys dancing, rock climbing with her husband and lounging with her fur-babies.

Robert Watkins

Robert is the fifth-generation owner/president of Watkins Nurseries. Robert earned his degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech after spending his childhood on the farms. After college, he returned to run Watkins Nurseries and over the last ten years he has worked to grow the business to what it is now. Robert enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids (the 6th Generation) and anything else he can do that is not behind a desk.