Brian Vitale
Co-Founder & CEO
As CEO, Brian leads our growth strategy by working closely with ArizonaEast’s sales and marketing teams to maintain key customer partnerships. After years of balancing a demanding day job with the growing needs of his burgeoning business, Brian left the corporate world to take the helm as CEO of ArizonaEast in 2013. A graduate of Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, it wasn’t until he saw succulents through a strategic lens that he began to appreciate the plants he’d grown up with at his father’s nursery. As his business acumen and passion for plants collided, he and his brother co-founded ArizonaEast with the desire to create something that would inspire people to fall in love with succulents the way he had. Though “free time” is a rare occurrence for an entrepreneur (and father of four) Brian lives for weekend adventures with his wife Heather and their beautiful family.

Favorite Succulent: Pachypodium Lamerei aka Madagascar Palm

Joe Vitale
Co-Founder
Joe has an eye for all things up-and-coming (just ask his wife, who now has 2 million YouTube subscribers after he encouraged her to start an online cooking show), so the decision to partner with his brother to make their favorite plants mainstream was an easy one to make. He had a feeling succulents would be a hit and 10 years later they’re the plant du jour. As co-founder, Joe is committed to developing the robust technological infrastructure needed to compete as a company today. He’s always one step ahead of the curve and ready to do whatever it takes to maintain ArizonaEast’s competitive edge. A Drexel University grad with a degree in electrical engineering, Joe spends his free time tinkering with tech to harness its’ full potential to make life better. Oh, and eating his wife Laura’s delicious food at their home in South Jersey.

Favorite Succulent: Echeveria Lola

Brie Genovese
Marketing Manager
Brie is our marketer and self-diagnosed #succulentaddict. After earning her stripes in PR and social media at a PR firm in the Greater Philadelphia area, she joined the team at ArizonaEast to develop and lead our brand strategy. Heading up product development is a natural extension of her creativity, eye for design and love of all things leafy. A Temple University grad, this country-turned-city gal has returned to her agricultural roots after growing up in rural Chester County, Pennsylvania, an area very similar to the farming community of Minotola. Outside the office, you can find Brie vlogging with her husband Mike or tackling yet another DIY project at their home in Gloucester Township, New Jersey.

Favorite Succulent: Sedum Morganianum aka Burro’s Tail

Shawn O’Brien
Sales Director
Shawn brings nearly two decades of sales and management experience to his role at ArizonaEast. Though he’s a newb to the plant industry (hello, fresh perspective), his prior position as a partner business manager at Hewlett Packard supporting small business accounts for CDW – the country’s largest technology reseller – provided him with the skills and savvy necessary to help take ArizonaEast to the next level. Shawn has spent his career designing custom business solutions and incentive programs for countless customers and relished the ability to nurture a partnership to its full growth potential. A Camden County College grad with a degree in business management, he’s the kind of guy who’s known for keeping promises, finding solutions and getting the job done. When he’s not in the office, family time is Shawn’s first priority. Whether it’s cheering for his favorite sports team (spoiler alert: he’s an Eagles fan) or heading out on his boat for an afternoon of fishing, you can bet his wife Megan and their three kids will be by his side – and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Eloy Ramales
Administrative & Logistics Supervisor
Eloy’s get ‘er done attitude and penchant for problem solving makes him the go-to guy at ArizonaEast. From preparing invoices and processing orders to packing boxes and loading trucks, his multitasking skills are what you’d call “on point”. Though the jam-packed work week keeps him busy, you’ll find Eloy playing with his dog Scooby and kicking around a soccer ball on Sunday afternoons at home with his wife Edith in Vineland, New Jersey.

Favorite Succulent: Euphorbia Spiralis

Maribel Sanchez
Production Manager
Maribel is our secret weapon when it comes to order fulfillment here at ArizonaEast. She’s perfected our succulent terrarium “recipe” and plants even the most intimidatingly spikey cactus with ease. “Mari,” as she’s known around here, is no stranger to desert plants as she hails from Tlancualpican, Mexico where even the most awe-inspiring cacti are the norm. With more than twenty years’ experience under her belt we can always count on her to get the job done no matter how tight the deadline. When she’s not leading our production team in the potting house, Mari enjoys crafting, spending time with her son and caring for her two dogs Sam & Bella.

Favorite Succulent: Crassula Ovata aka Jade Plant

Dan “Cactus Dan” Rieck
Sales Manager
Dan is our garden center sales manager and resident succulent expert. A people person at heart, he prides himself on the lasting relationships he’s built with his garden center customers over a decades-long career. Want to know the name of a cactus or succulent? Dan’s your man! A graduate from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, he cut his teeth at a Manhattan insurance brokerage firm before realizing his true passion for plants and hopping head first into the world of horticulture. When he’s not in the office, you’ll likely catch him cultivating his garden at home in Millville, New Jersey or fishing for Stripers and Blues at the Jersey Shore.

Favorite Succulent: Aeonium Arboreum Tri Color aka Kiwi

Megan Buckley
Account Manager
Megan asked us to keep the length of her career under wraps for fear of “sounding old” (we got you girl!), so we’ll simply say don’t worry, she’s got experience in spades. Trust us, she’s the person you want to have by your side when it comes to planning your next floral program or figuring out what type of product would work best in your store. Her perfect combination of charm and tenacity help her quickly become a valued partner who’s ready to dig in and find the right solution for your business. Always the optimist, failure isn’t an option for Megan who will consistently find a way to solve any problem. (Go ahead, tell her something can’t be done, we dare ya!) For her, family is always in focus and on weekends you’ll likely find her playing with her kids outside at their home in rural South Jersey – just steps away from where she grew up on her parents’ farm.

Monica Glisson
Account Manager
Monica’s journey at ArizonaEast began in the fall of 2015 when she joined us as our first intern. Having grown up on a farm just 20 minutes from our HQ she felt right at home working in our office within the greenhouse and quickly became an integral part of the team. After graduating from Rowan University with a degree in public relations she joined us full time as an account manager and, as they say, the rest is history. Monica never skips a beat (literally, ask her about her time spent in the prominent Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps). Though she’s new to her career her positive attitude and dedication have quickly made her a customer favorite. And her ability to whip up amazing (and healthy) fruit smoothies has made her an office favorite to boot. Ever the adventurous foodie, you’ll find Monica venturing into the city to try out new restaurants on most weekends. Rumor has it she even tackled Morimoto’s famed tasting menu for her birthday this year.

Favorite Succulent: Portulacaria Afra aka Elephant Bush

Casey Prokop
Marketing Assistant
Casey was our second ever marketing intern and the second person to be hired after completing our internship program (Brie knows how to pick ‘em). The beautifully designed resume and multi-page presentation she brought to her interview was the first sign she’s an over achiever, and her subsequent work as our intern-turned-marketing assistant has been nothing short of stellar. Casey’s a trend watcher with a finger on the pulse of the home décor industry and an eye for design that helps us communicate our vision for the brand and develop products that will speak to today’s consumer. From managing social media and tackling email blasts to designing marketing collateral and snapping product photos she’s quickly become a key part of the team. An avid adventurist, Casey enjoys rock climbing (seriously, on mountains – not in a gym), running (she completed the Disney Marathon last year) or checking out a craft fair, flea market or food truck festival (we hear she recently attended a root beer float fest) with her boyfriend Chris. A Rowan University graduate with a dual degree in public relations and advertising, she grew up in a small North Jersey town before deciding to give South Jersey a try – and we’re glad she did.

Favorite Succulent: Neon Grafted Cactus