Jillian Novosad is a member of GPN's 2024 Class of Forty Under 40 honorees
40 Under 40, Class of 2024

Jillian Novosad



Job Title

Director of sales


What 3-4 professional and/or personal accomplishments are you most proud of? 

  • Being awarded the prestigious award of Merchant of the Year in 2018 in my previous role at Lowes Home Improvement, after navigating many difficult weather impacted years and additional market challenges. I was able to support my home town of Victoria, Texas, and surrounding areas post direct hit of Hurricane Harvey. It was a privilege to give back to my local community. 
  • Despite joining MasterTag in the peak of the pandemic, I was able to onboard remotely, navigate a new product category and focus my drive to grow and support a new group of customers. I progressed rapidly from strategic account manager to manager of strategic sales into my current role as director of sales. 
  • I am most proud of the network and relationships I have developed and maintained over the last 14 years. I feel I am well rounded in this industry having worked in roles as an account manager at a nursery grower, as a live goods merchant for a big box retailer and now as a sales director for a supplier. My versatility allows me to showcase both local and global perspectives, navigate barriers, recognize opportunities and innovation and better support our customers and their needs.

What led you to work in the horticulture industry? 

  • To fund extracurricular activities growing up, our entire family took part in lawn care and services after school/work, so it was always a bit “in my blood.” My older brother is now a landscape architect, in fact.
  • However, plants kind of found me post college when I was on the job search during the 2008-09 recession. A nursery grower took a chance on me — they saw I had what it took and felt confident I could learn the horticulture piece. Now, it’s 100% the people and products that keep me in horticulture; it’s become a family and network I can’t imagine life without.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

  • The company culture and the people I get to work alongside.

Describe to a 6-year-old what you do in life?

  • So, you know when you are at the store with Mom or Dad and you see your favorite juice drink with a cool tag or label with pictures and information? Or, a new toy with instructions and how-to photos? Well, I help make those tags and labels with information and photos but just for plants!
  • Now, imagine your favorite plant. You know, like that pretty rose bush you like to water in your backyard. My job is to help those plants find new homes and help teach people how to grow and care for them.
  • I travel to different places and meet with stores and growers that sell plants. I help them make sure they have the right tags with the important information someone needs to be successful, like how much sunlight the plant needs or how often you need to water it. That way, when someone becomes a plant parent or a gardener, they can pick the perfect plants and know how to keep them happy and healthy!


What are your favorite hobbies? 

  • Texas A&M football
  • Game Days in Aggieland
  • Hunting
  • Fshing
  • Hiking
  • Traveling
  • Crafting
  • Reading
  • Listening to live music
  • Photography

When you’re not working, what are two to three things we could find you doing? 

  • Reading a book by a body of water 
  • Friday night Dateline with a nice glass of red wine
  • Enjoying live music (preferably Texas country or 90s country artists)

Fun Facts

Do you have any unusual talents, or can you tell us something interesting about yourself that other people may be surprised to find out? 

  • I have a strong love of travel, and given my job roles and responsibilities over the years, I am often found at an airport. However, I actually had never left the great state of Texas, or been on a plane, until the age 21.
  • Now, I’ve traveled to 33+ states and numerous countries, many of them through work. What a blessing it is to incorporate so many things I enjoy in my career day to day.

One thing you can’t live without? 

  • Worldly: My faith and family
  • Material: Yeti products
  • Consumption: Dr. Pepper

What are you (un)secretly good at?

  • Talking … to anyone. I have never met a stranger.
  • I also have a love for photography.

What are your top three bucket list items? 

  • I try to live daily life like a bucket list — I have been blessed to check many off the list like skydiving, hiking Half Dome in Yosemite, etc.
  • I would like to take my entire family on a trip to Europe, specifically to the Czech Republic where my ancestors are from.
  • I would like to visit all 50 U.S. states — so much beauty to see here in the U.S.

What’s your favorite plant variety and why? 

  • Hibiscus — growing up in South Texas, these were a staple in our landscapes.
  • They have also remained prominent in my career, being an item I worked closely with when working for a nursery grower, then bought in abundance as a live goods merchant in Texas, and now a staple in my landscape as a homeowner.
  • It doesn’t hurt that it screams “tropical” and “the beach,” which is my happy place.

You’re buying a vacation package to anywhere in the world without a budget, where are you going?

  • Bora Bora