Maria Castillo is a member of GPN's 2024 Class of Forty Under 40 honorees
40 Under 40, Class of 2024

Maria Castillo


North Creek Nurseries

Job Title

Production line leader


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

  • Became comfortable and left the fear of public speaking behind when translating to our Spanish speaking employees at company meetings and events
  • Learning how to operate the Blackmore seeder and running the seed line for quite a while
  • Learned many things while working in different positions in the company with human resources, seed team and on the production line

What led you to work in the horticulture industry? 

  • I have always enjoyed nature while on hikes and, while camping, I loved watching all the plants surrounding me.
  • I just wanted to be a little bit closer to them and watch them grow from the very beginning.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

  • Company environment

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

  • I work with plants that later get planted in many different places.


What are your favorite hobbies? 

  • Hiking
  • Going to art museums
  • Watching sunsets
  • Trying new food and painting

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

  • At a museum 
  • Enjoying a walk at the park
  • Spending time with my family

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 enjoy art — I find pottery and painting very relaxing.

One thing you can’t live without? 

  • Coffee

What are you (un)secretly good at? 

  • Drawing

What are your top bucket list items? 

  • Skydiving
  • Traveling the world

What’s your favorite plant variety and why? 

  • Succulents, because they are cool looking.

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

  • Tokyo, Japan