Meridian Star

Local News

November 4, 2006

Van Zyverden, Inc. — a really ‘blooming’ company

It’s fair to say that Van Zyverden, Inc., is one Meridian business that is really “blooming.”

What started as a small family business in the Netherlands has evolved into one of the world’s largest wholesale flower bulb distributors, shipping approximately 450 million bulbs annually to the 50 states and Canada.

Some 135 community leaders heard Van Zyverden, Inc.’s remarkable story at a recent meeting of the Meridian Community College Foundation President’s Roundtable. The company’s chief executive officer, Jacqueline Van Zyverden Hogan, and members of her administrative staff told the gathering in MCC’s Dulaney Room about the company’s origin and dramatic growth, spurred by aggressive and ever-expanding marketing efforts.

“I’m really proud of the heritage and evolution of our company,” Jacqueline said. “We have tried very hard to maintain the same commitment to excellence that my great grandfather, Dirk Van Zyverden, had when he and his brother, Corstiaan, started the company in 1919.”

Meridian is typically identified with several famous figures, ranging from Jimmie Rodgers to Sela Ward to Sonny Montgomery to Hartley Peavey, but within its own industry Van Zyverden, Inc., has also helped to put Lauderdale County on the map. Besides operating a 425,000-square foot employee plant in the northeast sector of the county (constructed in 1973), Van Zyverden, Inc., also has two other 60,000-square foot facilities in Burlington, WA, and Sassenheim, Holland.

Considering its annual sales and 480-employee payroll, Van Zyverden, Inc.’s economic impact on the East Mississippi region is easily in the millions of dollars.

It’s big business, but Jacqueline emphasizes that it’s still a family business with strong family values. Robert, Jacqueline’s brother, serves as the company’s chief operating officer. The brother-sister duo began working in the business under their father, Paul, during school vacations.

Jacqueline and Robert, both of whom are alumni of MCC and Mississippi State University, joined the firm full-time in 1990 and 1993, respectively.

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