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CountryMax adds three important specialists

CountryMax Stores, a family-owned retail chain with 18 stores across New York State is adding to its Support Center staff, readying for more expansion. New specialists have joined the Lawn & Garden, IT and Purchasing departments.

Karl Holtz, Nursery Department Head Buyer

CountryMax has long been a go-to store for plants, shrubs, flowers, grass seeds, fertilizer, organic soils and more. 

Karl Holtz brings a new level of expertise and support to the 18-store network. As a Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional (CNLP), Holtz has deep knowledge of the Upstate New York growing region, close relationships with area growers and plant material suppliers, plus a keen eye for lawn and garden aesthetics. 

Most recently Holtz led the landscape team at RIT. He joined CountryMax to help ensure that the quality of CountryMax lawn, garden, and nursery supplies is exceptional, and to grow the knowledge of every store team member.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Earl Harris, Assistant IT Administrator

Today’s retail enterprises rely on fast, accurate, secure point-of-sale systems. For many, that means the Eagle system from Epicor. 

Earl Harris has decades of experience working for Epicor and its users. He’s bringing that expertise, and a strong programming and IT support background, to CountryMax, supporting its 18-store network.

Before joining CountryMax, Harris was part of the IT team at Hahn Automotive, a retailer running nearly 60 stores on Eagle POS. He worked primarily in a call center, receiving technical support trouble calls from company-owned warehouses, company-owned stores and independent stores. Calls involved a variety of different systems, including PCs, printers, scanners, firewalls, phone systems and other network devices such as switches and access points.

Before that, Harris was at Epicor, installing and servicing customers with Eagle POS systems in progressively more responsible roles over his 20-year tenure.

Now at CountryMax, Harris can put everything he’s learned to use as the company continues to expand its retail footprint.

Kieley Milliman, Inventory Replenishment Specialist

A former pet store manager with extensive experience in exotic pets, small animals and dog/cat needs, Kieley Milliman has joined CountryMax Stores to help maintain the steady flow of inventory – including pet foods of all kinds – to the company’s 18 retail locations.

Like many at CountryMax, Milliman will wear many hats. In addition to inventory replenishment her background brings a wide array of skills that she’ll use in many different facets of the organization. 

In addition, Milliman is a pet owner and experienced gardener, so she’s sure to connect with CountryMax customers on many levels.

Looking Ahead

“We’re thrilled to welcome these three excellent additions to the CountryMax team,” says Brad Payne, Director of Sales. “Now more than ever, adding high quality team members can be a challenge. We work hard to build a culture that attracts the right people in the right positions – which is an excellent sign for the growth we have planned in 2022 and beyond.”

With 18 locations across New York State, CountryMax specializes in pet supplies and everything else you can imagine to enjoy your backyard – lawn and garden products, homesteading supplies, wild bird feeders and seed, grills and propane, even barn and stable products. To find a store near you, visit