Jim Ault, Ph. D.
Director of Ornamental Plant Research, Chicago Botanic Garden and Manager and Plant Breeder, Chicagoland Grows® Plant Introduction Program
Dr. Jim Ault is the Director of Ornamental Plant Research at the Chicago Botanic Garden, where he has introduced numerous cultivars of mainly native plants over the past 18 years. Some of his more popular introductions include the first ever orange coneflower Echinacea Orange Meadowbrite, Pixie Meadowbrite, the Prairieblues Series of Baptisia, and Veronica 'Tidal Pool'. He is currently breeding Aster, Baptisia, Veronica, Phlox, and other plants. Dr. Ault is also the manager of the Chicagoland Grows® plant introduction program. Previously, he developed new display plants at Longwood Gardens for seven years, is a self-admitted gardener, orchid fanatic, Lilium-phile, and when he's not dabbling pollen on plants, he may be found zooming around on a bicycle.
Sr. Technical Manager, OHP, Inc.
Dave Barcel is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and South Dakota State University and has been in the horticulture industry since 1978. He started out as a Vo-Ag instructor and is now the Sr. Technical Manager for OHP. He has been active with PGR research for many years developing new uses for older products and introducing new products to the industry, and currently serves as president for the PGRSA (Plant Growth Regulation Society of America).
Graduate Student, North Carolina State University
Since Jared Barnes's first garden, planted when he was six years old, he has passionately pursued how to best cultivate plants. Barnes obtained a firm foundation in woody and perennial plants from his employment at Robbins Nursery in Martin, TN and a summer internship at The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA. He has since built upon that groundwork by pursuing a masters and PhD (which he will finish in December!) from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC and by travelling to many states and nine countries to gain a national and global perspective of horticulture. Living in an apartment hasn't stopped him from trialing new perennials and woody plants, as he regularly has approximately 100 containers going during the summer. He loves teaching and cultivates gardeners by writing gardening articles and giving gardening talks to people of all ages.
Dr. Bridget K. Behe, Ph.D.
Professor of Horticulture Marketing, Michigan State University
After earning degrees from Penn State University (Ph.D. Horticulture, B.S. Horticulture, B.S. Agricultural Education) and The Ohio State University (M.S. Horticulture), Dr. Bridget K. Behe, PhD. (pronounced bee-hee) joined Michigan State's faculty as a Professor of Horticulture. She teaches courses on marketing and management for horticulture majors. Bridget has conducted nearly 100 consumer & market research projects on horticultural products, both edible and ornamental. She has also written articles for the OFA Bulletin and authored more than 500 publications in the trade press and peer-reviewed journals. In 2013, she was awarded the National Service Award by the Michigan Floral Association and, in 2012, was named the Outstanding Established Teacher in the College of Agriculture. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 517-355-5191 x1346.
Co-Owner, Bemis Farms Nursery
Seminar: Profitable Garden Center Workshops
Tina Bemis graduated with a BS in Floriculture from Cornell University, and is a graduate of the American Nursery and Landscape Association's program, Garden Center University. She is co-owner, with her husband, of Bemis Farms Nursery in Spencer, Massachusetts. There, she is responsible for growing, purchasing, advertising, and merchandising all of the annuals, perennials, vegetables and herbs. To insure their customers get bitten by the gardening bug, she teaches 200 workshops a year on container gardening and garden-related crafts, showing how fun and easy gardening can be when you add a shovel-full of knowledge. She has spoken at state and national industry conferences on Garden Center Workshops, Displays and Events, and is author of the book BenchMarketing: 15 Ways to Increase profits with Make and Take Workshops. She serves on the boards of the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association and the Massachusetts Nurseryman and Landscapers Association.
Carlos E. Bográn, Ph.D.
Technical Manager, OHP Inc
Dr. Bográn is currently Technical Manager at OHP Inc. He is originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he completed a degree in Agriculture in 1990 and a Bachelors of Science in Plant Protection in 1993, a Master of Science degree in Entomology at Iowa State University in Ames IA in 1996 and a PhD in Entomology at Texas A&M University in 2000. Between 2001 and 2012 he was assistant and then associate professor and extension specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife, Department of Entomology and Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology, were he led an extension education and applied research program for the ornamental horticulture industry in Texas. Carlos leads OHP's insecticide and fungicide research and development efforts and supports similar efforts in herbicides and plant growth regulators across the US and Puerto Rico. Dr. Bográn has been involved in agricultural research and education for more than 19 years. He is a past President of the Society of Southwestern Entomologists and current Secretary-treasurer elect of the southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America.
Outreach Coordinator, Sunlight Solar Energy
After spending years studying Sustainable Community Development at PSU and educating the public through one on one and group presentations on various green topics, Kaleen Boyle found her place within the world of Solar. She recently completed eight months of service with the local non-profit Solar Oregon, organizing educational workshops, networking events and more. She has since moved on to Sunlight Solar Energy to continue that same mission of community education by providing various workshops on the basics of Solar Energy and its financing throughout Oregon and Washington. Bringing people together and spreading the word on new opportunities in the solar industry is by far one of the best ways to promote change and awareness; helping to further expand solar's popularity here in the Pacific Northwest. She enthusiastically awaits the opportunity to share that information with attendees at this year's Farwest Trade Show!
C. Colston Burrell
Native Landscape Design and Restoration
C. Colston Burrell is an acclaimed lecturer, garden designer, award winning author, and photographer. Colston Burrell has an M.S. in Horticulture and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota. A certified chlorophyll addict, he's an avid and lifelong plantsman, gardener, and naturalist, and a popular lecturer internationally on topics of design, plants, and ecology. He has gladly shared his encyclopedic knowledge of plants and his abiding respect for regional landscapes with professional and amateur audiences for the last 35 years. He is the principal of Native Landscape Design and Restoration, which specializes in blending nature and culture through artistic design. In 2008, he received the Award of Distinction from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers for his work promoting sustainable gardening practices. He now gardens on 10 wild acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Charlottesville, Virginia.
Extension Horticulturist, OSU Mid-Columbia Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Hood River, OR
Steve Castagnoli has been the OSU Extension Horticulturist in Hood River County since 2000 Castagnoli's primary goal is to provide Hood River area fruit growers with the tools they need to maintain an industry that is both economically and environmentally sustainable through relevant educational programs. His main program areas include:
- IPM for pears
- Safe and effective use of pesticides
- Horticultural practices for competitive orchard systems
Castagnoli has worked with Hood River Valley fruit growers on a pro-active response to avoiding contamination of streams from pesticides used in orchard pest management.
Dr. Jennifer Dennis
Associate Professor and Horticulture Marketing Extension Specialist, Purdue University
Dr. Jennifer Dennis joined the Purdue Horticulture & Landscape Architecture and Agricultural Economics faculty in June 2004 working in the areas of extension, teaching and research in marketing of specialty crops and consumer behavior. Dr. Dennis has a master's degree in Horticulture with an emphasis in survey research methods from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she explored target marketing within the Illinois retail nursery and garden center sector. Dr. Dennis completed her Ph.D. work at Michigan State University where she investigated the role of regret and consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction on purchase situations with horticulture products. Her general research interests includes consumer behavior topics, such as switching behavior and repeat patronage, consumer perceptions of products, marketing of organic products, and the organization and implementation of consumer awareness programs for Indiana grown fruits and vegetables.
Regional Sales Manager, Sales Representative, McHutchison Horticultural Distributors
Vaughn Fletcher joined McHutchison Horticultural Distributors in 1986 as a horticultural salesman in the Kansas City area and now serves a dual role as the Regional Sales Manager and sales representative in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. Fletcher earned his A.A.S. degree in Landscape Horticulture from Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, IA and his B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL. He has worked in the horticulture industry since 1971 in all areas, including garden center management, greenhouse production, landscape design installation and greenhouse and nursery sales, and for the past 8 years, he has served on the Medal of Excellence Committee for Greenhouse Grower Magazine. He also works closely with the All American site at the Kansas State University Trial Gardens in Olathe, KS.
Steven D. Frank
Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University Department of Entomology
Steve D. Frank's research and extension programs focus on pest management in nurseries, greenhouses, and urban landscapes. The overall goal of his research is to improve pest management by understanding the biological and environmental factors that cause pest outbreaks. This information is used to improve cultivation practices in nurseries and landscapes to reduce plant stress and pest susceptibility. The also work on ways to improve biological control techniques. All of this work helps growers and landscapers make more judicious, safe, and effective pesticide applications.
Shareholder, Jordan Ramis PC
Ron Guerra has been working with the green industry as an employment and labor relations attorney for many years. He is considered one of the region's foremost advisors on immigration reform and compliance issues. His experience also includes negotiating labor contracts, administering grievance and arbitration processes, presenting discrimination and supervisory training, conducting employment related investigations, and developing employee handbooks and policies. Prior to obtaining his legal education, Guerra worked eleven years for the Whirlpool Corporation in various business management positions.
Dr. Charlie Hall
Professor and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture, Texas A&M University
Dr. Hall's expertise in the production and marketing of Green Industry crops is nationally recognized in academia and among the horticultural clientele he serves. His major research, teaching, & extension areas of specialization include strategic management, market situation/outlook, cost accounting, and financial analysis for Green Industry firms. He is an invited speaker at numerous regional, national, and international meetings of various industry-related associations and organizations. He is particularly known for the enthusiasm, passion, and intensity he exhibits when speaking.
Leslie Finical Halleck
Owner, Halleck Horticultural www.lesliehalleck.com
Leslie Finical Halleck is a dedicated horticulturist with 20 years of green industry experience. She earned her M.S. in Horticulture at Michigan State University and her B.S. in Biology/Botany from the University of North Texas. She is also a Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH) via ASHS. Previous positions include Director of Horticulture Research at the Dallas Arboretum, where she was responsible for creating and developing their well-known plant trials program. For the past eight years she served as General Manager for North Haven Gardens, a well-respected independent garden center in Dallas. She currently runs her own company, Halleck Horticultural, through which she provides horticultural marketing, business consulting, social media management, and content generation to green industry businesses.
President, Terra Nova Nurseries
Since 1973, Dan Heims has been deeply involved in all facets of horticulture. He's currently the president of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc. - a company noted for its many new introductions to horticulture. Heims' articles and photography have been featured in a number of magazines, and he has taught horticulture courses, wholesaled exotic plants, and run his own design and build landscape business. He has hosted a weekly gardening show on radio (KKSN) and has appeared on U.S. Hallmark Television(Martha Stewart TV Show), Martha Stewart Omnimedia Radio (Sirius), (HGTV) and British television (BBC). Heims' work and garden has been featured in USA Today, Forbes, Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset Magazine, and Organic Gardening. His job description dictates that he must "travel the world and seek the newest perennials". Terra Nova's breeding programs have produced many international gold and silver medal winners and an astounding 700 new plants to horticulture. Heims uses his unique blend of knowledge and humor at speaking arrangements around the globe.
Dr. Kelly Ivors
Associate Professor & Extension Plant Pathologist, North Carolina State University
Dr. Kelly Ivors is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University, and has worked at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center outside of Asheville, NC since 2004. Dr. Ivors received her PhD from Penn State University, and conducted postdoc research at UC Berkeley on sudden oak death. She also worked for three years in Corvallis at the USDA-ARS on a project investigating the impacts of solarization on soilborne ornamental pathogens. She has state-wide extension plant pathology responsibilities for vegetables, Christmas trees, and ornamental plants in North Carolina. Her research and extension program focus on the management of root rots, downy mildews, and boxwood blight.
Speaker, Author, Strategist
John Kennedy has presented to over 100,000 audience members over the last 15 years throughout North America, Europe and Australia. His client list includes Master Nursery Garden Centers, Gertens, American Plant, Armstrong Garden Centers, Lancaster Farms, Spring Meadow Nursery, Natural Concerns Landscaping, Parsons Nursery, Manor View Farm, Walters Gardens, Marina del Rey Garden Center, Dambly's Garden Center, Riverbend Nursery, McHale Landscape Design, SummerWinds Garden Centers, L & L Nursery Supply, Prides Corner Farms, as well as state associations including Florida, Minnesota, West Virginia, California, Oregon, Wisconsin and North Carolina ... just to name a few!!
Kennedy's reputation as a sales strategist and customer experience consultant to our industry continues to grow, as does his proven track record of success and repeat partnerships. He specializes in leadership development, teamwork, and creating sales and service culture, and has authored two books. Visit John On-Line at www.upsellinggreen.com.
Dr. Hannah Mathers
Associate Professor, Ohio State University
Hannah Mathers is an Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist in Nursery and Landscape Crops at Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Mathers is also the program chair of the OSU Nursery Short Course which runs in conjunction with the CENTS trade show in Columbus, OH and holds several awards, including for diversity. She writes in national trade magazines including the Buckeye and speaks at national and international programs regarding her research with ornamental weed control, accelerated tree liner production, transplant survival and ornamental plant fertility.
Founder and President, Garden Media Group
Named one of the Top 50 Business Women in Pennsylvania, Suzi McCoy is founder and president of Garden Media Group (GMG), the leading public relations and social media firm in the "green" outdoor living industry. Celebrating more than 25 years of results, GMG has helped build the reputations of such green industry giants as Costa Farms, Suntory Flowers, Fall Creek Nursery and Rescue!. Her firm specializes in branding through reputation building and has helped introduce such rock stars as BrazelBerries, The Knock Out Family of Roses and Endless Summer as well as the "O2 for You", grassroots campaign to educate about the benefits of houseplants. The firm produces the annual GMG Garden Trends Report©, one of the most published garden studies in retail and consumer news. McCoy holds a Masters Degree in Journalism, specializing in public relations and advertising. She welcomes any questions at email@example.com. Follow her at www.facebook.com/gardenmediagroup or @SuziMcCoyGMG.
President, Minter Country Garden and Minter Gardens
Brian Minter began sharing his passion for plants with British Columbia's in 1970, when he and his wife Faye purchased Country Garden Store, a garden shop that had been part of Chilliwack's community since 1957. In 1977, the Minters discovered a piece of land nestled beneath Mt. Cheam and by 1980, that passion for plants was transformed into 32-acre, world-famous Minter Gardens which today draws thousands of visitors each year, and has become a favorite destination for weddings.
Minter is a University of British Columbia graduate (BA) and Master Gardener. He quickly became BC's go-to garden expert due to his experience with both the garden centre and display gardens. He has hosted countless radio and television shows, is a frequent gardening columnist, and is the author of Canadian Best Seller, Brian Minter's New Gardening Guide - Fresh Approaches for Canadian Gardeners. He is the President of Minter Gardens, and the President and General Manager of Country Garden Store.
Kelly D. Norris
Horticulture Manager, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
Kelly D. Norris is a 20-something award-winning author and plantsman from Iowa and the first horticulture manager at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, a newly revitalized 14-acre facility in Des Moines, Iowa. He's popularly known for his book A Guide to Bearded Irises: Cultivating the Rainbow for Beginners and Enthusiasts from Timber Press in 2012 and is at work on his next project tentatively titled Dig This: Stylish Gardening with Kickass Plants. For over ten years, he operated Rainbow Iris Farm, a seven-acre specialty nursery with his family. Norris is the youngest person to receive the Iowa State Horticultural Society's Presidential Citation, Award of Merit and Honor Award in the organization's 150 year history, awards that exemplify service and contributions to horticulture in Iowa. In 2011, he was also honored by the Perennial Plant Association with the Young Professional Award, recognizing early contributions to the advancement of herbaceous perennials in American horticulture. His unique 10 years of experience in the industry began at age 15 when he talked his parents into buying a nursery. In that time he's become one of the few go-to experts on marketing horticulture to emerging demographics. Norris holds a bachelor's and master's degree in horticulture from Iowa State University.
Sustainability Coordinator/Site Manager, Pacific Landscape Management
After spending some time in Argentina, Corey Petersen then graduated from Oregon State University and went to work with Pacific Landscape Management. At PLM, he has assisted in the research and development of most aspects of the company's sustainability efforts. Petersen holds several certifications and accreditations, including Oregon Tilth Organic Land Care Practitioner, that contribute to the company's goal of being a leader of sustainability in the industry. He has also participated in several committees and spoken on various subjects relating to sustainable landscape management. Most recently, He's taught the Sustainable Landscaping class at Portland Community College and is currently chair of the Environmental Resource Committee for the Oregon Landscape Contractors Association.
Shareholder, Jordan Ramis PC
Amy Robinson advises her Pacific Northwest clients on employment and business law matters. Prior to her legal career, she worked as a human resources professional for a variety of employers. As a result, she brings real-world experience and practicality to her work as a lawyer, and has deep experience in a full range of employment issues. In addition, she serves as outside general counsel to her clients on a range of business matters including corporate governance, negotiations and drafting of purchase and sale agreements, and corporate reorganizations.
Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University
Robin Rosetta is a regional Extension Horticulturist for Oregon State University Extension based at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora, Oregon. She works with commercial greenhouse and nursery producers with a focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Her training includes degrees in Horticulture (A.S., Cabrillo College, CA), Entomology (B.S., UC Davis, CA), and Plant Protection/Pest Management (MS, UC Davis, CA). She is the editor of the Pacific Northwest Nursery IPM website. Her outreach efforts include Twitter, Facebook, Google +, an IPM alert listserv, and Robin is the lead organizer of the OktoberPest workshop series.
Tree Improvement Specialist, The Morton Arboretum
Seminar: The Science of Tree Improvement
Joseph Rothleutner is the Tree Improvement Specialist (Woody Plant Breeder) at the Morton Arboretum. His research is directed at the development of well adapted hardy cultivars for the greater Chicagoland region, and he works closely with the Chicagoland Grows plant introduction program, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Ornamental Growers Association of Northern Illinois in evaluation and release of these great new plants. Rothleutner joined the Morton Arboretum this past year after receiving his MS in Horticulture (Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biotechnology) from Oregon State University and, previously, his BS in Plant Science (Urban Forestry) at University of Maryland, College Park.
Nursery Crops Extension Plant Pathologist/NWREC- Oregon State University
Luisa Santamaria received a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology in 2007 at University of Delaware. She joined Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor - Extension Plant Pathology Specialist in March 2009. In her current position at the North Willamette Research and Extension Center (NWREC) in Aurora, she is focused on developing a proactive Extension and applied research program for the nursery industry in Oregon. She has initiated a series of English-Spanish bilingual programs to educate and train nursery workers in different aspects of plant health. Luisa´s research interests are related to diseases caused by soil-borne pathogens in nursery crops such as Phytotphtora spp, Pythium spp and Verticillium spps. Some of her recent collaborations for Digger Magazine feature articles: "Spreading a Green Message" Vol.56. No. 9; "A Safe Substrate?".Vol.56. No. 8; "Finding Answers" Vol.55. No.10; "A Healthy Dialogue". Vol. 54. No. 12.
Managing Shareholder, Jordan Ramis PC & OAN Legal Counsel
Steve Shropshire has served as legal counsel for the Oregon Association of Nurseries for over a decade. In addition, he serves as outside general counsel to a large number of OAN member companies, providing practical advice to help them achieve business success. As the managing shareholder of a 64-person law firm, Shropshire understands how business works. He's is rated AV® Preeminent with Martindale Hubbell® and is recognized by Chambers and Partners as one of Oregon's top environmental practitioners due to his expertise in water law, permitting, regulatory compliance, and litigation. Steve Shropshire is also listed in Best Lawyers for Natural Resources and Water Law.
Partner, Peace Tree Farm
Lloyd and Candy Traven have owned Peace Tree Farm for 30 years and have turned it from a 'little greenhouse on the hill' into a state of the art propagation and growing operation supplying other growers, destination garden centers, botanical gardens, museums, and institutions across North America. Peace Tree was US Grower of the Year in 2005 and was USDA Organic Certified in 2008. Long known as strong proponents of sustainability, Lloyd and Candy 'walk the walk' daily, utilizing only biocontrols, flood irrigation with 100% recapture and reuse, and innovative production techniques. Lloyd attended Graduate School in Floriculture at Cornell University.
LC, LEED AP, Portland General Electric
Mark Whitney has worked as a lighting specialist at Portland General Electric for over 18 years and currently provides technical lighting support for his commercial and industrial customers. This support may include an on‐site consultation and helping his customers get involved with Energy Trust efficiency programs. Whitney dedicates a portion of his time to lighting education and is active with the Portland Oregon Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society. He is Lighting Certified and a LEED Accredited Professional.
Joe S. Whitworth
President, Fresh Water Trust
With 20+ years of NGO work, Joe S. Whitworth has become focused on the next generation of conservation tools that can leverage technology and finance to accelerate the pace and scale of restoring freshwater ecosystems. A patented inventor and an American Leadership Forum Senior Fellow, he was also founding board chair of the Council for Responsible Sport. Throughout his career in the Pacific Northwest, Whitworth has served as a formal advisor on issues ranging from agriculture, climate, finance, salmon, and water at both the state and regional levels. He holds a J.D. from Lewis & Clark College, and an A.B. from Dartmouth College. When not exploring new water, Portland, Oregon serves as home base for him and his family.