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Annual Meeting - Speakers 2012

Speaker 2011Keynote Speaker
Gierlach, Peter

Peter Gierlach was born and raised in Kentucky and came west to attend the University of Arizona. In the midst of obtaining a degree in Wildlife Biology he helped form a country band and left college to pursue a career in country music. After 10 years, countless nights in honky tonks, and a couple nationally released albums, Peter left music and started working as a laborer in a wholesale nursery and for over 32 years horticulture has been his life.
As Petey Mesquitey, he hosts a 5 minute radio show about native plants and animals, that airs several times a week on KXCI Community Radio in Tucson. “Growing Native with Petey Mesquitey” is in its 21st year.

Peter and his librarian wife Marian, live on a small farm and nursery in rural Cochise County. Their lives are full of plants and animals and books.

Speaker 2011Aker, Scott

Scott Aker is Chief Horticulturist at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington DC. He manages a staff of 22 curators, technicians, and horticulturists and provides oversight for some of the most notable plant collections in North America. Prior to his appointment as Chief Horticulturist in 2004, Aker was the horticulturist in charge of the Integrated Pest Management Program at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC. He earned his Master's Degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland and his Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota.

A native of the Black Hills of western South Dakota, Aker served for a short time with the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service in Howard County, Maryland after completing his Master’s thesis. Aker wrote Digging In, a weekly garden question and answer column in the Washington Post, and contributed to the Better Homes and Gardens New Garden Book and the Miracle Gro Complete Guide to Perennials. He now writes Garden Solutions, a column in The American Gardener.

Speaker 2011Bagnasco, John

John Bagnasco has been in the gardening industry for over 40 years, starting with a degree in Horticultural Marketing from Michigan State University. After publishing his first book “Plants for the Home Vol. I” in 1976, he moved to California and spent 20 years in retailing before starting the nationally syndicated GardenLife radio Show with Bryan Main and Sharon Asakawa.

He is currently the president of GardenLife and a partner in Supernatural Grafted Vegetables, LLC with Alice Doyle of Log House Plants and Tim Wada of the Plug Connection. SuperNaturals is the leading supplier and researcher of grafted vegetables in North America.

John has also taught horticulture classes at Palomar College and San Diego State University. He is the host of the DVD “The Essential Guide to Roses,” which also features Bryan Main and Bruce and Sharon Asakawa.

Speaker 2011Brown, Kenneth

Ken Brown is a horticultural consultant, writer and photographer. He received his bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Guelph. Ken worked as the Superintendent of Horticulture at the Toronto Zoo when it was being planned and built, where he was responsible for the planning and planting of all the indoor gardens and the overseeing of the outdoor landscaping contractors. He owned and operated “The Plant Manager” an interior landscaping company for 20 years where he built and maintained a wide variety of public and private interior gardens. He also has a horticulture teaching degree from the University of Toronto and has taught a variety of courses through programs such as Durham College’s continuing education program. Ken is a certified horticultural judge and he is a frequent speaker at horticultural meetings and seminars. Ken’s writing and photography continue to be published in several magazines and newspapers., his web page, is a great source of advice, tips and updates all done with Ken’s usual enthusiasm and humour. His own gardens feature a wide range of perennials, especially his Iris and Daylily collections. In a space of their own and interspersed throughout all his gardens, Ken grows a wide range of vegetables in some innovative ways to maximize the use of space. He currently spends most of his non-gardening hours writing for his web site, and ezine Dallying In The Dirt.

Speaker 2011Brown, Kirk

Kirk Brown is the business manager for Joanne Kostecky Garden Design, Inc. Kirk has also served on many committees for GWA, the American Nursery and Landscape Association, and the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association. His lectures have received outstanding accolades from audiences and peers. He has done everything from keynote presentations to conference sessions, including the GWA Annual Symposium. Currently, he is touring the country with two programs given in the first person as America’s first botanist, John Bartram and the world’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. Kirk’s involvement extends into his community: as a playwright, member of a local garden club, academic advisor for the Lehigh County Technical Institute, leader for the Boy Scouts of America, and active member of his

Speaker 2011Buchanan, Andrew

"Andrew Buchanan is a Seattle-based landscape design, garden, and architectural photographer, ‘Photographing the Spaces Where We Live, Work, and Play.’® For fifteen years, Andrew's images of residential, commercial, and public spaces, destination and lifestyle properties, and hotel projects large and small, have appeared in advertising, promotional materials, contest award shows, and editorial features. His clients range from large national design firms, to one person shops, to publications including Fine Gardening, Sunset, Landscape Architecture, Coastal Living, Country Living, Woman’s Day, Organic Gardening, NW Home+Garden, Home by Design, and Real Gardens. Three times, Andrew has photographed ASLA national-award-winning projects, plus projects winning state and local honors as well. His website can be found at and his stock images are available at

Since 2002, Andrew has also been a Board Member of Editorial Photographers (EP), a national photographers’ trade association dedicated to improving the health and profitability of editorial photography, and to educating photographers and photo buyers about business issues affecting our industry. In that role, Andrew co-founded EP’s educational program, OutreachEP, and has presented those materials dozens of times. In addition to his photography work for clients, Andrew teaches and lectures on both the craft and business of photography at schools, conferences, and association gatherings. In Tucson, Andrew will be presenting a five-part, all-day seminar concentrating on creating, storing, preparing, marketing, and licensing photos in the garden and horticultural market.”

Speaker 2011Calhoun, Scott

Scott Calhoun loves wildflowers, spiny plants, tacos, and rocks. He spends as much time as possible deep in the Mexican backcountry searching for new plants and eating local specialties. He has gardened in the American Southwest for over 20 years and is the author and photographer of six books about the region. Scott’s work has been featured in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He writes a monthly column for Sunset magazine and freelances for numerous publications. Scott runs Zona Gardens, a design studio based in Tucson, Arizona. He designs, writes, and lectures throughout the United States. Find out more at

Speaker 2011Cardillo, Rob

Rob Cardillo has been photographing gardens, plants and the people that tend them for over twenty years. His award-winning work appears regularly in books, magazines, advertisements and websites.

His most recent book, Chanticleer - a Pleasure Garden (written by Adrian Higgins) showcases this world-class garden thr ough four seasons. Coming this fall is The Layered Garden, a Timber Press book penned by Adam Levine and based on the famed private garden of David Culp. In 2013, two other books are scheduled for publication: Private Edens, with Jack Staub, Gibbs-Smith Publishing; and The Front Yard Forager with Ellen Zachos, Storey Publishing.

When not traveling, Rob loves to tinker in his garden outside Philadelphia. This year, his new raised vegetable beds yielded bumper crops of heirloom tomatoes -- most of which he dried to savor on sandwiches and salads throughout the winter.

You can find out more at

"Artists can no more speak about their work, than plants can speak about horticulture." Jean Cocteau

Speaker 2011Creasy, Ros

Rosalind Creasy is a garden and food writer, photographer, and landscape designer with a passion for beautiful vegetables and fruits. She has a strong conviction that gardening should be an ecologically positive endeavor. Her first book, The Complete Book of Edible Landscaping, published in 1982, was one of the first American landscaping books to advocate organic methods, encourage recycling, and provide alternatives to resource-wasting gardening techniques. It served to free edibles from the back 40 and showcase them right out in front. Since the book’s publication, the term “edible landscaping” has become part of the horticultural vernacular. She is presently working an all-new edible landscaping book due out in March 2010.

An accomplished photographer, Ros’ images were among the first to feature then-unknown heirloom tomatoes and melons, blue potatoes, and baby salad greens - all of which she trialed in her garden. She helped to popularized scores of little-known vegetables in her 1988 book Cooking from the Garden. That book, a syndicated column for The LA Times, and regular magazine articles helped to introduce the American public to unusual and colorful vegetables, whose subsequent popularity have carried them from high-end restaurants to home gardens and farmers markets across the country.

For the past 25 years, frustrated by America’s penchant for lawns, Ros has used her front garden as a showcase for numerous themed displays of ornamental edibles - from a Magic Circle herb garden to Alice in Wonderland with an accompanying vegetable maze to the Wizard of Oz. In addition to her use of edibles, Ros’ edible landscapes are distinguished by her use of vibrant colors - in the hardscape and plant material. Neighborhood children regularly stop by to feed her front-yard chickens and pick fresh vegetables and fruit from her ever-changing landscape.
Since 1982, Ros has written 17 books on gardening and cooking, and garnered numerous awards: Edible Landscaping won the GWA Quill & Trowel Award, as did Earthly Delights. Cooking from the Garden won the GWA Award of Excellence. The American Horticultural Society honored her with their Education Award in 1991. She was made a Fellow in GWA in 1999.

Over the years, her varied interests in edibles have taken her from designing edible landscapes for restaurants and homeowners to developing a seed-savers demonstration garden at The New York Botanical Garden and hosting a regular column on WebMD. Ros has made frequent appearances on TV and radio, and addressed groups as diverse as Disney World and the Williamsburg Symposium to the Smithsonian and many university landscape architecture programs. She has been contributing editor to Country Living Gardener and Garden Design magazines, served on the boards of the W. Atlee Burpee Company, Garden Writers Association, and the Seed Savers Exchange.

When you savor your next heirloom tomatoes, create a geometric design of many colors of lettuce, or plant red basil with bright zinnias, think of Ros.


Speaker 2011Dobbs, Steve

Horticulturist Steve Dobbs, joined Oklahoma State University as the Grounds and Landscape Services Manager in May of 2010. He and his staff are responsible for the maintenance and design of some 700 acres on the OSU Stillwater campus. Steve is author of “The Southern Lawn Series” and the “Oklahoma Gardeners Guide. From 1990-1995, Steve was host and producer of the television show “Oklahoma Gardening”. Steve received his Bachelor’s of Science degree in Horticulture from OSU and a Master’s of Science degree in Horticulture from University of Arkansas.

Speaker 2011Forte, theresa

Theresa Forte is a garden consultant, writer and avid photographer based in Niagara Falls, Ontario, with a passion for gardens that reflect the changing seasons with grace.
Her illustrated weekly column - now in its 14th year - appears in the St. Catharines Standard and the Niagara Falls Review.
Theresa has been invited to direct garden photography workshops at the Niagara Parks Botaforteical Garden, Toronto Botanical Garden and Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, NY. She publishes a line of botanical note cards and matted garden prints, featuring her original photography.
Theresa received the 2010 Winner of the Silver Medal of Achievement, by the Garden Writers Association, for her self published 2009 Gardens of Inspiration Calendar.
Her light-hearted, illustrated garden lectures have entertained and inspired garden clubs around the Golden Horseshoe, and audiences at Canada Blooms and the Garden Writer’s Symposia in Portland, Oregon and Dallas, Texas.

Speaker 2011Gasteiger, Daniel

Daniel Gasteiger is a garden & food writer and photographer and a social media evangelist. He has worked as a technical writer and trainer, a business systems analyst, a magazine editor, and a marketing manager. His blog, Your Small Kitchen Garden, ranks among the top garden blogs and his book, Yes, You Can! And Freeze and Dry It, Too from Cool Springs Press received critical acclaim when it debuted in 2011.

A lively and enthusiastic speaker, Gasteiger teaches social media marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to economic development agencies, corporate marketing departments, online audiences, and writers at conferences and workshops. Gasteiger is especially passionate about the publishing industry and sees great opportunity for writers, photographers, speakers, and artists to take control of their careers while the publishing industry adapts to the emergent Internet culture. Connect with Gasteiger through his blog:

Speaker 2011Goodnick, Billy

“I started out as buckshot kinda guy when it came to writing,” says Billy Goodnick, contributing editor and blogger for Fine Gardening Magazine. “I figured that if I threw enough stuff out there, I was bound to hit something. But it took me forever to sort through my many scattered ideas, then create a logical story-telling order, and polish the final product.” Then he discovered mind mapping and everything’s changed, including his blood pressure.
Aside from his writing assignments at the FG, he also writes bi-weekly SoCal-centric posts for, and contributes to 805 Living Magazine, while freelancing for other publications such as Sunset Magazine. When he’s not pounding away with his typing mallets, Billy – a registered landscape architect, college instructor, and rock drummer – designs gardens in lovely Santa Barbara, California.

Speaker 2011Grace, Margie

An accomplished landscape designer, Margie Grace has a passion for all things that add beauty, delight, comfort and style to the garden. She is an avid traveler, visiting the world’s great gardens and making her own garden in Spain, Australia and New Zealand, prior to settling in Santa Barbara. Her sophisticated design sense and her formal training in earth and life sciences combine to create memorable spaces that are uniquely suited to the client, the site and the environment. She and Grace Design Associates, the landscape design + build firm she founded in 2000, have received numerous top awards, including the prestigious 2009 International Landscape Designer of the Year Award and the 2011 Sunset Dream Garden Award for Sustainability. Her work has been featured inThe Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Traditional Home, Better Homes and Gardens, Garden Design, Sunset, California Homes, Garden Ideas, and California Home + Design.

Margie is a licensed Landscape Contractor and is currently the president of the Santa Barbara Green Building Alliance (2009-present). Grace Design Associates is one of 155 companies worldwide selected to participate in the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) Pilot Program. Victoria Garden Mews, a LEED Platinum certified multi-family residential infill project in historic downtown Santa Barbara, CA, is currently under review by the SITES pilot project review team. The final report on the project will be available in the summer of 2013.

Speaker 2011Gragg, Kevin

Over the last twenty years Kevin Gragg has worked in all aspects of television production, as writer, director, graphics and video production, and on-air talent. He started shooting with tube-based cameras and editing on top-loading videotape machines but now works to explore the convergence of print, video, and interactive mediums utilizing new technologies like handheld and pocket sized computers for collection, creation, and dissemination. Currently Kevin is the director/videographer for the long running Oklahoma Gardening television program which is produced by Oklahoma State University and airs on the statewide PBS affiliate, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority (OETA.)

Speaker 2011Heath, Brent

Brent Heath is a third generation bulb grower and co-owner with his wife, Becky, of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, a wholesale/retail mail-order flower bulb catalogue and web site business that provides numerous types of bulbs to many botanical gardens, cities, universities, landscape designers and discriminating gardeners across the country.

Brent and Becky are daffodil hybridizers and have a number of small, multi-flowered, fragrant hybrids, some of which are available now and others that will be available in the near future. Brent and Becky have moved their business to a new facility in Gloucester, Virginia and they now have a retail outlet, The Bulb Shoppe, where you can buy bulbs, garden related items and gifts or pick up a previously placed order. Right outside The Bulb Shoppe is the ‘Chesapeake Bay Friendly Teaching Garden’ where many themed garden rooms show that it is possible to have a bulbs, perennials, annuals, flowering trees and shrubs growing happily together in an earth friendly way. The Bulb Shoppe and Gardens are open 10am – 4pm Monday – Saturday, February – December 24th. We do seminars, tours and workshops on-site for many groups. Extensive ‘Teaching and Idea Gardens’ are planned for the future on this same site.

Brent and Becky have co-authored two books: Daffodils for North American Gardens and Tulips for North American Gardens. They each have over 300 color photographs, are marvelous sources of inspiration for the novice and are valuable references for the professional. Brent and Becky have both been featured guests on National Television programs; Brent on ‘The Victory Garden’ and ‘Karen’s Garden’ and Becky on ‘Martha Stewart’.

Brent and Becky received a Gold Medal of Honor from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society in January 2001 for “…horticultural leadership, promoting the use of a wide variety of bulbs in the garden”. The American Horticultural Society honored the Heaths in June 2001 by awarding them the Individual - Commercial Gold Medal for “…commitment to the highest standards of excellence in the field of commercial horticulture”. And in August 2002, the Garden Writer’s Association presented Brent and Becky Heath with a lifetime achievement award by inducting them into the Garden Writer’s Hall of Fame. After a yearlong study, The Wall Street Journal voted ‘Brent and Becky’s Bulbs’ the ‘Best Bulb Company in America’. In April 2003, The American Daffodil Society awarded Brent with a Gold Medal of Honor for popularizing and promoting the use of daffodils and the National Garden Club of America awarded Brent their Gold Medal in 2007. In April 2011, the Garden Club of America honored both Brent and Becky by inducting them into the organization as Lifetime Honorary Members.

Through the Power Point lectures, workshops and radio interviews, Brent shares his love of gardening and enthusiasm for teaching, giving you many new ideas that will help you have more colorful and successful gardens.

Speaker 2011Lanza, Patricia

Patricia Lanza is a gardener and writer; a self-taught, self-promoting, public-speaking, book-selling gardener. She created her own brand, Lasagna Gardening (received the Q&T Award for Writing 1995), and has stayed focused on that brand for over fifteen years resulting in a million in sales of the four titles. She lectures around the country including most home and garden shows, master gardener conventions and botanical gardens. She has appeared on HGTV, QVC, EPCOT, and a host of radio stations. After a life-time as wife, mother and innkeeper Pat opened her NYS herb and perennial farm to the public, creating a destination, and began another long career as a garden communicator, newspaper columnist and radio host. She is a contributor to a number of magazines, both print and online, and essays in other books. She has been a member of GWA since 1991 and credits member networking for much of her success. Today she frequently blogs, tweets, and posts on FB, Twitter and about her Tennessee gardens and her busy schedule. Pat is at: &

Speaker 2011Lyon, Edward

Ed Lyon is Director of the Allen Centennial Gardens in Madison, Wisconsin, a position he has held since 2008. He has worked for Chicago Botanic Garden, Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Rotary Botanical Gardens.
Through Spellbound Garden Writing & Consultation, he writes and speaks for both public and professional audiences across the Midwest. He currently writes the “Ask the Expert” column for Wisconsin Gardening magazine as well as feature articles plus a regular regional report on southern Wisconsin for Chicagoland Gardening plus feature articles. He teaches, lectures and has served as featured/keynote speaker for a number of conferences. He is emphatic about focusing on gardening with regionalism as a primary focus. Most importantly, he is an avid gardener with dirt under his fingernails.

Speaker 2011Mackey, Mary-Kate

Mary-Kate Mackey is co-author of Sunset’s Secret Gardens and her numerous articles have appeared in national and regional magazines such as Fine Gardening, Horticulture and Sunset. Online, she writes for the Hartley-Botanic Greenhouse U.S. website. She is a recipient of a GWA Silver Award and has moderated panels for regional meetings.

Speaker 2011McLain, Kristen

Trained as an exercise physiologist, Kristen continued her focus on writing, enjoying the interaction with people, words and business. Having gardened and written through most of her 10 moves, 8 states, 3 time zones and 4 hardiness zones, she combined both interests to create a business that keeps her fingers in the dirt or on the keyboard while helping businesses create powerful content.
Kristen is involved with several local and national professional groups dedicated to writing, gardening and business ownership. She speaks at local networking groups on business, writing and juggling life events. She enjoys meeting people, discovering new businesses and applying their distinct voice to their marketing plan. She specializes in writing and coordinating online and print content for the garden and horticulture industry.
Her exercise now consists of chasing annoying furry critters from her gardens and bird feeders. Learn more at her website and blog at

Speaker 2011Mobasher, Johnny

Johnny Mobasher is a graduate of Salford University in the United Kingdom where he studied Interior and Exhibition Design. He is also a Member of the Royal Photographic Society. Sales and marketing has been the focus throughout his career and in 1992 he joined Hartley Botanic, Ltd as a partner. For 75 years Hartley Botanic Ltd, in Greenfield, England, has been a leading innovator and manufacturer of horticultural structures. He is currently Managing Director of Hartley Botanic, Ltd. and CEO of Hartley Botanic, Inc., which distributes finely made greenhouses throughout North America.


Speaker 2011Myers, Melinda

Gardening expert, author and TV & radio host Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Can’t Miss Small Space Gardening. She hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment segments which air on over 80 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column. Melinda hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. Melinda has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist and was a horticulture instructor with tenure. Her web site is

Speaker 2011Nichols-McGee, Rose Marie


Speaker 2011Neal, Nellie

Known as ‘The GardenMama’, Nellie Neal writes and speaks from a solid educational background coupled with a lifetime of gardening successes and failures. She majored in English and Horticulture (B.S., 1974, LSU) and worked in nearly every aspect of the lawn and garden industry before she inherited her first column in 1990. These days, Neal operates GardenMama, Inc., from her home on one urban acre in Mississippi. She grows a variety of plants and produce year round for love and profit in hoops, raised beds, conventional rows, and containers. Neal writes regular columns, including Regional Reports for, weekly blogs, and organic gardening tips that are also distributed through social media and her newsletter. She sows her garden advocacy on radio and in seminars and is the author of several books, including Organic Gardening Down South from B. B. Mackey Books and Gardener’s Guide to Tropical Plants from Cool Springs Press. Neal is a certified vendor at the Mississippi Farmer’s Market, a member of GWA, and IATSE 478. She never met a plant she didn’t want to propagate.

Speaker 2011Ott, Whealy, Diane

Diane Ott Whealy co-founded Seed Savers Exchange with Kent Whealy in 1975. She has been a national leader in the heirloom seed movement and a strong advocate for the protection of the earth's rare genetic food stocks for over 37 years. In 1986 she helped develop Heritage Farm, SSE's scenic 890-acre headquarters near Decorah, Iowa to maintain and display endangered varieties. Today she is a featured speaker at garden shows and botanical gardens throughout the country. In June 2011, she published "Gathering: Memoir of a Seed Saver", which tells the story of how SSE has grown from a small group of passionate gardeners to one of the most active and effective seed saving organizations in the world.

Speaker 2011Panich, Paula

Paula Panich, M.F.A., writes about plants, gardens, architecture, food, and history. She has taught writing workshops at leafy places from the New York Botanical Garden and the Institute for Ecosystem Studies to the Getty Center and the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Garden. She has also taught at Boston University and teaches in the UCLA Extension Landscape Architecture Program. She is particularly interested in the literature of landscape and of gardens, and in the anthropology of place.

Paula Panich has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers and magazines, including Gastronomica. She is coauthor of two books published by Bantam, The Desert Southwest and Desert Southwest Gardens, and is author of Cultivating Words: The Guide to Writing about the Plants and Gardens You Love. A novel, Tell Me All the Names You Know, set in 1932 Los Angeles, and a collection of culinary essays, The Cook, the Landlord, The Countess and Her Lover, are forthcoming in 2012. For more information, visit

Speaker 2011Ryan, Patrick R

Patrick Ryan is an award-winning elementary school teacher, Master Gardener, musician, radio host, and member of the Garden Writers Association. As a Junior Master Gardener Specialist, Pat has taught gardening to hundreds of children. He is the Educational Consultant for Alaska Agriculture in the Classroom and has presented at several national conferences for AITC, and serves on the board of AKAITC. As an avid home gardener, Pat enjoys working in his greenhouse during the Winter months tending his cacti and succulent collection, as well as nurturing many tropicals, hanging baskets, roses and other container-grown plants.

Speaker 2011Schreiber, Denise

Denise Schreiber is the greenhouse manager and horticulturist for Allegheny County Parks in Pittsburgh, Pa. She is also the author of "Eat Your Roses, Pansies, Lavender and 49 other Delicious flowers" and can be found on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh as Mrs. Know It All on The Organic Gardeners.
Denise has over 30 years experience in horticulture ranging from houseplants to trees giving her a unique perspective on growing.

These pictures were sent with Picasa, from Google.
Try it out here:

Speaker 2011Sclar, Casey

Casey currently serves as the Interim Executive Director for the American Public Gardens Association. He and his team guide all aspects of association business for over 500 member institutions and 5000+ members throughout North America. Their collective capacity results in reaching over 70 million people per year by fulfilling their vision – “A world where public gardens are indispensable”. Casey also serves as the Plant Health Care Leader at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. His team directs the IPM program - solving the indoor and outdoor horticultural pest, disease, and weed problems at the 1077 acre institution. They guide Longwood’s large soil and compost operations - diverting almost all of Longwood’s organic waste from landfills and transform it into the highest quality amendment. All land management and conservation programs on 700+ acres of extensive natural areas and farmlands fall under their stewardship. They lead Longwood’s organizational recycling and ecofootprinting programs, and are actively engaged in developing a public gardens sustainability index. Casey has authored many publications and has presented widely on IPM and other topics. Working in horticulture for over 25 years, he received the Professional Citation Award from the APGA in 2011 for significant achievements in public horticulture. He holds a B.S. degree in horticulture from California Polytechnic State University, S.L.O., as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Colorado State University.

Speaker 2011Staddon, Nicholas

Nicholas Staddon, Director of New Plants for Monrovia, has been a Monrovia Craftsman for over 22 years. Working with breeders, hybridizers, and professional Plant Explorers, he scours the globe for new creations and discoveries in the plant world. Nicholas is also sought out as a resource and guest for television and radio gardening shows across the United States. Nicholas works closely with professional Garden Writers and Monrovia’s customers, providing information on plants -- both old and new – sharing his views on garden trends. Nicholas has created a series of informative ‘Plant Savvy’ videos that can be found on line.

Born in England, Nicholas attended Otley Agricultural College where he received his degree in Agricultural Science. Before joining Monrovia, he managed garden centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He says of New Mexico, "One of the most beautiful places in the world—the vistas will move your heart and the gardening will break it." Nicholas now resides in California and continues to be consumed with a passion for plants and animals. He travels extensively for Monrovia in his quest for great new and notable plants for American gardeners.

Nicholas is proud to be professionally affiliated with the Royal Horticulture Society, the California Association of Nurserymen, The American Nursery and Landscape Association. He is an Advisor to the Sunset Magazine, and on the Board of Advisors to Mount San Antonio College, Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences.

Speaker 2011Sterman, Nan

California native Nan Sterman is a garden designer, author, botanist, and award-winning garden communicator. Nan speaks, teaches, talks, and writes about low water, sustainable and edible gardening, all of which she designs for client’s homes and school gardens. She is author of California Gardener’s Guide vII and Water-Wise Plants for the Southwest. Before delving into the professional gardening world, Nan created curricula, training programs, and educational materials for Fortune 500 companies, zoos, aquaria, and not-for-profit organizations. Her ability to take complex information and create effective educational programs is one of her greatest strengths, and a major source of her successes. Nan holds a Bachelor’s degree in botany from Duke University, a Master’s in biology from the University of California, and a Master’s in instructional design from the School of Education at San Diego State University.

Speaker 2011Tesselaar, Anthony

Anthony has the benefit of three generations of family immersed in horticulture. Beginning his career with the family business in 1965 - Tesselaar’s Bulbs & Flowers, which became one of Australia’s largest family based floricultural organizations, he worked his way to Joint Owner and Director, with a focus on the marketing, promotion and mail-order operations.

Having developed an innovative model for the sourcing and marketing of truly wonderful plants, Anthony put it to the test with the release of Flower Carpet® Roses in 1992. Based on the outstanding success which followed in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe and North America, Anthony and his wife Sheryl went out on their own and Anthony Tesselaar International Pty Ltd was established in 1994. Since then, other plants and products have been added to the group.

Anthony continues to provide vision and impetus for the business, overseeing all aspects of his company’s growth, to help bring beautiful, easy-care environmental friendly plants and water saving products to the world. The Tesselaar philosophy is to introduce exceptional plants while “making gardening easy” for everyone, and so it makes its products as widely available as possible. Tesselaar believes that the more gardeners there are, the better it is for everyone.

Speaker 2011Tornio, Stacy

Stacy Tornio is the editor of Birds & Blooms, North America's #1 Bird and Garden Magazine, with more than 1 million subscribers. As the leader of a small staff, Stacy knows how to do a lot with a little. She also used to be a freelancer herself, so she knows the world of cover letters, pitches and more.
Not only is Stacy involved in the day-to-day aspects of the magazine, but she's also a regular content contributor to online efforts, including blogging, tweeting, bonus content creation and more. She understands publishing is always evolving, and she'll help writers gain a competitive edge when it comes to the media world.

Speaker 2011Zonge, Gene

Gene Zonge
Gene moved to Tucson in 1969 from Fairbanks, Alaska, where he was born. He earned a bachelors degree in electrical engineering and his MBA from the University of Arizona. He has been a community gardener in Tucson for three years and the executive director of the Community Gardens of Tucson since the summer of 2009. Under his leadership, that all-volunteer non-for-profit gardening group has grown from four to 30 gardens and from 60 gardeners to over 600 gardeners.


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