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The SNA Conference 2019 Speakers   THIS PAGE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION - CHECK BACK SOON!

Monday, January 06, 2020     1:00pm - 5:00pm
Tuesday, January 07, 2020    9:00am - 5:00pm       

Preceding the Mid-Atlanta Nursery Trade Show (MANTS)

Baltimore Convention Center
One West Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, January 6th and 7th, before the opening of MANTS on January 8th -10th, The SNA Conference, will feature a stellar cast of speakers – keynote sessions, plant conference, research conference, and roundtable discussions – meaningful topics relating to economic conditions, legislative and regulatory issues impacting your business, new plants coming to market, and the latest in horticultural research.

The SNA Conference provides the perfect platform for the grower, landscaper and retailer to connect, collaborate and gain new insight. Make plans now to attend this exciting new event – on Monday and Tuesday before the opening of MANTS at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Take a look at our exciting speaker lineup  below!


 
2020 Alphabetical List of Speakers


PHOTO

SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Tony Aiello, Horticulturist
Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Title
Description

Tony Aiello is The Gayle E. Maloney Director of Horticulture and Curator at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, where he has managed the Morris Arboretum’s historic gardens and living collections since 1999. This position has allowed him to travel throughout the U.S., Europe, and China to find novel plants suitable for growing in the Delaware Valley. He has a B.S. from Cornell University and M.S. from Purdue University and for many years chaired the North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC). Recently, he travelled with colleagues to China to study the genetic diversity of the endangered paperbark maple (Acer griseum). A native Philadelphian (and long-suffering Philly sports fan), he has written extensively about his travels, a variety of trees and shrubs, and the history of horticulture.

More about Tony Aiello:

http://www.morrisarboretum.org/

   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Adam Black, Horticulturist
Peckerwood Garden, Hempstead, TX

Title
Description

Adam Black is an expert in rare, unusual and endangered plants. A lifelong plant enthusiast, Adam Black he is currently director of horticulture at Peckerwood Garden in Hempstead, Texas working to transition the formerly private garden of John Fairey into a public botanical garden while continuing to promote conservation and the benefits of a diverse and exciting landscape utilizing low-maintenance plants. He previously managed the forest pathology and forest entomology laboratories at the University of Florida, served as horticulturist for a number of years at Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, FL while also co-owner of the former Xenoflora LLC, a mail order nursery that introduced many new plants to cultivation.

Retired Texas A&M professor John Gaston Fairey started Peckerwood Garden in 1971. Over the years he mixed the familiar, such as magnolias and pines, with drought-resistant sun-loving plants like palms and agaves. Today, this private-turned-public botanical garden has grown from 7 acres to 40 acres, including a former nursery property, and the Peckerwood Garden Conservation Foundation manages it and offers educational programs. Peckerwood also is a preservation project of The Garden Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving exceptional American gardens and landscapes. Peckerwood Garden has received national attention for its vast collection of plants from Mexico, Asia and the United States, some of which are no longer found in the wild. Located at the convergence of three climate zones, the garden serves as a testing ground for plants that are beautiful as well as durable and suitable for the Houston area as it grows hotter, drier and also prone to flooding.

   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Tim Brotzman, President
Brotzman Nursery, Madison, OH

Title
Description

Brotzman's Nursery is a wholesale nursery in Madison, Ohio offering specimen landscape material, bare root and B&B trees, shrubs and evergreens. They have introduced over a dozen unique selections, including Lavender Twist weeping redbud, Street Keeper columnar honeylocust and White Tigress striped maple.

More About Tim Brotzman:

   



SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time

Kevin Conrad
, Horticulturist

US National Arboretum, Beltsville, MD

The U.S National Arboretum: Preserving and Providing Genetic Diversity to Your Industry
The U.S. Nursery and Landscape industry depends on a diverse and dynamic array of woody ornamental plant material to address pests and disease issues, provide stress tolerant plant material for sustainable landscapes, and meet changing consumer needs and trends. Acquisition and curation of woody landscape plant germplasm is even more critical given the diminished genetic diversity of planted landscapes. The National Arboretum is tasked with building a comprehensive collection of documented woody landscape plant germplasm that is available to the national and international nursery industry and research communities to be used to create improved ornamental plant varieties. Kevin’s talk will focus on the role the arboretum germplasm program plays in conservation and supporting this effort. For the past 15 years Kevin Conrad has been curating the Woody Landscape Plant Germplasm Repository of the U.S. National Arboretum. This program is connected to the Agricultural Research Services, National Plant Germplasm System of the United States Department of Agriculture. He has worked for the National Arboretum for 26 years in many capacities including herbarium collections manager and curator of the Asian Collections. Kevin is also the USDA liaison for the American Public Garden Associations core program, the Plant Collections Network (PCN). Before joining the arboretum he spent 6 years in various aspects of the Nursery and Landscape industry including sales manager of a multimillion dollar retail store.

More About Kevin Conrad:
www.ars.usda.gov/people-locations/person/?person-id=1101
www.fona.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/141539_Summer14_NL.pdf (pages 7-9)

   
PHOTO

SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Michael Dodge, President
Vermont Willow Nursery, Fairfield, VT

Title
Description

Born in the English Lake District, Michael was trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew as a plantsman and horticulturist. He left England on the Queen Mary I, November 5 1964, after being offered a position by Tom Everett (legendary Director of Horticulture) at the New York Botanical Garden.

In 1967 was hired by Henry Francis du Pont at that National Treasure, Winterthur Gardens in Delaware to become Assistant to the Director of Gardens. He also bred Viburnum dilatatum ‘Michael Dodge’ while there and worked toward his BSc in Ornamental Horticulture at the University of Delaware.

In 1971 he was employed by William Bliss Harris at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut as Propagator, then in turn: Horticulturist, Plantsman, Director of Horticulture, Primary Photographer, Catalogue Director and finally Catalog Designer (by learning how to use Quark Express and Photoshop). Michael also discovered Amsonia ‘Blue Ice’ among a batch of Amsonia tabernaemontana at Sunny Border Nursery in Connecticut. Michael then became a full time horticultural photographer. With his new wife Sonia he travelled widely in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand photographing for a company in Europe as well as for horticultural magazines and catalogues. Michael gave horticultural talks (including all about willows) and also advises homeowners on garden design and garden problems.

In 2005, Sonia and Michael moved to Vermont and the following year visited the Montreal Botanic Garden and saw a demonstration of creating Living Structures from Willows. As Michael had spied several native willows growing on the new property (without knowing what they were!), but he knew he could grow willows on this land that had been farmed for at least 150 years. The following year they visited three renowned Salix growers in England and was given an education in Salicology by three very special gentlemen. Back in the States Michael ordered his first willows from the now defunct Willow Dream Farms in Kentucky and bought some cuttings at the Vermont Flower Show. Then friends and fellow enthusiasts gave Michael cuttings from their gardens and nurseries. Many noted Salicologist have shared their time and knowledge with Michael; none more so that Brooklyn born and now Canadian Salix legend: Professor George Argus.

The nursery began in 2006 and is now in it's 13th year. Michael learned how to put up a website using iWeb and started developing Vermont Willow Nursery. As soon as Michael published the site for the first time in 2012 Apple ended iWeb. Oops! Luckily a Canadian company bought the rights to the iWeb program and issued Everweb in 2013 and the following year Michael switched to that program with the great assistance from the owners and on-line support groups. The first few years the site was very amateurish and Michael had lots of suggestions from on-line developers. The website is now Michael's pride and joy; it is the product of hundreds of hours of work. Michael used his knowledge of photography to show Willows in a way that no one has ever done before. He hope's that the website promotes the use of Willows and allows people to learn more about these great plants. In the nursery Michael has close to 500 different willows, probably the largest collection in North America and maybe the World. Michael is totally addicted to the genus Salix and shares his knowledge of the genus Salix to help Public Gardens with the nomenclature of their Willows in their Collections!

More About Michael Dodge:
   



SNA CONFERENCE
SuperSession
MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020
1:00pm - 1:45pm
 

Dr. Charlie Hall
, Professor and Ellison Chair

Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

SNA SuperSession – Making the Most of an Uncertain Situation

The current business cycle set a new record for the number of months of economic expansion. But how long can we expect it to last? Does the fact that it is an election year make a difference? Has the Tax Cut & Jobs Act made that much of a difference? What impact has trade had on the economy? And what influence will immigration (or the lack thereof) have on long-term economic growth? Marco and Charlie will discuss these issues and hopefully bring some clarity to these uncertain times. Most importantly, they will discuss what you can actually do about it.

Dr. Charlie Hall, the nation's foremost green industry economist, will team up with Dr. Marco Palma to provide a glimpse of the forecast! Don't miss this tag team of economic experts in a virtual conversation!

Charlie Hall is know for his enthusiasm, passion and expertise in the production and marketing of green industry crops. Join Dr. Hall for a conversation that will look ahead to challenges and opportunities for the industry in 2019!

A native of North Carolina, Dr. Charlie Hall received his B.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee in 1984 and his Master’s Degree in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design from the University of Tennessee in 1986. He then obtained his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in 1988 and began his academic career at Texas A&M University in 1988, where he spent 13 years on the faculty before joining the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2002. In August 2007, Dr. Hall returned to Texas A&M University as Professor and Ellison Chair in International Floriculture.

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.

Dr. Hall serves as Chief Economist for AmericanHort. He is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and has received TNLA’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Nursery Industry. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association. In academia, Dr. Hall has received Texas A&M University’s Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching and the Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence for Student Counseling and Relations. Various Extension awards include the Outstanding Extension Publication Award from the American Society of Horticultural Science; and the Certificate of Meritorious Service and the State Early Career Award, both presented by Epsilon Sigma Phi, the professional society of the National Extension Service. He is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho agricultural fraternity and has received their Grand Presidents Award and Brother of the Century designation.

More About Charlie Hall:
hortsciences.tamu.edu/people/faculty-2/charlie-hall/

   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
JANUARY 2020
SESSION XX
Time


Scott McMahon,
International Plant Exploration Program
Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, GA

Plant Exploration with a Purpose

Scott will share stories through photos from 19 years of plant exploration in southeast Asia and how that experience now plays an important part in creating and managing the International Plant Exploration Program at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This program includes a visiting scholar program as well as separate nursery for field evaluation of his wild collections. Some of the plants that have proven most promising will be highlighted during this session. 

Scott was born and raised in Decatur, GA. He has a Bachelor's degree in English from Wofford College (Spartanburg, SC) and an Associate's Degree in Horticulture from Spartanburg Community College. Scott was the propagator for a large wholesale grower for 5 years as well as the nursery manager at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for several years before opening his first nursery. In 2003, Scott left ABG to open a nursery business in north GA called McMahan’s Nursery. In the fall of 2009, Scott helped to opened another retail nursery called Garden*Hood in downtown Atlanta. Between 2009 and 2016, Garden*Hood won multiple local awards including the “Best of the Big A” in the AJC and Creative Loafing’s “Best Garden shop”.

In early 2016, Scott sold much of his ownership in GardenHood and closed McMahan’s Nursery in order to accept a full time position as the Manager of International Plant Exploration at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. With this new position, Scott oversees plant collection and evaluation at ABG as well as the creation of a visiting scholar program to promote the exchange of knowledge and plants with other botanical institutions around the world. Since 2001, Scott has made nearly 30 overseas scouting and collecting trips for ABG to China, Vietnam, India, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand, Bhutan and Mexico.

Scott lives in Decatur, Georgia with his wife Kristie and two daughters, Lily (13) and Olivia (8).

More About Scott McMahon:
Links

   



SNA PLANT CONFERENCE

MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020
SESSION 1
2:00pm - 2:25pm






Thomas Molnar
, Associate Professor, Plant Biology/Pathology
Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Hazelnuts:  a New Crop for Nuts in the East and Opportunities for the Nursery Industry
Advances in hazelnut (Corylus) breeding and huge demand for hazelnut products are opening doors for large-scale commercial production of this high-value, low-input crop in the eastern US. Along with this new venture that may eventually span thousands of acres includes the potential demand placed on nurseries for the production of millions of hazelnut trees... Thus, new widely adapted hazelnut cultivars may present significant opportunities across many different sectors of agriculture. In this presentation, an overview of hazelnuts will be given including the status of hazelnut research and breeding in the United States and new cultivars in the pipeline. A discussion on the current and emerging industries and challenges to commercializing a crop new to the region will also be given.

Thomas Molnar received his PhD from Rutgers University in 2006.  He is currently an Associate Professor in the Plant Biology and Pathology Department of the Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA).  His research program concentrates on the genetic improvement and study of hazelnuts (Corylus) and dogwoods (Cornus). Part of this work includes germplasm exploration, collection, and evaluation. A major aspect of his current research is developing and characterizing genetic resistance to eastern filbert blight, a fungal disease which is the primary limiting factor of hazelnut production in the eastern North America. Breeding objectives in both woody ornamentals and hazelnuts emphasize selection for high levels of disease and pest resistance and cold hardiness.

      

More About Thomas Molnar:
plantbiology.rutgers.edu/faculty/molnar/Thomas_Molnar.html
magazine.nurserymag.com/article/october-2017/preserving-a-vision.aspx
www2.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/nutella-hazelnut-shortage-rutgers-research-tom-molnar-20180308.html
www.northjersey.com/story/news/2017/06/09/rutgers-researchers-unleash-scarlet-fire-dogwood/349134001/

   



SNA CONFERENCE
SuperSession
Monday, January 6, 2020
1:00pm - 1:45pm
 

Dr. Marco Palma,
Associate 
Professor & Extension Economist
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

SNA SuperSession – Making the Most of an Uncertain Situation

The current business cycle set a new record for the number of months of economic expansion. But how long can we expect it to last? Does the fact that it is an election year make a difference? Has the Tax Cut & Jobs Act made that much of a difference? What impact has trade had on the economy? And what influence will immigration (or the lack thereof) have on long-term economic growth? Marco and Charlie will discuss these issues and hopefully bring some clarity to these uncertain times. Most importantly, they will discuss what you can actually do about it.

Dr. Marco Palma will team up with Dr. Charlie Hall to provide a glimpse of the forecast! 
Don't miss this tag team of economic experts in a virtual conversation!

Dr. Marco Palma is Assistant Professor and Extension Economist in the Agricultural Economics Department, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M University System. He graduated from the Pan American School of Agriculture, Zamorano in 1999. He holds a BS (2000) in Agribusiness Management and Agricultural Science, MSc (2002) and PhD (2005) in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida.

He coordinates statewide leadership for extension educational programs and applied research in horticultural marketing by providing technical expertise and educational program development for industry audiences, such as producers, packers, and shippers, wholesale and retail trade. His areas of interest are consumer economics, food choices, experimental and behavioral economics and neuroeconomics. Dr. Palma is also the director of the Human Behavior Laboratory at Texas A&M, a transdisciplinary facility that integrates state of the art technology to measure biometric and neurophysiological responses of human decision making. The HBL aims to facilitate the integration of neurophysiological responses to traditional methods of studying human behavior in the social sciences.

More About Marco Palma:
agecon.tamu.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/palma-marco/
http://hbl.tamu.edu


   



SNA CONFERENCE
PowerLunch
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
12:45pm - 1:15pm

Lunch begins at Noon with Awards Presentation from 12:15pm - 12:45pm followed by Craig's presentation

Craig Regelbrugge
, Senior Vice President — Industry Advocacy & Research
AmericanHort, Washington, D.C.

The State of Play – Capitol  Hill Report
AmericanHort's Craig Regelbrugge is busy in Washington, D.C. keeping up with the ever-changing political landscape on Capitol Hill. Regulatory relief, major infrastructure spending, tax cuts and reform, and health care are all areas of great concern. He advocates for horticulture every day on Capitol Hill, protects our industry's interests and educates us. Craig will provide a “state of play” update on the horticulture industry’s most critical advocacy priorities like labor and the workforce, trucking and logistics, pest and disease challenges, and more.

Craig joined the staff of the American Nursery & Landscape Association (now AmericanHort) in 2007 as VP Government Relations and Research. Today he continues to represent the green industry on Capitol Hill in the AmericanHort D.C. office. He holds a B.S. in Horticulture at Virginia Tech. He serves in diverse leadership positions including national co-chairman of Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform; vice chairman of National Immigration Forum; executive committee of National Council of Agricultural Employers; and a member of USDA Specialty Crop Committee.


More About Craig Regelbrugge:
AmericanHort Team
GreenhouseMag.com Article February 2018

   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Bennett Saunders, Co-Owner
Saunders Brothers, Piney River, VA

The Future of Boxwood
Description

Third generation nurseryman Bennett Saunders is Chief of Operations for Field and Fruit Production for Saunders Brother Nursery. He also leads the NewGen™ team as the General Manager, bringing over 36 years of experience in the industry. This means not only can he share a wealth of knowledge on all thing’s boxwood, but he has years of experience growing fruit trees. Since 2011 with the threat of Boxwood Blight in the United States, Bennett has taken initiative to learn everything he could about the disease, traveling to Europe to see the disease first hand as well as meeting with researchers in the U.S. to learn about how to combat the disease here.

Through years of testing, and trialing over 150 cultivars, it was clear that the solution might be bigger than just Saunders Brothers. As Richard Branson once said, “If someone offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later.” So as NewGen™ began to form, Bennett looked at this as an opportunity to share his passion for boxwood and the promising future still ahead of them, with the industry.

   
PHOTO

SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Lloyd Traven, Co-Owner
Peace Tree Farm, Kintnersville, PA

Title
Description

Lloyd Traven is co-owner of Peace Tree Farm, a sustainable growing operation located in Kintnersville, PA, that specializes in unique varieties of annuals, perennials, and herbs. Peace Tree Farm supplies plants to independent garden centers, botanic gardens, museums, and enthusiastic gardeners.

Located in Kintnersville, in the countryside of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Peace Tree Farm encompasses an acre of greenhouses on a historic 25-acre farm. The property purchased by Lloyd and Candy Traven in 1983, was named 'Peace Tree Farm' inspired by the Native American word "tohickon", which means "peace tree".Lloyd is a technology guru and advocate for small growers, and among the first to successfully invest in sophisticated environmental control systems. Lloyd graduated cum laude from Delaware Valley College of Science & Agriculture in 1979 and attended Cornell University Graduate School in Floriculture. Prior to Peace Tree, he as Assistant to the President for Special Projects for Ball Seed.

   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Mary Vaananen, Operations Manager, North American
Jelitto Perennial Seeds, Louisville, KY

5 Seeds 5 Stories

In every seed is a story of adaptation and survival, as well as its human connection. In every story, adventure, discovery, and a bit of awe for the incredible beauty and intelligence of the plant world. As a breeder of new selected seed strains, Jelitto welcomes nature's adaptation, partnering to make new forms available to gardeners around the world.

Mary began her horticulture career working at a perennial and herb nursery in Louisville, KY circa 1990. She loved it and spent all of her pay check at the nursery (her boss was sorry to see her leave). From there she joined the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension service working with homeowners and their garden challenges. The next step in her journey was as a Horticulture Technician at Bernheim Arboretum, where she managed what was disdainfully referred to as the Herbaceous Plant Litter collection. This blatant pro-woody bias strengthened her resolve to spread perennial love.

From her position at the Arboretum, she took a job at Jelitto Perennial Seeds where she began as an assistant to Allen Bush. She now manages the North American operation – preaching on the virtues of seed: Mother Nature’s perfect propagule.

   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Adam Wheeler, Horticulture and Plant Development Manager
Broken Arrow Nursery, Hamden, CT

Title
Description

Adam started playing with plants at Broken Arrow in 2004 after completing his BS degree in Urban Forestry and Landscape Horticulture at the University of Vermont. He now manages plant propagation, container production, mail order, and the acquisition and development of new plants.

He is a past recipient of the Young Nursery Professional Award from the New England Nursery Association and is the current Vice President of the North American Maple Society. He loves to share his passion for plants through photography and educational outreach. As a result, he lectures widely on a variety of subjects and is also an adjunct lecturer at Naugatuck Valley Community College and the Berkshire Botantical Garden. With his spare time he enjoys cultivating his eclectic collection of rare and unusual plants, rock climbing and competitive giant pumpkin growing!

More about Adam Wheeler:


   


SNA PLANT CONFERENCE
Date
Session XX
Time
Maria Zampini, President
Upshoot, Madison, OH

Title
Description

Maria is a 4th generation nurseryman and proud of it! After graduating from Penn State with a BS in Horticulture, she ran the family’s 1000 acre wholesale nursery, destination attraction garden center and new plant research and development division. She took a new path in 2009 partnering with her father to form UpShoot LLC, a boutique horticultural marketing firm focusing on sales, marketing and licensing of new plant introductions and gardening related products. In 2019 Maria partnered with Spring Meadow Nursery to develop the Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Flowering Trees program.

Maria is a freelance writer for both green industry trade journals and consumer gardening magazines. In 2015 she released her first book with co-author Pam Bennett titled Garden-pedia: An A-Z Guide to Gardening Terms. This ASHS award winning book is going in to its second printing. Additionally she has spoken nationally and internationally on a variety of gardening related topics.

Maria has pushed the glass greenhouse ceiling becoming the 1st female President of the Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association and International Ornamental Crabapple Society. She serves as the Vice-President of GardenComm: Garden Communicator’s International. She is also on the ONLA Legislative Committee. Locally she is on the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Painesville, Ohio. 

More about Maria Zampini:

http://www.upshoothort.com/staff/about-us-maria-zampini/

http://www.upshoothort.com/

   
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