Listed below are all of the speakers Chessie is proud to bring in for 2018! Check back for full bios on each speaker.
Speaker List for 2018
Mr. Tim Abbey
Penn State Extension
Mr. Abbey is a Commercial Horticulture Extension Educator in York County. His main responsibility is to educate nursery and landscape care personnel on the basics of establishing an integrated pest management (IPM) program in York, and neighboring counties. Other duties he is tasked with include: Master Gardener training, educational lectures on ornamental insect pests, entomology lectures to civic organizations, garden clubs and children’s groups, and grant writing to fund research projects.
He has a Bachelor of Science in biology/ecology from Juniata College, Huntingdon, PA, and a Master of Science in turfgrass IPM from the Entomology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. He started with Penn State Extension Nov. 2006. He was previously employed at The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station for 8.5 years. Prior to that, he was employed at the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System for 4 years.
Mr. Charles Bauer
Flowers by Bauers
Dr. Bridget Behe
Michigan State University
Dr. Behe (pronounced bee-hee with two long e’s) is a Professor of Horticultural Marketing at Michigan State University. She teaches courses on marketing and management for horticulture majors. Bridget has conducted over 100 consumer and market research projects on horticultural products, both edible and ornamental. She has written more than 500 publications in the trade press and peer-reviewed journals. She joined Michigan State’s faculty in August, 1997, after serving on the faculty at Auburn University (Alabama) for 8 years.
Bridget earned degrees from Penn State University (Ph.D. Horticulture, B.S. Horticulture, B.S. Agricultural Education) and The Ohio State University (M.S. Horticulture).
Each year, she speaks to professionals and industry groups nationally and internationally. She writes articles for several other trade magazines to share the findings of her consumer research studies. She was co-chair of the AmericanHort (formerly OFA) Garden Center Committee for several years and now serves on their Retail Committee. Dr. Behe has served as chair of a USDA regional project committee where horticulturists and agricultural economists work collaboratively on consumer and economic challenges facing the ornamental horticulture industry. 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. In 2016, she was awarded the Outstanding Extension Specialist in Michigan. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 517-353-0346.
Mr. Steve Black
Mr. Black is the Owner and Operator of Raemelton Farm, in Adamstown, Maryland. Raemelton Farm produces caliper B&B trees and shrubs for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern markets. Steve started the farm in 2004. Raemelton makes use the latest in drip irrigation, Integrated Pest Management, soil conservation practices, and improved plant selections. In addition to farming, Mr. Black is a member of the MNLGA Board of Directors.
Prior to entering the Green Industry, he was involved in International Affairs and arms control verification. He holds a BS in Public Policy, an MS in Public and International Affairs, served as a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, and is certified to write his own Nutrient Management Plans.
Mr. Andrew Bunting
Chicago Botanic Gardens
Mr. Bunting is the Assistant Director of the Garden and Director of Plant Collections at the Chicago Botanic Garden. For the past 26 years he was Curator at the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College. From 1991-1992 is was curator at Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania. For several years he has been involved with the NAPCC (North American Plant Collections Consortium) where he has served as Chair, Vice Chair, Reviewer, Chair of the Magnolia Group, and now is the Liaison for Multi-Institution Collections, i.e., Quercus, Acer, Magnolia, and cycads.
He is the past President of the Magnolia Society International and The Delaware Center for Horticulture. He has also served as Chair of Horticulture for the Philadelphia Flower Show, served on the Woody Plant Conference Committee for 16 years, and has done committee work for Bartram’s Garden, Tyler Arboretum, and Awbury Arboretum. He has published over 100 articles in American Gardener, Arnoldia, The Hybrid, Fine Gardening, The Magnolia Society Journal, Green Scene, and Organic Gardening. Mr. Bunting has lectured extensively in the United States, as well as, England, Belgium, Poland and New Zealand. He has participated in plant expeditions to China, Taiwan, and Vietnam, and is planning expeditions to The Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Japan, and South Africa in 2016-2018.
Andrew is the recipient of American Public Gardens Association Professional Citation and received the Chanticleer Scholarship in Professional Development in 2010. His home garden in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, Belvidere has been featured in This Old House Magazine, and in the Wall Street Journal. Andrew published his first book in 2015 by Timber Press, The Plant Lover’s Guide to Magnolias.
Dr. David Byrne
Texas A & M University
Dr. Byrne is a Professor in Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M University, and currently holds the Basye Endowed Chair in Rose Genetics. He has run the Stone Fruit Breeding Program and developed over 20 medium to low chill peaches and nectarines. In the early 1990s, working with Dr. Robert Basye, a rose breeder and retired Professor of Mathematics, he began the Rose Breeding and Genetics Program which was recently enhanced by the donation of the breeding stock from the Father of the Miniature Rose, Ralph Moore. The focus of the program is to develop disease (black spot, cercospora, Rose rosette) resistant and heat tolerant roses.
He currently coordinates the national Specialty Crop Research Initiative program entitled “Combating Rose Rosette Disease,” chairs the National Clean Plant Network for Roses, and participates in the RosBREED II project which is discovering genetic tags useful for the breeding of roses and peaches.
Dr. Mark Carroll
University of Maryland
Dr. Carroll is an Associate Professor within the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, and the Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program at the University of Maryland
His current research program focuses on the development of low input sustainable turfgrass systems. He has authored and co-authored more than 80 scientific, technical, and popular articles in turfgrass management. Mark also teaches sophomore and senior level courses in turfgrass management, and serves as the undergraduate advisor to all 4 year Turf and Golf Course Management students at the University of Maryland.
Dr. Dave Clement
University of Maryland Extension
Dr. Clement has served for the past 28 years as a statewide field-based extension specialist in plant pathology. He focuses on teaching how to diagnose and manage plant diseases through IPM strategies.
He sets up applied field research and publishes and delivers educational programs to the general public, Master Gardeners, Extension faculty, and the Green Industry across the state of Maryland.
Dr. Clement collaborates with the faculty and staff at the University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center to deliver educational materials on plant diseases through traditional methods as well as electronic media.
Mr. Rodney Eason
Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve
Mr. Eason is the CEO of the Mount Desert Land & Garden Preserve in Seal Harbor, Maine. The Preserve is a collection of three historic gardens along with over 1,200 acres of natural lands stretching from Northeast Harbor to Seal Harbor, Maine. During the presentation, Rodney will cover the details, unique history, and people of this diverse organization, which combines historic preservation, organic gardening, and natural land management into one incredible experience.
Prior to joining the Preserve, Rodney’s career has included positions at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens as well as Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Carrie Engel
Valley View Farms
Ms. Engel is the Retail Greenhouse Manager at Valley View Farms, and has been in this role for 34 years.
Ms. Engel started at Valley View Farms in 1972, and is well-known in the area. Our in-house "Gardening Guru", she appears regularly on WBAL's Sunday Gardener and a Tuesday Gardening Q&A, and writes a monthly column for the Valley Times. She is also our resident "blogger". She lectures frequently to garden clubs and garden-related forums throughout the area.
Mr. Stanton Gill
University of Maryland Extension
Mr. Gill is the CEO and CFO of MacBride and Gill Falcon Ridge Farm, LLC, a 75 acre, three farm operation, that specializes in specialty fruit. He is tenured faculty of the University of Maryland Extension with a rank of principal Agent/Full professor His faculty position is to work with the greenhouse, nursery and landscape industry in Maryland in the adoption of IPM practices. He is a professor in the Landscape Technology Program at Montgomery College where he teaches two, 3 credit classes per year.
Mr. Gill works with the commercial horticulture industry in Maryland to improve IPM and entomology skills. He conducts funded field trials to evaluate low risk pesticides and biological control for the nursery (woody and herbaceous perennial industry), greenhouses, cut flower operations, arborist, landscape management companies and city foresters.
Ms. Melissa Harmel
Ms. Harmel is the Nursery Manager at Raemelton Farm, in Adamstown, Maryland. Raemelton Farm produces caliper B&B trees and shrubs for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern markets. While finishing her BS in Agricultural Engineering at the University of Maryland, Ms. Harmel joined Raemelton for an entomology internship. Her research focused on Japanese Maple Scale and the development of innovative techniques for quantitative tracking of crawler populations.
As Nursery Manager much of her time is focused on implementation of Raemelton’s Integrated Pest Management program. She also continues to participate in research and development of leading edge, sustainable pest management techniques.
Mr. Bryan Harris
Maryland Department of Agriculture
Mr. Paul Hartnett
Proven Winners PVG
Mr. Hartnett is the Territory Sales Manager for Pleasant View Gardens. Pleasant View Gardens is a leading supplier of Proven Winner liners and finished plants to the greenhouse industry. Prior to working with Pleasant View Gardens Mr. Hartnett worked in the greenhouse industry as a sales broker and sales manager.
He has a degree in Environmental Design from the University of Massachusetts, and an MBA from Delaware Valley College in Food and Agribusiness. His efforts are concentrated on enhancing his customers’ business operations and profits.
Dr. Will Healy
Ball Horticultural Company
Dr. Healy is the Senior Technical & Research Manager for Ball Horticultural Company. As senior manager of technical services, he is responsible for developing production programs and operational efficiencies that produce consistent high quality young plants (plugs and liners). He works with Ball companies and customers throughout the world training their staff in cutting edge production practices. Over the last 30 years, he has developed innovative operational approaches and scheduling programs that reduce shrink, improve operational efficiencies with reduced crop times. A key to Ball’s success in Young Plant Production has been the development of product standards and procedures to ensure consistent performance. He has been actively involved with implementing SAP and Macola computer systems at Ball operations around the world.
As author of over 400 Ball Culture Advisors, Dr. Healy is well versed in crop production. Before coming to Ball, Will was a faculty member at the University of Maryland and Colorado State University where he published over 30 scientific publications on floriculture production. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota working with Harold Wilkins.
Mr. Brett Karp
Mr. Karp is a Sales Representative with Griffin, specializing in plant material.
He has worked in sales for 11 years with nearly 30 years of experience in the industry. He was a grower prior to his sales career. He is a current a member and former president of the Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association (MGGA) and now works with the MNLGA.
Mr. Bernie Kohl
Angelica Nurseries, Inc.
Dr. Brian Kunkel
University of Delaware Extension
Dr. Kunkel is the Ornamentals IPM Extension Specialist at University of Delaware Extension. Dr. Kunkel received his Bachelor's in General Biology from Northern Kentucky University and his Master's at the University of Kentucky.
His project focused on non-target effects of two new compounds, imidacloprid and halofenozide in turfgrass. His doctoral project was with Dr. Parwinder Grewal at The Ohio State University and examined multi-trophic between endophyte infected perennial ryegrass, black cutworms, and entompathogenic nematodes. After graduation he became a research scientist in the south region for TruGreen Chemlawn, just prior to his post-doctorate work with the USDA-ARS at the Small Fruit and Tree Nut Laboratory in Byron Georgia. His projects with the USDA were with entomopathogenic nematode infection dynamics, mating disruption of lesser peachtree borer and conservation biological control of the pecan aphid complex. He started working for the University of Delaware as the ornamentals IPM extension specialist in 2006. Some of the arthropods he’s studied include spruce spider mites, boxwood leaf miners, armored scale (various species), thrips, Japanese beetles, root aphids and mealybugs, brown marmorated stink bugs and redheaded flea beetles.
Dr. Roberto Lopez
Michigan State University
Ms. Kelly Love
Maryland Department of Agriculture
Ms. Love is the Representative of the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Regulation Section. She has spent four years with the department, and recently transitioned into the Pesticide Regulation Section as an Inspector. Currently, she covers Anne Arundel, Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties. She has also conducted fertilizer inspection and reviews and is responsible for compliance and enforcement in her designated areas.
Previously, Ms. Love worked for the University of Maryland as a Nutrient Management Advisor writing Nutrient Management Plans for the agricultural producers of Cecil County. Before her transition to public service, she spent sixteen years working with the largest residuals management firm in the United States. In that position, she was responsible for managing the land application of bio-solids for an area of over 800,000 acres in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. She is a graduate of the Delaware Valley College of Science and Agriculture with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and Environmental Science. She currently holds Nutrient Management Consultant licenses in both Maryland and Virginia and is certified as a Professional Fertilizer and Pesticide Applicator.
Ms. Sandy McDougle
Sandy's Plants, Inc.
Ms. McDougle is the Owner and Nursery Guru of Sandy’s Plants, Inc. A former school teacher, Ms. McDougle has been growing and propagating perennial plants for fun for many years. She established her family-owned perennial wholesale and retail nursery, located in Mechanicsville, Virginia, in 1979, after a chance encounter with a nurseryman who spied her colorful garden.
Starting as a part time, dig and pot operation, she has grown her business into a thriving nursery that encompasses nearly 35 acres and grows around 2000 varieties of perennials, grasses, herbs and goundcovers in containers, outdoors. Honing her propagating skills over the years, she now has six greenhouses, where her staff start plants from seeds, un-rooted cuttings, plugs, divisions and magic.
Sandy’s Plants, Inc. provides garden-ready perennial plants to garden centers and landscaping firms throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region and ships STEPABLESTM all along the East Coast and beyond. She takes great pride in offering new, unusual and uncommon varieties, many of which she trials and grows in her own display gardens, which she welcomes the public to visit.
Mr. John Murphy
Murphy John's, Inc.
Mr. Benjamin Nason
Mr. Nason holds a degree In Horticulture from Penn State and a passion for protecting the environment. He is a new entrepreneur from State College Pennsylvania, is the COO and co-founder of Phospholutions, an agricultural startup designed to reduce the environmental impacts of fertilizers.
Dr. Jim Owen
Dr. Owen is the Associate professor of Horticulture at Virginia Tech. He received his B.Sc. in Plant and Soil Science at the University of Kentucky, his M.Sc. in Environmental Science at the University of Rhode Island, and Ph.D. at North Carolina State University with a major in Horticultural Science and minor in Soil Science. Currently, Jim is a nursery crops researcher and extension specialist located at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach, VA.
His research and extension program focuses on three interrelated themes: water management, nutrient efficiency and fate, and substrate physiochemical properties. The overarching goal of the program is to cost-effectively increase production and resource efficiencies while minimizing environmental impact. This goal is made possible by his research assistant, students, and interdisciplinary collaborators. These efforts continue to result in extramural funding and papers in scientific journals and grower magazines.
Mr. Bill Quade
The Biltmore Company
Mr. McQuade is the Senior Horticulture Manager with the Biltmore Company in Asheville, North Carolina. Prior to this, he served in various positions within the Horticulture Department, which he began in 1998. His strong leadership ability, positive personality, and understanding of Biltmore’s core values have been instrumental as the estate has grown to welcome 1.5 million guests annually. He enjoys the challenge of maintaining the Estates historical design intent while implementing the needs of the 21st century. He is an active member of the Professional Grounds Management Society, Buncombe County Extension Board of Advisors, and community organizations.
Dr. Karen Rane
University of Maryland
Dr. Joe Roberts
Dr. Rane is a plant pathologist with more than 20 years of experience in ornamental plant problem diagnosis. She has authored numerous articles and conducted workshops on ornamental plant disease diagnosis and management for growers and extension educators.
University of Maryland
Dr. Roberts is the Assistant Professor in Turfgrass Pathology at the University of Maryland. Dr. Roberts studied Biological Sciences and Chemistry as an undergraduate at NC State University before moving to Rutgers to pursue his M.S. degree studying Turfgrass Pathology. He moved back to NC to complete his Ph.D. at NC State University and made the move to UMD in 2015.
Having worked in the turfgrass industry for over a decade, Dr. Roberts is now actively developing a research and extension program at the University of MD.
Ms. Ginny Rosenkranz
University of Maryland Extension
Ms. Rosenkranz has worked for the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension since 1994, acting as an Area Specialist for Commercial Horticulture for Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester Counties. She has her BS in Botany from the University of Maryland, College Park and her MS in Horticulture and Extension Education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. She assists greenhouse growers, nursery growers, landscape contractors, garden center operators and golf courses with their pest management and production issues. She teaches an annual Master Gardener course that attracts about 20 interested citizens a year. She also produces Delmarva Gardens, a 30-minute garden show that is available on public access channels in many Maryland counties and on line.
Delmarva Gardens offers up-to-date monthly gardening information. She also has a monthly segment on plant care and gardening on the local CBS station, WBOC TV, Delmarva Life.
Mr. Keith Sacre
Mr. Chuck Schuster
University of Maryland Extension
Mr. Schuster is the Commercial Horticulture Extension Educator for University of Maryland Extension-Montgomery County. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a BS in Agriculture and Extension Education and Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) with an MLA in Education. He was a high school teacher for 19 years teaching vocational agriculture and related subjects.
His interests in nursery and landscape trees lead him to conduct applied research on the nitrogen fertilization needs of selected trees, which also fits into the Nutrient Management Laws in the State of Maryland. He is active in the Maryland Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. He lives in Westminster Maryland with his wife Anna, and he has a daughter and 5 step children.
Dr. Sara Tangren
Dr. Tangren is the Master Gardener Educator with Native Plants & Sustainable Horticulture at University of Maryland Extension. She teaches native plants and sustainable landscaping for the Maryland Master Gardener program. She received her Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Maryland in 2001. Her areas of specialization include plant biogeography, wetland delineation/mitigation, native landscaping, native seed production, the native plant and seed production industry, meadow making, and rare plant conservation. Her restoration work has included a collaboration with the Anacostia Watershed Society to restore plant communities along the Anacostia River Bank, with the University of Maryland Arboretum & Botanical Garden to protect the rare wildflower sundial lupine, with MNCPPC to establish native meadows, and with PEPCO to restore a native meadow community. She established the first native gardens at the University of Maryland in 2006, and she has designed and implemented native gardens for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Vice President’s Mansion, and the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Ms. Jessica Todd
Clear Ridge Nursery, Inc.
Mr. Bob VanWingerden
Catoctin Mtn Growers
Mr. Baldwin Williams
District Deparment of Energy and Environment
Ms. Emily Zobel
University of Maryland
Ms. Zobel is the Agriculture Extension Agent for Dorchester County. She received her B.S. in Ecology and M.S. in Entomology from the University of Maryland College Park. Her thesis work focused on the feeding and reproductive habits of the brown marmorated stink bug on vegetable crops.
Prior to graduate school, she worked as a lab and field technician for the Entomology department conducting research on pesticides usage and sustainable agriculture practices.