2017 Speaker List

mahsc_0029_Alberts_JudithJudith Alberts
Constant Contact Authorized Local Expert & Momarch
Alpha-Oh eMarketing
Williamsburg, VA

Judith Alberts is a consultant to small businesses and non-profits specializing in Constant Contact® for email and social media. In past lives, she was a professional photographer & teacher, earning a Photographic Craftsman degree. Her current focus (pun intended) is being a “Momarch.” She raises & photographs monarchs thru egg – caterpillar – chrysalis – emergence, and volunteers to tag & collect newly emerged butterflies, releasing them to start their long migration to Mexico.

andruMike Andrucyzk
Extension Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Chesapeake, VA

Mike has been gardening in Chesapeake for 12 years on his acre of land and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mike also has a Master of Science in Public Horticulture Administration through the Longwood Gardens Graduate Program at the University of Delaware. He began his horticulture career at the Boerner Botanical Garden, worked & studied at the University of Wisconsin in the Micropropagation laboratory, interned at The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, worked at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and is now the Associate Extension Agent for Environmental Horticulture. Mike is a board member on the Mid-Atlantic Horticulture Short course, Virginia Flower and Gardens Show, Virginia Camellia Society, and Holly Society. He is also a member of the Royal Horticulture Society, Hampton Roads Horticulture Society, Magnolia Society and Rhododendron Society. Mike likes to travel and visit new gardens whenever possible.

mahsc_0027_Bussolini_KarenKaren Bussolini
Karen Bussolini Garden Arts
South Kent, CT

Karen Bussolini is an award-winning garden photographer, writer, lecturer, eco-friendly garden coach and NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional. When photographing, she sees the world through the eyes of a gardener and painter. Whatever the medium, she gives down-to-earth guidance for creating beautiful low-care sustainable landscapes and gardens that welcome both people and wildlife. She will be signing two books that she was primary photographer for: The Homeowner’s Complete Tree and Shrub Handbook & Naturescaping Workbook.

butlerMarie Butler
Landscape Coordinator
Virginia Zoological Park
Norfolk, VA

Marie Mims Butler , a graduate of NC State University, has taught vocational horticulture at the NC School for the Blind, designed landscapes in Virginia Beach, studied and taught Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) in Japan and Singapore, participated in the Master Gardener program for 18 years, and now gets paid to shop for plants as the Landscape Coordinator for the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. A member of the Garden Writers of America, Marie lectures throughout the region and beyond on topics ranging from zoo horticulture to flower arranging.

mahsc_0026_Carr_YolimaYolima L. Carr
Curator of Gardens & Grounds
The Hermitage Museum & Gardens
Norfolk, VA

Yolima Carr has a BS in Horticulture from Bogota Colombia, and a Technical degree in Public Gardens from Zaragoza Spain. She is currently the Curator of Gardens and Grounds at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens. The Hermitage is a 12- acre site on Lafayette River in Norfolk, featuring semiformal & formal gardens, woodlands, restored wetlands, and rain gardens. Yolima is a native Spanish speaker who enjoys bringing Spanish & English speakers closer together as team members as they work in our industry.

mahsc_0025_Carter_KarenKaren Carter
Extension Agent, Horticulture
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Henrico, VA

Karen Carter has been with VA Cooperative Extension since January of 1989.   She conducts educational programs in sustainable landscape management, integrated pest management, and water quality protection for homeowners and the horticulture industry. She coordinates the SMART Lawns and Tree Smarts programs for Henrico County. Before joining the Henrico County Extension Office, she worked for the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service in Caldwell County, NC.   A native of Appomattox County, Karen received her B. S. and M. S. degrees from Virginia Tech in Agricultural Education and Horticulture, respectively.

mahsc_0024_Chalker-Scott_LindaLinda Chalker-Scott
Associate Professor & Extension Urban Horticulturist
Washington State University
Seattle WA

Linda Chalker-Scott has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Oregon State University and is an ISA certified arborist. She is WSU’s Extension Urban Horticulturist & an Associate Professor in the Department of Horticulture. She has authored 3 books: Horticultural Myth-Busting; The Informed Gardener + the Informed Gardener Blooms Again & Sustainable Landscapes and Gardens: Good Science – Practical Application. She and 3 other academic colleagues host “The Garden Professors” blog and Facebook page, through which they educate and entertain an international audience.

mahsc_0023_Davis_AndreaAndrea Davis
Extension Agent, Horticulture
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Virginia Beach, VA

Andrea Davis serves as the Horticulture Extension Agent in the city of Virginia Beach. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Horticulture and a concentration in Landscape Contracting. She has spent her horticulture career in the Tidewater region. Andrea has experience in retail and wholesale nursery sales, public grounds maintenance, landscape design, greenhouse production, and horticulture education. She is a licensed Commercial Pesticide Applicator, VFGA Certified Greenhouse Operator, and holds a VDOE Technical Professional Teaching License in Horticulture.

mahsc_0022_Day_EricEric Day
Manager, Insect ID Lab
Virginia Tech, Department of Entomology
Blacksburg, VA

Eric Day manages the Insect Identification Laboratory in the Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. He receives and identifies approximately 1200 insects per year, most of which arrive in the summer. In addition, Eric coordinates the exotic pest surveys with APHIS/PPQ, conducts surveys for exotic pests at Virginia Ports of Entry and provides input to the NAPIS data base. He is also a member of the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association & the Entomological Society of America.

mahsc_0021_Derr_JeffJeff Derr
Professor, Weed Science
Virginia Tech. HRAREC
Virginia Beach, VA

Jeff Derr is a professor of Weed Science, for Virginia Tech working at the Hampton Roads AREC in Virginia Beach. He has served in this role since 1990. Dr. Derr earned his degrees from: Ph.D. & M.S. in Horticulture/Weed Science, from North Carolina State University and a B.S. in Horticulture from Pennsylvania State University. Professional organizations include: 2008-2009 President of the Weed Science Society of America; 2008 Distinguished Member, Northeastern Weed Science Society; 2005 Distinguished Service Award, Tidewater Turfgrass Assoc.; 2003 Virginia Turfgrass Council Award; 2001-2002 President, Northeastern Weed Science Society.

Jonathan Ernst
Certified Arborist
International Society of Arboriculture
Henrico, VA

Jonathan Ernst is ISA Certified Arborist in the Mid Atlantic serving public and private clientele for over 4 decades in the field as a landscape and tree professional. Half of his career was in the Washington D.C. area as a company owner, and for the following 15 years, Jonathan managed 4 companies in the D.C. and Richmond markets. Currently, his passion for Tree Care has placed him with a small company located along the banks of Virginias’ Rappahannock River in Essex County. Jonathan attributes his success to his confidant and friend of 40 years, his wife, Cheryl.

mahsc_0020_Erven_BernieBernie Erven
Professor Emeritus
Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Before retiring from OSU, Dr. Erven’s focus was HR, farm management and business management. For more 35+ years he worked with topics like: hiring, training, motivation, compensation and performance evaluation. He conducts workshops on communication techniques, handling the stress of management, team building and time management. His degrees are from OSU & University of Wisconsin and was a visiting professor at Cornell University. Work has taken him to more than 30 U.S. States, several Canadian provinces, Mexico, Portugal, Jordan & Brazil. He has received many teaching, extension and education awards recognizing his service to the industry.

Domingo Felipe Jose
Equipment Specialist
Terra Firma
Virginia Beach, VA

mahsc_0030_Gagan_KathleenKathleen Gagan
Lady Farmer
Peony’s Envy
Bernardsville, NJ

Kathleen Gagan, teaches about peonies: care, planting, cultivation, propagation and garden design- all across the country. She has presented at the Scott Arboretum Hardy Plant Conference, Longwood Gardens, Hortus Club of New York, the Martha Stewart Living Show, as well as national flower shows and garden clubs. She is a linguist and international corporate communications consultant turned Lady Farmer. After a successful life overseas, where she became fluent in Mandarin Chinese & Spanish, Kathleen returned home to New Jersey to a life as an entrepreneur. She grows peonies because of their resilience, deer-resistance, and beauty.

mahsc_0028_Gale_BonnieBonnie Gale
Willow Artist & Grower
English Basketry Willows
Norwich, NY

Bonnie Gale has been a professional traditional willow basketmaker and willow artist for the past 33 years. She has degrees in planning and landscape architecture. Her baskets are part of the collections at Plimoth Plantation and Mount Vernon Estate. In 1999, she was awarded an Artist’s Fellowship from New York Foundation for the Arts. Her living willow installations have been featured in Vogue, Vogue Living, House and Garden and Fiber Arts magazines. In 2009, her work was featured in the PBS “Cultivating Life” series and in 2010, she appeared on the Martha Stewart Show. She was featured in the new public television series Artist Café which aired locally in October 2013. She produced her first book: Living Willow Form in 2014.  She teaches and exhibits across the country. Her main web sites are  www.bonniegale.com and www.livingwillow.info.

mahsc_0019_Goodnick_BillyBilly Goodnick
Landscape Architect
Santa Barbara, CA

Before serving as City Landscape Architect for Santa Barbara, Billy Goodnick’s career included nursery sales, garden maintenance, landscape construction and touring as a rock drummer. He provides customized residential design coaching and has won many awards. Working his way up from swinging a pick to landscape architect, his presentations are full of practical design tips, effective practices and animated by his life as an entertainer. He founded the Lawn Reform Coalition, and recently added “college professor” to his credentials. Billy writes, blogs and freelances & recently authored “Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space Into the Garden of Your Dreams.”

Topher Grennan
Alliance Designer Products
Greenville, SC

mahsc_0018_Heath_Brent_BeckyBrent Heath
Owner, Grower
Brent & Becky’s Bulbs
Gloucester, VA

Brent Heath is an advocate for gardening, nature and bulbs. He lives in Gloucester where he owns Brent and Becky’s Bulbs and the Bulb Shoppe & Gardens with his family. Brent is a 3rd generation bulb grower and has strong ties to Holland, where some of their materials is imported from. Brent and his wife, Becky have been active in Garden Writers Association, where they have served in many officer positions over the decades.

mahsc_0017_Hudgin_ThomasThomas Hudgin
Wilmington Quality Associates
Limestone, TN

After 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry, Tom Hudgin retired and formed his own company, Wilmington Quality Associates and lives on a farm in Tennessee raising llamas. With a BS in chemistry & mathematics and an MBA in marketing, he specializes in successful business management. Focusing on teaching effective leadership, improving company image, developing motivated employees and creating delighted customers, he speaks to 10-15 conferences a year. Tom has written novels, is a licensed pilot, a retired Commander in the US Navy, an accomplished recorder player, and has sailed a 38-foot ketch across the Atlantic to Europe.

Frank Hudik
Senior Damage Prevention Specialist
VA State Corporation Commission, Division of Utility and Railroad Safety

Frank Hudik is employed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Division of Utility and Railroad Safety (Division) as a senior underground utility damage prevention specialist. He has been instrumental in the development of the Division’s damage prevention training programs and public outreach efforts.

mahsc_0016_Kartesz_JohnJohn Kartesz
Biota of North America Program (BONAP)
Chapel Hill, NC

Born in Pennsylvania, Dr. Kartesz was introduced to Natural History through his close association with the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh. After receiving his B.A. & M.A. degrees in Biology from West Virginia University, he earned his Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Nevada. He then accepted a position at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. In 1980, he published the first comprehensive Checklist of the United States, Canada and Greenland; 1999, he put out the Synthesis of the North American Flora, a first attempt for a state-level database for the vascular plants of North America. In 2010, he published his county-level North American Plant Atlas, and the first internet-based Flora of North America.

mahsc_0015_Kessler_BarryBarry Kessler
Branch Manager
SiteOne Landscape Supply
Norfolk, VA

Originally from Sidney, Ohio, Barry moved to Virginia Beach in 1983. He worked for 13 years at a major lawn care company. From LESCO, to John Deere Landscapes and now SiteOne, he has held his current position of Branch Manager since 1996. Barry is married to his beautiful wife Kellie for 33 now and boasts 6 children and 1 granddaughter. He is a proud and surviving home-school Dad.

mahsc_0014_Lawson_DaveDave Lawson
Branch & Sales Manager
Landscape Supply Inc
Virginia Beach, VA
Board Member, Virginia Horticultural Foundation

Dave came to Landscape Supply, Inc. with a huge background in distribution sales. A former golf course superintendent, the past 15 plus years he has worked in sales, branch management and regional management for different green-industry companies. With Dave’s distribution management experience and his agronomic passion, he brings a unique quality to green-industry professionals. He is challenged to develop long term value for our customers, working hard to find cost-effective solutions that meet their needs.

mahsc_0013_Lee_Robert_BuddyRobert “Buddy” Lee
Director of Plant Innovations
Plant Development Services Inc.
Loxley, AL

Robert “Buddy” Lee, the inventor of Encore® Azalea, the world’s best-selling reblooming azalea, has more than 30 years’ experience in nursery management, breeding, propagation, and new plant development. He currently steers new plant development at Plant Development Services, whose brands include the Encore Azalea, the Southern Living® Plant Collection, and the Sunset Western Garden Collection. Buddy has been active in numerous horticultural groups and presently is serving as board member of IPPS-SR (International Plant Propagators Society – Southern Region) and of the Louisiana Nursery and Landscape Association. He is past president of The Azalea Society of America.

mahsc_0012_Likins_MikeMichael Likins
County Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Chesterfield, VA

Mike is currently responsible for agriculture and horticulture in Chesterfield County. He graduated from the University of Memphis, with a BS in Botany, followed by a MS in forest pathology from West Virginia University. He was employed as an Assistant Extension Specialist overseeing pesticide applicator training, plant diagnostics, and integrated pest management. In 1990, Mike was hired as the State Plant Pathologist for Virginia, serving in the Office of Plant & Pest Services at VDACS. During the 12 years there, he served concurrently as the State Endangered Species Coordinator (for plants & insects), and as supervisor of the Beneficial Insect Rearing Laboratory.

Herb Maher
Safety Specialist City of Virginia Beach
Human Resources / Occupational Safety
Virginia Beach, VA

Herb has been at his job for 30 years, overseeing the safety & health of 7,000+ municipal employees, 2,000 contractual and 12,000 volunteers. He is a life member of Virginia Beach’s Rescue Squad, Safety Council & Life Saving Association. For over 39 years he has taught first aid & CPR and is currently an Instructor-Trainer for the National Safety Council’s, First Aid/CPR/AED and Defensive Driving Programs. Herb is currently the Safety Officer on Virginia Task Force-Two, Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) Urban Search and Rescue, where he has been deployed to disasters such as Hurricanes: Francis, Ivan, Katrina, Wilma, Ernesto.

maslowMark Maslow
Southern Landscape Group
Evington, VA

Mark is Owner and President of Southern Landscape Group, Inc. He received his B.S. degree in Horticulture – Landscape Design and a minor in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech. He has been directly involved in the landscape industry for over 17 years. Mark currently serves on the Board of Directors for Virginia Technical Institute and the Virginia Tech Department of Horticulture (Advisory Board). He is the Past President of the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association where he served for seven years. He was the recipient of the Top 100 Minority Business Enterprises Award in 2009 and the Outstanding Recent Alumnus for Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2010. Mark is a NCMA certified retaining wall installer, certified pesticide applicator and Virginia Certified Horticulturist. His knowledge and experience are a winning combination for every client he works with. Mark is involved in the community and enjoys spending team teaching others. His energetic, fun-loving personality makes working with Southern Landscape Group fun and enjoyable! In his personal time Mark enjoys spending time with his wife Merideth and daughters Meg and Mia. He is also an aviation enthusiast earning his private pilot’s license and instrument rating in 2008. On weekends when Mark is not working with his clients, you are likely to find him tailgating at Virginia Tech football games or at dock side at Smith Mountain Lake.

mahsc_0011_Mccall_DavidDavid McCall
Research Associate
Dept. Plant Pathology, Physiology & Weed Science
Virginia Tech University
Blacksburg, VA

David’s education includes a M.S., Plant Pathology from Virginia Tech and a B.B.A. in Marketing from Radford University. He is busy conducting research and teaching for the department and is active in industry as well, providing over 58 guest lectures in seven undergraduate courses and leading a graduate course offered over-reaching four departments. He mentors and advises graduate students, helps many undergraduates and oversees student employees.

Michael D. Nash
Highway Safety Office, Law Enforcement Liaison
Virginia DMV
Richmond, VA

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Adam Nichols
Research Manager, Turfgrass and Weed Sciences
Virginia Tech, Hampton Roads AREC
Virginia Beach, VA

Adam Nichols is the research manager for Virginia Tech located at the Hampton Roads AREC in Virginia Beach. He oversees 25+ trials in turfgrass and weed sciences throughout the seasons. Prior to this position, he has worked as a graduate research assistant at the Turfgrass Research Center in Blacksburg, VA, as a staff member on numerous golf courses during his graduate and undergraduate college years, and also worked in turf during his high school years.

mahsc_0010_Ohlwiler_TimTim Ohlwiler
Extension Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Fauquier
Warrenton, VA

Tim Ohlwiler works with the Master Gardener program and commercial horticulture industry. He is involved with leading trainings for vegetable, small fruit, as well as vineyards and landscapers. He taught 8th grade Agriscience at Taylor and Marshall Middle Schools in Fauquier County for 5 years before joining extension. As a graduate of Virginia Tech he has a MS in Agricultural and Extension Education and a BS in Horticulture from Utah State University. Tim has worked on an orchard and berry farm, as well as in the cut flower, and turf and landscape maintenance parts of the horticulture industry.

Brian O’Neil
Director of Horticulture
Norfolk Botanical Garden
Norfolk, VA

Mr. O’Neil graduated from Virginia Tech in 1980 with a BS Degree in Horticulture and worked for five years as a landscape designer for Smithfield Gardens in Suffolk. In 1985 he started his own landscape design, installation, and maintenance business working for residential clients and kept that going for eighteen years. In 1996 he earned a Master’s Degree in Horticulture from Virginia Tech. He then worked for another company for five years before starting at the Norfolk Botanical Garden in November 2007. He has a strong background in Landscape Design, plants, plant identification, and plant utilization in the landscape. He was born and raised in Norfolk and currently gardens in Chesapeake.

Jim Orband
Senior Extension Agent Emeritus
Yorktown, VA

Jim is a retired Virginia Cooperative Extension Agent of 34 years. He earned a BS and MS in Horticulture from Virginia Tech and is a Virginia Advanced Certified Horticulturist, and certified Pesticide applicator. Jim is well known for his work in pruning small trees and shrubs, but his interest in horticulture is broad and can be found gardening and designing gardens. Every month he is a guest Gardening Expert on the Hear Say program on WHRV FM 89.5, which he done for the past 17+ years.

Aaron Phifer
Technical Expert
Candiac, Quebec

Roberto Quintero-Vele
Telamon Corporation
Pesticide Trainer
Richmond, VA

mahsc_0009_Rainer_ThomasThomas Rainer, ASLA
Principal, Rhodeside & Harwell
Arlington, VA

Thomas Rainer is a registered LA, teacher and writer living in Arlington. He is also a popular speaker whose passionate and provocative talks have inspired and entertained audiences all over the country. As a passionate advocate for an ecologically expressive design aesthetic, that does not necessarily imitate nature, but interprets it, he is best known for his influential blog, Grounded Design. Thomas has designed for the U.S. Capitol grounds, New York Botanical Garden and 100+ gardens from Maine to Florida. Currently he is a Principal for the firm Rhodeside & Harwell teaches planting design for George Washington University.

Micah Raub
VDACS Office Pesticide Services
Worker Protection Standards Program Coordinator
Richmond, VA

Micah Raub works for Virginia Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services in the Office of Pesticide Services. He has a Biology degree from Gardner Webb University. His work history includes Pest Management Professional, Stein Services of America in Shelby, NC. While at Stein’s, Mr. Raub initially served as a technician then moved to field supervisor and finished his time there as the manager of the termite section. Inspector, Structural Pest Control Division, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDACS). H start in VA as a Pesticide Investigator at VDACS OPS where is still employed but in a different role.

roselieusDiane Roselius
Past President, Honorary Member
Virginia Society of Landscape Designers
Smithfield, VA

Diane has lived in the Tidewater area for twenty-five years. She has a BA degree in Art Education from the University of New Mexico and an Associate’s Degree in Agricultural Business from TCC, Chesapeake. Diane is a retired landscape designer, having been certified by VSLD for 25 years, and a VNLA Certified Horticulturist for 10 years. She received landscape design awards from Keep Virginia Beautiful, VSLD and the People’s Award at Homerama 2010. Currently an honorary member of VSLD, Diane is spending time teaching classes for VNLA horticultural certification, Master Gardener programs and garden clubs.

mahsc_0007_Schultz_PetePete Schultz
Entomologist & Director
Virginia Tech. HRAREC, Virginia Beach, VA

Pete Schultz, Professor of Entomology with Virginia Tech, has served as the entomologist at the HRAREC since 1978, in 1992 he was appointed director of the facility guiding its mission and development. He previously worked as a pest control instructor in the US Air Force and as a Regulatory Inspector with VDACS.

Clint Shettle
Supervisor – Enforcement & Field Operations
VDACS – Office of Pesticide Services Richmond, VA


mahsc_0006_Simeone,_VincentVincent A. Simeone
Horticulturist, Lecturer, Garden Manager, Director
Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park
Oyster Bay, NY

Vincent has worked in horticulture for 27+ years – with the past 22 at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park as Director. He received an AAS from SUNY Farmingdale and a BS from University of Georgia. While at Georgia, he studied under professors Drs. Michael Dirr & Allan Armitage. In 2003 he obtained a MPA. He has written for various gardening magazines, newspapers & published four books. The Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association honored him as Man of the Year and he’s been awarded the centurion award from SUNY Farmingdale as one of the top 100 alumni of the past 100 years.

Janet Spencer
Extension Agent & Unit Director
Isle of Wight County, VA

Janet is an entomologist and horticulturist by training with two degrees from Virginia Tech University: an M.S. in 2003, preceded by a B.S. in Horticulture, earned in 2000. Her work experience includes her current post as Extension Agent, in Isle of Wight County, serving as a Commercial Vegetable Production Agent for the Southeast Virginia region and as an IPM & Nursery Technician at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens.

Eric Stormer
US Navy Department
Norfolk, VA

Eric has over twenty years of educational, curatorial, operational and landscape management experience gained through a blend of start-up, operational, programming and project leadership roles. Eric has worked for Virginia Cooperative Extension, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the United States National Park Service, the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach. His degrees are from Penn State University, where he was educated in Arts & Architecture, Health & Human Development and Horticultural Science.

mahsc_0005_Tallamy_DougDoug Tallamy
Author, Professor & Chair
Dept. Entomology & Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware
Newark, DE

Doug is a professor, authoring 84 research publications and teaching courses such as: Insect Taxonomy, Behavioral Ecology, Humans & Nature, Insect Ecology for 34 years. Chief among his research goals is to understand the ways insects interact with plants & how interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His book, Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, was awarded a Silver Medal by the Garden Writers’ Association. His newest title, The Living Landscape, was published in 2014. Among his awards are the Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and the Tom Dodd, Jr. Award of Excellence.

JP Teig
Territory Manager
Belgard Hardscapes


mahsc_0004_TidewaterbonsaiTidewater Bonsai Club
William McReynolds
Catherine McReynolds
Stephen Krall
Robert W. Owens
Brian Hollowell
Geraldine Cenci Krall,

Founded in 2014, Tidewater Bonsai Club consists of a group of friends with equal levels of passion and enthusiasm about the art of bonsai, and a desire to bring this art form to the community of Hampton Roads.

Megan Tierney
Environmental Horticulture Extension Agent
York / Poqouson VA

Megan now works in York/Poquoson as an Extension Agent. She is a Virginia Certified Horticulturist, holds a Category 10 Pesticide Education/Demonstration License has a Master’s of Science in Management from Troy University, Specializing in Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness and a B.S. in Biology/Horticulture from Christopher Newport University. She has worked in the Horticulture industry for over 15 years and was previously a Parks and Recreation Landscape Manager for the City of Hampton. Megan Loves to sail, kayak, skydive and hang glide.

Keith Tignor
State Apiarist
Richmond, VA

Gary Umphlett
Virginia Beach Fire Department
Virginia Beach, VA

vanderCharles Vander Kooi
Vander Kooi Associates
Littleton, CO

Charles Vander Kooi makes an impact on people when he couples his true-life experiences as a professional estimator and contractor with stand-up comedy with a little fire and brimstone. He has presented over 2,500 seminars and continues to average 60 programs a year in numerous industries around the world. He has been involved in the construction industry for over 50 years as an estimator and upper-management employee of companies as well as professional speaker and consultant. He has bid over a billion dollars in work over his career. As a private consultant, he has helped over 2,000 companies in their estimating/bidding systems and has lectured to over 250,000 people nationally and internationally. Constantly in demand, Mr. Vander Kooi speaks at an average of 60 trade Shows, conventions, and associations each year teaching his philosophy across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, England, and Australia. He consults with an average of 50 clients annually, assisting in and improving their performance.

wallerDeborah Waller
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA

Deborah Waller received her BS degree in Zoology from George Washington University and her PhD in Zoology from the University of Texas, Austin. Following postdoctoral positions at Louisiana State University, University of Virginia and Sweet Briar College, she joined the Biology Department of Old Dominion University where she studies insect-plant interactions, carrion insects and insect vectors of disease.

mahsc_0003_West_ClaudiaClaudia West
Consultant and Author
North Creek Nurseries

Claudia West has an extensive background in horticulture, ecology, and environmental restoration. She is a consultant for North Creek Nurseries and has also worked for landscape architects Wolfgang Oehme and Carol Oppenheimer and for Sylva Native Nursery. Recently her book, co-authored with Thomas Rainer, Planting in a Post-Wild World, was published by Timber Press.


mahsc_0002_Williams_JasonJason Williams
Eastern Division Hardscapes Manager
Oldcastle Adams Products
Raleigh, NC



Rohan Williams
Compliance Manager
VDACS – Office of Pesticide Services
Richmond, VA

Rohan Williams currently serves as the Compliance Manager for both the Office of Pesticide Services and the Office of Weights and Measures. Prior to serving as Compliance Manager, he was a Weights and Measures and Agricultural Commodity Investigator for the Department’s Office of Product and Industry Standards. Mr. Williams has extensive law enforcement experience with a degree in Criminal Justice and he served as a Virginia State Trooper.

mahsc_0001_Wiseman_EricEric Wiseman
Associate Professor of Urban Forestry
VA Tech Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
Blacksburg, VA

Dr Wiseman’s education comprises a B.S., Virginia Tech (1996); M.S., Virginia Tech (2001); Ph.D., Clemson University (2005.) His research and scientific interest areas include tree physiological responses to arboricultural treatments; urban forest ecophysiology and urban forest inventory and assessment.

wyakCyndi Wyskiewicz
Extension Agent
Virginia Cooperative Extension
Portsmouth, VA

Cyndi Wyskiewicz has been the environmental Horticulture agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension in the city of Portsmouth, VA, since 2006. Cyndi has her Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in Horticulture from the University of Connecticut. She has work for the University of Connecticut- Cooperative Extension for 10 years before coming to VA. She is board member of the Buy Fresh- Buy local- Hampton roads chapter, a board member of the Virginia Horticultural Foundation and a member of The Herb Society of America. Her main loves are working with, talking and teaching about herbaceous plants, vegetables and herbs.

Gary Young
Pesticide Inspector
VDACS – Office of Pesticide Services
Eastern Shore & Virginia Beach, VA

Gary Young has served Virginia as a Pesticide Investigator since 1991 covering the Eastern Shore and Virginia Beach territory. He has a MS in Plant Physiology from VA Tech and a BS in Agriculture / Plant Science from the University of Delaware.

mahsc_0000_Zachos_EllenEllen Zachos
Foraging Expert, Garden Writer
Sante Fe, NM

Ellen Zachos was a long-time instructor at the New York Botanic Garden, who has recently moved to Santa Fe. She is the foraging expert at About.com, pens monthly columns for the National Gardening Association, regularly contributes to several of the Edible magazines & serves as Senior Regional Advisor at Garden Compass, a plant identification app. Ellen is a Harvard graduate & the author of 6 books including, Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat. She’s is currently mixing up a book of foraged cocktails- to be served in 2016.