MANTS 2016

January 6 - 8, 2016
Baltimore Convention Center

View the MANTS 2015 Show Summary Press Release, and visit the MANTS  website for further show data/demographics and testimonials. Visit the MANTS Website for MANTS 2016 exhibitor and attendee information.  Be sure to check out the great videos on the MANTS website, as well. 

Connect With Us

Connect with your Green Industry Peers on our Maryland Horitculture Professionals LinkedIn. 

Follow MNLGA activities, your peers, and colleagues on the MNLGA Facebook page. 


Speaker List for 2015

Ronald G. Ashby

Ashby Transportation Consultants, LLC

Ronald G. Ashby graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1973 receiving a BA in History and Government.  In 1974 he went to work for the U. S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).  After a 32 year career with the FHWA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Ron retired in March 2006.  This 32 year career was varied and included investigative positions and positions of management at the Division, Regional, Service Center and Headquarters levels.    His experience included five years as a Safety Investigator, first in Baltimore, Maryland, then in Los Angeles, California, nine years as the Officer-in-Charge of the Louisiana Division for the Office of Motor Carriers, four years as the Regional Director of Motor Carriers in Baltimore, Maryland, eight years in various FHWA Headquarters management positions,  including being a program manager in the State Programs Division, Federal Programs Division Chief, Special Assistant for the Licensing and Insurance Division and Division Chief for the Insurance Division, and six years as the Director of Enforcement and Field Services (Service Center Director) for the FMCSA’s Eastern Service Center.  As the Service Center Director for the Eastern Service Center; which included the Mid-Atlantic and New England states, Eastern Canada, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,  Ron was responsible for educational, compliance and enforcement programs and field service support for the service center area.  Ron established Ashby Transportation Consultants LLC on April 24, 2006.  In that capacity Ron provides consulting services to the motor carrier industry and expert testimony in the areas of motor carrier safety, security, economics, and hazardous materials transportation.

Chris Beytes

Editor, GrowerTalks and Green Profit

Chris Beytes is editor of GrowerTalks and Green Profit magazines, contributing editor of FloraCulture International and the author of the widely read weekly e-newsletter Acres Online

He got his start in horticulture in 1980 at the University of Florida, majoring in journalism and minoring in horticulture. He and his wife, Laurie, opened Indian River Ornamentals in Florida in 1983, growing flowering potted plants for Florida florists and garden centers. 

In 1993, he took the job as managing editor of GrowerTalks and moved to Chicagoland. Since then, he’s moved up the Ball Publishing editorial and publishing ladder and is now Editor, managing the division for Ball Horticultural Co. 

In his position, he travels the U.S. and the world to stay current on the latest horticultural production, marketing and retailing technologies and trends, sharing what he learns in the pages of GrowerTalksGreen Profit and Acres Online, which is received by almost 27,000 industry folks in 68 countries.  


Steve Black

Raemelton Farm, Owner and Operator 

Steve Black is Owner and Operator of Raemelton Farm, Adamstown Md.
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, Steve is a member of the MNLA Board of Directors.
Prior to entering the Green Industry,  Steve  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.


Steve Bogash

Horticulture Educator - Penn State Cooperative Extension

Steve is currently a Horticulture Educator serving Pennsylvania out of the Cumberland County office in Carlisle. He covers vegetables, small fruit, cut flowers, greenhouse vegetables, and specialty marketing as his primary areas of responsibility. Tomatoes, bell peppers, container vegetables, cucumbers, and other specialty crops are regular items in the trial gardens under Steve’s management.
Since 2008, Steve has been doing extensive trials on container-grown vegetables in addition to his high tunnel and field tomato evaluation program started in 2000. Evaluating more than 400 varieties of tomatoes for flavor, appearance, disease resistance and general usability has made Steve very opinionated when it comes to tomato varieties. Steve lives with his wife, Roberta and son, Joe in Newville, PA and is looking to create a vineyard and greenhouse business as a post-retirement form of entertainment.

Eva Christensen

Water Stewardship, Inc. 

A business own, agricultural technical specialist, educator and activist, Eva Christensen resides in Annapolis MD.  Currently serving as Techncial Specialist and Deputy Director for Water Stewardship Inc., she works with farmers to improve economic viability while meeting Bay regulations for water quality. For 14 years prior, her company Earthtenders composted several thousand tons of materials annually, while additionally creating “zero waste” and backyard composting programs.  As a consultant for USDA, Ms. Christensen works with farmers to develop nutrient management, conservation, and prescribed grazing plans.  Additionally, as a field specialist, she has completed several USAID Farmer-to-Farmer projects across Africa.  She has authored documents for EPA and the US Department of Commerce, was nominated Entrepreneurial Visionary by the SBA’s Small Business Development Centers, and was presented the 2008 national H. Clark Gregory Award for outstanding grassroots efforts. In all of these endeavors, Eva’s objective is to demonstrate that economics and environment are interdependent, not mutually exclusive, and that economic development can be attained using socially and environmentally responsible means.  

Dr. David L. Clement

Maryland Extension Specialist, Plant Pathology

Dr. Clement received his Ph.D. in plant pathology from Purdue University. He serves as a state wide Maryland Extension Specialist in plant pathology dealing with plant diseases that occur in ornamentals and turf for the commercial Green Industries, the public, arboreta, military and other state and federal agencies. He develops program delivery methods through web sites, fact sheets, books, posters, professional meetings, webinars and face to face trainings. Major emphasis is the management of native and invasive plant diseases through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies. He also designs applied research projects for plant disease management with new biorational materials and standard controls.


Edward A. Crow

Penn State Extension
Pesticide Education Program

Ed received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture and an Associate Degree in Forest Resource Management from Penn State. He is currently employed with the Pesticide Education Program of Penn State Extension where he is involved with the development of exam study materials, examinations and related educational materials. Prior to this Ed was employed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Pesticide Regulation Section for 33 years. He was in charge of Maryland’s pesticide applicator Licensing, Certification and Training programs, the educational and public outreach programs, and the development of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) pesticide grant for 25½ years. He was also responsible for developing and coordinating Maryland’s IPM program for the public schools. Prior to this Ed was a field inspector for the Pesticide Regulation Section in Western and North Central Maryland for 7½ years.


Dr. Jeffrey F. Derr

Professor of Weed Science, Virginia Tech

Dr. Jeffrey F. Derr is currently a Professor of Weed Science at Virginia Tech in the department of Plant Pathology, Physiology and Weed Science. Dr. Derr’s main responsibilities are to develop weed management strategies for horticultural crops through innovative research and to incorporate such findings into a statewide extension program. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State University in 1979, and moved on to complete his Master’s degree in Horticulture and Weed Science at North Carolina State University in 1981. In 1984, Dr. Derr would complete his PhD in Horticulture and Weed Science at North Carolina State University. A few of his honors and awards include: President of the Northeastern Weed Science Society (2001-2002), Distinguished member of the Northeastern Weed Science Society (2008), President of the Weed Science Society of America (2008-2009), Aware for excellence in applied research from Virginia Tech (2012), and a Fellow in the Weed Science Society of America (2012). 


Pete Gilmore

Director of Sales, Greenstreet Growers, Inc.

Pete Gilmore has been involved in the greenhouse and garden center segments for 40 years. He began his career at Valley View Farms working in the garden center in the spring and on the farm in the summers. He later went on to join Ball Seed Company as a sales representative in 1991 and continued with Ball as a regional sales manager for over ten years.

Pete owned and operated Woodside Greenhouses in Ridgely, MD until 2009 when he went on to join Pleasant View Gardens in Loudon, NH as a national sales manager. He later returned to Maryland as territory sales representative for the Henry F. Michel Company. He would later join Greenstreet Growers in 2012 where he is currently employed today.

Melissa Harmel

Raemelton Farm, Nursery Manager

Melissa Harmel is the Nursery Manager at Raemelton Farm, Adamstown MD.  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, Melissa 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 Melissa’s 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.


Paul Hartnett

Pleasant View Gardens

Paul Hartnett is a 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 Paul worked in the greenhouse industry as a sales broker and sales manager.

Paul 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.

Leslie Hunter Cario

Chesapeake Horticultural Services, LLC 

Leslie is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and principal of Chesapeake Horticultural Services, LLC, where she serves as an independent consultant to nurseries, landscape operations, and non-profit organizations.  Involved with the green industry since 1997, Leslie’s previous experience includes directing a wetland plant nursery with a strong emphasis on seed production of native species from local ecotypes, as well as collecting seeds and growing plants for a major seed supplier.  She is a recent graduate of LEAD Maryland Foundation’s fellowship, where she took part in extensive training in agricultural and natural resource leadership, and currently serves as Chair of the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council.

Larry Hurley

Behnke Nurseries 

Larry Hurley has worked at Behnke Nurseries since 1984.  Formerly the perennial buyer, he is easing into semi-retirement. (He says he may ease faster if no one is watching.) As part of the marketing team, he has been Behnke's point man on dealing with the neonicotinoid issue.  Originally from Wisconsin,  he picked up degrees in Zoology and Horticulture, before working for a wholesale grower in Texas for 6 years.  Then, on to Maryland.  He worked with perennial production at Behnke's for many years before moving to retail/administration, so he has hands-on experience in nursery pest control.

Claire Jones

Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC

A graduate of Towson University and CCBC’s Landscape Design track, Claire has worked in the landscape business for over 20 years. Starting work on maintenance crews for a large landscape business, Claire started her own design/build landscape service about 10 years ago. A garden blogger at The Garden Diaries, and garden writer for online publications, she is also a master flower judge and former director of Federated Garden Clubs, District III. Chosen to decorate the White House for Christmas in 2011, Claire is a beekeeper, and avid garden traveler. A MD Certified Professional Horticulturalist, Claire’s designed gardens have been featured in Chesapeake Home and Style Magazine and national garden tours.  

Brett Karp

SHS Griffin

Brett has been working as a Sales Rep for Syngenta Horticultural Services covering MD, DE and Southern NJ. Prior to getting into sales he was the Head Grower for Johnsons Florist and Garden Centers.

He grew up working in greenhouses while in high school and then attending the University of MD. Additionally, Brett is Vice President of the Maryland Greenhouse Growers Association.

Dr. John D. Lea-Cox

Professor: University of Maryland, Nursery Research and Extension Specialist
Department of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture 

John Lea-Cox is a Professor and Nursery Research and Extension Specialist at the University of Maryland, College Park.  He teaches courses in Principles of Water and Nutrient Management, Greenhouse Crop Production and co-teaches Senior Capstone and Sustainable Seminar courses. 
His research and extension programs are focused primarily on increasing the efficiency of water and nutrient applications in the nursery and greenhouse industries. He leads the water and nutrient management extension program for ornamental production in Maryland, with Dr. Andrew Ristvey.  To date, this program has trained over 150 professionals and growers who have written over 350 water and nutrient management plans for nursery and greenhouse operations.  
John currently leads a national $5.16M USDA-NIFA specialty crops project, which is developing advanced sensor-based networks for decision-based irrigation and nutrient management in nursery and greenhouse systems.  More information on the project, the participants and project impacts can be accessed at
During his career, John has established or co-established five major research and extension programs, co-authored one book and six book chapters, published 28 peer-reviewed journal articles, 32 national and international conference papers, and more than 70 society, trade or extension articles.  He has been invited to speak at more than 50 International and national conferences, and has given more than 300 other national, regional presentations and workshops.

Mary Kay Malinoski

Maryland Extension Specialist 

Mary Kay Malinoski received a B.S. in entomology from the University of Delaware and an M.S. in pest management from the University of California Riverside.  She serves as a state wide Maryland Extension Specialist in entomology/IPM dealing with pest problems that occur in ornamentals and turf for the commercial Green Industries, the public, arboreta, military and other state and federal agencies.  She develops program delivery methods through web sites, fact sheets, books, posters, professional meetings, webinars and face to face trainings.  Major emphasis is the management of native and invasive insect through Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies.  Malinoski has over 30 years of experience in plant pest/problem diagnostics.  She is also involved with regional and national IPM programming.

Michael McConkey

Edible Landscaping 

After birth, Michael played in the woods. Before the age of 10, he had a hillside his mother said he could plant. So besides bringing turtles home he also brought Tiger Lilies, Yucca and other native plants. By high school, music and performing occupied most of Michael’s time. He’d go out of his way for black orchid corsages for special dates that also took up most of his time. In the 1970s Michael fell into the “grow your own” movement. He built a yurt, lived in it, and set up a garden in his brother’s back yard. Michael grew everything edible he could find. He wrote songs about it, he went to school about it, and as fate would have it, he started a mail order nursery about it: Edible Landscaping,

Michael brings a wealth of knowledge about some very unique edible plants. With the popularity of the “locally- grown” movement,  the choices for growers and gardeners to add to their harvest and bottom line has increased.   Edible Landscaping variaties invite you to a wide range of new and useful foods to the American garden and table.

Dr. Jo Mercer

Training & Certification Coordinator
Maryland Department of Agriculture
Nutrient Management Program
Dr. Mercer has devoted over 25 of her career to the agriculture and horticulture industries as an Extension educator in Missouri, Maryland and Delaware. She was educated at Southern Illinois University, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the University of Delaware. She currently works to help professionals in agriculture and horticulture attain certification under the nutrient management laws and regulations in Maryland.

Michael Oleykowski

Syngenta Flowers Home & Garden

Mike has a BS in Horticulture from The Pennsylvania State University (1980). Over the years Mike has worked as a licensed applicator, turf and ornamental supply distributor sales rep, sales and marketing manager for Fisher and Son Co., Inc., a turf and ornamental supplier, and a technical marketing sale representative of Ciba-Giegy and United Phosphorus. Currently Mike works for Syngenta. He has been trained in and has had extensive public speaking experience offering worker protection presentations, basic pesticide safety and handling, and technical cultural aspects of turf and horticultural production and maintenance. 

Dr. RIchard Olsen

USDA-Agriculture Research Service 

Dr. Olsen joined the USDA-ARS in 2006 as a research geneticist in the Floral and Nursery Plant Research Unit (FNPRU) at the U.S. National Arboretum (USNA).  Richard’s research involves all aspects of woody ornamental plant research, from collection and characterization, to utilization and distribution of novel germplasm.  Current efforts involve a wide range of genera, with emphasis on boxwood, catalpa, nyssa, and hemlock. Richard has traveled widely, visiting nurseries, gardens, and natural areas in four continents in order to broaden his knowledge of the world’s ornamental flora. Richard has a bachelor degree in landscape design (BS, NC State University, 1998), a master degree in horticulture (MS, University of Georgia, 2001) and a doctorate in horticultural science (Ph.D. NC State University, 2006).

Vic Priapi

Priapi Gardens

Vic grew up in a farming family in the town of Aquebogue, which is on the East End of Long Island in New York.  His family has been farming on the Island since it was first settled in the early 1600s.  He continued that tradition by graduating from Cornell University with a B.S. in Plant Science.  Following graduation he accepted a position with Angelica Nurseries in Kennedyville, Maryland, where he became the company’s propagator.  Having over 20 years of experience in that field, Vic and his wife Mary purchased an 11 acre farm on Rt. 213 in Cecilton, Maryland in 2002.  There they started V&M Priapi, Inc (dba: Priapi Gardens).  The initial goal was to grow liners for the wholesale trade.  However, with the ideal location on a heavily traveled road, retail sales were started right away as well.  In 2007 USDA Organic vegetables were added to the company’s production.  Today Priapi Gardens continues to grow and attract new customers by offering a complete line of landscape plants, annuals, perennials, tropicals and pond plants.  The business has a retail market, CSA and markets its organic produce at several area farmers’ markets.  Consulting services are also offered in plant propagation and vegetable production.  

Joe Proskine, MD CPH

Sales Representative - Ruppert Nurseries

Joe has over 40 years of landscape experience with more than 25 years in the DC area. His experience includes turf, wetlands/environmental installation, commercial and residential landscape installation, and irrigation installation. For the past 5 years he has been experimenting with transplanting/installing large trees bareroot.

Dr. Karen Rane

University of Maryland, Plant Diagnostic Laboratory 

Dr. Karen Rane is the director of the University of Maryland Plant Diagnostic Laboratory. She holds a Ph. D. in Plant Pathology from the University of Massachusetts, and has more than 20 years of experience in plant problem diagnosis, specializing in diseases of ornamentals. She has authored numerous newsletter articles and conducted workshops and presentations on disease diagnosis and management for growers and green industry professionals.

Dr. Andrew Ristvey

University of Maryland, Extension

Dr. Andrew Ristvey is the University of Maryland Extension, Extension Specialist for Commercial Horticulture at Wye Research and Education Center at Queenstown, MD and affiliate faculty with the Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned his Doctorate in Horticulture in 2004 after 6 years of research on plant nutrition and nutrient dynamics in container nursery systems. Andrew’s present extension and research interests include sustainable nursery management and alternative crop production, specifically the fruit crop Aronia. He is also interested in green roof systems and media development as it relates to urban development and watershed conservation and protection.

Marie Rojas

Borders & Butterflies

Marie Rojas has been providing Integrated Pest Management services for homeowners, nursery growers and property managers through her company, Borders & Butterflies, for over 16 years.  She serves on several green industry boards, including the Professional Grounds Management Society, D.C. Branch and the Environmental Cluster Advisory Board for Montgomery County Public Schools.  Marie has also been a Montgomery County Master Gardener since 1994.  She enjoys kayaking, hiking, and fishing.  She also keeps bees on her 92 acre farm in western Montgomery County.

Ginny Rosenkranz

University of Maryland, Extension

Ginny has worked for the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension since 1994, acting as an Area Specialist for Commercial Horticulture for 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.

Ginny 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 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. Delmarva Gardens offers up-to-date monthly gardening information. Ginny also has a weekly segment on plant care and gardening on the local CBS station.


Timothy M. Rowan

Rowan Landscape and Pool - President/Designer

Timothy M. Rowan has a passion for horticulture. His journey started in a greenhouse that his father built for him in his earlier childhood. He started off as a horticulture teacher in Montgomery County, MD and also ran a small landscape business on the side. This is where Rowan Landscape Company was born. Tim soon stopped teaching to put all of his time into the company. Throughout the years Rowan has grown into a pool company as well. He has been building pools for over 35 years now. We build a beautiful pool and are known for our natural pools and waterfalls. Tim designs and installs complete outdoor living spaces. He artfully designs every project that Rowan installs making each unique.

Chuck Schuster

Commercial Horticulture Extension Educator for University of Maryland
Maryland Extension serving Montgomery County

Chuck Schuster is the Commercial Horticulture Extension Educator for University of Maryland Maryland Extension serving Montgomery County. Chuck 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. Chuck is active in the Maryland Farm Bureau and other civic organizations. Chuck lives in Westminster Maryland with Anna his wife of 2 years, has a 21 year old daughter and 5 step children.


Paula Shrewsbury

University of Maryland
Department of Entomology 

Dr. Shrewsbury received her B.S. in Plant Science from the University of Rhode Island, a M.S. in Entomology from the University of California, Riverside, and a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Maryland.
Paula is an entomologist at the University of Maryland in the Department of Entomology. Paula has conducted applied research and extension education programs to implement Integrated Pest Management for pests of ornamental plants and turfgrass for over 20 years. The overall focus of her program is to create sustainable landscapes, nurseries, and turf systems with an emphasis on biological control, conservation of beneficial arthropods, and invasive species.  Paula has given over three hundred presentations, and has numerous publications on these topics.

Lorrie Turner

Willow Run Greenhouse Corp. 

Lorrie’s 35 years in the industry include growing, sales, and buying in the Homestead area of Florida. She still makes frequent trips to South Florida and visits more than 50 growers a year between Homestead and Apopka Fl.. In her current position as co-owner, buyer, and sales manager of Willow Run Greenhouse Corp. she, her husband and family live in Madison County Va. since 1997.

Sarah White

Associate Professor and Nursery Extension Specialist - Clemson University 

Sarah White, an Associate Professor and Nursery Extension Specialist at Clemson University, earned a B.S. in Horticulture at Clemson University in 2000, a M.S. in horticultural science at Virginia Tech in 2003, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Clemson University in 2007.  Her current research focus involves managing water quality for both economic and environmental benefits; primarily examining remediation of chemical and biological contaminants from irrigation runoff using plant-based best management practices.