MANTS 2020

January 8-10, 2020
Baltimore Convention Center

View a full recap of the 2019 show and find further show data/demographics and testimonials on the MANTS website. Visit the MANTS Website for MANTS 2019 exhibitor and attendee information.  Be sure to check out the great videos on the MANTS website, as well. 

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Listed below are all of the speakers Chessie is proud to bring in for 2019! 

Ms. Marianna Batie
Law Office of Marianna Batie 

Chris Beytes
GrowerTalks/Green Profit/Acres Online
Chris Beytes is editor of GrowerTalks and Green Profit magazines and author of the widely read weekly e-newsletter Acres Online, which reaches more than 23,000 horticulture industry folks in 66 countries. Chris is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a degree in journalism and a minor in ornamental horticulture. A former greenhouse owner with his wife, Laurie, Chris has been with Ball Publishing since 1993. In that position, Chris travels the U.S. and the world to stay current on the latest horticultural production, marketing and retailing technologies and trends. Highlights of his career (thus far) including interviewing King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands, and emceeing (four times) the International Grower of the Year awards in Germany.

Ms. Kelly Billing
Water Becomes a Garden

Kelly Billing has over 33 years of experience in the water gardening industry wholesale trade. Currently she is an Industry Consultant with a focus on 'Plant Greatness' (planning the most effective use of plants) and Improving Water Quality. Specializing in plant selection and procurement for projects of all sizes. She compiled and maintains the Aquatic Plant Invasive Species List for the nursery trade in the United States. Kelly is a Maryland Certified Professional Horticulturist. She writes regularly for various trade magazines and water gardening publications. She cooperated with Ben Helm on a water gardening book that was published in the US (Water Gardeners Bible) and UK (Water Gardens) as well as co-authored with Paula Biles, The Lotus, Know It and Grow It for the International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society, IWGS, where she serves on the Board of Directors. A gardener since childhood, Kelly enthusiastically shares her knowledge and experience with International Organizations, Promotional Groups, related Associations, Garden Centers and Garden Clubs. Kelly is renowned for spreading her exuberant enthusiasm. It is most apparent as she happily shares decades of aquatic plant and pond experience. Kelly's love of nature, passionate style, and vast expertise are unique assets she applies to helping others reach their water garden goals big or small.

Ms. Victoria Bolden
North Creek Nurseries

Victoria Bolden is a Production Administrator at North Creek Nurseries, where her work focuses on handling and implementing the propagation of unrooted cuttings, bare root material, and grass or rooted cuttings. Victoria holds a BA in Horticulture and a minor in Entomology from the Pennsylvania State University, University Park.  Prior to North Creek, Ms. Bolden has amassed diverse propagation and growing experience from internships at world class horticultural institute’s including: Tyler Arboretum, Mt. Cuba Center, Longwood Gardens, and Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. Away from production planning and implementation you can find Victoria singing for an audience of one, reading and writing fiction, and spending time with family.

Mr. Terry Burns
Mahan Rykiel

Terry Burns is a Senior Associate at Mahan Rykiel Associates in Baltimore, MD.   With over 17 years of experience, Terry specializes in planting and garden design with projects that range from university and heath care to retail and transportation sectors.  He holds a bachelor’s in landscape architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park and is an ISA Certified Arborist.

Mr. Steve Castorani
North Creek Nurseries

Steve Castorani is the CEO, President and co-Founder of North Creek Nurseries, a progressive nursery business specializing in perennial, fern, vine, and ornamental grass plug production with an emphasis on Eastern regional native plants. North Creek Nurseries was voted Grower of the year by the Perennial Plant Association in 2015 and was awarded Operation of the Year in 2016 by Greenhouse Grower Magazine with special distinction for sustainable growing practices. In 2004, Steve co-created the American Beauties Native Plant® brand, which distributes plants to independent garden centers throughout U.S. eastern, midwestern and select western states. Steve also co-owns an independent garden center—Gateway Garden Center in Hockessin, Delaware— with his wife Peg, a business they established in 1986.
Steve is a past president of the International Plant Propagator’s Society. He was awarded the honor of Society Fellow in 2005 and became the recipient of the society’s most prestigious Award of Merit in 2012. He is also very involved in his state’s green industry and served two years as President of the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, and has served on the Delaware Invasive Species Council, developing guidelines for the implementation of an invasive species policy for the state.

Steve graduated from the University of Delaware with a B.S. in Plant Science. In 2015, Steve received a Certificate of Applied Horticultural Business Management from Texas A&M University. Prior to this, Steve attended and graduated from Girard College in Philadelphia.   

Dr. David Clement
University of Maryland Extension

Dave Clement is an Extension Specialist in plant pathology/IPM, (commercial horticulture and residential) at the Home and Garden Information Center, University of Maryland Extension.  He has over 40 years of experience in plant pest/problem diagnostics, invasives outreach, regional, and national IPM programming.

Mr. Tal Coley

Tal Coley serves as AmericanHort’s Director of Government Affairs in Washington, D.C., where he conducts outreach on industry objectives and external affairs initiatives. Mr. Coley joined AmericanHort in July of 2017 and has been involved with the organization’s advocacy efforts through a variety of programs to include the Impact Washington Summit legislative conference, state association partnerships, and communications. Prior to AmericanHort, Coley led congressional outreach efforts for Concerned Veterans for America — spearheading programs such as annual fly-ins, policy initiatives, and external affairs. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served as a Russian Cryptologic Linguist at Ft. Meade, Md. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Administration from the University of Miami along with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of North Florida. He is also a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. He resides in Crofton, MD with his wife, Victoria, and their two children.

Ms. Margery Daughtrey
Cornell University Extension

Margery Daughtrey is a Senior Extension Associate with the Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology of Cornell University. She has conducted a research and extension program on the management of diseases of ornamental plants since 1978, at Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, NY. Daughtrey holds a B.S. degree in Biology from the College of William and Mary and an M.S. in Plant Pathology from the University of Massachusetts. Daughtrey is coauthor of several books, including Diseases of Herbaceous Perennials and the Compendium of Flowering Potted Plant Diseases as well as the very new Compendium of Bedding Plant Diseases and Pests. She was named a Fellow of APS in 2012.

Mr. Joseph Doherty
University of Maryland
Joe Doherty is a native of south Florida, but received his Bachelor’s in Turfgrass Science from North Carolina State University in 2015.  Following undergrad, Joe went on to join the Turfgrass Pathology program at University of Maryland under Dr. Joseph Roberts to complete his Master’s.  His Master’s research focused on characterizing the microbial communities associated with creeping bentgrass, how they are influenced and change over time.  Currently, Joe has just started his Ph.D. under Dr. Roberts, where he will be focusing on developing practices that can help improve the efficacy of biological based disease management products.

Mr. Justen Garrity
Veterans Compost

Justen Garrity is the Founder and President of Veteran Compost, a veteran-owned business focused on employing veterans and their family members to collect and compost food scraps.
Before starting Veteran Compost, Justen served in the US Army as a Combat Engineer Officer.  Assignments included Korea, Iraq, and unfortunately Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Justen is a graduate of Sapper School and Airborne School.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management of Information Systems from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Penn State."

Mr. Stanton Gill
University of Maryland Extension

Stanton A. Gill is a 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. Stanton is a professor in the Landscape Technology Program at Montgomery College where he teaches two, 3 credit classes per year. He is the CEO and CFO of MacBride and Gill Falcon Ridge Farm, LLC., a 75-acre, three farm operation, that specializes in specialty fruit. Stanton 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. Beth Ginter
Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council

As Coordinator of the CBLP certification initiative since 2015, Ms. Ginter is responsible for overseeing all aspects this new program which aims to ensure consistent training and practice standards for landscape professionals working in the Chesapeake Bay region. CBLP is an advanced credential system and network of professionals who design, install, and maintain sustainable landscapes. The credential emphasizes small-scale stormwater retrofit best management practices and conservation landscaping with native plants to benefit the environment.

Following a 15-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, where she directed global medical education and scientific communications programs, Ms. Ginter founded a landscape consulting and design firm, The Honeybee Group, in 2005 to provide sustainable design solutions for residential clients and schools in the Washington, DC area. Ms. Ginter holds a Masters degree in Sustainable Landscape Design from The George Washington University and a BA in English from Virginia Commonwealth University. She lives in Silver Spring, MD and enjoys spending time at her family’s retreat where the West River meets the Chesapeake Bay.

Mr. Alvin Harris
District Deparment of Energy and Environment

Mr. Paul Hartnett
Proven Winners

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.

Ms. Deborah Hayes
Maryland Department of Agriculture

Deb Hayes is a nursery inspector with the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Brett Karp

Brett Karp is a sales representative with Griffin specializing in plant material. He has worked in sales for more than 11 years with nearly 30 years of experience in the industry. Brett 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 MNLGA.

Mr. David Kinderdine
Velvet Touch Rose Care

Ms. Suzanne Klick
University of Maryland Extension

Mr. Brian Kunkel
University of Delaware Cooperative Extension

Brian 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. Alexa Lamm
University of Georgia

Dr. Alexa Lamm is an Extension Evaluation Specialist in the Office of Learning and Organizational Development and an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication at the University of Georgia. She is considered a leader in the field of social science research as it relates to understanding how educational practice impacts the decision-making process and the ultimate adoption of new scientific technologies to advance agricultural production while maintaining a sustainable environment. Specifically, Dr. Lamm has done extensive research on why nursery and greenhouse growers do and do not adopt water conservation treatments and technologies. Dr. Lamm has received over $26.5 million in total contracts and grants and published over 120 peer-reviewed journal articles. She is also the managing editor of the Journal for International Agricultural and Extension Education and is currently serving as the national research committee chair for the American Association for Agricultural Education. Early in her career she was found to be a breakthrough scientist and was recognized by Vance Publishing as one of the “40 under 40” in Agriculture in 2014 and was made a fellow by the Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education this past year.

Dr. John Lea-Cox
University of Maryland

John Lea-Cox is a Professor and 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 Sustainable Seminar courses.  His research and extension programs are focused primarily on providing people with real-time information from their farming operations, so they can make more rational, economic decisions about their everyday production practices.

Ms. Rebecca Lemos-Otero
City Blossoms

Ms. Mary Kay Malinoski
University of Maryland Extension

Mary Kay is an Extension Specialist in entomology/IPM, (commercial horticulture and residential) at the Home and Garden Information Center, University of Maryland Extension.  She has over 40 years of experience in plant pest/problem diagnostics, invasives outreach, regional, and national IPM programming.

Mr. Russell Noratel
Maryland Department of Agriculture

Dr. Karen Rane
University of Maryland Extension

Karen Rane is a plant pathologist with more than 20 years of experience in ornamental plant problem diagnosis. Karen has authored numerous articles and conducted workshops on ornamental plant disease diagnosis and management for growers and extension educators.

Ms. Kimberly Rice
Maryland Department of Agriculture

Kim Rice is the program manager of the Plant Protection and Weed Management Section of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.  Her background is in survey work focusing on invasive and exotic pest species.  Some of the pests she has worked with include:  red imported fire ant, emerald ash borer, Sirex noctilio, exotic woodboring beetles and native crop pests.  She is also the chair of the Invasive Plant Advisory Committee.  She has a bachelor of science degree in entomology from the University of Delaware and has worked with MD Dept of Agriculture for 18 years. 

Mr. Geoff Rinehart
University of Maryland

Geoff Rinehart has 18 years’ experience in the turfgrass and landscape industry working in various parts of the country. He earned Bachelor’s degrees in Turfgrass Management and Landscape Contracting from Virginia Tech and a Master’s of Science in Turfgrass Science at Michigan State University. After graduating from Michigan State, Geoff spent 5 ½ years as a research technician conducting turfgrass science research at Washington State University and spent 4 years’ coordinating the Tacoma-Pierce County yard care program conducting outreach and education for homeowners and professionals in Pierce County, WA.   From Fall, 2013 until this summer Geoff was the full-time coordinator of the Arboretum’s ‘Grass Roots’ Initiative, which includes a 1.3- acre interactive turfgrass exhibit, a website, and ongoing homeowner lawn maintenance workshops in the spring and fall. His experience has also included working on golf courses and the landscape industry in Maryland, Colorado, Washington state, and Hawaii. Most recently, Geoff joined the University of Maryland as a Lecturer in the Institute of Applied Agriculture in July 2017. He currently continues as the Arboretum’s ‘Grass Roots’ coordinator in a part-time capacity while teaching turfgrass and landscape management courses on campus full-time.

Dr. Andrew Ristvey
University of Maryland

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.

Ms. Ginny Rosenkranz
University of Maryland Extension

Ginny 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. 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 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.  Ginny also has a monthly segment on plant care and gardening on the local CBS station, WBOC TV, Delmarva Life.

Mr. Bennett Saunders
Saunders Brothers

Bennett grew up working in a boxwood nursery.  After receiving a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech in 1983, he came back to the family business to grow fruit and boxwood.  The discovery of Box Blight in the United States in 2011 directed his attention to varieties of boxwood which show tolerance. Today, in addition to continuing to manage the field crops, he is the Manager of Saunders Genetics which created the NewGen line of boxwood. These cultivars show better tolerance to box blight and boxwood leafminer than the most popular varieties on the market today.

Mr. Chuck Schuster
University of Maryland Extension

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 his wife Anna, and he has a daughter and 5 step children.

Dr. Paula Shrewsbury
University of Maryland

Paula is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in Entomology 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 25 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 management of invasive species.  Paula has given over three hundred presentations and has numerous publications on these topics. Paula recently received a national “Distinguished Achievement Award in Extension” recognizing her outstanding contributions to extension entomology.

Ms. Alice Sturm
Mahan Rykiel

Alice Sturm is a landscape designer at Mahan Rykiel Associates in Baltimore, MD. Her work in the institutional studio ranges from museums to university and hospital campuses. Before receiving her Masters in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, she worked as a vegetable farmer, and has published research on climate resilient coastal design.   

Ms. Emelie Swackhamer
Pennsylvania State University Extension

Emelie Swackhamer holds a MS degree in Plant Pathology from the North Carolina State University.  She has served as a horticulture Educator for Penn State Extension in southeastern Pennsylvania for 23 years.  Her primary programming focus is the commercial green industry and consumer horticulture audiences.  She has been on the educational front line of the spotted lanternfly invasion since its discovery in 2014 and is participating in several research projects to learn more about this unusual insect.  She has a lifetime of practical experience from working on her family's farm.  She is an avid vegetable gardener, loves edible landscaping crops like tree nuts and hardy persimmons, and in her spare time enjoys making wheel-thrown stoneware pottery. 

Ms. Jaime Tsambikos
Maryland Department of Agriculture

Ms. Tsambikos is a nursery inspector for the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Dr. Dennis vanEngelsdorp
University of Maryland

Dennis, an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, has a broad interest in pollinator health.  The focus of his current work involves the application of epidemiological approaches to understanding and (importantly) improving honey bee health. Dennis is the founding president of the Bee Informed Partnership ( which attempts to provide a platform to collect “big data” on the state of managed honey bee colony health. Analysis of these data is providing important insights into the role beekeeper management practices and environmental factors (such as landscape pesticides and climate) have on keeping colonies alive.    

Mr. Scott Vergara
Woodland Gardens

Mr. George Weigel
Garden House-Calls

George Weigel is a Pennsylvania garden writer, horticulturist, speaker, garden-tour leader, garden designer, and author of “Mid-Atlantic Month-by-Month Gardening” and four other gardening books. The Garden Writers Association honored the Patriot-News for having the nation’s best Home and Garden section in 2007 and named George’s column as one of America’s five best garden columns in 2008.  In 2016, National Garden Clubs Inc. awarded him a 2016 Award of Excellence, which is the highest honor the national network of garden clubs gives to non-club-members.  George’s articles also have appeared in such magazines as HorticulturePeople, Places and PlantsGreen ScenePennsylvania Gardener, and Central Pa. Magazine.

Mr. Phil Westcott
Key City Compost