Education Highlights

Pre-Conference Seminar*:

Monday: February 20, 2017 - 2:30 - 5:00 pm

Common Sense Strategic Planning

Edward Wright

Edward Wright, PhD, College of Business, Western Carolina University

This hands-on seminar introduces leading edge strategic planning principles with in-class exercises that cover a host of planning fundamentals from vision, mission and core value statements to a description and analysis of the existing business models. It will also provide insight into factors such as social, economic, technological and ecological trends that could influence your business. Projected growth rates, success factors and evaluating the competition will also be addressed as well as how to analyze the market with regards to your product and service offering. Discover ways to determine what strategy works best for you and alternative options that can maximize the success of your business.

*Additional registration fee required

Education Sessions

Tuesday: February 21, 2017

Tom MorrisonOpening Keynote: Tom Morrison

When UBERIZATION Collides With Your Industry - Tom Morrison, Tom Morrison & Associates

In a recent study by IBM, senior executives of thousands of companies stated that their #1 fear of the future is the "Uberizaton" of their industry or marketplace. Industry will see more change between now and 2020 than in the previous decade. Is your company ready for it? In this keynote, Tom shares four visuals every executive should be looking at with future business planning in mind, the three elements of causing disruption, the three reasons why disruption is happening, the three places it occurs, and how to lead Uberization to your benefit.

Andy PaluchCome Alive Outside: Activating your business to drive community health!
– Andy Paluch, Come Alive Outside

On average, children in North America spend less than an hour per week outdoors, but get more than seven hours of screen time per day!  This shift towards indoor, inactive lifestyles is having a profound impact on the health of our communities, and the Green Industry is perfectly positioned to lead the charge in getting people back outside, living healthier lives.  Join Andy Paluch, Executive Director of Come Alive Outside, Kurt Vanclief, President of Willowlee Sod, and Scott Wentworth, President of Wentworth Landscapes for an interactive panel discussion on what companies in the turf and landscape professions are doing to create positive social change and how your business can get involved in the movement!  For the past five years, Willowlee Sod and Wentworth Landscape have partnered to help their community remember the lost art of unstructured play by laying sod on Main Street in Picton, Ontario and creating a temporary park on Canada Day.  Come Alive Outside is a 501c3 non-profit organization that partners with the landscape and horticulture industry to create the awareness, intention and opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside.

Ralph Egues
It's a new day in America...Now What? - Ralph Egues, National Hispanic Landscape Alliance

How will the new administration about to settle into the Oval Office and Federal Departments weigh in on the grass wars? How can you most effectively engage?  As the new President looks to move the needle and make a statement during the first 90 days, what is your 90 day strategy?  Join the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance for a fresh perspective on the policy debates that most affect our livelihood, and the keys to making a difference locally and nationally.


CONCURRENT BREAKOUT SESSIONS: 2:00-3:00 pm & 3:15-4:15 pm

John FechKeys to Success in Media Interviews - John C. Fech, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Excelling in a television, newspaper, radio or social media interview is a crucial component of promoting the turfgrass industry, your company and yourself in a positive and professional manner.  This interactive presentation will provide the essential nuts and bolts of communicating effectively in a media interview through setting objectives, development of talking points, creating a positive message, gaining insights into how a news room functions, viewing successful media interviews, practice sessions, anticipating tough questions, avoiding reporter tricks, learning how to control an interview, and developing brand identity in a risk-free atmosphere.  The opportunity to develop a valuable media communication tool kit will bolster the capacity of turfgrass producers to confidently communicate the positive aspects of their involvement in the green industry and frame discussions with stakeholders in an upbeat, accurate and convincing manner.

Sod Production & Best Management Practices Go Hand In Hand: But Are You Doing Your Part? - J. Bryan Unruh, PhD - University of Florida

Growing awareness about the environment has created an atmosphere that serves to encourage everyone in agriculture to do all they can to minimize any negative impact on the environment. This heightened sensitivity has resulted in Best Management Practices (BMP’s) becoming the new norm in agriculture. As with other ag-related enterprises, the turfgrass production industry needs to develop and adopt BMP’s that maximize production and heighten efficiencies while minimizing any impact on the environment. Learn what BMP’s can go hand in hand with your turfgrass sod operation and how you can benefit as a result.

Building Relationships: Landscape Architects/Contractors & Turfgrass Sod Producers

This insightful seminar focuses on ways in which turfgrass sod producers can reach out to landscape professionals and build lasting relationships that not only serve to broaden the flow of information but enhance understanding. Landscape architects and landscape contractors play an influential role in promoting the proper use, care and management of turfgrass on a diverse range of projects in both urban and rural settings. These projects can include everything from residential and commercial settings, to parks, gardens, sport venues, public roadways, etc. Because of the significant part they play in the decision making process, including the design, planning and maintenance of green space, a healthy relationship between landscape professionals and turfgrass sod producers can benefit both parties and serve the green industry as a whole. Discover ways in which you can build a meaningful relationship with landscape professionals and grow your business as a result.

A Panel Discussion: Engaging with Your Community Builds Lasting Impressions - 3:15 - 4:15 Only

One of the greatest ways to educate the public, promote the benefits of turfgrass and showcase your business is through community involvement. This insightful panel discussion explores some of the many creative ways fellow turfgrass producers have interacted with their communities and benefited immensely as a result. Discover how participating in community organizations, supporting local fundraising efforts, speaking at community gatherings, providing student tours of your farm or donating to community projects can leave a lasting and positive impression that can extend well beyond your local community.    

Thursday: February 23, 2017

Matt BeaudreauWorking Across Generations, Matt Beaudreau, The Center for Generational Kinetics

Matt Beaudreau is a Certified Speaker at The Center for Generational Kinetics. The Center's team of Millennials experts has been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show and many more.

Matt is a Millennial who has a reputatoin as a leader in his own generation.  He was a featured speaker at TEDx and named corporate trainer of the year at Stanford University. Matt has provided professional development training to over 10,000 people across the U.S.

Matt's background as a professor, athletic director, school administrator and Millennials keynote speaker make him a powerful communicator for bridging the generations.  Read more about Millennials, Matt and the Center for Generational Kinetics


Harvester Preventive Maintenance

The basics of preventive maintenance is invaluable when it comes to maximizing the performance, longevity and safety of your equipment. This is especially true when it comes to turfgrass harvesting equipment. If you can't harvest it you can't sell it. With proper maintenance you can minimize
troublesome and costly repairs, reduce unanticipated downtime, and extend the life of your equipment. This special series of concurrent breakout sessions on preventative maintenance of turfgrass harvesters is a must for farm managers, field support staff or anyone who is responsible in assuring that your equipment performs as intended. Each session will provide your employee(s) with a great opportunity to ask questions and learn about care and preventative maintenance procedures that can maximize your investment and help to ensure the long term performance of your harvester.

Show & Tell - Tim Wollesen, Sales Midwest, Inc.

Tim Woolesen, CEO and President has been in the turf equipment business for many years. He has extensive knowledge about the turf industry, and the equipment needed to have a successful business.  Sales Midwest, Inc. offers a variety of new and used equipment for sale. In addition, Sales Midwest also offers a wide selection of parts, rental equipment, and a service department. Tim is also the CEO and presiden to of Diversified Asset Solutons, Inc. an on-line auction company where customers can by or sell equipment.


Stacy Bonos

Are Genetics Changing the Turfgrass Industry? – Stacy Bonos, PhD, Rutgers University

To gain insight into advancements in turfgrass research this seminar is a must. Dr. Stacy Bonos will discuss a wide range of genetic improvements in cool-season turfgrass breeding using both traditional breeding approaches and molecular genetic engineering techniques that have the potential to provide turfgrass breeders with an additional tool in their efforts to develop improved turfgrass cultivars that are stress tolerant and offer increased disease resistance. In addition to addressing research and improvements to turf type Tall Fescue, the seminar will focus on a funded study by NTEP to classify Kentucky Bluegrass based on DNA markers that use DNA Genotyping Techniques developed by Dr. Joshua Honic of Rutgers to classify Bluegrass. The process included DNA Genotyping, DNA Fingerprinting, DNA Sequencing, Genetic Linkage Mapping & Molecular Assisted Selection (MAP) Turfgrass Breeding.

Mark Tribbett
Show & Tell - Mark Tribbett, JB Instant Lawn, Inc.

Paul Jensen and his brother began growing bluegrass seed in the 1960's which led them into sod production. JB Instant Lawn, Inc. headquartered in the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley, has been in operation since 1968 serving customers in western Oregon and Washington. JB farms nearly 1200 acres of sod, seed, hazelnuts, and blueberries. They also operate a wholesale nursery yard in Washington, install big rolls specializing in stadium jobs. as well as packaging and selling locally grown seed to the wholesale and retail markets. JB has been a member of TPI (ASPA) since 1970 - 46 years!

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