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New Date, New Activities at the Winter Symposium

We had a great turn-out for the 2020 Winter Symposium on February 12 in Charleston! In addition to an exciting line-up of outstanding speakers, we rolled out a new feature: vendor tables staffed by knowledgeable professionals during the lunch hour.   Attendees took advantage of this time to gather information, share ideas, and talk with suppliers.

View the schedule HERE.

On the design side, Scott Beuerlein, who manages Botanical Garden Outreach at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, kicked off the day with “Woodies That Make Us Go ‘Wow!’” Scott is a garden writer and horticultural speaker whose articles have appeared in notable national publications. He was awarded gold medals by the International Association of Garden Communicators and is a certified landscape technician and arborist in Ohio.

Tom Vasale followed with a presentation on “Specialty Pruning.” Tom is a retired horticulturist residing in Charleston. He owned and operated Tom’s Word Horticulture Consulting, a small design-build landscaping business, for 23 years before retiring. Prior to that, he was the director of Municipal Beautification for the City of Charleston, the agriculture extension agent for West Virginia University in Kanawha County, and the state horticulturist for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.

Michael Hasenmyer of West Virginia University’s Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design showed how to put technology to work for your designs when he discussed “Visualization Technologies in the Field of Landscape Architecture.” Michael is an associate professor of landscape architecture who teaches his students how to most effectively use computer technology in their designs.

After lunch and a chance to connect with colleagues and vendors, design-side attendees heard again from Scott Beuerlein again when he presented “Why Horticulture Matters.”

Irvin Etienne of The Garden at Newfields in Indianapolis closed the day’s talks, speaking on “Gardening without Privacy.” He discussed his work in a public garden, where mistakes are not easily hidden in well-trafficked areas. In his designs, he relies on attractive, no-fuss perennials that look good in multiple seasons. Irvin is the horticulture display coordinator for the Garden at Newfields, where he has worked for more than 25 years. He writes an award-winning blog for GardenComm, as well as articles for Fine Gardening and other magazines.

Speakers in the profit track focused on employee recruitment and retention, issues surrounding glysophate, workers’ compensation, and branding and marketing. The track finished with an idea swap.

Daniele Collinson of Blades of Green Lawn Care and B.O.G. Pest Control in Edgewater, MD, cued up the day with “Recruiting and Retaining in a Digital Age.” Daniele is a division manager for the company and manages the Pest and Plant Health Care departments. She questions things that “have always been done that way” in her quest to advance the company. A passionate leader, she urges people on her team to learn new things and grow themselves.

Dr. Hannah Mathers has more than 26 years of experience, including training and research, in weed control for landscape and nursery crops. She put that knowledge to the test when she took on “The Great Glysophate Debate,” exploring the science behind claims that the active ingredient in RoundUp causes cancer. Previously a professor at Ohio State University and Oregon State University, she owns Mathers Environmental Science Services LLC in Gahanna, OH.

Clarence Lykins of Partners & Associates Insurance in Huntington, WV, helped attendees wade through the sometimes murky waters of workers’ compensation with “Understanding Workers’ Comp.” In addition to business insurance, Partners & Associates offers life, homeowners, and auto coverage.

John Auge of Auge+Gray+Drake Collective Works in Charleston is all about marketing. He got attendees excited about it, too, when he showed them the importance of branding and how it helps businesses grow. In “Putting Branding to Work for Your Company,” he’ll show you how to differentiate your company from the competition. A company cofounder, John has more than 25 years of experience in branding and identity and corporate communications.

After John’s presentation, the profit track concluded with an idea swap, led by WVNLA president Dave Hill and board member Lisa McDavid.

The WVNLA Annual Meeting followed the symposium, starting at 4 p.m.