Join Us At The Missouri Green Industry Conference on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at The St. Charles Convention Center! Education/Social/Interaction

 2019 Speaker Bios


Keynote Speaker

Josh McPherson, CSFM

University of Missouri - Athletics,  Director of Sports Turf and Grounds

Josh McPherson, CSFM has been the Director of Sports Turf and Grounds for the University of Missouri Athletic Department for nine years.  He manages both cool-season and warm-season grasses in the transition zone.  Mr. McPherson has a B.S. in Horticulture from Michigan State and studied Turfgrass Physiology in graduate school under Dr. Erik Ervin at Virginia Tech.


Kevin Battistoni

Hunter Industries, Sales Manager

Kevin has been with Hunter 12 years and has nearly 25 years of irrigation experience in the field, distribution and manufacturing. Over the past few years Kevin has become one of Hunter's top trainers on Hydrawise and WiFi controlled irrigation. Has hosted numerous webinars with well over 100 attendees along with classes throughout the Great Lakes region.



Colleen Baum

Colleen Baum has operated Droege Tree Care, Inc. for 20 years.  She has experience in most areas of field skills from woody plant diagnostics/consulting to crane operations.

Ms. Baum is a Certified Chemical Applicator ISA Certified Arborist, and Tree Risk Assessment Qualified. She has an Organizational Communications Undergraduate Degree from Missouri State, and a Masters in Management.

Isaac Breuer

Gustin Golf Course - Golf Course Superintendent

I have been in the golf course business the last 27 years and Superintendent for the past 22 years.  For the last 10 I have become interested in taking out of play areas and turning them into pollinator plots.


Matt Bruns
Toro Company, Regional Sales Manager

Matt began his career in 1991, working at his family’s Toro Distributorship in Orlando.  In 1999, he returned to St. Louis upon joining The Toro Company and is the area Regional Sales Manager for Toro & Irritrol Residential/Commercial Irrigation Products.  Matt is an IA Regional Ambassador, has the IA’s CIC and CLIA Certifications, current EPA Water Sense Partner, and is a past Education Director for the St. Louis GIA.  Due to his industry knowledge and positive feedback from participants, Matt is a regular speaker at many events.



Associate Professor Gerardo Camilo, of Saint Louis University's biology department, shows off a microscope used to study different bees at his campus lab.

Dr. Gerardo Camilo

St. Louis University,  Associate Professor, Biology Department

Dr. Gerardo Camilo is native to Puerto Rico where he did his undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico.  He moved to Texas in 1986 to attend Texas A&M University where he worked with honeybees and fire ants.  In 1988 he moved to Texas Tech University to do doctoral work on the role of insects in food webs.   After receiving his Ph.D. in 1992, he accepted a position as a research scientist at the International Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, back in his native Puerto Rico, where he continued work on tropical food webs.  In 1995, Dr. Camilo joined the faculty at Saint Louis University where he is currently professor of Biology, International Studies, and Bioinformatics & Computational Biology.  He is also a Conservation Fellow of the St. Louis Zoo.
His current work concentrates on the ecology of pollinators in urban environments, and on the evolution of bee-pollinated plants.




Dr. William T. Crow

University of Florida, Professor of Nematology

Dr. William T. Crow is a professor of nematology in the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida.  Dr. Crow has a 60% extension and 40% research appointment specializing in integrated pest management (IPM) of nematodes that damage turfgrasses and ornamental plants.  Dr. Crow is Director of the Florida Nematode Assay Lab and assists with diagnosis of nematode problems from thousands of turf and ornamental samples submitted to the lab annually.



Kelly Dowell

Kelly Dowell has over 15 years of experience working in one of St. Louis’ largest residential lawn maintenance company.  In 2015 she and her team experienced the trauma of being denied H-2B Visas just days before the mowing season started. This led her to create the Recruit Like a Pro For the Green Industry Online Course which shares the tips and tricks she mastered through the struggle to help others who need to recruit highly qualified professionals quickly.  


Now, she is the proud owner of Keldo Digital, a digital marketing and consulting agency in St. Louis. She wakes up excited to help companies use technology to develop sales, marketing and recruiting solutions that fit their needs. Business leaders who desire to grow their business using the people and technology around them will find Kelly’s knowledge and expertise to be invaluable. 


Rick Fletcher

Richard (Rick) Fletcher joined Nufarm Americas in January 2013 in the role of Technical Services Manager for Turf and Ornamentals. He is part of an integrated team responsible for all aspects of product research and development and field technical support for the turf and ornamental business development section. Prior to Nufarm, Rick serving as Director of Product Development for Cleary Chemical Corporation, and as a Regional Technical Manager for TruGreen, totaling over 35 years of experience in the Turf and Ornamental markets.





Mark Dwyer

Mark was the Director of Horticulture at Rotary Botanical Gardens (Janesville, WI) for 21 years prior to creating his own private landscape consulting business.



Mark Howell

Mark Howell has been involved in the irrigation industry for over 30 years designing and installing both residential and commercial systems. He worked in distribution for the Toro company with contractor development and sales. He has performed golf course construction irrigation services on 2 nine hole and 1 eighteen hole courses, taught irrigation design and service classes while employed by Toro, as well as taught an irrigation class for Meramec Community College's horticulture program.


Skip Kincaid

Director of Urban Forestry

Skip is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist (MW-0155BM) and a TCIA Tree Care Safety Professional with 40 years of experience in the green industry. He has taught Missouri Agriculture Department approved pesticide recertification courses for over twenty years and provides a wide range of diagnostic and plant health care information to clients using best practices. Skip helped ISA develop the tree risk assessment qualification and recently served on the ISA Board of Directors. In June of 2019 he became the Executive Director of ISA Southern Chapter. At Hansen's, Skip is the Director of Urban Forestry and provides direction to sales and operations for a robust and growing tree care service. Skip also provides a wide range of consulting and training services including tree protection plans, appraisals, tree risk assessment and expert witness services.


Glennon Kraemer

Owner - GR Robinson Seed & Service Co

Glenn is the owner of GR Robinson Seed & Service Co in St. Louis. He teaches turf grass classes at Meramec CC, the Botanical Gardens and to the Master Gardener program. The company sells turf products to sports fields, commercial and residential customers.


Barb Giblin LaFerney

Barb Giblin LaFerney holds a B. S. of Horticulture from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  In her 31 years of industry experience she has managed or worked in most sectors–recently in horticultural maintenance, retail and wholesale in addition to owning a landscape design build firm, The Garden Gate for 8 years.




Jon Miller

Rain Bird, Corporation, Specifications Manager

Jon comes from a dedicated background of irrigation experience. For 30 years he has focused his passion on how to provide proper training and education to irrigation professionals. Jon started working in the field as an installer in 1989 and has worked his way up through distribution to his role today as Specification Manager and Contractor Account Manager at Rain Bird Corp. Jon and his wife Lynnette have 4 grown children and two granddaughters.


Lee Miller
University of Missouri, Associate Professor

Dr. Lee Miller is an associate professor and extension turfgrass pathologist at the University of Missouri. Lee also is the faculty lead for the MU Plant Diagnostic Clinic, and directs both the Missouri IPM program and Pesticide Safety Education Program. Current research interests include characterization of Pythium species causing root diseases in creeping bentgrass in the Midwest, and integrated management practices for spring dead spot on bermudagrass and large patch of zoysia.



Bill Minford 

Sherwood's Forest, Landscape Designer

Staff Landscape Designer at Sherwood's Forest with 35 plus years in the industry.



Steve Rodie

University Of Nebraska at Omaha, Professor/Landscape Architect

Steven N. Rodie is a Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  He has been a University of Nebraska faculty member for 25 years, and focuses his teaching and research on sustainable landscape plants and design, environmental problems/solutions, and green infrastructure stormwater management.  Professor Rodie is a Fellow in the American Society of Landscape Architects and is a registered landscape architect in Nebraska, Kansas, and California.


Jeff Salmond

United Turf and Track - VP of Projects/Corporate Development

Jeff Salmond CSFM is the Vice President of Projects/Corporate Development for United Turf and Track, a certified sports field builder serving Oklahoma and Arkansas regions.  Prior to his new role, Jeff was the Director of Athletic Field Management at the University of Oklahoma for 12 years overseeing the personnel and the management for all the athletic fields for OU Athletics along with many other various athletic facility construction projects and improvements for OU Athletics.  Jeff has been a Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) member since 1995.  He became a Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM) in 2003.  Jeff served as STMA President in 2016.  He has been a past member of the Iowa and Illinois STMA Chapters.  Jeff started the Oklahoma Chapter of STMA in 2012 and currently serving as its Past President.  He also is an Advisory Board member for the Oklahoma State Oklahoma City University Turf Management Program.  Jeff is also on the City of Norman, OK Board of Park Commissioners.
Jeff received a BS in Plant Science at the University of Missouri in 1996 and an MS in Horticulture at Iowa State University in 1998.  His Master’s work was researching the use of crumb rubber in high traffic areas on sports fields.  He also assisted with the construction of the ISU Sports Turf Research area including sand stabilization, heating and air exchange, irrigation and drainage.  His prior career experiences include working as the agronomist at Northwestern University and the athletic turf manager for the University of New Mexico.  He was also an assistant field maintenance manager for the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL from 1998-2000.
He has written articles and contributed to columns for the sports turf industry.  He has also presented at regional and national conferences.  He was instrumental in the starting of the STMA Student Challenge and college student involvement.  He has served as the STMA CSFM Committee Chairman and has been on the Finance & Audit and Membership Committees as well as the Technology Team.  He continues to serve on the International Committee.


Bobbie Schwartz

Owner - Bobbie's Green Thumb

Bobbie Schwartz, a certified landscape designer in Shaker Heights, Ohio, is the owner of Bobbie's Green Thumb, a full-time business focusing on landscape design, consultation, installation and maintenance, lecturing and writing.

Most of Bobbie's designs are for residential properties. Her landscape signature is the use of perennials, flowering shrubs and ornamental grasses to facilitate color and interest throughout the year.

An obsessed gardener for fiftyyears and a landscape designer for forty-two years, she is continually learning from seminars and conventions of the trade associations to which she belongs. Her extensive travels to gardens and nurseries have contributed greatly to her knowledge of design and new plants. Bobbie has received several design awards for residential, commercial and institutional designs.

Since 1988, Bobbie has been lecturing locally and nationally for master gardeners, botanical gardens and landscape associations on various aspects of design and perennial and ornamental grass gardening. She also writes extensively for various associations and magazines. In November 2017, her book, Garden Renovation: Transform Your Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams, was released by Timber Press.


James Van Valkenburg
Sherwood's Forest, Design/ Sales

James has been employed in sales at Sherwood's Forest for the past 20 years.  He is a certified arborist.  He has worked in the Green Industry since 1980.  He studied Horticulture at Meramec Community College.


Scott Woodbury

Shaw Nature Reserve, Horticulturist

Scott Woodbury is the Manager of the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve, where he has been developing the garden for 28 years. Scott spends much time speaking, writing and consulting throughout the region on native landscape planning.

He received a BS degree in horticulture at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and has worked at various public gardens including Old Westbury Gardens in New York, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, Castello Di Uzzano in Italy, and Tudor Place in Washington D.C.

He currently serves as advisor to the horticulture program of St. Louis Community College, Grow Native! and Wild Ones St. Louis. Scott also volunteers for the Ozark Regional Land Trust and serves on the planning committees of the Partners for Native Landscaping annual conference and the Shaw Professional Landscaping Series