Grow Speakers & Topics

Get to know this years speakers and session topics! Grow has a fantastic line up of industry leaders ready to share their knowledge. A diverse blend of speakers will cover topics ranging from recruiting and training all the way to building a retaining wall – and everything in between!

Quick Menu:

Judith Andrew – Commissioner (Employers) – Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC)

Ms. Judith Andrew was appointed to the Canada Employment Insurance Commission as the Commissioner for Employers effective January 8, 2011.

Prior to her appointment as Commissioner for Employers, Ms. Andrew was the Vice-President of Legislative Affairs at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), where she coordinated regional legislative projects and urban strategy, and previously headed up the Ontario Legislative group. She also served as a member of the Ontario Manufacturing Council and twice represented Canadian employers at the International Labour Organization (ILO) through the Canadian Employers Council. Prior to joining the CFIB, Ms. Andrew pursued a management career in the banking industry.

Ms. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration degree from York University/ Laval University.

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Frank Bourque – Landscape Business Growth Consultant – Greenmark

Frank is an award-winning landscape professional, speaker, writer, consultant, and entrepreneur with an extensive background in business and hardscape construction. He has been a part of the Green Industry for over 20 years as a business owner, working in various sectors including retail, landscape management, and landscape design/construction.

Now, Frank coaches full time internationally and speaks at some of the largest conferences and contractor events throughout the US and Canada. He has been part of the speaker line-up and host at events such as Hardscape North America, GIE Expo, Landscape Ontario Congress – Hardscape Live and many more. He is also a certified LMN consultant, ICPI & NCMA instructor and Certified Landscape Horticultural Technician.

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John Chabluk – Founder & CEO of QuoteToMe Inc.

With five years of sales experience in the construction sector, John has four years as a leading sales professional for the world’s largest equipment rental company, United Rentals. Following his role at United Rentals, he was a Territory Sales Manager for ModSpace Financial Services. In his top-grossing year, he secured $3.5 million in sales and rental revenues.

During his time building relationships with contractors and rental companies, he identified a market gap that brought to light the struggles in communication and connectivity throughout the industry. He saw that the gap contributed to time inefficiencies and costly practices that remain sub-standard throughout the industry. The idea to implement ubiquitous technology resources of present-day into a sector that is often left behind in terms of innovative advances was a result of his time spent in the field. His resolution to rectify this industry-wide problem eventually evolved into QuoteToMe.

John holds a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Winnipeg.

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Andy Fry – Consultant / Author – Quantas Consulting

Andy Fry has been a consultant since 1998 and has run his own firm since 2008. As a CMA, CPA, and PMP, Andy has helped many companies through their business-improvement initiatives and implementations of information technology. His passion is helping companies in project-focused industries, such as engineering, utilities, oil and gas, and construction, among others. He is also the author of the best selling book The Consultants Code: Four Pillars to Success in Your Career and Life.

In 2008, Andy founded Quantas Consulting Corp., a consulting company focused on helping clients improve their use Oracle Applications and tools. He also runs The Consulting Playbook, which is a platform that allows him to share his knowledge and experience with other business people and consultants by providing education and training.

He is also a co-founder of Art of Consulting which is a podcast and provides training programs, information and education to business people and consultants. Andy believes that everyone has built-in capabilities to achieve greatness, and he wants to share his skills to see others achieve their potential.

In his spare time, Andy loves to coach hockey and baseball and spend time with his family. Andy grew up in southern Manitoba but now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his wife and two children.

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Todd Goers – National Sales Manager –
WAC Landscape Lighting

Todd Goers has spent his career in the Green Industry, where he has worked for several different landscape lighting companies. Todd is approaching his four year anniversary with WAC Landscape Lighting. He came to WAC Lighting to head-up the sales efforts for this newly created division. WAC’s entry into landscape lighting is changing the way landscape lighting is designed and installed.

You will undoubtedly be impressed with the technology advancements the WAC Landscape Lighting line has brought to the marketplace.

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Shawn Klassen-Koop – Author

Shawn spent the most formative years of his life working at a summer camp where he quickly gained a passion for nature and for building a better world. Struggling to see how his future career in computer engineering was going to solve these big problems, he decided to leave it behind and dedicate himself to finding practical solutions that people can implement in their backyards. Shawn looks forward to starting his own homestead in southern Manitoba in the next few years, where he plans to implement many of the techniques laid out in his upcoming book and come up with a few more solutions along the way.

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Shannon Loewen – Landscape Architectural Intern – HTFC Planning & Design

Shannon is a Landscape Architectural Intern at HTFC Planning & Design, and has worked as an Instructor the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture. A Master of Landscape Architecture Graduate and University Olmsted Scholar, Shannon is committed to advancing the practice of landscape architecture. She has volunteered her time with the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects (MALA) and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (National Standards Review Committee Chair).

An avid gardener and urban farmer, Shannon uses her small urban yard as a test plot for non-traditional planting practices and to help feed her community.

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Rod McDonald – McDonald Ventures Inc.

Starting out as a landscape contractor in 1977, Rod McDonald expanded to build Regina’s premiere garden center and greenhouse. His business model proved to be highly successful.

For eleven years, he has been writing a regular column for Landscape Trades titled On the Road to Success. He is known as an entrepreneur, a writer and a speaker who knows how to keep things simple.

“Quality is actually quite easy to define. It is nothing more than the number of details that you have paid attention to”.

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Kaaren Pearce – Director, Grounds & Horticulture – Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Kaaren Pearce is a formally trained Horticulturalist and Arborist, whose passion is creating, animating and maintaining; engaging living spaces.

Using her combined love of nature and art Kaaren has made a career out of helping people see and sense the wonder and beauty of the plant kingdom and understand the complex connections between plants, people and places.

Having benefited from many wise mentors she has been gifted opportunities throughout her professional career to design residential, commercial and industrial spaces as well as indoor and outdoor playgrounds, horticultural therapy gardens and school yard naturalizations. In the creation of these spaces it became her mission that these not just be beautiful spaces but attract wildlife and include sound and art; they must be useful.

Tackling bigger ecological and climate change issues Kaaren spent many years working with Greenroofs and living walls, patented her own system and installed and maintained over 20 living roofs. “Living Rooftop Graffiti” that can be seen from space and that changes seasonally and over time.

She has been a consultant on hundreds of projects including the McCormick Building in Boston, where the green roof used phytoremediation to clean the boiler water in a 1920’s art deco building, where the design had to be as elegant as the building as well as functional.

Currently Kaaren oversees the artistic direction of the amazing staff who design and install all of the ornamental horticulture in Assiniboine Park; the floral displays in the Park Gardens as well as the creation of interesting animal habitats in the Zoo like the realistic habitat of Journey to Churchill. Her teams are responsible for all aspects of Park maintenance, all Turf and varied groundcovers, specialized sports turf areas, lawns, picnic sites, courts, pathways including all snow removal and care of the water areas- frozen and thawed. All Trees and forested areas, Naturalized areas, Zoological Horticulture, Waste stream management, capital construction, and educational and event support.

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Fiona Ross – Pest Management Biologist – Manitoba Sustainable Development

Fiona Ross works with Manitoba Sustainable Development overseeing the provinces forest health program for the past 6 years as the Pest Management Biologist. Fiona has experience working with various stakeholders on numerous urban and commercial forest pest issues, including gypsy moth, jack pine budworm and now emerald ash borer. She holds a BSc in Environmental Science with a focus in forest ecology from the University of Winnipeg.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Countining Education Units are available for attending Fiona Ross’s presentation:
Certified Arborist: 1
Municipal Specialist: 1
BCMA – Management: 1

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Ronald Zillmer – Dean at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin

Ronald Zillmer is the Dean of the School of Transportation, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Construction at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin.
He created the Urban Forestry Technician two-year associate degree and was the instructor for four years before becoming the Dean of the program.
He worked for the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin Forestry Division for nine years prior to joining Mid-State Technical College. He served on the International Society of Arboriculture Certification Board from 1993-1999.

Most recently, Ron was the lead developer of the Arborist Registered Apprenticeship program in Wisconsin which has been adopted as the national model for arborist training.

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) presented Ron with their 2017 Advancing Arboriculture Award for his work on a ground breaking training program for the tree care industry. Ron also runs Zillmer Tree Management, LLC where he grows and installs trees, provides tree consulting services, and provides educational programs.

He holds a BS in Urban Forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, a MS in Forestry – Tree Physiology from Purdue University, and will complete his Doctorate Degree in Career & Technical Education from the University of Wisconsin – STOUT in May 2019 with a dissertation topic of Barriers to Registered Apprenticeship Training.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Countining Education Units are available for attending Ronald Zilmer’s presentations:

Twenty Minutes in the Life or Death of a Tree
Certified Arborist: 2.5
BCMA – Science: 2.5

Tree Root Physiology Construction
Certified Arborist: 1.25
BCMA – Science: 1.25
Municipal Specialist: 1.25

Tree/Shrub Pruning and Wound Physiology
Certified Arborist: 1.25
BCMA – Science: 1.25

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