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!


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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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.

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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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