Leadership

We are led by a National Leadership Cabinet that shapes our vision and strategy, and an Advisory Council that connects our work to key industry, professional, education and government circles.

National Leadership Cabinet


  Anna C. Ball, Co-Chair
  CEO and Owner, Ball Horticultural Company
  Bio
 
  Paul B. Redman, Co-Chair
  President and CEO, Longwood Gardens
  Bio

 

    Brian Birrenkott, Ph.D.
    Chief Scientist,
    The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
    Bio
    Lorraine Calder
    President, White Flower Farm
    Bio
      Charlie Hall, Ph.D.
      Ellison Chair in Interational Floriculture,
     Texas A&M University
      Bio
     Jeff Huntington
    Owner
    Proven Winners and
    Pleasant View Gardens
    Bio
     Cole Mangum
     Vice President of Production
     Bell Nursery
     Bio
  Terri McEnaney
  President
  Bailey Nurseries
  Bio
      Rodd Moesel
      President and Co-Owner,
      American Plant Products and Services
      Bio
      Doug Needham, Ph.D.
      Vice President, Education, Longwood Gardens
      Bio
    Cari Peters, Ph.D.
    Vice President. J.R. Peters
    Bio
   Kate Santos
   Operations Director, Dummen Orange
   Bio
  Eliot A. Wadsworth
  Vice President, Marketing, White Flower Farm
  Bio
 

 

Advisory Council

     Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Chair
     Ellison Chair in International
     Floriculture, Texas A&M Univ.
     Bio
  McKenzie Baecker
  Education Specialist,
  National FFA
  Bio
  Jared Barnes, Ph.D.
  Assistant Professor of
  Horticulture,
  Stephen F. Austin Univ.
  Bio
    Mark Broxon
    Executive Director, Proven Winners
    Bio
  Debi Chedester
  Executive Director
  American Floral Endowment
  Bio
    Marnie Conley
    Vice President, Marketing,
    Longwood Gardens
    Bio
  Aimee Darville
  Communications Director, CANGC
  Bio
     John Dole, Ph.D.
    President, American Society for
    Horticultural Science, & Interim
    Associate Dean & Director,
    Academic
    Programs. NC State Univ.
    Bio
  Laura Drotleff
  Editor,
  Greenhouse Grower Magazine
  Bio
        Jeff Gibson
        Landscape Business Manager,
        Ball Horticultural
        Bio
    Danielle L. Green
    President, Associaton of
    Zoological Horticulture
    Bio
      Nancy Hargroves
      Incoming President, National
      Garden Clubs
      Bio
         Aurelie Jacquet, Ph.D.
   Karla Kares
   Marketing Coordinator,
   J.R. Peters, Inc.
   Bio
   Jamie Kitz
   Key Account Manager,
   Sakata Seed America
   Bio
      Kimberley Lough
     Agriculture Instructor, Lincoln
     Middle Urban Ag & FFA
     Bio
   Janet Mahoney
   Director, Global Total Rewards
   Driscoll's
     Mary Meyer, Ph.D.
     Professor and Extension
     Horticulturist,
     Univ. of Minnesota
     Bio
    Mike Neff
    Executive Director, American
    Society for Horticultural Science
    Bio
   Andy Paluch
   Executive Director, Come Alive Outside
   Bio
       Dede Petri
       First Vice President, Garden
       Club of America
       Bio
   Margi Prueitt
   Executive Director, Center for
   Growing    Talent by PMA, and
   Senior Vice President,
   Produce Marketing Assoc.
   Bio
   Casey Sclar, Ph.D.
   Executive Director, American
   Public Gardens Association
   Bio
    Joseph A. Simone
    CEO, President and Owner
    Fred C. Gloeckner & Company
    Bio
  Christopher Tipping, Ph.D.
  Interim Dean, College of
  Agriculture and Envir. Sciences
  Delaware Valley University
  Bio
   Jessica Turner-Skoff, Ph.D.
   Treeologist, Morton Arboretum
   Bio
   Tom Underwood
   Executive Director, Friends of
   the Birmingham Botanical Gardens
   Bio

Staff


   Susan E. Yoder, IOM
   Executive Director
   syoder@SeedYourFuture.org
   (484) 798-5934

 

 

National Leadership Cabinet Bios

Anna C. Ball, Co-Chair

Anna Caroline Ball is President and CEO of the 111-year-old Ball Horticultural Company, which specializes in all aspects of horticulture, including breeding, biotechnology, production, and marketing of hybrid flower seeds and other floriculture crops. Privately-held and now in its third generation of family management, Ball Horticultural Company is located in over 20 locations worldwide.

Anna received her B.A. degree from the University of Colorado and her M.B.A. from Northwestern University. She is a Trustee for The Morton Arboretum, and is also Director of the Board of Career Vision. Anna lives in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

Paul B. Redman, Co-Chair

As Executive Director of Longwood Gardens since 2006, Paul Redman oversees all aspects of the 1,077-acre display garden, including its 400 full- and part-time employees, more than 800 volunteers, and $50 million annual budget. Considered one of the world's great gardens, nestled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Longwood now welcomes more than 1 million guests each year.

Under Paul’s leadership, Longwood has adopted a culture of planning to maintain responsible growth. Through an immersive and ground-breaking strategic planning process, a renewed direction was set and a visionary site master plan has been developed to guide Longwood for the next 40 years and beyond. Through diversification of its programming, Longwood has increased general attendance more than 25%, and has built a Membership program that alone has increased more than 200% in just six years with more than 52,000 Member households. Recent honors include the 2015 Person of the Year Award received from the International Garden Tourism Network, 2014 Wyck Strickland Award, 2014 American Society of Horticultural Science, Dr. William A. “Tex” Frazier Lecturer and the 2012 CEO of the Year by the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, Business & Industry. Paul currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Public Gardens Association and The Garden Conservancy.

Paul has been working and studying in the field of public horticulture for more than 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Horticulture from Oklahoma State University.

Brian Birrenkott, Ph.D.

Brian serves as Chief Scientist in the Research & Development division of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, Marysville Ohio.  He became interested in lawn and garden care while in high school, working part-time at the local independent garden center.  Brian has served many roles during his 27-year career at Scotts Miracle-Gro, and has been involved in countless new product launches.  He currently leads Scotts global research stations, laboratory services, technology strategy and ensures scientific excellence across Scotts R&D.

Brian received his doctorate in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cole Mangum

Cole joined Bell Nursery full time 2008 working alongside Tom Wheeler assisting with growing operations. The following year, he moved to Allentown, Penn., to manage Bell's distribution center. He returned to Burtonsville in 2011, and now coordinates all annuals in and out of the greenhouse. Beginning with plugs, Cole coordinates labor and timing for planting, and shipping into Network and company green houses for finishing. When plants are finished he manages their return to the distribution center where they will be shipped fresh to The Home Depot.

Cole also oversees Bell's Maryland recycling program, working with industry partners to recycle everything from pots and trays to sleeves, boxes, tags and signs.

Cole started with Bell when he was 11, helping to build greenhouses at the Burtonsville location. Later he spent summers unloading trailers and housekeeping on the dock, before heading off to Salisbury University in pursuit of a degree in history, with a minor in philosophy. Cole currently resides in Baltimore with his wife.

Douglas C. Needham, Ph.D.

Doug Needham earned his B.S. in Biological Sciences and M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Needham joined the faculty at Oklahoma State University in 1989, where he was Professor of Floriculture in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture through June 2007, when he joined Longwood Gardens, where he is Director of Education. His professional objective is “to educate and foster professional development of others.” Dr. Needham has chaired a variety of committees for the American Society for Horticultural Science and has served as chair of the Education Professional Section and the Technology & Innovation Professional Section of the American Public Gardens Association. Dr. Needham is a founding member of the HORTECUS Consortium and a member of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Bursaries Committee Forum. Dr. Needham facilitates international staff and student exchanges, including the Great Gardens of the World TRIAD Fellowship, and he is the responsible officer for Longwood’s J-1 visa programs and bilateral staff exchanges.

Cari Peters, Ph.D.

Cari Peters is part of the 3rd generation of her family’s company ―JR Peters.  She is currently in charge of formula research and development and laboratory services in Allentown PA.  Cari is the newest generation of blue hands constantly looking for ways to help growers feed their plants more efficiently using the many specialty formulas of Jack’s fertilizers She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware and a master’s and PhD in plant sciences from the University of Maryland, but says she learned all she knows about fertilizer blending and the chemistry behind it from her father and grandfather.

Advisory Council Bios


Charlie Hall, Co-Chair

Dr. Charlie Hall grew up in the industry on a nursery in western North Carolina. Although an economist by training, he is currently a Professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the Texas A&M University and also holder of the Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. His major areas of specialization include innovative management and marketing strategies, financial analysis and benchmarking, and the situation/outlook for nursery and greenhouse crops. He is an invited speaker at numerous regional, national, and international meetings of various industry-related associations and organizations. He is particularly known for the enthusiasm, passion, and intensity he exhibits when speaking. Dr. Hall is an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association and has received TNLA’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Nursery Industry. He is also a member of the Hall of Fame and Honorary Lifetime Member of the Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association.

Jared Barnes, Ph.D.

Jared Barnes, Ph.D. started gardening when he was five years old, and since then he has enthusiastically pursued how to best cultivate plants and cultivate gardeners. He currently fulfills those passions as an assistant professor of horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX. 

He obtained his Ph.D. in horticultural science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC; he participated in a summer internship at The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA; and he has travelled around the US and to eleven countries to gain a national and global perspective of horticulture. 

His passion has been recognized by peers with being named the 2016 Perennial Plant Association Young Professional of the Year, recognized in the 2016 GPN Class of 40 under 40, and in interviews in Organic Gardening, Greenhouse Grower, AmericanHort Connect, Ken Druse’s Real Dirt, and Nursery Management. His articles have appeared in Fine Gardening and Carolina Gardener. 

Mark Broxon

For the past 14 years Mark Broxon has served as the Executive Director of Proven Winners, the leading plant brand in North America.  His responsibilities include leading the development of the Proven Winners brand, long term planning, administration, and financial management.  His background includes almost 30 years’ experience in agriculture and horticulture markets. 

Before joining Proven Winners, Mark was principal with Growth Partners, a consulting firm providing marketing and management services to the industry.  Prior to this, he was the General Manager for the Western Business Division of The Scotts Company.

Debi Chedester

Debi joined the American Floral Endowment (AFE) in 2008, and serves as the Executive Director overseeing scientific research projects, educational grants, and scholarships. She also administers three internship programs to assist young professionals entering the floral industry.  Since 1961, AFE has funded more than $16 million in research, grants and scholarships/internships. Prior to joining AFE, Debi worked for the Society of American Florists for nine years.

Debi also serves as the Executive Director of the Floral Marketing Research Fund, an organization that funds consumer and market research projects to support and promote floral consumption.

With more than 25 years experience working with non-profit organizations, Debi specializes in administration, communications, marketing, fundraising and member relations. She is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, and the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Marnie Conley

Marnie Conley joined Longwood Gardens as Marketing Department head in August 2009. Marnie is responsible for managing all aspects of a holistic marketing operation designed to achieve institutional attendance, revenue, and brand goals. Marnie oversees brand management, marketing strategy, market research, advertising, communications, media relations, graphic design, web site strategy and development, social media, sales, and promotions. Prior to her appointment at Longwood, Marnie served in various marketing management positions. She most recently served as adjunct professor, Heinz College of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she developed curriculum and taught for-profit and non-profit marketing courses for the Master of Arts Management Program and for the Master of Entertainment Industry Management Program. Previously, Marnie served as director of marketing for Carnegie Museum of Art and for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, where she developed and led both institutions' marketing initiatives through periods of strong growth in audience and revenue.

John M. Dole, Ph.D.

John M. Dole is Interim Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs at NC State University and President-Elect of the American Society for Horticultural Science. John began a lifelong interest in horticulture by working at a local farm market, growing cut flowers in his garden for sale, and picking strawberries, raspberries, apples, and pears for local commercial operations. He received a B.S. from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, both in the area of Horticulture. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture at Oklahoma State University. Dole moved to the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University in 2000, becoming Director of Graduate Programs in 2004 and Department Head in 2011. He has a long history of significant research, teaching, extension, and outreach contributions to the field of floriculture, most notably in the areas of production and postharvest handling of cut flowers, cuttings and poinsettias. His students have excelled in a variety of industry, public garden, governmental, or academic positions. As Department Head he has focused on student recruitment into horticulture and spreading the word about the benefits of horticulture.

Danielle L. Green

As Director of Gardens and Grounds for Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens since 2012, Danielle L. Green is responsible for the development and management of the Zoo’s botanical gardens, animal exhibit construction and landscapes, botanical education programs, and facility operations. A native of Virginia Beach, VA, Danielle has been working with plants professionally for over 20 years, including 11 years as Curator of Horticulture at Zoo Atlanta.  Her gardens have ranged from residential gardens to Lowland Gorillas habitats, Tiger forests, and Florida Panther hardwood hammocks. 

Seeking the eternal recipe for creating a destination landscape to transport each guest to their favorite oasis or create the perfect exhibit for amazing animals is the goal of each workday.  Danielle holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Horticulture from Christopher Newport University, is a certified arborist and the President of the Association of Zoological Horticulture.

Nancy Hargroves

Horticulture and floral design have always been a major part of Nancy’s life, as she grew up in eastern Virginia on her family’s vegetable plant farm and in her grandmother’s florist business.  She is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a B. S. in Nutrition and a M.S. in Food Service Management.  After a professional career in school and university food service management and teaching food science courses at the community college level, her experience moved to the volunteer sector as President of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. where she initiated the current grant program for club projects that worked with youth.  She was President of the Board of Trustees of a youth camp, Nature Camp, Inc.; a member of the Jamestown 2007 Beautification Task Force; a member of the America’s Anniversary Garden™ Committee; and is a current member of the Board of Directors of the American Horticultural Society.

Nancy is the incoming President of National Garden Clubs, Inc. (2017-2019), a not-for-profit educational organization founded in 1929 and headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, adjacent to the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  This organization of 166,000 members within the United States and nearly 330 international affiliated organizations provides education, resources and national networking opportunities for its members to promote the love of gardening, horticulture, floral design, civic beautification and environmental stewardship. National Garden Clubs provides educational opportunities for youth at the pre-school, elementary, middle and high school levels to introduce gardening, conservation, protection of wildlife and a love and appreciation of nature.  NGC's College Scholarship Program gives forty scholarships of approximately $4,000 each to college juniors, seniors and graduate students majoring in fields of study related to horticulture and the environment.

Karla Kares

Karla Kares spearheads the marketing and branding efforts for the blue crew at JR Peters, Inc. She works diligently to develop new concepts for unique branding ideas and increases brand awareness and the image of their Jack’s product lines.  Prior to joining the family at JR Peters, Karla was an Account Manager in the agency world, managing multiple clients in various industries - from restaurants, law firms, golf courses and her favorite - a garden center. 

Karla is a graduate of the University of Scranton, earning her B.A. in Marketing and Communication. Although her background is not in horticulture, she has found a great niche in the industry and is continuously searching for plants Powered By Jack’s!

Kimberley Lough

Kimberley Lough was an Environmental Consultant before landing an Agriscience teaching position in a Title 1 middle school in southwest Florida 14 years ago. A self-pronounced plant geek who could spend all of her time in the rainforest, she chooses to bring beauty to life for the average of 150 students each year in her urban agriculture and FFA program. She graduated from Western Carolina University, and received a Master's Degree in Geology from the University of South Carolina.

Her passion is introducing youth and community members to the wild world of plants and animals, offering opportunities to experience them in the food desert of where she teaches. Her agricultural program includes aquaculture, hydroponics, vegetable and herb gardens, ornamental nursery production, rabbits, layer hen operations, llamas, dairy calves and market hog production. Her students also recycle their cafeteria’s kitchen waste through both traditional and worm composting methods and their chickens, turkeys, and rabbits drink from rainwater collection systems.

The National FFA Organization selected her program as one of the Top 5 Outstanding Middle School programs 3 years in a row, and as a Model of Innovation in 2015. They also won 1st and 2nd place statewide honors in 2014 and 2015 in the campaign “Helping Communities Grow” sponsored by Nutrients for Life Foundation.

Mary Meyer, Ph.D.

Dr. Mary Hockenberry Meyer is a professor and Extension Horticulturist in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota. She is a past president of the American Society of Horticultural Science and is chairman of the Board in 2014–2015. She joined the U of MN faculty in 1994 and has primarily an Extension/outreach and research appointment. Her research interests include native and ornamental grasses, including propagation and production of grasses, cold hardiness, and sustainability of grasses for landscaping, especially in northern climates. She teaches international classes, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum internship program, and plant identification. She obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1993, in Plant Breeding and Genetics, her M.S. from Cornell University, and her B.S. from Clemson University.

Michael W. Neff

Michael W. Neff has been the Executive Director of the American Society for Horticultural Science since 2000. He previously served ASHS as Director of the Executive Management Team from 1997–1999, Assistant Executive Director/Publications Director from 1987–1997, and Managing Editor from 1985–1987. Prior to joining ASHS, he was an editor with the National Academy of Sciences, serving on the Transportation Research Board and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He graduated from Ohio University in 1981 with a B.S. in Magazine Journalism. Neff is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Society for Scholarly Publishing. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Junior Horticultural Association and as one of three U.S. representatives on the Council of the International Society for Horticultural Science. Neff is a strong supporter of horticultural science, education, and outreach, and believes horticulture is critical to meeting the challenges facing humankind for food, health, and well-being now and in the future.

Ann "Dede" Neal Petri

As incoming president of The Garden Club of America, 2017-2019, Dede will oversee 200 clubs and nearly 18,000 members around the country.

Before GCA, Dede practiced law in New York City and Washington, DC and then set out on her own, helping in 1995 to launch a nonprofit dedicated to higher education reform. She served as president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for 13 years and now is Senior Fellow.

Since 2008, Dede has served on the board of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.  She was president of All Hallows Guild, Washington National Cathedral, where she chaired the Olmsted Woods restoration project, recognized by the Washington Post, Landscape Architecture Magazine and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as a groundbreaking urban woodland restoration.   She has also been a board member of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; the National Wildlife Refuge Association; National Association for Olmsted Parks; Friends of the National Arboretum; Paine Art Center and Gardens; Georgetown Garden Club; and U.S. Capitol Historical Society.

She received an A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School.  

For over a century, the GCA has been a recognized leader in horticulture, conservation and education, and an aggressive advocate for a robust pipeline of environmental leaders who can restore, improve and protect our environment.  Annually, the GCA awards over $300,000 in scholarships to exceptional students around the country. The GCA has also recently helped craft legislation promoting the hiring of botanical experts on federal lands, offering student loan forgiveness for those trained and employed in botanical science fields.  

Margi Prueitt

After a diverse and rewarding 35 year career with the American Red Cross, the last 20 years as the CEO of the American Red Cross, Margi joined the Produce Marketing Association as the Executive Director of the Center for Growing Talent by PMA.  PMA, a global trade association for the fresh produce and floral industry based in Newark, DE, created CGTbyPMA to attract, develop and retain talent for the global fresh produce and floral industry. Margi leads a team of talented staff who deliver programs and resources that help industry companies understand and solve their talent challenges.  The team is also responsible for revenue sources that insure a stable financial future for the Center for Growing Talent by PMA. 

Margi is an active member of the Rotary Club of Wilmington, DE, where she is a past president and is a Commissioner on the DE Governor’s Commission on Community and Volunteer Services.

She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, has a Master’s Degree from the University of Louisville and obtained an executive education certificate from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

When not in seat 8C on an airplane, Margi, along with her husband Ned Aksim, live in Delaware with one calm dog and one crazy puppy. She enjoys flower and vegetable gardening, “beach collecting”, cheering for the University of Kentucky basketball “Big Blue Nation”, and spending time at their “off the grid” cabin in Canada.

Joseph A. Simone

Joe Simone is President/CEO and Owner of the Fred C. Gloeckner & Co. The Gloeckner Co has been in business since 1934 and distributes horticultural products worldwide.  Products include all inputs for commercial enterprises including young plants, bulbs, seeds, and hard goods.  In addition to the company headquarters located outside New York City in Harrison, New York, Gloeckner has an international division with sales offices in Latin America and a flower bulb treatment and storage facility in Clackamas, Oregon.

Joe received his B.A. from Westchester University in PA and his M.B.A. from Fordham University.  He serves as Secretary of the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc, an entity started by Frederick Carl Gloeckner in 1960 which has distributed to date over $6.5million to fund research in horticulture to over 60 institutions throughout the United States.

Christopher Tipping, Ph.D.

Chris Tipping is Interim Dean of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Delaware Valley University.  Chris has a strong background in Entomology with an interest in plant diseases that are vectored by insects.   He received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Delaware in Entomology/Plant Pathology and Systematics, respectively.    His Ph.D. is from the University Florida where he studied tospovirus/thrips interactions.  Chris has been at DelVal for more than eleven years as a professor in the Biology Department, Chair of Plant Science, and Interim Dean since 2015.  He has a strong commitment to agricultural education and is heavily involved in recruitment activities for the institution.   Chris’s wife Mary is the Curator and Plant Recorder for the Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College. They enjoy gardening and keeping up with their two dogs, Reese and Royce.

Jessica Turner-Skoff, Ph.D.

Despite starting her early academic career studying and working with animals, Jessica's professional interest quickly became rooted in plants.  Jessica has a diverse background focused on communicating science and promoting conservation with numerous stakeholders, including: scientists, the general public, and non-profit organizations.  As The Morton Arboretum’s first ‘Treeologist,’ Jessica supports the Arboretum's mission and vision to be the leading center of tree expertise by communicating and sharing expert knowledge.  While centered in the Science and Conservation Department, she works closely with Education and Marketing to help catalyze tree advocacy by creatively making tree science, horticulture, and conservation relevant and accessible to target audiences.  

Additionally, she is also an Auxiliary Board Member for the Chicago Council on Science and Technology.  She earned her PhD from West Virginia University, her MS from University of Maryland, College-Park, and her BS from Muskingum University.