2013 ELA Conference Conference Speaker Biographies
Thomas Almendinger is the Director of Stewardship for the Duke Farms Foundation in Hillsborough, NJ. He has developed and now directs a large-scale landscape regeneration program on the 2,700-acre property that includes a range of habitats fostering nearly 30 species of wildlife that are listed as threatened and endangered in New Jersey. Mr. Almendinger holds a BS in Ecology and Natural Resources from Cook College of Rutgers University and a MS in Ecology and Evolution from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences-Rutgers University.
Kevin Beutell, MLA, LEED AP, has over 13 years of experience in developing sustainable design solutions for a variety of public and private projects. His focus is on site planning, stormwater management, and native plant community restoration.
Mr. Beutell has designed and overseen the construction of various types of stormwater management systems including stormwater infiltration gardens, naturalized detention basins, stream-bank and shoreline restorations, green roofs, and porous pavements.
Tim Boland is the Executive Director of the Polly Hill Arboretum on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, West Tisbury, MA. Prior to his move to the Vineyard, he was Curator of Horticulture at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. He is a nationally recognized author, photographer, and lecturer. Mr. Boland holds a BS in ornamental horticulture and a MS in Plant Ecology and Systematics, both from Michigan State University.
Dr. Nicholas Brazee is Extension Plant Pathologist at the University of Massachusetts plant diagnostic clinic. Prior to this, he worked as a Research Plant Pathologist with the USDA Forest Service in Madison, WI. Dr. Brazee has extensive training and experience in diagnostics and plant pathology and provides diagnostic and teaching programs to Green Industry professionals. He has a PhD from the University of Massachusetts.
Russ Cohen’s “day job” is serving as the Rivers Advocate for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Ecological Restoration. He is also an expert forager and the author of “Wild Plants I Have Known…and Eaten”, published in 2004 by the Essex County Greenbelt Association. Mr. Cohen has been teaching foraging since 1974 and leads foraging walks each year at a wide variety of venues throughout the Northeast.
Lisa Cowan, PLA, Principal of Studioverde, is a landscape architect with expertise in ecology-based planning, design and land management. Ms. Cowan is an Officer in the American Society of Landscape Architects Sustainable Design and Development Professional Practice Network. Her work includes the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building, a gateway landscape for a customs and border protection station, and over thirty ecological design projects that created wetland, riparian and upland habitat.
Heather Heimarck, MLA, is Director of The Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College. Her professional work spans from large scale urban planning projects such as the Lower Charles River Basin to campus and institutional work such as the award winning Honan Allston Public Library, streetscapes, bike lanes, and residential design. Ms. Heimarck received a MLA from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Dale Hendricks is the founder and owner of Green Light Plants LLC and for many years was co-founder and President of North Creek Nurseries, both located in Southeast Pennsylvania. Mr. Hendricks is a well-known advocate and educator in both horticulture and biochar communities. He has been a native plant and sustainable landscape promoter for more than two decades and served on the founding Steering Committee of the Native Plants in the Landscape Conference in Millersville, PA.
Kate Kennen, Principal of Kennen Landscape Architecture and Offshoots, Inc., is a registered Landscape Architect based in downtown Boston. Ms. Kennen is well versed in the plants and ecological systems of the Northeast. She earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a MLA from Harvard University. Ms. Kennen currently teaches a research seminar on phytotechnologies with Niall Kirkwood at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Dr. Geoffrey Kuter serves as President of Agresource, Inc., a Massachusetts based company that operates composting facilities handling municipal biosolids, leaf and yard wastes, and food residuals. Agresource markets compost for various composting facilities in the northeast and distributes in excess of 100,000 cubic yards of compost annually from more than 12 facilities from Maine to Maryland.
Jeff Lowenfels is the award winning author of Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web; his next book, Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to Plant Nutrition will be published in June. Mr. Lowenfels is the former president of the Garden Writers of America and a Garden Writer’s Fellow. He is the founder of Plant A Row for The Hungry, a national program that encourages gardeners to plant one row in their gardens dedicated to feeding the hungry.
Rebecca McMackin is the Park Horticulturalist for award-winning Brooklyn Bridge Park with an eye to wildlife encouragement and habitat creation. Ms. McMackin is an avid environmental educator and lectures at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Columbia University. She holds a MS in Landscape Design from Columbia University and a MSc in Biology from the University of Victoria.
Linda Miyoshi is the East Coast representative for Teraganix, an affiliate of Effective Microorganisms Research Organization, Japan. Ms. Miyoshi has spent the last three years educating farmers, gardeners, municipalities, and institutions on how to work with microbial inoculants in specific site conditions to provide water and soil remediation. She has a background in agronomy from State University of New York.
Jono Neiger has twenty years experience in conservation, restoration, land stewardship, permaculture, and landscape design. He uses his diverse expertise to create productive and integrated landscapes. He is a principal at Regenerative Design Group, on the faculty at the Conway School of Landscape Design, and board president of the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast.
Michael Phillips is known across the country for helping people grow healthy fruit. The “community orchard movement” that he helped found provides a full immersion into the holistic approach to orchard growing. His Lost Nation Orchard is part of a medicinal herb farm in northern New Hampshire. Mr. Phillips is author of several books, Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard, which recently received Garden Book of the Year honors from the American Horticultural Society
Kathleen Salisbury is the Team Leader of Education at Duke Farms Foundation in Hillsborough, NJ. She is responsible for teaching the public about Duke’s stewardship projects and practices and how to replicate them in a residential landscape. She also develops and implements innovative educational programming for families, adults, and professionals. Ms. Salisbury has a BS in Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design from Delaware Valley College and a MS in Public Horticulture Administration from the University of Delaware where she was a Longwood Fellow.
Eric Toensmeier is the award-winning author of Perennial Vegetables and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. An expert on the useful perennial crops of the world, he has taught about permaculture and perennial food production systems in multiple languages and countries. His current project is promoting perennial farming systems, including agro-forestry and staple crops, while restoring degraded lands.
IDEA EXCHANGE PANELISTS
Dr. Rebecca Brown, University of Rhode Island
John Engwer, Groundscapes Express
Keith Johnson, Billingsgate Land Management
Anne Leiby, EPA
Mickey Marcus, NE Environmental
Nick Novick, Small Planet Landscaping
Rip Sokol, Fourth Generation Nursery
Don Woodall, Colonial Seed
Catherine Zimmerman, The Meadows Project
IDEA EXCHANGE MODERATORS
Carol Brodeur, Arborcare with Ropes ‘n Saddles, Inc.
Paul Iorio, Green Street Systems
Kevin Staso, North Creek Nurseries
Kate Venturini, URI Outreach CenterShare