Log in




     Serving the Horticulture Industry Since 1899

Southern Plant Conference Speakers Announced

20 Oct 2017 9:42 AM | Karen Summers (Administrator)

A Remarkable Lineup of Visionary Authors, Breeders, Geneticists, Horticulturalists, Professors and World Travelers Will Provide a Glimpse of New Plants Coming to Market at the Southern Plant Conference

Atlanta, Ga., October 20, 2017 – The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced final details of The 15th Southern Plant Conference to be held in conjunction with The SNA Conference, co-locating with the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS) in 2018. Both events will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center with The SNA Conference preceding MANTS on Monday and Tuesday, January 8-9, 2018. MANTS will take place on Wednesday, January 10 – Friday, January 12.

Following in the steps of Dr. Michael Dirr and Don Shadow, Dr. Richard Olsen (chair) and Dr. Thomas Molnar (co-chair) have pulled together a truly remarkable lineup of speakers for the 2018 Southern Plant Conference. Twelve top plant experts from across the country, the Channel Islands, and the Netherlands, will share their knowledge and expertise during this two-day conference. The impressive lineup includes:

Shannon Currey, Director of Sales – Hoffman Nursery, Rougemont, NC
A New Perspective with Green Infrastructure

Raymond J. Evison, OBE – The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd and Raymond J. Evison Ltd, Guernsey, Channel Islands, GB
Clematis for Today's Gardens

Heidi Hesselein, Vice President – Pleasant Run Nursery, Allentown, NJ
New and Classic Ornamentals for Eastern Landscapes

Hayes Jackson, Regional Extension Agent – Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Anniston, AL and Director – Longleaf Botanical Gardens, Anniston, AL
Pushing the Limits to Expand Your Plant Palette

Mark Krautman, Owner – Heritage Seedling, Salem, OR
Opportunities to Unite Plant Geeks and Conservationists

Brent Markus, Owner – Rare Tree Nursery, Silverton, OR
Conifers and Maples from the West Coast to the East Coast

Bill McLaughlin, Curator of Plants – U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.
Beyond Echinacea:  Native Plants Awaiting our Attention, Breeding and Selection

Dr. Richard Olsen, Director – U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C.
The Legacy of Plants and People and the Future of New Plants

Kim Shearer, Tree and Shrub Breeder and Manager of New Plant Development Program – The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL
Chicagoland Grows® a Greener World

Rupert Spaargaren – W.J. Spaargaren, BV, Boskoop, Holland
European Trends Can Change the Nursery Industry

Angela Treadwell-Palmer, Co-Owner – Plants Nouveau, West Newbury, MA
The Challenges of Bringing New Plants to Market

Paul Westervelt, Annual & Perennial Production Manager –
Saunders Brothers Nursery, Piney River, VA
The New Perennial Movement and Why It Matters

This year’s Southern Plant Conference is integrated with the SNA Research Conference as a part of The SNA Conference with a clear focus on connecting the industry to identify today’s business challenges and opportunities, and develop new insights and solutions. The conference will offer industry professionals a dynamic and interactive experience through The 15th Southern Plant Conference, The 62nd Annual SNA Research Conference, keynote sessions and participant-driven roundtable discussions. In addition, SNA will be conducting annual business as well with the 119th Annual SNA Business Meeting.

The Southern Plant Conference will unveil some of the hottest new plants coming to market. Fast-paced sessions will boast the best and the hottest new plant varieties, and provide a unique opportunity to discover a vast array of new plants, with focus on new and superior cultivars, the most resistant, prolific blooming, superior shape or habit, and the most interesting flower or foliage.

The SNA Research Conference will offer cutting-edge content of the latest horticultural research. Top researchers and educational leaders, from across the country, will participate throughout the event. This two-day conference, which began in 1956, is held annually and is the country’s longest running woody ornamental research conference, long recognized for quality research. Hundreds of topics in thirteen categories are shared in presentations that run approximately seven minutes each.

The Don Shadow Award of Excellence, named for the first recipient, Don O. Shadow, Shadow Nursery, Winchester, TN, will be presented at the Southern Plant Conference to an individual, corporation or organization that has provided exemplary service, leadership and generosity in the development, promotion and use of new and improved landscape plants. Recipients must demonstrate a sincere commitment to and passion for expanding knowledge and use of new and improved plants for the landscape.

Conference registration is $279 (Non-Member), $229 (SNA Members), $179 (Educator/Student) and includes access to the SNA Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA Research Conference, keynote sessions and roundtable discussions on Monday, January 8 and Tuesday, January 9. In addition, continental breakfast, lunch and breaks are included both days. The conference schedule and activities, speaker bios, session titles and descriptions, and registration information can be found on the SNA website at

All conference participants are encouraged to attend MANTS on Wednesday, January 10 – Friday, January 12. MANTS registration is separate from The SNA Conference registration. Hotel reservations for The SNA Conference should be booked through the MANTS 2018 room block to take advantage of their special rates. MANTS registration and hotel information can be found at

The Baltimore Convention Center is conveniently located close to public transportation for easy access by MARC Train or Baltimore's Lightrail to and from the Baltimore International Airport (BWI). Baltimore's Penn Station is a short 7minute drive while BWI Airport is only 20 minutes by car. For more more details on the Baltimore Convention Center visit

Founded in 1899, the Southern Nursery Association is a non-profit trade association representing the horticultural industry in the southeastern U.S. SNA provides member services to wholesale growers, brokers, retailers, landscape contractors, landscape architects, grounds maintenance contractors, interiorscapers and allied suppliers. The SNA strives to unite and advance the horticulture industry through educational, research and marketing efforts.

The Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show or MANTS®, widely known as The Masterpiece of Trade Shows™, was incorporated in Maryland early in 1970. The show is sponsored by the state Nursery and Landscape Associations of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. MANTS information is available at or by calling 410-296-6959.

A complete schedule, speaker profiles, registration, and SNA Conference details can be found at For more information contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992,, or visit the SNA website at

Powered by Wild Apricot. Try our all-in-one platform for easy membership management