Education Schedule

MGIX 2018 is packed with industry-leading education sessions

View the preliminary education schedule below. Click on the session title for more information.  Check back for updates!


Sessions on Monday, January 15 through Wednesday, January 17 are included in a three-day education pass. Click here for details. 

Download a Printable MGIX Education Schedule

15 Jan 2018
16 Jan 2018
17 Jan 2018

Aphids and Leaf Miners: ID and Management Options

Discuss identification, insect life-cycle, host preference and management options of aphids and leaf miners.
Curtis Young

Herbaceous Pests

Learn about the most common pests affecting annuals and perennials in today’s herbaceous plantings. Pam will also share management tips to help keep these flowerbeds in top condition through the season.
Pamela Bennett

Hospitality Industry Meets the Nursery and Landscaping Industry: Making the Connection

Increase your sales by taking a closer look at new customers. This presentation will open up new opportunities for marketing plants, flowers, and trees to spas, hotels, and the hospitality industry. Nurseries, online landscaping shops, and individual growers have a largely untapped market in the hospitality industry.
Preethi Fernando

Seasonal Color Displays

This presentation will address annual bedding plant identification, soil preparation, site selection and proper maintenance requirements for outstanding seasonal color displays in commercial landscapes.
Shawn Fitzgerald

Bringing the Next Generation into the Family Business – Are You Ready? Are They?

Learn about the best practices and challenges facing family businesses in various stages of succession planning. There is something for every family-owned business in this discussion on when and how to get the next gen ready for launch!
Kelly Jasin

Legislative Update

What is happening on the state level can and will affect your business. Belinda Jones, ONLA legislative consultant, shares this important information.
Belinda Jones

A Cut Above: Pruning

Learn new techniques or refresh your skills through sensible pruning. Join Erik as he shares his extensive knowledge of how to make the right pruning choices.
Erik Draper

How to Employ Legal Temporary Labor: Navigating H-2A and H-2B

Finding employees is more difficult each season. Many green industry companies rely on guest workers to fill the ever-growing gap between need for employees and the number of available people searching for jobs. This presentation offers information about the H2B Worker Program.
Arnulfo Hinojosa

Snow Service Contracts and Independent Contractor’s Agreements

Develop iron-clad contracts to use with your snow clients and sub-contractors.  Attendees will receive copies of actual contracts used in the speaker’s business and hear why certain words are included and why certain phrases are written the way they are.
Michael Anderson

Top Ten Diseases You Should Know—Including Oak Wilt

A new disease: Beech Leaf Disease. An old disease with new outbreaks: Oak Wilt. Which diseases matter? Learn why host ranges are so important and discuss diseases in the landscape—both the ones that matter and those who impact isn’t as great.
James Chatfield

Conquering Communication Challenges in a Family Business

Despite our possession of convenient and rapid points of access to information, it appears to have become more difficult to have meaningful conversations, to listen to what others are saying with an open mind and heart, and to consider points of view that differ from those we already firmly espouse. No matter what we do, business – small or large, simplex or complex – is fundamentally an extended conversation with family members, colleagues and customers about how to make sense – and make alliances – with people around us. What gets talked about and how it gets talked about in business determines what ultimately happens to a business’ vitality. The success or failure of business ventures rises and falls on the strength of our communications. At this session we will talk about ways to have meaningful conversation with other family members and to build trust and confidence with non-family employees, partners and customers.
Michael DeVine

Short and Sweet Perennials

Stephanie Cohen (aka, as the Perennial Diva) started when she helped her parents plant a victory garden. Her love of plants has taken her on an extensive career path. Stephanie is a writer, teacher, lecturer, award winner, speaker and plant expert.
Stephanie Cohen

Evolution of Climbing Part One

This three-part Climbers’ Corner series is a comprehensive look at the advances in tree climbing tools and techniques from the last 20 years.
Phillip Kelley

Insuring Your Business: Knowing What is Covered

Join Marc for this open conversation, question-and-answer session discussing important business questions: Is enough insurance really enough? I thought I was covered? What am I paying for? This is an opportunity to take a closer look at the coverage you have and the coverage you didn’t know you needed. Be prepared to ask questions, take notes and share stories.
Marc McTeague

Lighting Design: Specifying and Positioning Fixtures

What fixture should you pick, where does it go, and how should it be aimed to achieve the best look? There is a lot of information in lighting catalogs (beam spreads, lumen output, photometric charts, etc.). Learn how to read and process this information to determine how to choose the right fixture in a fast and efficient manner.
Brooke Perin

More Than Just Dinner: Edibles as Ornamentals

Consumers, retail and trade can reap the benefits of using edibles as ornamentals by incorporating fruits and vegetables into a landscape design. Think outside the box by adding diverse textures and colors to the garden mix. Learn how edibles can be both beautiful and useful along with how to keep pests and diseases at bay. Take away tips on which edibles to use in a garden design that provide the optimal aesthetic appeal.
Barb Arnold

Practical Scouting in the Nursery

Got pests? How do you know? Learn how to gather materials and select the correct methods to develop a pest and disease scouting program for the landscape or nursery business. Equipment and training needs will be discussed as well as how to practically modify the protocols to meet a lower budget or limited staffing.
Timothy Malinich

Why Plants Do the Things They Do

What do roots need? How does the vascular system of plants differ and why does it matter for insect management? Chilling units, heat units, phenology, winter hardiness— what is that all about? How do fruits form on a plant— it is more that just the birds and the bees. This and more!
James Chatfield

Wealth Transfer in Family Business

Explore the many aspects of developing a multigenerational plan to transfer and preserve your wealth. Learn about transfers of real estate separate from your business, equity transfers for family members who work in or outside of your company, trusts, and asset protection strategies.
Tony Kington

Attain, Train, Retain and Entertain a Modern Day Green Industry Workforce

Join Marty in this honest, authentic, and high energy interactive presentation that will shed new light on attaining, training, retraining and entertaining the green industry worker of today.
Marty Grunder

Evolution of Climbing Part Two

This three-part Climbers’ Corner series is a comprehensive look at the advances in tree climbing tools and techniques from the last 20 years.
Phillip Kelley

How Do I Get to be a “Snow-Only” Company?

How to make your dream of becoming a “snow only” company a reality? Develop a plan for how to turn snow into a major profit center and possibly take your company “snow only” someday. As a former owner/operator of four landscape companies, Mr. Anderson went “snow only” in 2004 and never looked back.  Learn how to take your snow business from a necessary evil to a major profit center.  
Michael Anderson

The Principles of Designing Vegetative Areas That Protect Water Quality

Too often, when people hear that they ought to protect a buffer along a stream or pond, or creating a natural stormwater feature, they think of a messy area with weeds and tall grass. This session will address new landscape opportunities and the science behind buffer and natural stormwater features, while protecting water quality with aesthetically pleasing plantings.
Kurt Keljo

Latest and Greatest Perennials

Take a fast-paced trip with Pam through the perennial garden. She will share the top performing perennials that are easy to use in the landscape today.
Pamela Bennett

On The Floor: A Merchandising “GPS” for Increased Sales

Are your employees still struggling to create the right displays? Eye catching displays can grab your customers’ attention, drive revenue, and create a memorable experience. Address the strategies you use to place product on your shelves and learn about the new things your customers expect to see when they come in your store.
Anne Obarski

Planning Your Pest Management Strategies

Plan your company’s pest management strategy. Every green industry business has a unique set of capabilities, customer expectations, and pest management philosophies. This means that each business needs to carefully categorize where to put their pest management emphasis. Determining the category in which each plant pest fits is a creative exercise you should undertake each year to be the most productive and profitable this coming season.
Joseph Boggs

Evolution of Climbing Part Three

This three-part Climbers’ Corner series is a comprehensive look at the advances in tree climbing tools and techniques from the last 20 years.
Phillip Kelley

Lightning Protection Systems

Discuss the when, where, how and why of lightning protection systems in trees. We will also look at different techniques to make installation smoother.
Phillip Kelley

Diagnostic Challenges: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Plant problem diagnostics is a high-pressure proposition. An accurate diagnosis fulfills your client’s expectation, after all, you’re the “plant professional.” An incorrect diagnosis can threaten your credibility and lose clients. The fact is, even the most seasoned plant professional has made diagnostic mistakes; it’s part of gaining hard-earned knowledge through experience. This “been there, done that” presentation uses real-life diagnostic case studies to illustrate diagnostic pinnacles and pitfalls. As Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Joseph Boggs

How to Identify Grasses and Weeds

Dive into the nuts and bolts of how to identify different species of grass, utilizing vegetative and reproductive structures. Then, learn how this relates to major turfgrasses and grassy weeds.
David Gardner

How to Profitably Integrate Bioproducts Into Your Growing Operation

Growers can profitably select and use bioproducts to improve productivity, plant health, and the overall success of their operation.
Brian McSpadden-Gardener

New & Great Old Plants for Today’s Gardens

Explore some of the new, trendy, and tried and true woody plants for use in today’s gardens and landscapes. Join Bill as he shares his observations on some of today’s great plants and take a closer look at some of the underused selections for great landscapes.
Bill Hendricks, CENTS Speaker
Bill Hendricks

Ohio’s Prison-Based Horticulture and Turf/Landscape Training Programs

In a business climate where skilled workers are hard to find and retain, this presentation will describe how the prison based Horticulture and Turf/Landscape training programs are seeking mutually beneficial partnerships that could provide skilled and certified workers for Ohio’s green industry while reducing crime and recidivism.
Dwight Ansteatt

Preparing for Disaster

From natural disasters to everyday mishaps, do you have a plan? Can your business survive a shut down for a day, a week, a month? How many people depend on your business’ success? Prepare now for what might happen some day. In this open forum, learn how to “insure” your business can survive what life may throw at you.
Marc McTeague

13 Diseases of Attitude

When life gets hard, it’s difficult to avoid letting a bad attitude take over our minds and rule our lives. Life can get complicated, usually without any warning, and turn your whole world upside down. Attitude is the difference maker, the game changer.
Preethi Fernando

Latest and Greatest Annuals

Pam shares the results of Ohio State University field trials of annuals in this fast-paced presentation. Learn about those annuals that will give you maximum color with minimum maintenance requirements.
Pamela Bennett

Retail Roundtable

Retail garden center professionals explore trending topics in this panel discussion.
Ron Wilson

Workers’ Comp: Ten Most Common Mistakes

Take a look at the ten most common mistakes and assumptions when dealing not only with an injured worker but the paperwork that is required. Learn how to help the worker and the company get back to work.
Cordell Walton

The Alphabet Soup of Species Update: ALB, VLB, GM, HWA, SLF and More

Invasive species should be on your radar. Have your eyes in the trees to monitor these pests during your regular work day. This update will cover several pests and highlight what to look for, where they are, and how to report suspect infestations.
Amy Stone

The Teeter-Totter of Profits: Estimating vs. Sales

All horticulture businesses thrive or dive on technical competency, business acumen, and the balance between sales and estimating. Customer/Client relationships, needs assessments, and the presentation of values is a learned discipline. This session opens the door to this learning process.
Jeffrey Ling

Anchoring Your Systems Part One

How we anchor to the tree is one of the most important decisions we make as arborists. This three-part Climbers’ Corner series of talks covers not only different anchor point configurations, but also the potential forces generated. We will also discuss multiple anchor points, rope angles, vectors, and deflection as we move throughout the climb.
Tony Tresselt

Conifer Crash

In the past few years, many landscapes in Ohio have lost numerous conifer trees and homeowners are asking green industry professionals what is causing this decline and death of needled trees and shrubs. This session will discuss the insects and diseases that contribute to the demise of conifers across the state.
Curtis Young

Fun and Educational Workshops to Offer at Your Garden Center

Workshops are an effective way to generate excitement, position your employees as experts, and to share your passion for plants—all while increasing revenue. Louise makes it easy to offer workshops that will draw customers throughout the year, especially during slow times. Discuss workshop ideas, when and where to host them, how much to charge, how to advertise them, and how to target different age groups.
Louise Reiling

Increasing Profits with Sales Management Software

Your sales process is the lifeblood of your organization, providing revenue for your company. Using a Customer Relationship Management Tool (CRM) for your company can help you manage the sales process from start to end for your sales staff. In this seminar, examine the CRM software from Hubspot and see a live demonstration of how this product can help you close more sales and drive more revenue.
Shaun Kanary

IPM: Integrated Pest Management to Intelligent Pest Management

Do we have to kill everything? IPM is about controlling pests when they reach a threshold that has an economic impact. This presentation will discuss and help you answer the question: When to spray and when NOT to spray.
Timothy Malinich

Restorative Gardens

A proper landscape includes architectural considerations, storm water management, client-appropriate hardscapes, and quality plantings. This presentation will help you establish yourself as a professional from first contact with the client to the completion of a complicated high-end project.
John DeVore - CENTS Speaker
John DeVore

Roundtable Community Involvement: Investing Your Marketing Dollars

This panel discussion of community activists, business owners, and expert observers, centers around the America in Bloom national awards program’s focus on the importance of plants in their broadest definition—their impact on the overall health and economic strength of a community.
Alex Pearl

Advanced Plant Design

Explore the various uses of plants in residential settings at an advanced level. Learn about what makes a plant the right choice, inlcuding what not to do in the plant selection process, and ways to select, use, and maintain the correct plant for a specific area. Topics covered during this presentation will focus on the geographical area and soil conditions of Southwestern Ohio.
Tom Fryman

Anchoring Your Systems Part Two

How we anchor to the tree is one of the most important decisions we make as arborists. This three-part Climbers’ Corner series of talks covers not only different anchor point configurations but also the potential forces generated. We will also discuss multiple anchor points, rope angles, vectors, and deflection as we move throughout the climb
Tony Tresselt

Efficient Irrigation Design & Installation

Discuss the basics of efficient irrigation design. Start the process with an understanding of what background and site information is needed before a design can be started. Continue with proper equipment selection for varied site conditions, and end with industry-standard installation practices used to create the most cost effective and efficient irrigation system possible. These presenters are Certified Irrigation Designers who will focus on water-saving, industry-approved best practices with a focus on conserving Earth’s most precious resource.
Jeff Muhlbach

How to Kill a Tree: A How-To Guide to Assisted Herbicide

Some plant problems are very obvious, while other problems are very obscure. When selecting the appropriate treatment, how much, how often, and how to can bring you success or be disastrous. Learn from the research and experience of the experts.
Joseph Boggs

Invasive Plants and Options for Control

Learn about the key identification characteristics of select, non-native invasive species and the various options that can be used for control. Some of these plants are not yet a statewide issue, but have the potential to become one.
Kathy Smith

Nine Proven Profit Strategies for Tree, Lawn and Landscape Contractors

Are you reaching your highest profit potential? Many contractors don’t know for sure. It’s just a guess—and guesses can lead to trouble. Jeffrey Scott will share industry benchmarks and explain nine ways to improve profitability. Learn how to create a high profit culture that will allow you to build and lead your team to new heights.
Jeffrey Scott

Sustainable Garden Practices

All the latest tips and techniques to bring your residential landscape into the Green Millennium. The three “R’s” (reduce, reuse, and recycle) make for sensible garden designing in combination with practicable water management. Learn about water management principles, municipal requirements, best practices, and new methods for water-wise design.
Kirk Ryan Brown

Anchoring Your Systems Part Three

How we anchor to the tree is one of the most important decisions we make as arborists. This three-part Climbers’ Corner series of talks cover not only different anchor point configurations but also the potential forces generated. We will also discuss multiple anchor points, rope angles, vectors, and deflection as we move throughout the climb
Tony Tresselt

Tree and Gear Inspection

There is an overwhelming amount of options for gear for today’s arborist. We will discuss inspections of components as well as inspections of those components in the systems they are being used in. Then combine that with how these systems affect the tree and what major red flag indicators to look for before you climb
Phillip Kelley

ANSI Z133 New Updates

Review what is new and how these safety requirements impact your daily work.
Tony Tresselt

Aerial Felling and Chainsaw Safety

Learn about the use and maintenance of chainsaws, practical work planning strategies, personal safety, risk assessment and accident prevention.
Tony Tresselt

If the Shoe Fits: How to Brand Your Customer’s Journey with You

What’s your business’ touchpoint score? Anne challenges you to improve performance at every service touchpoint. You’ll slip into your customers’ shoes and look at how you market your business, the products and services you offer, and the performance of your professional staff who strategically deliver that contagious experience, every day. Anne will share her guidance on how to train every employee to make each touchpoint memorable, how to consistently exceed your customer’s expectations, and how to adopt a service recovery process that’s more than just an apology when things go wrong.
Anne Obarski

Making Plants Work for You: The Challenge of Hedges, Screens and Slopes

As designers, we always are intrigued by the unusual and eye-catching plants that we must have in our designs and gardens, yet oftentimes plants need to fulfill a function. Good design starts with shapes, both in your layout as well as in individual plants. In this session, Bill will discuss plants that work well for hedges, screens and slopes and the special characteristics of plants that can be used to accent designs and solve site problems.
Bill Hendricks, CENTS Speaker
Bill Hendricks

Perennial Grassy Weeds: ID and Control

Explore identification strategies for grasses. Then, learn how to determine whether use of a selective herbicide or non-selective control is the best option.
David Gardner

Proper Plant Maintenance: Planting, Staking, and Mulching

Best practices in planting, staking and mulching can make the difference in a plant’s long-term health. Doing it right matters. Learn the steps to ensure success and avoid long-term decline issues that begin in the plant’s early years.
Erik Draper

Recycling for the Landscape Industry

The Ohio EPA shares their expertise and best practices for recycling in the Green Industry.
Chet Chaney

Doing More with Less: Improving Production Strategies for Greenhouse Growers

Jennifer presentation will focus on production strategies that use fewer resources and inputs, resulting in potential cost savings
Jennifer Boldt

My Favorite Trees and Shrubs that Work for the Landscape, Season by Season

Selecting plants for the landscape is a critical step in the design process. We want to make sure our selections not only fit the design but perform for the client. Which plants provide the biggest bang for our buck? What makes a plant a favorite? Join Steve Foltz as he presents his picks.
Steve Foltz

Nutrient Management in the Landscape

Nutrient management in the landscape can be a tricky business, and basing your nutrient management decisions on a soil test alone is not a stand alone method. Understanding the nutrient needs of plants and the behavior of fertilizers in soil will help you develop a practical and successful nutrient management plan.
Timothy Malinich

Rainwater Harvesting and Use for Irrigation

Explore the collection of rainwater from site and structures and its reuse for landscape irrigation. Topics will include: potential contaminants and possible treatment, storage options, pumps and controls, available versus required water volume, and best installation practices and costs. The relationship between collections systems and LEED credits WE 1.1 and WE 1.2 will also be discussed.
Jeff Muhlbach

Strategies to Win in a Changing Economy

Think the customers of today have changed the way they do business? Has your business changed the way it operates and markets to these customers? This engaging presentation provides insights to successful business with a list of what to do, what not to do, and what to stop doing.
Tom Shay

Wildlife Conflict in the Landscape

While the continued development of areas can displace some wildlife, many species do well in close proximity to humans. Viewing these species as they travel through the landscape can be enjoyable, but sometimes conflicts arise—usually in the form of some type of damage to turf, trees and shrubs, or herbaceous plants. Fortunately, most wildlife damage can be managed with the right techniques and strategies.
Marne Titchenell

Tricks and Tools of an Artist in Landscape Design

Here is one designer’s method of harnessing the benefits of technology while maintaining a traditional hand-drawn appeal.  A combination of SketchUp and Photoshop is used to create an accurate, helpful, and pleasing landscape design presentation. Reuben will demonstrate these tools as you look over his shoulder through a design project.
Reuben Huffman

Ensuring Family Business Success: Implement Best Practices While Avoiding the Potholes

Family businesses can outperform the competition when all their synergies are realized, but they can also under perform when their operations are mismanaged. Statistics show that most family businesses fail when handed off to the next generation. Prepare your legacy for continued prosperity and outrageous success. 
Jeffrey Scott

Log Cabin or Taj Mahal? Are You Really Listening?

Landscape designers, landscape architects, and landscape contractors should know that working with new clients is not as easy as it might appear. All too often, the installed design is not what the client wanted. Why? Because the person they met with didn’t really listen. Bobbie will outline her approach to setting goals and budgets during the initial meeting with the client, the importance of soil amendment as it relates to successful planting, and the phasing of installation.
Bobby Schwatz - CENTS Speaker
Bobbie Schwartz

Olmsted by Design

Learn how to create a design vocabulary that works across all ages and with all stages of client gardening ability through a first-person dramatic presentation with Frederick Law Olmsted and the life of the father of Landscape Architecture. Olmsted created cities out of the American wilderness and began a conservation movement still challenging the world today.
Kirk Ryan Brown

Practical Pesticide Safety

As a rule, pesticides that we use in the landscape industry today are lower in toxicity than those used a generation ago, but they are still not without risk. Learn about the risks associated with pesticides and how you, the applicator, can minimize your risk on the job.
Mary Ann Rose

The Latest and Greatest: The Lure of New Plant Varieties

Every year, the world’s breeders introduce a wide range of new plant introductions. This year is no exception. This presentation will cover a number of the latest annuals, perennials, and vegetables, plus a few surprises. Information will include heights and sun/shade tolerance.
Jim Nau

The Modern Vegetable Garden

The vegetable garden used to be a utilitarian feature in the latter part of the 20th century. Edible landscaping has opened the door to reexamining the vegetable garden. We will explore ways to view the vegetable garden as a landscape feature including marketing and maintenance, and introducing new homeowners to the vegetable garden.
Timothy Malinich

How to Become a Better Landscaper Faster (And Why)

This heart felt and sometimes humorous presentation shares how to fast-forward over the learning curve and past the usual pitfalls to deftly land with both feet squarely in the promised land of great knowledge and skills. Get acquainted with the best references, the greater overview, and the right attitude to efficiently improve your career.
Scott Beuerlein

If Patton Ran Your Business

What is one of the most critical mistakes an owner makes? It would be not understanding what place their business has in the community. Are they the market leader or should they be challenging the market leader? Does the business fill a unique niche or does it need to consider changing their approach? Every “war” requires the right strategy and implementing the correct tactics. This course explains how.
Tom Shay

Room for Large Plants in the Landscape: Destroying the Dwarf Plant Myth

Everyone wants dwarf plants for their yards, and rightfully so. Yet with the limited number of dwarf cultivars, homeowners are limited in their choices. Consequently, our landscapes are becoming less diverse. Learn how to make room in the landscape for normal-sized plants.
Paul Snyder

Why Do Good Plants Go Bad: Diagnosing Plant Problems

Diagnostics is an important skill for a horticulturist. Using case studies from seasons past, focus on the process of plant problem diagnostics: which questions to ask, resources to help you, and ways to communicate the diagnostic perspectives to your customers. We will focus on signs and symptoms, and which problems matter.
James Chatfield

Working Around the Public

Maintenance and pest control can be challenging when the public is always in your way. When the public is always around, how can you deal with mosquitoes, bedbugs, geese, yellow jackets and other pest problems? Suggestions will be offered and interaction with the attendees will be encouraged so all can benefit by learning new ideas.
John Virdo

Industry Update from Ohio Irrigation Association

What is new and current irrigation news in Ohio and in the Nation? Participants in this presentation will get insight on these topics from this current and Three-time Ohio Irrigation Association President. JC will share his extensive knowledge and demonstrate his commitment to the green industry.
J.C. Wheaton