Chicago, Ill., January 20-22, 2010

Mid-Am 2010 will be taking place at the McCormick Place West in Chicago, Ill., January 20-22, 2010. From plants to pavers, mowers to mulch, software to sheers, everything you need for your business will be here.

The horticulture industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the nation’s agricultural economy, and the original green industry. In fact, the industry continues to expand even during challenging economic periods. Tap into this fertile ground at Mid-Am.

For complete show information, visit

Trade Show Hours

Wednesday, January 20, and Thursday, January 21
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday, January 22
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Networking Opportunities

2010 Mid-Am Mixer & Reception
The owners of the Mid-Am Trade Show (IGIA, ILCA, WGIF) are proud to host the 2nd Annual Mid-Am Mixer & Reception on Thursday, January 21, 2010, from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in the Regency Ballroom. Members of each organization, the Mid-Am Board of Directors, Mid-Am Trade Show attendees and exhibitors are invited for an unparalleled opportunity to mingle and celebrate the industry.

Sponsored by Syngenta.

Midwinter Conference
Wednesday, January 20, 2010

8:30 – 10 a.m.

  • Growers: New Perennials for the Midwest (Marlene Frisbie, ICN Pro; Hoffie Nursery)
  • Retail: He’s Already Blazed the Trail: Let His Roadmap for Success Inspire Your Special Events & Promotions (Grant DePorter, Harry Caray’s Restaurant Group)
  • Sustainable Landscaping: Developing Sustainable Landscaping Strategies: The Landscape Sustainability Audit (Larry Cammarata, The Brickman Group)
  • Sales and Marketing: Secrets of a Rainmaker (Gene Rosendale, Alliance for Strategic Advantage)

10 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

  • Growers: Nursery and Landscape Invasive Plant Diseases in Illinois (Nancy Pataky, U of I Plant Clinic)
  • Retail: Marketing Your Business on a Small Budget (Maggie Zelinski, Chalet)
  • Sustainable Landscaping: Sustainable Sites Initiative I: Building with Sustainable Sites Initiative I (Kevin Graham, ASLA/Planning Resources, Inc.; David Yocca, ASLA/AICP/LEED AP, Conservation Design Forum)
  • Sales and Marketing: Tips on Effective Commercial Estimating (Lee Keenan and Pat Sund, Countryside Industries, Inc.)

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45 – 2 p.m.

  • Growers: Growing and Maintaining Good Roots (Connor Shaw, Possibility Place Nursery)
  • Retail: Importance of Proper Merchandising and Visual Displays in Today’s Garden Center (Kent Witt, Sid’s Greenhouse)
  • Sustainable Landscaping: Sustainable Sites II: Sustainable Landscape Implementation (Kevin Graham, ASLA/Planning Resources, Inc.; Tim Caldwell, ASLA/CLT, The Savannah Group)
  • Sales and Marketing: Marketing Ideas for the Changing Economy (Kathy Richardson and Jan-Gerrit Bouwman, Grant & Power Landscaping, Inc.)

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.Break
2:30 – 4 p.m.

  • Growers: Industry Panel: EAB Update (Elizabeth Pentico, Supervisory Plant Protection & Quarantine Officer, USDA Cooperative EAB Program along with Industry Panel featuring city foresters: Jim Stier, Winnetka; Peter Gordon, Lake Forest; Larry King, Highland Park; Owen Widmayer, Arlington Heights; John Lough, Chicago; Greg Oltman, GroHorticulture Enterprises, Inc. (moderator))
  • Retail: Industry Panel: Owning Both a Garden Center and a Landscape Business-What Makes it Work? (Jim Melka, Jim Melka Landscape & Garden Center; Scott McAdam, McAdam Landscaping; Matt Zerby, Wasco Nursery)
  • Sustainable Landscaping: Design Principles for Posterity (Greg Schaumburg, Hursthouse, Inc.; Terry Guen, Terry Guen Design Associates)
  • Sales and Marketing: Wow ‘Em With Your Web Presence: The Grass Roots of Effectively Marketing Your Business Online (Keidra Chaney, DePaul University Terre Houte/Hursthouse, Inc. Sponsored by ILCA Women’s Networking Group)

Thursday, January 21, 2010
8:30 – 10 a.m.

  • Growers: U.S. Native Plants for Midwest Green Roofs (Brent Horvath, Intrinsic Perennial Gardens, Inc.)
  • Retail: Seven Minutes to Success
  • Management and Operations: Human Resources and Compliance (Heidi Trybus and Melissa Osuch, HR Consultants)
  • Technical Issues: Best Perennial Performers (Grace Koehler, Midwest Groundcovers)
  • Latino: Liderazgo en el campo (Marco T. Lenis, Vocational Rehabilitation Management of Rockford, Inc.)

10 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

  • Growers: Moving Your Nursery: Planning, Implementing, Complying with Multilevels of Government Regulations (Jeff Tures, Matt Tures Sons Nursery; Ken Doty, Hinsdale Nursery; Bob Livingston, Fox Ridge Nursery)
  • Retail: Retail Forum
  • Management and Operations: Prevailing Wage Update (Don McNeil, Law Firm of Barnes and Thornberg)
  • Technical Issues: Incorporating Successful Naturalized Landscapes and Natural Areas into Your Projects and Communities (Jack Pizzo, Pizzo and Associates)
  • Latino: Recursos Humanos, Seguridad, Mantenimiento de Registros, Cumplimiento (David Sanchez, OSHA authorized outreach trainer, ST. Augustine College Institute for Workforce Education)

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch

  • Growers: Making the Original Green Industry Even Greener (Christy Webber, Christy Webber Landscapes; Gary Knosher, Midwest Groundcovers; Marc Teffeau, ANLA; Kris Bachtell, Morton Arboretum
  • Retail: Utilizing Social Marketing for Your Retail Business: Be Frequent Be Interesting (Lindsey Mosher, IL Technology Partnership
  • Management and Operations: When Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Work: Think Again! (Steve Bartlett and Jim Gorsline, Scott Byron & Co.
  • Technical Issues: Industry Panel: Providing Lawn Care Services In-House vs. Subcontracted: What’s Right for Your Business? (Norm Kleber; Chris Paisley, Mariani Landscape; Bill Leuenberger, Chalet: Cris Poggi, James Martin Associates; Pete Gallupo, Rolling Green Turf Care; John Lindsey, TruGreen. Sponosred by Illinois Professional Lawn Care Association)
  • Latino: La fijación de precios para el Mantenimiento (partes 1 y 2) (Bernie Carranza, Christy Webber Landscape, Inc.)

2:30 – 4 p.m.

  • Growers: Industry Panel: What Trees are we Going to Grow? (Larry Smith, Lurvey’s; Kelsey Shaw, Possibility Place Nursery; Greg Elwell, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.; John Lowe, City of Chicago; Roger Purcell, Wandell’s Nursery; Connor Show, Possibility Place Nursery; Peter Czubak, City of Chicago)
  • Retail: Taking Inside Out (Mark and Laurie McWilliams, CopperTree Outdoor Lifestyles)
  • Management and Operations: Budgeting and Forecasting Basics (Bob Bertog, Bertog Landscape)
  • Technical: Planting Shade and Ornamental Trees to Last a Lifetime (Richard Hentschel, U of Illinois-Extension)
  • Latino: La fijación de precios para el Mantenimiento (partes 2 y 2)(Bernie Carranza, Christy Webber Landscape, Inc.)

Education Sessions

As an added dimension, Mid-Am has partnered with industry organizations to provide career-enhancing skills and continuing education credits.

ILCA: Latino Illinois Pesticide Spray License Training with Spanish Translator
Friday, January 22, 2010
Richard Hentschel, University of Illinois Extension
General Standards category training for the Illinois Pesticide spray license will be offered by the University of Illinois Extension Service. Presenters will be center and county horticulture educators. Presentations will be translated live into Spanish for participants. This is a daylong training without any exam. Participants can attend any of the published training and testing sites and take the exam at no charge at a later date.

8:30 – 10 a.m. Part 1
10 – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 – 11:45 a.m. Part 2
11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45 – 2:15 p.m. Part 3
2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break
2:30 – 4 p.m. Part 4

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
Green Roof Design 101 – Introductory Course
Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This introductory training course on green roof design presents many of the tools and techniques needed to meet your green roof project objectives on schedule, to specification and within budget.

This course is approved for 7.5 continuing education credits with AIA, ASLA, RCI, APLD and USGBC.

Green Roof Plants and Growing Medium Course 401
Friday, January 22, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This is the fourth green roof course developed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (North America). This course will provide participants with an overview of plants and growing medium design considerations and maintenance for green roof assemblies. It establishes design and implementation best management practices for plants and growing medium in green roofs.

This course is approved for 7.5 continuing education credits with AIA, ASLA, RCI, APLD and USGBC.

Illinois Certified Nursery Professional (ICN Pro) Exam
Friday, January 22, 2010, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Illinois Certified Nursery Professional (ICN Pro) is a voluntary, professional certification program for owners and employees of nursery, landscape and garden center firms. The program assists in raising the professional standards of industry personnel. Enrollment in the program is voluntary, but to become certified you must meet eligibility requirements. For additional information or to receive exam registration form, contact the Illinois Green Industry Association office at 217-546-4733 or

IGIA Irrigation Education
Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

8:30 – 10 a.m. Water as a Precious Resource-Smarter Water and Advanced Water Management
Carey Hidaka, IBM Public Sector Sensors and Actuators Technology Group
Water has been described as the next oil, a scarce and precious resource that we have taken for granted. This session will discuss how we as a planet need to think about this irreplaceable resource and how technology can be used to monitor, control and study the supply and treatment of water so that we can better manage its use, consumption, treatment and reuse. It will give examples of ways that people are using technology with water to make this a smarter planet.

10:15 a.m. – 12 p.m. Illinois Plumbing Code
Dean Goodenough, IGIA Board of Directors, Goodenough, Inc.
Want to brush up on the plumbing code? Are you following the law and administrative rules? There have been many changes to Illinois law and public health regulations. Learn about these rules and regulations and earn Irrigation Association CEU credits while being updated.

12 – 2 p.m. Trade Show Floor Time/Lunch
2 – 3:15 p.m. Commercial Water Harvesting Systems: Single Source Engineered Systems-Equipped for Results

Ken Schwark, Watertronics
The interest in water harvesting has exploded recently and has become the focus of many in the green industry. The race is on! Come learn about a company that is setting the pace.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Open Discussion-Irrigation Forum
IGIA Irrigation Committee, Municipal Inspectors
This is your chance to hear the latest in the irrigation industry in Illinois. What are the new requirements for being a contractor? What are some of the cities, villages and municipalities mandating contractors do before, during and after installation? This is an excellent opportunity to hear about some of the practical issues facing contractors every day. Questions of all types are welcome in this free, open forum.

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
9 – 10:15 a.m. Toro, Irritrol and Rainmaster-Working for You

Veronica Krenzel, IGIA Irrigation Committee Chair-Toro
Find out how saving and/or managing water can be an upsell opportunity for your company. Come hear an overview on these three innovative lines of irrigation products. Special emphasis will be given to the newest control systems and the Precision Series Nozzles.

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Are You a WaterSense Partner?
Tim Malooly, Irrigation by Design, Inc.
Tim will provide an update on industry activities, EPA actions, trends across the country (water, economy, etc.) and new technologies and upcoming business practices.

11:45 a.m. – 2 p.m. Trade Show Floor Time/Lunch
2 – 3:15 p.m. Sales and Marketing

Mark Gunderson, Kenny Outdoor Solutions
Cold, we spring, record rainfall, worst economy in seven decades, no new homes being built, more rain the fall, obviously, business has been a challenge. Mark will provide business owners and front-line employees tips on how to improve sales and tailor your marketing strategies for the new year.

3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Business Solutions
Damion Zawicky, John Deere Landscapes

The Chicago Trees Initiative (CTI): A Public-Private Partnership
Friday, January 22, 2010, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Free with trade show badge.
Moderator: Scott Mehaffey, Chicago Mayor’s Office
Panelists: Planner, Aaron Durnbaugh, Chicago Dept. Environment; Forester, Joe McCarthy, Chicago Bureau of Forestry; Arborist, TBD; Grower, TBD; Contractor, TBD; Community Advocate, Edit Makra, The Morton Arboretum

Chicago has started a grassroots effort to plant and maintain more trees throughout the city, engaging growers, landscape contractors and arborists at every step of the way. City departments and allied nonprofits are working together around strategies to achieve a 20 percent average tree canopy cover by 2020. Some areas of Chicago have a current canopy cover of 4 percent, and many private property owners have long held biases against trees. Yet, Chicago regards the expansion of its urban forest as crucial to combating climate change. Learn how this initiative is effecting change, and how you can get involved. This session will positively impact the green industry and provide a model for other municipalities to follow.

Mentoring Roundtable

Have you recently started your own business? Having trouble growing it? Are you a manager needing some mentoring? Don’t know who to turn to for guidance or advice? Attend the Mentoring Roundtable to discuss hot topics, share ideas and discover solutions for your business challenges with industry veterans who have been in the trenches. Ask questions, get feedback, and find solutions at this unique and exclusive opportunity for green industry business owners and managers.

Limited to six participants per table topic, register now!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010, 10:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose one discussion topic in which you’d like to participate from the six topics listed below.
  2. Register online using the online Conference Registration Form. Registration is limited to six registrants per table. The online registration form will indicate when roundtables are full and you must choose an alternative topic.
  3. Come prepared to share your experiences, problems, challenges and ideas with your mentor as well as with your fellow roundtable attendees.

Choose from the following timely discussion topics, led by an industry veteran ready to help you succeed:

  • Business Planning: Setting the Course for Success in Troubled Waters

Mentor: Terry A, Kurth, Weed Man Lawn Care
Creating a quality business plan facilitates strong discussion among your management team. You will determine where and how much your sales projections will fall; create measurable classifications for direct, administration, sales and financial costs; and use zero-based budgeting to justify everything. Plan to succeed in 2010; join this discussion to learn how to create a successful business plan!

  • How to Keep Design/Build and Maintenance Momentum During Tough Economic Times

Mentor: Frank Mariani, Mariani Landscape
Discuss the best way to drive business during tough economic times. The importance of sound strategic planning and the flexibility to react to the challenges will be examined. With every challenge there are opportunities; explore ways to seek a competitive advantage.

  • Marketing: Tricks of the Trade for the Green Industry

Mentor: Jonathan Pederson, Bailey Nurseries
Making a profit has always been important, but what’s required to be successful in achieving that has sure changed. It’s not just about the plants anymore, you need to be at the top of your game in many areas, you “need to think like a retailer!”

  • Consumers: Do you know yours? Are you sure you’re sending them the right signals for success in getting them to your store? And, more importantly, keeping them coming back?
  • Advertising: Where when and how? The Internet, Facebook, Twitter–is there a place for this and my store?
  • Brands: Big and small. Are you keeping it under control and taking advantage when you can?
  • Where is the easy money today? Would you believe that there’s one thing that 67 percent of consumers said would lead them to purchase more? Find out what that one thing is!
  • Retailing Success, Don’t just Survive-THRIVE!

Mentor: Platt Hill, Platt Hill Nurseries
Discussion will center on improving your sales through staff motivation, sales training, customer loyalty and garden center events-are they profitable? Managing your business will also be covered, including purchasing for profit, cutting costs on a down economy, what to expect of your POS System and competing with the big boxes.

  • Using your Brand to Drive Sales in Tough Economic Times

Mentor: Scott Byron, Scott Byron & Co.
Discuss how to use your brand to drive sales and growth during these tough times. Truly believing in a core purpose for your business and focusing on your core values to drive the organization forward will also be discussed.

  • How to use Maintenance as a Hedge in a Tough Economy

Mentor: Bill Davids, Clarence Davids & Co.
The basis of landscape maintenance is professionalism, communication and details to exceed your clients’ expectations. How do we do that today and in the future? What image do we portray? What are we doing “green” in the maintenance industry? How can we be the successful bidder on today’s projects? These difficult questions will be addressed during this roundtable discussion.
A special thank you to Weed Man for sponsoring the Mentoring Roundtable!