Past Speakers

 

Mallory Lykes Dimmitt

GreenFest 2016

Justin Stelter

GreenFest 2015

 

Mallory with Canoe

Mallory Lykes Dimmitt

This year’s guest speaker was Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, who specializes in large landscape conservation and the joining of agriculture and conservation, freshwater resources, and payments for ecosystem services. While Mallory was the executive director of the Florida Wildlife Corridor, she planned, raised funds and led the 70 day, 1,000 mile trek of the Glades-to-Gulf Expedition including a one hour documentary for PBS.

To prepare for her future successes, Mallory earned her B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee and her Masters of Environmental Management (MEM) in Environmental Economics and Policy.

 

justin steltersq

Justin has been the director of garden and grounds at Carnton Plantation for over a decade. The garden at Carnton is a reconstructed mid-19th century kitchen/ ornamental garden located in historic Franklin, Tennessee. In addition to his duties at Carnton, Justin also creates and maintains gardens for nearly two hundred private clients.
At The Hermitage, Justin has served as the Historic Garden Consultant since 2009. At the Historic Carter House, Justin is leading a representative planting of the 1869 orchard is planning the recreation of a one acres mid nineteenth century vegetable garden.
Justin serves as a board member of the Southern Garden History Society, and is the chairman of the Annual Meeting in Nashville in May 2015. He also serves as a board member of the Professional Landscape Association of Nashville Tennessee, and was recently voted onto the board of the Nashville City Cemetery. Justin is the Third Vice President of the Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association.
He has his sights set on holding the largest private gardening library in the southeast and with well over 600 collectible volumes, he is well on this way.

Becky Savitz

GreenFest 2014

Savitz

Becky Savitz is home grown, from Tampa General through Plant High. After St. Mary’s College in Raleigh and a degree in mathematics from the University of Florida, Becky taught math at Chamberlin High School and spent her first 20 years of marriage with husband Ed, raising 2 daughters Sallie and Rebecca. After several years of plowing the volunteer fields including The Junior League, The Spring, and The Home Association, Becky began to develop a love of the garden.
The seeds of that love were first planted by her grandmother, Virginia Robinson. Through the nourishment and support of friends like Marty Hirons and Carole Guyton, she added the mosaic art of Pique Assiette and the gardening love grew stronger and stronger. Today she and Ed divide their time between Tampa and Cashiers, NC, enjoying the blessings that gardening provides.

Will Womack

GreenFest 2013

William Womack thumbnail

Born the son of Virginia tobacco farmers, William attended college with a different professional plan, law. The call of the land was stronger, however, and ten years ago he returned to his farming roots. He started Tampa Bay Landscaping with partner, and now wife, Kathy Belz.
Will has become a highly visible part of the agricultural community in Hillsborough County and throughout the state. He continues to be active with the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) after serving as the Tampa Chapter president twice. He is a University of Florida Environmental Horticulture Production Extension Advisor, a Youth Advisor, and currently a Board member of the Hillsborough County Farm Bureau. He has served several years as the Co-Chair of the GreenFest Children’s Pavilion and as a speaker in the Horitculture Tent.
Recently he graduated from the Wedgeworth Leadership Institute for Agriculture, a prestigious program at the University of Florida. Will was inspired by the program’s final trip through Europe.

Penny Carnathan

GreenFest 2012

Penny Carnathan

Penny Carnathan is the St. Petersburg Times’ garden writer and a passionate, though not always successful, amateur gardener. She tends sunny, sandy perennial and vegetable beds in suburban Town ‘N Country and writes about her own and other gardeners’ experiences in her Diggin’ Florida Dirt columns, published Fridays in the Times’ Tampa and Pasco sections. She has a blog by the same name, www.digginfladirt.com.
Penny’s history with GreenFest dates back to her days as one of The Tampa Tribune’s two “Dirt girls.” In 2008, when she was working as a features editor at The Tribune, she and fellow editor Kim Franke-Folstad started a garden blog and weekly column called The Dirt. It was an experiment that turned out to be all play and no work. Penny and Kim wrote about the gardens they visited, the plants they bought, and what the experts had to say. They had a great time learning from their on-line chats as local gardeners commented on their posts. They also discovered their garden tragedies were much easier to bear with a good group cry, and victories were twice as sweet with a cheering crowd.
The Dirt won an honorable mention in the national Society for Features Journalism’s 2010 Excellence in Writing competition, and a spot on Florida Gardening magazine’s favorite blogs list. It also led to numerous speaking engagements including GreenFest, their favorite — and not just because plant-shopping’s involved. Sadly, The Dirt froze to the ground last June. Happily, it sprang back from the roots two months later. It has a different look, a different name, and only half the original writing team, but it’s still dirty good fun. Penny’s looking forward to another inspirational GreenFest on March 24-25.

Ian Prosser

GreenFest 2011

Ian Prosser

Ian Prosser of Botanica International Design Studio presents “Come to the Table with Nature’s Bounty.” With more than 30 years experience within the floral industry, Ian has won numerous awards and was invited by the Society of American Florists to participate in designing the inaugural decorations of former Presidents Clinton and Bush.

Maryon Marsh

GreenFest 2010

Maryon Marsh

Maryon Marsh was born in North Wales and raised in England. In 1976 she married Mel, a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air force. His last assignment, before retiring in 1985, was at MacDill Air Force Base, so staying in the Bay Area was a natural. On retirement from the Air Force they started the Misting Shed, a wholesale nursery growing woody ornamental plants. Through a sequence of events, the woody ornamental operation evolved into Maryon’s true passion, herbs. In 1992, she entered into a partnership in a retail store in Ybor City, St. Fiacre’s Garden Gifts in which everything was herbal related.

Maryon is a Florida Certified Horticultural Professional and Master Gardener. She has authored numerous articles and her love of herbs has made her a popular speaker at garden clubs and plant events in Central Florida.

Brightman Logan

GreenFest 2009

Brightman Logan

Born in Tampa, Brightman Logan is highly regarded for his knowledge on Florida native plants. He is Committee member of both the Florida Native Plant Society and Florida Wildflower Foundation, as well as a lifetime member of the Tampa Bay Reforestation and Environmental Effort, Inc. Environmentalist and Owner of All Native, LLC in San Antonio, Florida, Brightman has spent 23 years testing and finding plants that love our heat, handle the wet season, and tolerate the dry season. As our keynote speaker for 2009, he will share those experiences and present his own sure choices for your garden, whether it’s a couple of pots or a large yard.

Rick Martinez

GreenFest 2009

Rick Martinez

Part of All Native Nursery is used for organic farming. In conjunction with this, Rick Martinez will also talk at the luncheon about Sweetwater Organic Community Farm and answer questions on organic farming. Rick Martinez, a third generation Tampa native, has been pioneer in the organic farming movement over the last 30 years. Rick is founder and Executive Director of Sweetwater Organic Community Farm, a CSA serving the Tampa Bay area. He also is founder of Organic Integrity International conducting audits, consulting and quality system development worldwide, having worked in over 35 countries. In addition, he has conducted organic inspector trainings in many different regions of the world, served as a board member for the Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA) for 6 years and 2 years as IOIA Chair.

Pamela Crawford

GreenFest 2008

Pamela Crawford

Pamela Crawford was the featured speaker for GreenFest 2008. She has written 6 gardening books with a focus on Florida plants and climate. Her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, countless magazine stories, and both the Fine Living Network and Home & Garden Television.
Easy Container Gardens for Anyone Who Ever Killed a Plant! will be released just prior to GreenFest 2008. Crawford assures would-be gardeners the promise of a burst of color to enjoy even if their space is limited.
Ms. Crawford has a BA from Vanderbilt University and a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from Florida International University, where she won the “Torch Award” as one of the outstanding alumni from the School of Architecture. She has designed 1500 gardens for residences and country clubs in Florida.

Paul James

GreenFest 2007

Paul James

Paul James, “The Gardening Guy” and host of HGTV’s “Gardening by the Yard” was the featured guest speaker for GreenFest 2007.
Paul entertained over 250 GreenFest Luncheon guests at the A LA CARTE EVENT PAVILION with his extensive knowledge as a master gardener and his charming personality. He also spoke twice at the GreenFest Speakers Tent. Over 300 visitors attended each session and were treated to his spirited and informative audience participation of gardening trials and conquests.
Paul admits there was a time when he hated gardening. The dislike stemmed from digging Bermuda grass out of his father’s vegetable garden in the middle of August.
Paul has come a long way since that memorable hot and sweaty day. Now known as “The Gardener Guy”, Paul serves as Gardening by the Yard’s creator, writer and senior producer. Almost the entire show is shot in his own backyard.
I remember watching gardening shows when I was younger, and I was amazed at how everything was always picture perfect. The soil was so soft and crumbly. The plants were pest disease free. And the hosts never broke a sweat! So when I got the chance to do my own show, I decided to make it as real as possible.
That realism, plus Paul’s somewhat zany style and a commitment to all-natural approaches to gardening, has endeared viewers to his show since it first aired on HGTV in 1996. “If I’ve got a spot where the soil is awful, or a plant that’s been riddled by bugs or plagued by some sort of disease, I don’t hide it. I feature it. How else will people know how to deal with their own garden problems?”
Paul’s gardening career began in 1978 when he and his wife, Carrie, purchased their first home. As an undergraduate, Paul studied botany, plant physiology and plant pathology. He obtained his master gardener certification in 1983.
Despite his credible education background, Paul confesses that most of what he knows about gardening came from “digging in the dirt, and making more than a few mistakes along the way.”
When he’s not in the garden, Paul enjoys time in the kitchen, fishing his favorite trout stream, playing guitar, hanging out with his kids, practicing Tae Kwon Do and working on his third-degree black belt.