Director, Reford Gardens/Les jardins de Métis, PQ. Canada
Conference Moderator

Educated at the University of Toronto and Oxford University, Alexander is a historian by profession but turned his attention to gardens twenty years ago when he left a position at St. Michael’s College to run Les Jardins de Métis (Reford Gardens) in Quebec’s Lower St. Lawrence region. The great-grandson of the garden’s creator, Elsie Reford, he has been instrumental in restoring the gardens and the historic buildings on the property. In 2000, he founded the International Garden Festival, which has been acclaimed by critics and garden writers as one of the premier garden design events in the world.
President & CEO, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO).  Canada

Conference ModeratorBeth Potter has led Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) — the umbrella trade association for Ontario’s tourism industry — as President and CEO since January 2011. She currently serves as the Chair of the Governance Committee on the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services Board, and holds a seat on the Sector Advisory Committee for the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation. In addition, Beth often sits on issue-specific task forces as requested by various Ontario government ministries — most recently for the Ministry of Labour’s Minimum Wage Panel.

Prior to joining TIAO, Beth spent seven years as the Executive Director for Camping In Ontario, an association made up of more than 600 small businesses that actively represents the campground industry in Ontario. She also served on the board for the Accommodation Industry Alliance of Ontario and Campgrounds Camping Canada, which she chaired from 2009 to 2011.

With more than 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, Beth has worked with a variety of boards, committees and volunteers from all walks of life. A graduate of Lakehead University (1990), Beth and her family reside in Toronto, Ont.

Executive Director, American Public Gardens Association (APGA)

Conference Moderator Appointed in 2012, Casey is the Executive Director of the American Public Gardens Association (APGA). He and his team support over 570 gardens and their 8000+ allied members located throughout America and 14 countries. Collectively, these gardens reach over 70 million people per year and help to realize APGA’s vision – “A world where public gardens are indispensable”. Casey’s work experience in horticulture spans almost three decades. Just prior to APGA, he served 15 years at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA as the Plant Health Care Leader – directing the Soils and Compost, IPM, Land Stewardship, and other sustainability programs. Casey has authored many publications and has presented widely on IPM and other topics in public horticulture. He holds a B.S. degree in horticulture from California Polytechnic State University, S.L.O., as well as M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in entomology from Colorado State University. In 2011, he received the APGA’s Professional Citation Award for outstanding achievements in public horticulture.
Professor of Geography, Central Connecticut State University, USA; Chair, International Garden Tourism Network

How Gardens are Making a Difference in the World of Tourism Dr. Richard W. Benfield teaches Human Geography, Russia, The European Union and many of the courses in the department’s Tourism track. Prior to coming to Central he was Senior Program Coordinator in the Division of Continuing Education at the University of Oklahoma where he instructed citizens of the new Russian Federation on privatization and the transition to a market economy. He obtained his doctorate in geography from the University of Oklahoma in 1998.

Prior to commencing his teaching career at the University of Oklahoma, he was Vice-President of Marketing at Whistler Ski resort, Canada, home of the 2010 Winter Olympics; Executive Director of the Banff-Lake Louise Chamber of Commerce and a tourism marketing executive with the Government of Alberta.

His current research interests are in biogeography and particularly garden tourism, and the use of tourism as a conservation tool through the great botanic gardens of the world. He has also published extensively and spoken widely on the geography of Floriculture. As part of his research he has travelled in over 115 countries and seen the botanic gardens and other private gardens in just about all of them. In 2010 he traveled to the gardens of South Africa, the Middle East, China and the Valley of Flowers, India where he researched the intersection of garden tourism and conservation. He is a much sought after speaker from Botanic Garden Conservation International conferences to local garden clubs. His book Garden Tourism was published in 2013 by CABI Press Abingdon, England.

Commercial Director, Misa Tours International.  Canada

Developing Garden Tour Packages – What Tourists Are Looking For

Andrée first started in the tourism industry as a tour guide. She soon transferred into the Sales Dept. at Misa Tours International, creating tour itineraries for their European clientele.Today, Andrée remains very much involved in the conception of tours and development of new products, whilst overseeing the commercial operations of the Sales Dept.
General Manager, Canada Blooms

Terry brings a wealth of experience in management, marketing and sales, communications, horticulture and trade shows to provide the leadership and strategic direction to enhance the continued success of Canada Blooms.As General Manager of Canada Blooms, Terry is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the world class festival that connects people to the joys and benefits of nature through experience with gardens and flowers, by promoting, educating, inspiring and celebrating all aspects of horticulture.

Prior to joining Canada Blooms, Terry spent three years as the Director of Operations at Royal Botanical Gardens. He was responsible for the RBG Christmas Train Show, the exhibit Battle of the Titan and the RBG Garden and Home Show.

Terry also spent seven years as Director of Marketing and Communications at Ontario Place. While there, he developed the Rogers Chinese Lantern Festival, the award winning Guaranteed Weather promotion and created the Canada Dry Festival of Fire. Prior to this Terry spent 5 years with the Toronto Star holding several positions including the Director of Sports Marketing, 5 years with Canadian National Sportsmen’s Shows and at one point owned his own restaurant.

Terry and his teams have won numerous awards including four International Parks and Attractions marketing awards, two Ministry of Tourism awards for Innovative Risk Taking, a Tourism Industry of Canada Award and an International Newspaper Marketing Award among others.

Terry is a sought after speaker and has spoken at numerous symposiums including the Western Canada Sponsorship Forum, The Sponsorship report and taught marketing for one year at George Brown College.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Lakehead University and a Post Diploma Degree in Sport and Event Marketing from George Brown College.

Founding President, Communities in Bloom. Canada 
Communities in Bloom and American in Bloom – Making a Tourism Difference 

Raymond Carrière is the Founding President of Communities in Bloom. He is responsible for the management, funding and development of the organisation. He also serves as Vice-President on the Board of Directors and chairs the Program Committee.

With a college degree in ornamental horticulture, a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration, Raymond has a long career in public green space management, including the Outaouais Development Corporation, the National Capital Commission and the Ottawa-Carleton Housing Authority as well as for Ville de Saint-Laurent (Qc) and Ville de Kirkland (Qc). He is a strong believer in the value of green spaces, and a passionate advocate of their benefits for society.

Raymond is also a member of the Association des responsables d’espaces verts du Québec, the International Federation of Parks and Recreation Administration and a board member of the Nutrients for Life Foundation.

Vice President, Garden Walk Buffalo Niagara.  

USA Garden Tourism Awards – How They Make a Difference

Jim is Vice President of Garden Walk Buffalo Niagara, a regional garden tourism entity coordinating garden-themed bus and bike tours, 80 Open Gardens each July, a garden art sale, garden art exhibitions, an annual public space makeover, educational workshops and seminars, beautification grants, 14 regional garden tours – including Garden Walk Buffalo, America’s largest garden tour.Jim is a six-term, past president of Garden Walk Buffalo – 400 urban gardens open the last full weekend of July each year, attracting 60,000+ attendees from around the U.S. and Canada each year.

Jim operates an advertising design business, JCharlier Communication Design ; sits on the Marketing Advisory Committee of Urban Roots Garden Center , the nation’s first cooperative garden center; and is Vice President, Chair of the Marketing, for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Graycliff Estate .

Jim has been told that he is the country’s second leading garden tourism expert – by the country’s leading garden tourism expert, Richard Benfield. “Mostly,” Richard says, “because there is no one else.”

General Manager, Butchart Gardens.  Canada

BC’s New Garden Tourism Development Strategy

As a biology undergraduate, David’s career began on the front line and then progressed through the operational and business sides of Butchart Gardens. Proud to be associated with a National Historic Site operated by a team of 550 staff receiving one million annual visitors, David is also a board member of Tourism Victoria where he advocates strongly for horticultural tourism.
Head Gardener, Bellevue House National Historic SiteKris Dimnik is going into her third season as the head gardener at Bellevue House National Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario. After studying landscape horticulture in Vancouver B.C. she moved to Ontario to put her farming studies into practice. After completing two internships on organic farms, she ran her own CSA farm business for two years on borrowed land. Finding her way back to the west coast, she gardened for the City of Vancouver at VanDusen Botanical Garden, Stanley Park and Sunset Nursery. Before moving back to the east cost to work at Bellevue House, she spent one year as the farm lead on a certified organic 40-acre fruit and vegetable operation in the Okanagan.

Most of Kris’ travels are garden and plant related. This past summer she indulged her passion for Walled Kitchen Gardens and visited 7 gardens in 8 days, 5 of which were walled gardens, as she made her way from London to Edinburgh by train.  In February 2015, she traveled to Arizona to check out cacti in their natural habitat.


Freelance Garden Writer.  Canada

How to Get Gardeners Excited About Visiting Gardens – From a Publishing PerspectiveA frequent contributor to Garden Making magazine, Lorraine Flanigan is a freelance garden writer and editor whose work has also appeared in Canadian Gardening and Canadian Living magazines as well as in Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail. She is editor of Trellis, the magazine of the Toronto Botanical Garden, a member of the Garden Writers Association and is on the organizing committee for the Toronto Garden Bloggers Fling, 2015. Lorraine was named Journalist of the Year in 2014 by the Canadian Garden Council, and in 2007 her article, entitled Show + Tell, won an Honourable Mention, Canadian National Magazine Awards.

She also publishes a blog-a-zine at and curates CityGardening News on Flipboard. You can follow her on Facebook/Citygardening and on Twitter@citygardening.

Lecturer on Events & Leisure, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University, UK

Making a Difference by Understanding What Affords Garden Visiting

After many years of employment in business management and following completion of an undergraduate degree in environmental studies, Dorothy undertook her PhD thesis seeking to understand participation in garden visiting, within a conceptual framework of affordance theory. Dorothy’s particular area of interest is in the interactions between people and socio-natural environments. Her research into garden visiting continues and she has also published studies on wine tourism, visitors to horticultural shows and the perception of nature by visitors to Jiuzhaigou National Park in China and the New Forest National Park in England.
Publisher & CEO of Garden Making magazine.  Canada

How to Get Gardeners Excited About Visiting Gardens – From a Publishing PerspectiveMichael Fox is the Publisher and CEO of Garden Making. The quarterly magazine and other properties, such as, are a joint effort of Michael Fox, a long time magazine circulator, and Beckie Fox, a journalist and published gardening author.They created their company, Inspiring Media Inc., with the objective to inform and inspire home gardeners in two cohorts – long-time gardeners as well as people new to gardening.

Michael became an entrepreneur with the launch of the magazine in 2010, and retired from Rogers Publishing in 2012 where he was Senior Vice President, Circulation & Development, after more than 30 years in publishing. He is a director and the current Chair of Magazines Canada, the national association for magazine media.

Manager, Annapolis Royal Historic GardensBorn and raised in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, Trish began working at the Historic Gardens in 1982, their first full season of operation. As a student employee she learned the Gardens from the ground up, mowing lawns and working in admissions. After graduating from Mount Allison University, Trish continued working with the Historic Gardens, as Manager since 1987.

Trish has a fierce pride in the Gardens and in her hometown, and welcomes every opportunity to spread the good word. She was privileged to be part of the winning presentation for the award of “Most Livable Small Town in the World” as well as the Town’s past Communities in Bloom efforts. With the Historic Gardens as the centerpiece, Annapolis Royal has won at the provincial, national and international levels of Communities in Bloom.

In giving back to the community, Trish served on Town Council for 10 years, 4 of those as Deputy Mayor, retiring from this service in 2004. She participates in various tourism and marketing organizations and partnership efforts, and presently sits on the Canadian Garden Council.

In her spare time, Trish loves to play with her camera, resulting in an extensive library of tens of thousands of photos of the Historic Gardens and the Town. She has a large following for her photographic email “Bloom Report”, and through social media as well.

Trish has been part of the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens almost since inception, and brings a valuable insight to the growth and development of this Nova Scotian Masterpiece!

Founder & Chairman: Takano Landscape Planning Co. Ltd.
President: International Federation of Landscape Architects. Japan
Director: Hokkaido Garden Show 2012 & Hokkaido Garden Show Daisetsu 2015

Takano Fumiaki has over 50 years experience as a landscape architect specialized in design, citizen’s participation and ecology. He has worked as project manager and designer for wide rage of landscape related projects such as regional, city scale landscape master plans, children’s playgrounds, parks, Japanese gardens and Forest and Ecology Parks.He has been a keynote speaker at many international symposia and universities in countries as diverse as Argentina, USA, Malaysia, China, Korea, Dubai, Singapore, Australia, Israel, Norway and France.

In the past 15 years the garden tourism movement in Hokkaido has become very active. Takano has been leading this movement as landscape architect and as the director of Hokkaido Garden Show 2012 & 2015.

Takano is still an avid Equestrian jumper.

Garden Designer; Vice President International Garden Tourism Network; International Garden Tourism Person of the Year 2011.  France

Making your Garden Relevant to the Tourism IndustryPascal Garbe is the project manager for Gardens Policy with the Moselle Conseil Général (a local government). Since 2005, he has also been the director of the Laquenexy Fruit Gardens and designed many gardens all over the world.

After studying landscaping and related subjects (Baccalaureate with Distinction, BTSA with Distinction), he took a course in garden architecture (Graduate in Landscape and Garden Design) in Belgium. He came top in his year, then worked for several consultancies both in France and abroad.

His love of gardens and small spaces later led him to work with many gardening experts. One particular collaboration was when he spent over a year working alongside Princess Greta Sturdza, the owner of the Vastérival garden near Dieppe. He regularly works with many world-renowned experts such as Graham Stuart Thomas (who died in 2003), Shunmyo Masuno (Japan), Piet Oudolf (NL), Penelope Hobhouse (GB), Sir Roy Strong (GB), Made Wijaya (Indonesia) and more, and maintains links with the leading bodies in the gardening world (the RHS, Kew Gardens, the New York Botanical Garden, the Montreal Botanical Garden, etc.).

Every other year, on behalf of the Moselle Conseil Général, he organises an international conference on garden tourism that brings together the greatest experts in the world. It is considered by the international press to be the biggest event ever organised on the subject (“Financial Times”, “Gardens Illustrated”, etc.).

Pascal Garbe is also on the panel of judges for the International Garden Festival in Chaumont sur Loire (every year), Singapore Garden Festival (2014, 2012, 2010, 2008), Ellerslie International Flower Show (New Zealand), Gardening World Cup (Japan) and a one of the most influential judges for the ‘Plant Days’ at Courson and at Saint-Jean de Beauregard.

In 2008, he presided over the prestigious rose competition in Orléans.

He regularly contributes to a great many gardening magazines both in France and abroad (Les Jardins d’Eden, Ami des Jardins, Rustica, Détente Jardin, El Jardin en la Argentina, etc.) and is the author of around twenty books on gardens and plants, some are now best sellers in Europe !

In 1997, he was nominated for the Electra Foundation prize.
In 2004, he received the International Vever prize for his work on gardens.
In 2011, he received the International Garden Tourism Person of the Year Award

President, MGB Tourfest Inc.; Executive Director, Canadian Garden Council; Chair, North American Garden Tourism Conference; Vice President, International Garden Tourism Network
Dedicated to showcasing the horticultural wonders of Canada to its residents and the rest of the world, Michel is ex director of Ottawa’s Winterlude, Canadian Tulip Festival, Rideau Canal Festival and International Flora Montreal. Currently he is the Executive Director of the Canadian Garden Council which manages Canada’s Garden Route, the Garden Tourism Awards, and Garden Days; Chair of the North American Garden Tourism Conference; Vice President of the International Garden Tourism Network and also hard at work developing Flora Canada the pan-Canadian Horticultural Exhibition to be held in Ottawa in 2017.

Michel has been a member of various professional associations including: President of the Canadian Association of Festivals and Events; Canadian representative on the International Festivals and Events Association and the Federation of European Carnival Cities; President of Festival and Events Ontario; member of the Ottawa Festival Network Executive, Ottawa Tourism and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation Board of Directors and member of Festival et événement Québec. He currently sits on the boards of: Canada Blooms, the International Peace Garden Foundation, International Garden Tourism Network and is Chair of the World Tulip Summit.

Executive Director, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society of Vancouver.  Canada

Garden Tourism Awards – How They Make a DifferenceExecutive Director since 2006, Kathy Gibler has been an integral part of the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden Society for 14 years. Prior to becoming Executive Director, she was on the Board of Trustees for seven years and served the Garden as a docent, tour guide, and president of volunteers. Kathy brings a rare combination of business acumen, cultural understanding and a clear vision of the Chinese Garden’s role in the community.

Kathy believes the Chinese Garden is a vital cultural connector between Asian and other cultures and has spearheaded a vibrant program of horticultural exhibitions, concerts, education, festivals, interactive theatre and recently developed the first Master Gardener Course about Classical Chinese Gardens. She sees the Garden as increasingly crucial to the neighbourhood, the city and the world as a rare sanctuary in a world where the pace of life continues to accelerate.

Education & Interpretation Specialist, Australia

How Garden Tourism is Making a Difference in AustraliaJanelle has over 25 years’ experience in the management and development of public programs, exhibitions and publications in Australian museums and botanic gardens.

Passionate about lifelong learning, Janelle is skilled at devising innovative and meaningful learning experiences that engage local and international visitors as well as schools and other students and the disadvantaged in our society.

As an Aussie, she is a consummate traveler and brings wide-ranging personal experience and a professional perspective of what works well in natural and cultural tourism.

Director, Whistling Gardens Botanical Garden.  Canada

Garden Tourism Awards – How They Make a DifferenceDarren worked at a nursery for 18 years as a propagator, shipper and field manager purchasing a 56 acre farm in Wilsonville, ON just south of Brantford. Whistling Gardens nursery and garden centre got its official start in 2006 and soon attracted plant collectors from across Canada and the United States.

On May 26th 2012, Darren opened Canada’s Newest Horticultural Playground. The botanical garden has 20 landscaped acres. It features classical garden styles some of which are inspired by old Renaissance gardens of Europe including the Palace of Versailles. Most gardens are surrounded by natural man-made plantings and man-made water features. His conifer collection is the largest in the world with approx. 2,500 different species and cultivars. A recently donated collection of peonies was presented to Whistling Gardens with over 675 varieties and species.

Other gardens include a Rock/Alpine garden nearly 1 acre in size, Perennial, informal gardens, and Canada’s only all stone computerized fountain amphitheatre with 112 fountain nozzles. The bird aviary features many unusual species of birds and is expanding every year. A new feature will be a 7000 sq. ft walk-in outdoor free flight aviary slated to open in late 2016.

In 2012, Whistling Gardens received ‘Canada’s Best New Garden Experience’ Garden Tourism Award and 2013 received the Sustainable Tourism Ambassador of the Year Award from the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation.

Executive Director, Toronto Botanical Garden.  Canada

Toronto Botanical Garden:  Making Plans to Make a Difference

Harry Jongerden has been a professional gardener, garden designer and garden director for 35 years. He is currently Executive Director of Toronto Botanical Garden, having held the posts of Garden Director at VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver for five years, Head of Horticulture at Royal Botanical Gardens and Head Gardener at the Stratford Festival. He is the author of “This Other Eden” and designer of the Walkerton Heritage Water Garden and Stratford’s Elizabethan Garden. Current plans at TBG have him busy planning a 30-acre expansion to the current garden.
Director, Memorial University of Newfoundland Botanical Garden
Co-Facilitator: Garden Days Readiness Workshop 

As the Director of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Botanical Garden since 2012, Liz leads the business, horticulture, and outreach operations (and loves every opportunity to participate in garden design and installation!).

Well rooted in the world of horticulture, Liz was previously the Landscape Priorities Manager with the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and formerly, the Superintendent of the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture.

Recognized for her years of dedication to the green industry and horticultural education, she received the 2006 Ontario College Horticulture Educator of the Year Award by Landscape Ontario, and an Honour Roll Award and Spirit Award from the Ontario Parks Association Foundation in 2008. In 2014 she accepted the Green for Life Award for MUN Botanical Garden recognizing the garden’s life-long efforts in environmental education, community engagement and garden development.

A passionate gardener, she has co-authored two gardening books: Roses for Ontario, and The Best Garden Plants for Ontario. Liz is also a Honourary Master Gardener of Ontario and a Certified Landscape Professional (CLP).

Executive Director, Ontario Museum Association. Canada

Marie Lalonde has extensive experience in the areas of cultural and non- profit organization management, fundraising, marketing, public relations, and communications. Currently Executive Director of the Ontario Museum Association, she was previously in senior management positions with the Canadian Opera Company, Canadian Cancer Society, TVOntario, and was founding executive director of the BRAVO! Arts channel foundation. She is Treasurer of ICOM (International Council of Museums) -Canada, and a past chair of the FORUM of the Associations of Museums of Canada. She leads Ontario museum sector organization of institutional and individual members, bringing visibility and fostering public support for Ontario’s museums, art galleries and historic sites.
Public Relations and Marketing Director, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA. USA
Strategic public relations and marketing have helped propel Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (Richmond, Virginia) to a top garden tourism destination and international recognition.

Beth Monroe has led public relations and marketing efforts over the past 16 years as Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has grown and reached out to engage and attract audiences. She is committed to the Garden’s mission of education and passion for connecting people and plants to improve communities. The community recently showed its appreciation by voting Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden to the number 2 spot in USA Today’s 10 Best Public Gardens contest in 2014.

The Garden’s increased recognition can be traced to its selection as one of the “Top 10 North American Gardens Worth Traveling For” at the Garden Tourism Conference in 2013. This honor, along with inspiration from the conference, also helped Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden spearhead formation of the Richmond Garden Trail (, a ready-made itinerary of eight garden attractions in the Richmond Region. Beth leads this effort, which has resulted in media coverage in Better Homes & Gardens and the Washington Post.

Beth’s educational background includes a bachelor of arts in communication from James Madison University and a master of science in corporate and professional communication from Radford University. Her graduate studies included a semester abroad in Salzburg, Austria.

Beth represents the Garden with membership in the Greater Richmond Tourism Association and is a board member for the Lakeside Business Association. She is a board member of the Public Relations Society of America Richmond Chapter. You can follow her on Twitter @BethRMonroe and Instagram @BethRileeMonroe.

President Emeritus, American Horticultural Society; Vice President, America In Bloom Board of Directors.  USA

Making a Difference with the Disney Garden ExperienceKaty Moss Warner is currently President Emeritus of the American Horticultural Society (AHS), a national, not-for-profit, member-based organization with a bold vision of “making America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens.” Katy served on the AHS Board of Directors from 1992 – 2000 and then provided day-to-day leadership as President and CEO from 2002-2006 before being named President Emeritus.

Katy is also actively involved with America in Bloom (AIB), a national not-for-profit organization that promotes nationwide beautification through community involvement. She has judged cities for AIB in America and internationally since 2007. She is Vice President of the AIB Board of Directors and Chairs the AIB Symposium and Awards Program Committee.

Prior to becoming AHS President, Katy was Director of Disney’s Horticulture and Environmental Initiatives at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. With a team of nearly 700, she was responsible for the landscapes of four theme parks, 15 resort properties and over 70 miles of roads on the 30,000-acre property. For 24 years – from 1976 to 2000 – she provided the leadership necessary to ensure that Disney’s horticultural traditions of beautiful gardens and environmental responsibility were sustained in Florida. She started the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival in 1994 with her Disney Horticulture team and partnerships with colleagues in Florida and around the country.

Katy received the Agriculture Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Arizona, where she received a degree in landscape architecture in 1974. She was awarded the Longwood Fellowship in Public Garden Administration in 1974. In 2000, she was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in urban and community development in the Harvard School of Design. She has received numerous awards including the George Robert White Medal of Honor from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society; an Award of Excellence from the National Garden Clubs and the Margaret Douglas Medal for conservation education from the Garden Club of America. She went to Rome in 2008 to receive the Torsanlorenzo International Prize for the Environment. Katy is an Honorary Life Member in the Florida Nurseryman and Growers Association (FNGLA) and was given the Menninger Award from this organization for her work encouraging the use of flowering trees. In 2012 she was inducted into the FNGLA Hall of Fame. In 2014, she received the Industry Distinguished Achievement Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Katy has traveled extensively hosting garden tours for the American Horticultural Society in Italy, France, England, Belgium, Czech Republic, Argentina, Morocco, Spain, New Zealand as well as many destinations within the USA. She most recently hosted a tour to the gardens of Normandy in September 2014.

Katy has been featured in numerous books, newspaper and magazine articles. She co-authored the book “The Gardens of Walt Disney World Resort.” She speaks regularly on various horticultural topics including the importance of quality landscapes to the vitality of communities.

President & CEO, Tourism Victoria. Canada

Developing Garden Tour Packages – What Tourists are Looking For 

Paul Nursey joined Tourism Victoria in January 2014. He is an experienced and respected senior tourism leader and progressive tourism marketing, strategy and branding expert. Paul brings more than 18 years of tourism-related leadership and management experience to Tourism Victoria, including leadership positions with the Canadian Tourism Commission, Rocky Mountaineer Rail Tours, Mount Seymour Resorts, Tourism Vancouver – the Greater Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau. In his first year at Tourism Victoria, member satisfaction spiked by 9%, membership revenue grew 10%, confirmed meetings business grew by 4% and editorial coverage for Greater Victoria travel and lifestyle publications increased by 15%, whilst overhead was reduced by 5%. Paul holds a degree in Regional Planning from Simon Fraser University has completed the Executive Development in Tourism program from the University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa and is currently tackling an online MBA program with the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Director of Marketing & Corporate Strategy, The Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle. Italy

Panel: Garden Tourism Awards – How They Have Made a Difference

Heike Platter was born in Bolzano, South Tyrol (I), into a multilingual and multicultural society. She studied marketing at the WerbeAcademy in Vienna and then went on to do English/American studies and media communication in France, Germany and the USA. Holding a doctorate in American studies, she has worked as a journalist for many domestic and foreign media, such as for the public broadcasting companies RAI and ORF.In 2000, she began working in the wine world, first as a marketing director for the export and distribution of Italian wines, and later as a freelance consultant in wine marketing and wine tourism for a number of different companies and institutions, both local and international. She has led wine tours, conducted symposia, taught wine courses, organized wine-related events, and has participated in international wine projects, for example, in the country of Georgia.

Since 2006, she has been the marketing director of the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle, and as director of corporate strategy she is responsible for the development of the botanical gardens and for positioning this unique attraction as a magnet for visitors to Merano, South Tyrol. As such, she promotes quality garden tourism on a larger scale, was a founding member of the European Garden Association – Natur im Garten International, and was elected Secretary-Strategic Marketing Advisor in the Executive Board of the newly founded International Garden Tourism Network. As the Italian delegate to the World Tulip Association she works to promote the tulip as a symbol of friendship between nations (and gardens).

Executive Director, Longwood Gardens. USA
How Longwood Gardens is Making a Tourism Difference 

As Executive Director of Longwood Gardens since 2006, Paul Redman oversees all aspects of the 1,077-acre display garden, including its 400 full- and part-time employees, more than 700 volunteers, and $50 million annual budget. Considered one of the world’s great gardens, nestled in Chester County, Pennsylvania, Longwood now welcomes more than 1.1 million guests each year.

Under Paul’s leadership, Longwood has adopted a culture of planning to maintain responsible growth. Through an immersive and ground-breaking strategic planning process, a renewed direction was set and a visionary site master plan has been developed to guide Longwood for the next 40 years and beyond. Through diversification of its programming, Longwood has increased general attendance more than 25%, and has built a Membership program that alone has increased more than 200% in just six years with more than 50,000 Member households. Modernizing the organizational structure continues to be a priority for Paul. Early on he established marketing, guest services, and IT departments to build the business. Today, he supports Longwood’s investment in IT infrastructure and emerging technologies, including online learning for Longwood’s respected educational programs that now can be experienced worldwide. Paul has continued to evolve Longwood’s global horticultural research and student programs through the establishment of partnerships in China, Singapore, the U.K and Russia. Beginning in October 2014, Paul will lead Longwood as it embarks on the largest project in its more than 100-year history. New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project encompasses a complete restoration and enhancement of Longwood’s historic and renowned Main Fountain Garden, built in 1931. The revitalization will include innovative new fountain designs, energy efficient lighting, and enhanced garden areas for guests to enjoy, all in keeping with its original old-world charm. The project is slated for completion in 2017.

Recent honors include the 2014 Wyck Strickland Award, 2014 American Society of Horticultural Science, Dr. William A. “Tex” Frazier Lecturer and the 2012 CEO of the Year by the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, Business & Industry.

Paul currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Public Gardens Association and The Garden Conservancy. Paul has been working and studying in the field of public horticulture for more than 20 years. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Science Degree in Horticulture from Oklahoma State University.

Director of Operations, Vallarta Botanical Garden, Mexico

Vallarta Botanical Garden – Making a Tourism Difference in Puerto Vallarta 

Jesús Reyes, has been involved with this project since the construction of the Hacienda de Oro Visitor Center building and planting of the garden’s first collections back in 2004. When he can break away from his many administrative and supervisional duties, Jesús is happy to work on orchid propagation and photograph the plants on display at the garden. He is especially enthusiastic about sharing the wonders of native plants of his native country with visitors from throughout the world.
Director of Marketing & Outreach, American Public Gardens Association (APGA)

Panel Moderator: Garden Tourism Awards – How They Have Made a Difference 

Abby Spencer joined the American Public Gardens Association 2014 as the Director of Marketing & Outreach where she manages a team of Marketing, Membership and Advancement professionals who serve all of the Association’s 570+ garden members and more than 8,000 individual members. She comes to APGA from Southern New Jersey, where she was Director of Annual Giving with a full-service, acute care hospital. There, Abby was responsible for overseeing a tam of professionals through the Annual Giving and Advancement Services programs, as well as responsible for the Marketing, Communications and Public Relations functions of the Foundation. Prior to joining Shore, Abby was responsible for the marketing program for an 18-branch community bank in New Jersey. Abby as a Master’s in Business Administration from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and completed her undergraduate program at James Madison University. Abby and her family live in West Chester, PA.
President, Brain Trust Marketing & Communications.  Canada

Facilitator –– Garden Tourism Readiness WorkshopRichard has a background steeped in the advertising, travel and hospitality industries. As a marketing specialist with 30 years of experience he has held senior roles in both national and international advertising agencies and managed assignments for some of the countries largest advertisers including Nestle, Honda, Chrysler, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Delta Hotels, the Canadian Tourism Commission, and Tourism Toronto.

On the client side he helped establish Toronto’s position as a leading destination for leisure, meetings, convention, sport and incentive travel over a 7 year period as Vice President Marketing at Tourism Toronto.

Richard established BRAIN TRUST in 2000. It is a firm specializing in tourism experience and destination development, marketing plan development and creative execution. The clients they serve are a long list of private and public sector organizations primarily from the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

Richard lives in Mississauga Ontario. He is an avid golfer and is active on several not-for-profit Boards. He currently serves on the Board of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.