Speakers

Step back in time, and step onto the Grand Island of Mackinac as you listen and learn from our inspirational speakers.

2020 Speakers

Jack Barnwell ~ Grand Opening Speaker

Barnwell Landscape and Garden Services

Garden Topics:

To be announced

Jack Barnwell is an award winning garden designer, author, and owner of C3 Gardens of Southwest Florida as well as Barnwell Landscape and Garden based on the Michigan island of Mackinac. As owner of Barnwell Landscape and Garden Inc., Jack has over twenty years of experience creating breathtaking commercial and private garden displays on one of the world’s premier summer vacation destinations.

Barnwell Landscape and Garden is responsible for the annual planting and maintenance of thousands of flats of flowers. They handle complete landscape installations, and specialize in innovative annual displays in garden beds, containers, and window boxes. Plants and materials are brought to the Island by boat and moved on location by horse and bike power because of the complete motor vehicle ban on Mackinac Island. Jack has customized his work for the Southwest Florida climate and market. C3 Gardens also maintains many of their clients’ plantings by bicycle as they have found that this not only provides a more efficient means of transport, but decreases their impact on the environment.

Jack’s work has been featured in many publications, including Landscape Management magazine. As a consultant for Proven Winners, Jack contributes to the design of beautiful gardens at commercial properties all over the United States.

At the end of a long day, Jack, his wife Karen, and their two sons enjoy watching the sunset, no matter which island they are on at the time…


Jan Johnsen – Keynote Speaker

Johnsen Landscapes

Garden Topics:

To be announced

Jan Johnsen is a professional landscape designer and a principal of the established design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in Westchester County, NY.

She was an adjunct professor at Columbia University and is an award-winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden along with a contributing editor for Garden Design Magazine. For the last several years, Jan has written the popular garden blog, ‘Serenity in the Garden’ and Facebook page, ‘Serenity in the Garden blog’.

Jan was awarded a 2014 Merit Award by the Association Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).

A speaker for botanical garden and garden show audiences, Jan loves to share her insights in the beneficial effects of informed garden design with others. Her unique approach, incorporating ancient practices with contemporary ideas makes for fascinating presentations. She combines the “why” with the “how-to” in an engaging and popular manner. And as always, she adds a large dose of stunning ‘eye candy’ to make everyone realize that heaven is indeed a garden.


Dr Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell ~ Keynote Speakers

Beekman 1802

Garden Topics:

To be announced

Brent and Josh founded Beekman 1802 in 2008. But they actually consider themselves to be a 211-year-old company. “When we stumbled across the Beekman Farm in upstate New York, we had no plans to create a business around it. We started making goat milk soaps and gourmet cheeses in 2008 and one thing led to another…now we are proud to have over 180 employees and be recognized as one of the most successful lifestyle brands in America by Nasdaq, Inc Magazine & The Wall Street Journal. Like Judge William Beekman, who originally built the farm over 200 years ago, we were inspired by the land and the community to build something lasting.”


Laura LeBoutillier ~ Breakout Session Speaker

Garden Answer

Garden Topics:

To be announced

Laura LeBoutillier is quite simply an emerging force in the field of gardening. She started Garden Answer in 2014, a YouTube how-to gardening vlog filled with style, expertise, and helpful gardening knowledge.

From the time she was a child, Laura was surrounded by her Ontario, Oregon family garden and family business, Andrew’s Seed Co.

Today, she has attracted nearly half a million YouTube channel subscribers and her Facebook page has over 2.5 million followers. Combined, she’s received over half a billion views. She is quite the sensation in just a short period of time and these numbers are continually growing!

She can’t wait to meet you, chat about all things Earthy, and share some of her expertise with you first-hand!


Kerry Ann Mendez ~ Breakout Session Speaker

Perennially Yours

Garden Topics:

To be announced

As an award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer, Kerry Ann Mendez focuses on time-saving gardening techniques, workhorse plants and sustainable practices. She has been on HGTV and in numerous magazines including Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Gate and Better Homes & Gardens.

Kerry Ann was awarded the 2014 Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for her horticultural accomplishments. She has published four popular gardening books, her most recent being, The Budget-Wise Gardener (February 2018). In 2016 Kerry Ann introduced National Gardening Webinars that are attended by thousands.

For more about Kerry Ann visit www.pyours.com.


Deborah Trickett ~ Breakout Session Speaker

The Captured Garden

Garden Topics:

To be announced

Award-winning container garden designer Deborah Trickett has worked in the gardening industry for over 30 years, starting with her first job in a greenhouse at age 13 until the present as the owner of The Captured Garden. Deborah works with clients throughout New England who want their homes to be beautiful, not typical. By combining unusual plant material and creative design ideas she creates gardens and containers that are truly one of a kind.

Deborah Trickett is a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist, and a Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional. Deborah is a frequent lecturer on creative container gardening, speaking at the New England Spring Flower Show, The Connecticut Flower Show, the Newport Flower Show, as well as The Philadelphia International Flower Show. She has also shared her passion for perennials at the Perennial Plant Association Annual Symposium. She also teaches classes and workshops at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. Her work has been featured in The Boston Globe, The American Gardener, Garden Gate and New England Home magazines as well as on the TV show New England Dream Home.


Marshall Dirks

Proven Winners® ~ Event Emcee

Marshall Dirks will bring his enthusiasm, humor and 20+ years of experience with Proven Winners® products to “center stage” at our Grand Garden Show.  As the second employee hired by Proven Winners, he is excellent at keeping all of our speakers on their toes and on time! Technically in charge of marketing and public relations, all the plant geeks who surround him have turned him into a passionate gardener!