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Keynote Speakers


Paul Westervelt
Saunders Brothers, Inc.

Thursday January 16, 2020
Are they Better or Just New




Phil Hardwood
Managing Partner,

Thursday January 16, 2020
Creating a Modern Workforce: Emerging expectations of a new generation

Description: Employers today are facing a new generation of workers with expectations that are vastly different from previous generations. Successfully creating a modern workforce requires an understanding of these emerging expectations and significant cultural and policy changes to attract and retain a new generation of workers. This keynote session will provide insight into these emerging expectations and tangible solutions to be implemented in response to them. Following his presentation, Phil will be moderating a panel discussion with industry leaders addressing the following questions:

- What is working for you in recruiting? What are your methods?
How are you approaching recruitment differently today than before the labor shortage?
What are you doing to improve retention?
What have you tried that didn’t work as well as you had hoped?
How have you addressed compensation in an environment of rising wages?
What does the industry as a whole need to do to improve attractiveness of landscape careers?
What initiatives are already under way that you are involved in or supporting?

Bio: Phil Harwood, MBA, CSP, LIC is a managing partner with, one of three companies he has founded since retiring from a successful landscape & snow management career.

Phil holds an Executive MBA with honors and Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing, both from Michigan State University. He was nominated "Alumnus of the Decade" by Michigan State's Executive MBA Program. In addition, he is a Certified Snow Professional, Landscape Industry Certified Manager, National Association of Landscape Professionals Trailblazer, and Landscape Ontario Preferred Consultant.

Phil is a management consultant, frequent guest speaker, and contributing writer for several publications and websites. His consulting firm, Pro-Motion Consulting (, has been recognized twice by the Snow & Ice Management Association (SIMA) with the prestigious Snow Industry Commitment Award. In addition, two of his clients have won the coveted CEO of the Year Award from SIMA. 



Sue Markgraf
Founder & President, 
GreenMark Media

Friday January 17, 2020
Women in Horticulture Breakfast
The Brand that is YOU: How to Own It, Work It, Live It!

Description: We all have our favorite brands - those icons of life that are go-to products and services because they are simple, true and time-trusted. Similarly, you approach your work every day with unique strengths, values and talents. Are you aware of them? Have you thought about them? Can you articulate them, along with where they come from? Do you live them - really, live them? Join us for a high-energy breakfast, followed by action-packed round-table discussion, as we explore personal branding and how owning, working and living yours can help you make your green mark.

Bio: Sue Markgraf is an award-winning reporter, editor and media relations practitioner with more than 30 years in media and corporate communications, specializing in the horticulture and agriculture industries. She has extensive experience in strategic team leadership, inspirational business leadership counsel, media communications and lifestyle reporting, issues and reputation management and media training for education, not-for-profit, corporate and agency businesses. Her company - GreenMark - has contributed to the success of several well-known industry brands and exclusively represents green spaces, places and issues. 

Social Media: You can find GreenMark on all social media outlets. Kindly use #greenmarkpr when tagging us in posts.



Click here to see the 2020 Western Schedule

Contact Us

Western Nursery & Landscape Association
P.O. Box 411747 Kansas City, MO 64141