WV Press Release Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association is holding its Winter Symposium, “Growing A Great Landscape,” from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Charleston. Two tracks of programming featuring national expert speakers will allow attendees to focus on both landscape design and business development best practices.
Landscape Design topics and speakers include:
Peggy Cornett, curator of plants at Monticello, will present “Preserving Plants from the Past—Monticello’s Historic Landscape.”
Larry Weaner, principal and founder of Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, will explore “Breaking the Rules: Ecological Landscape Design and Traditional Landscape Methodology.”
Lisa Roper, horticulturist at Chanticleer Gardens, will share “The Evolution of Chanticleer’s Gravel Garden.”
Paul Westervelt, annual and perennial production manager and head grower at Saunders Brothers, Inc., will discuss “Are These Plants Better, or Just New?”
Business development speakers were selected to meet the customized needs of West Virginia’s green industry businesses. Topics include:
Business Coaching: Speakers from the West Virginia Small Business Development Center specialize in business coaching to encourage the success of small businesses in West Virginia. They provide expert advice on marketing, business management and planning, human resources, succession planning, cyber security, financial analysis, government contracting, and technology commercialization.
Electric vs Gas Equipment: As some administrators and policymakers advocate for electric-powered equipment usage, some cities and municipalities are mandating electric-powered landscape equipment. A representative of Stihl will update attendees on the benefits of both and where the industry is headed with its equipment.
Workforce Development: WVNLA has been working on multiple levels to attract and develop green industry employees:
- crafting a “Landscape Technician Boot Camp,” a 40-hour course to be offered at the state’s nine community and technical colleges.
- developing a lawn and landscape training course through the National Guard to present to Jobs & Hope participants and to WVNLA member companies as a training resource,
- making presentations to high school agriculture and career and tech students, and
- creating videos and presentation materials.
A panel of those involved in workforce development initiatives will include Michael Biafore, chairman of WVNLA’s Workforce Development Committee and president of Biafore’s Landscape Development; Cindy Bailey, director of economic development for the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG); Scott Byars, WVNG trainer, former WVU Extension agent, and landscape business owner; Nancy Ligus, director of workforce, continuing education and economic development at Pierpont Community & Technical College; and Lisa McDavid of Lisa’s Gardenscapes.
“We’re privileged to bring such talented speakers with impressive professional credentials to Charleston for our Winter Symposium,” said Julie Robinson, WVNLA’s executive director. “Our mission at WVNLA is to serve our members and the public they serve through education and outreach. The symposium is a great opportunity for both landscape professionals and anyone with a keen interest in design or running a landscape business to be inspired and informed.”
Cost to attend is $50 for WVNLA members and $100 for non-members and includes lunch. Contact Julie Robinson at [email protected] or 304-553-1234. Vendors may rent a table for $25.
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West Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, Inc., established in 1939, is a professional trade association dedicated to supporting nursery and landscape businesses and vendors throughout the Mountain State.
WVNLA members support West Virginia college students studying horticulture and landscape architecture with scholarship opportunities. They also share expertise and support in their communities; meet for volunteer projects; and support worthy, industry-related endeavors through Association donations. Regionally, WVNLA co-owns the annual Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show along with the Maryland and Virginia associations.
For membership, events or mission priorities please visit https://wvnla.org/