HDGIC Speakers

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• James A. Bethke, County Director and Farm Advisor, University of California Cooperative Extension

James Bethke has both a bachelor's and master's degree in entomology from the University of California Riverside. He worked in the Entomology Department for 25 years concentrating on ornamental plant pest management issues before becoming the Farm Advisor in Cooperative Extension for floriculture and nursery production. His research emphasizes pest management methods against common ornamental plant pests and insecticide resistance issues. In addition, he has been involved in eradication and management of invasive pests and their regulatory effects on nursery and greenhouse production in California. He has published over 136 scientific and technical papers and 123 trade journal and newsletter articles. In addition, he has given over 250 presentations related to ornamental plant production and pest management.

• Nancy Buley, Hon. ASLA, Communications Director, J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co.

Nancy Buley is Director of Communications for J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co., wholesale tree growers of Boring, Oregon. A member of Oregon Association of Nurseries, Garden Writers Association, Association of Northwest Landscape Designers and the Society of Municipal Arborists, she is a Lifetime Honorary Member of the American Society of Landscape Architects. Nancy serves on the board of directors of Friends of Trees and on the Policy Committee of Alliance for Community Trees.

In recognition of her longtime tree advocacy and stewardship efforts, The Arbor Day Foundation presented Nancy with the 2014 Frederick Law Olmsted Award, and Friends of Trees honored her with the 2014 Garry Oak Award.  She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Journalism, with a Horticulture Minor, from Oregon State University. Nancy recently completed certificate requirements of the Municipal Forestry Institute.

• Scott Clark, Senior Safety Management Consultant, SAIF Corporation

Scott has been in the field of safety and injury prevention since the mid 90’s. After earning his B.S. in Safety Studies from Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire in 1996 he discovered Oregon and never looked back. Since then he has worked on both the workers comp provider and agency sides of the business and also served as Vice President for an employee benefits-based internet company. Most recently, he has served as Chairperson for a national association committee bringing together leaders in the workplace safety industry to increase their knowledge and expertise in the field. He has been with SAIF Corporation in beautiful Bend, Oregon promoting safe work places as a Senior Safety Management Consultant since 2007.

• Molly McDowell Dunston, Manager, Ewing Irrigation Products

Molly worked as a landscape designer and project manager for several years become becoming the manager of Ewing Irrigation in Bend.  In 2005 Molly graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture.  In 2009, she acquired her all-phase Oregon Landscape Contractor license and in 2013, she was appointed by the Governor to the Landscape Contractors Board for a three-year term.

• Wendy Edde, CSM APWA, Certified Stormwater Program Manager, City of Bend 

Wendy Edde has 17 years experience in stormwater management, earning her national designation as a Certified Stormwater Manager in 2013 through the American Public Works Association.  She has broad experience serving both large Phase I and smaller communities to meet their stormwater quality needs both as a consultant and municipal employee and focuses on both surface and groudnwater quality. Wendy has a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning specializing in Environmental Science from the University of California, Davis and has worked for the City of Bend since 2005.

• Dr. Robbie W. Flowers, Forest Entomologist, US Forest Service-Forest Health Protection

Dr. Flowers spent eight years as  the forest entomologist for the Oregon Department of Forestry in Salem. He  recently transitioned to an entomologist position with USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection in Portland.  He assists with the National Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) program for invasive insects and coordinates with other federal and state agencies in detection and monitoring programs for other high priority invasive forest insects.  He holds a PhD in Entomology from Virginia Tech.

• Brian French, Certified Tree Risk Assessor, Ascending the Giants and Board Director, Oregon Community Trees

Brian French is a climbing certified arborist/tree risk assessor that has worked with top-notch researchers of our time here in the US and abroad. He is the Oregon State Coordinator for the Champion Tree Registry and Co-founder of a “Big tree” advocacy no-profit called Ascending the Giants. Brian climbs and documents the largest trees of many species, documents them and then shares the information with the public as a non-confrontational approach to better tree awareness and protection.

• Debbie Goodwin, Designer, Heart Springs Landscape Design LLC

Debbie Goodwin is a certified permaculture designer and a garden designer (permaculture is a design system for creating sustainable human environments, and is based on the observation of natural systems, the wisdom contained in traditional growing methods, and modern scientific and technological knowledge) for Heart Springs Landscape Design LLC.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Landscape Architecture from Oregon State University and has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from North Carolina State University.  She has been a licensed landscape architect both in Oregon and Washington.  She was the Urban Designer and Landscape Architect for the City of Spokane, Washington for 14 years and then went on to establish her own design firm, Human Nature Design. 

Debbie was also an Adjunct Professor for Washington State University’s senior level landscape architect students teaching design studio and professional practice, and a full-time Horticulture Instructor at Spokane Community College teaching all aspects of the landscape industry and sustainable agriculture.  In addition to her training and experience as a landscape architect, Debbie is a natural builder apprentice with experience in cob and cob/strawbale building and has been an art instructor for children and adult art classes.

• Brian Salazar, Manager, Empire Stone Co.

Brian Salazar has worked for Kevin Spencer Masonry for the past twenty years.  He has managed the retail and wholesale store, Empire Stone Company for the past fifteen years. 

• Lisa Smith, Marketing Consultant, Authorized Local Expert with Constant Contact, Founder 7-Touch Marketing

Lisa Smith is a speaker, trainer, and marketing consultant for small businesses. She is founder of 7-Touch Marketing, a marketing training and consulting company. Lisa has trained over 40,000 people across the U.S. to be more successful in business. She developed and taught seminars for Franklin Covey for nearly 20 years, and has been a featured keynote speaker, workshop leader and one-on-one coach.

Lisa is an Authorized Local Expert and Business Partner with Constant Contact, and is a Certified Social Media Expert. She teaches seminars to groups all over the west, including Oregon, Idaho and Utah.

• Dr. Gwen K. Stahnke, Instructor, Turfgrass Management, Walla Walla Community College

Dr. Gwen K. Stahnke directs the Turfgrass Management program at Walla Walla Community College. Before that, she was an Extension Turfgrass Specialist with Washington State University in Puyallup for nearly 25 years. She received her B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture at the University of Illinois in 1977, her M.S. in Agronomy from Texas A&M University in 1981, and her Ph.D. in Horticulture/Forestry from the University of Nebraska in 1989.  Her previous work in the turfgrass industry includes positions as Assistant Superintendent at Medinah Country Club, Medinah, Illinois; Golf Course Operation Instructor at Lake City Community College, Lake City, Florida; and Area Agronomist for TruGreen Corporation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.    

• Jon Valley, Vegetation Management Supervisor, Deschutes County

Jon has worked for Deschutes County for 24 years as an equipment operator and for 20 of those years as a vegetation management applicator. For the past 15 years, Jon has helped build Deschutes County's vegetation management program to be one of the most active and well known in the Pacific Northwest. He has gained his knowledge from his many years of experience and being active in state wide studies and programs. He was promoted to Vegetation management supervisor a year and a half ago. Jon was born and raised in Bend and has been married to his wife Joanie for 35 years.  

• Ruth Williams, Certified Tree Risk Assessor, Davey Resource Group

Ruth Williams is a consulting arborist who develops tree risk management plans for cities and large properties in her work with the Davey Resource Group.