2015 School of Grounds Management & GIE+EXPO Schedule


*Click on a speakers’ name to read their bio.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
PGMS Board Meeting . . . . . Galt HouseClements Room

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
PGMS Registration Desk Open . . . . . Galt House – Main Lobby

11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Field Trip . . . . . Kentucky Governor’s Mansion; Capitol Building in Frankfort and Bortherum Historical Estate
(Meet at Galt House lobby by 11:30 a.m. Bus Departs from Galt House. Trip requires separate ticket, boxed lunch provided)

The field trip begins at the Kentucky Governor’s Mansion and Capitol Building, located in Frankfort. The Governor’s Mansion is the site of one of seven Proven Winners Signature Gardens and you will have the opportunity to tour the grounds with Jon Carloftis and members of the landscape team. The field trip continues with a visit to the Botherum Historical Estate in downtown Lexington. This site was the winner of the 2014 Preservation Award by the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation. Also available at this site is a Bourbon Tasting to highlight some of Kentucky’s history and the role of distilleries in the region.

SGM Credits: 3 Elective credits

 5:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
PGMS First Timers Reception . . . . . Galt House – Carroll-Ford Room
First time attending the PGMS GIE+EXPO? Please join other newcomers at a special welcoming reception for all first-time conference participants. This brief reception will help guide you through the in’s and out’s of the GIE+EXPO experience.

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Welcoming Reception . . . . . Galt House – Carroll-Ford Room
PGMS will open its annual conference with a welcome reception for all conference participants. Renew old friendships and build new ones while you enjoy hors d’oeuvres and drinks.

8:00 p.m.
Concert – Featuring musical artists From Paris and Grand Funk Railroad . . . . .
4th Street Live

Thursday, October 22, 2015

7:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Breakfast of Champions . . . . . Galt House-Sampson Room
Ventriloquist Denny Baker, presenting “Safety is No Joke”
An entertaining way to get your day started, join us as Denny Baker discusses the different aspects of safety related to national safety guidelines, policy and procedure change, and much more in a unique way.

SGM Credits: Division I – HR Management – 1.5 credits

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Registration Desk Open . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
GIE+EXPO . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center
A dynamic two day showcase of more than 700 exhibitors. Talk to suppliers and network with fellow landscape professionals. Both the indoor and outdoor areas are open all day. Its the largest show of its kind!

SGM Credits: Division I – Human Resource Management – 1.5 credits


9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
“Motivating and Retaining Quality Employees” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-101)
Steve Keating, The Toro Company
The ultimate test of management in the year 2015 and beyond is the ability to motivate and retain quality employees.  This fast moving presentation will focus on discovering what motivates our individual employees and ensuring that they stay with us when they reach their peak. We will also discuss the benefits of working to motivate our employees as well as how to improve our effectiveness in this vital management area.  We will look at six primary principles we can use to effectively coach our employees on a daily basis and discuss strategies for cost effectively retaining those key employees that no successful organization can afford to lose.

SGM Credits: Division I – Human Resource Management – 1.5 credits
“Managing Your Water Needs in a Sustainable Landscape” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-104)
Lynda Wightman, Hunter Industries
In today’s landscapes, no matter the type of plant material nor location of site, Professional Grounds Managers need to understand the importance of best management practices with the use of water. Healthy plants, safe playing surfaces, and visually appealing landscapes are all created and maintained by understanding the sustainable practices/ trends in water conservation throughout our world. Come visit this session to find out what, where and how it affects your daily operations!

SGM Credits: Division IV – Non-Horticulture – 1.5 credits


1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
“Leading Up in Your Organization” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-101)
Steve Keating, The Toro Company
Influence is the essence of leadership. Your ability to influence those above you in your organization is directly related to your ability as a leader. This presentation provides a set of principles to help you develop your influence at higher levels of your organization. We will discuss leading yourself, how to develop relational chemistry, the difference between leading and managing, and preparing yourself to interact with top leadership. Leadership is far more about disposition than it is position. This presentation is for anyone looking to change their outlook from one of managing people to leading them.

SGM Credits: Division I – HR Management – 1.25 credits

“Adding Value to Exterior Spaces with Lighting Controls” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-104)
Will Irvin, Hunter Industries
With 15 years experience in the lighting industry Will Irvin’s informative session will keep you engaged and show you how exterior lighting can add value to your business, projects, and properties.

SGM Credits: Division IV – Non-Horticulture – 1.25 credits


3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
“The Benefits of Becoming a Certified Ground Manager & Profiling the Successful Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation Campus” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-101)
Gerry Dobbs, CGM, Certification Chairman & Joe Jackson, CGM, PGMS Accreditation Facilitator
Certification Chairman Gerry Dobbs, CGM will discuss his personal experience as a Certified Grounds Manager and the personal and career opportunities available to those who complete the program during the first 30 minutes of this session. Following Gerry’s presentation, Landscape Management and Operations Accreditation Program Facilitator Joe Jackson, CGM will highlight campuses that have successfully achieved accreditation and inform attendees on key elements of the program and provide insight on what is required to meet the criteria for accreditation.

SGM Credits: Division IV – Non-horticulture – 1.25 credits

“Budgeting for ROI” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-104)
Bruce Wilson & Ken Taylor, John Deere
You will learn how to justify your budget requests for smart facility improvements for your grounds. Build your case by showing return on investment or how it pays for itself over time.

SGM Credits: Division II – Business and Financial Management – 1.25 credit

6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
CGM Reception (Must be a CGM) . . . . . Galt House-Willis Room

8:00 p.m.
Concert . . . . . 4th Street Live, Country music star Kellie Pickler

Friday, October 23, 2015

7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Annual Business Meeting and Continental Breakfast . . . . . Galt House-Archibald Room
The PGMS Annual Business Meeting is held in conjunction with the Annual Conference. This enables as many members as possible a chance to attend. Included in the Annual Business Meeting are the following:

  • The Election and installation of Officers
  • Official reporting of the Society’s business, fresh from the Fall Board Meeting
  • Branch Reports
  • Recognition of Accreditation Recipients and those who achieved the distinguished status of CGM in 2015
  • The chance to ask questions of the officers and the board members

8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
PGMS Registration Desk Open . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
GIE+EXPO . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center
This is a two-day showcase of more than 700 exhibitors. You are able to talk to suppliers and network with fellow landscape professionals. Please note the outdoor area is only open until 4 p.m.


9:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
“Weeds, Weeds, Everywhere” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-101)
Bert McCarty, Clemson University
Weeds are often the main reason many managers are hired as well as fired. Modern weed control has become a complicated, ever changing science that requires constant updating and training to stay on the edge of technological advances. Topics to be covered include basic weed management and control but also include more advanced topics such as new weed control options, weed resistance to herbicides, and life without MSMA. Come prepared to learn about the latest in this subject area for professional grounds and interact with fellow attendees to share local successful and not so successful tricks-of-the-trade approaches.

SGM Credits: Division III – Horticulture – 1.5 credits

“Customizing your Snow Management Plan” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-104)
John Doiron, Concord Hospital
In this session colleagues will see unique ways to customize your current plan to be more effective, efficient and reduce liabilities. Topics that will be covered are in-house training, getting your staff involved to be leaders, fit-testing, videos, job descriptions, snow crew forms, safety and more.  Refine your current plan to strive for a zero-tolerance plan and team work throughout the snow season. Other items that will be addressed will be meetings, scheduling, on-call procedures, vehicle and equipment check list.

SGM Credits: Division IV- Non-Horticulture – 1.5 credits


1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
“Do your Grounds Meet ADA Standards?” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-101)
Catherine Graham, Rehabilitation Engineer
How do you incorporate accessibility in your grounds design and management? From someone with over 25 years of both personal and professional experience, learn some of the most overlooked ADA standards that impact your grounds accessibility.  Learn how to comply with ADA standards in areas such as parking, maintenance of shrubs and trees, clearing of ice and snow, ramps, stairs, as well as access to public transportation and emergency call boxes.

SGM Credits:  Division IV- Non-Horticulture  – 1.25 Credits

“Making Pesticide Safety Interesting (well as much as possible)” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-104)
Cam Lay, Montana Department of Agriculture
We all know that pesticide safety talks begin and end with “follow the label,” and this one will be no exception. But what happens if you don’t? Cam Lay shares a few instructive stories of  things gone wrong when standards of good practice and label language went by the wayside.

SGM Credits: Division I – HR Management – 1.25 credits


3:00 p.m – 4:15 p.m.
“Plant Growth Regulators – Where do they fit in the Landscape?” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-101)
Jeff Atkinson, Plant Growth Regulator Specialist
Plant growth regulators are utilized extensively in agriculture, ornamental production, and turfgrass to reduce labor, improve aesthetics, and support plant health.  This talk will discuss the use of growth regulators in the landscape, best management practices for their use, and how they can benefit you as a grounds manager.

SGM Credits: Division III – Horticulture- 1.25 Credits

“Equipping and Operating an Equipment Maintenance Shop Effectively” . . . . . Kentucky Exposition Center (C-104)
Ross Weaver, Michigan State University
An in-depth information session encompassing all aspects of operating a high performance grounds maintenance equipment repair facility. Topics that will be discussed include: Tools and equipment within the factory; Hiring/developing quality mechanics with diverse skill sets; equipment replacement plans; and much more!

SGM Credits: Division III – Horticulture – 1.25 credits

6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
PGMS Awards Reception & Dinner (requires separate ticket) . . . . . Galt House-Archibald Room
Celebrate with your peers as we announce the 2015 Green
Star Award Winners!

7:30 p.m.
Concert . . . . . 4th Street Live, Lindsay Henken followed by The Rigbys

Saturday, October 24, 2015

7:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Breakfast and Education Session . . . . . Galt House-Daisy Room

SGM credits: 2 credits


7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
“Hitting the Links: Utilizing Social Media as a Tool for your Business” . . . . . Galt House-Carroll Ford Room
Stephanie Dodd & Justine Harper, PGMS Headquarters
This informative session will discuss how social media has vastly changed the way people now engage and interact with businesses, customers, and colleagues. Do not let social media scare you away! We will discuss the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

SGM Credits:  Division II – Business and Financial Management – 1 credit
8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
“Maximizing Production by Minimizing Injuries” . . . . . Galt House-Carroll Ford
Dr. Nicholas Payne, Kentucky Chiropractic Association
In this class, we are going to cover simple everyday strategies to reduce injuries. Identifying problem biomechanics before they become an injury will allow you to be more productive. Don’t miss out on these simple but powerful strategies!

SGM Credits: Division I- HR Management – 1 credit