Speakers

We are thrilled to announce our speaker line-up for the 2015 Garden Bloggers Conference!

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Photo credit: Target

Nate Berkus will be keynoting at the Garden Bloggers Conference.

Nate is a decorator, product designer and author. His interior design firm, which he founded in 1995, designs interiors across the country and around the world. In Fall 2012, Nate brought his branded line of home goods and accessories to Target stores nationwide, and his fabric collections are available at Fabricut, Calico and Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores. He was the host, judge and executive producer on NBC’s “American Dream Builders” in 2014. Nate’s interiors, and design expertise, have garnered national press in publications such as Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Us Weekly, People, O Magazine, Lucky and InStyle, among others.

For more on Nate, visit his website.


bunnywilliams_2014-377Bunny Williams is a designer with a modern vision, a sense of history, and the confidence to take the unexpected path. Both a trailblazer and a tastemaker, Williams’ style is classic, but never predictable.

By day, Bunny is one of New York’s most successful interior designers, a woman whose hours are filled with high-powered meetings, magazine photo shoots, and detailed consultations with clients. But when the week shades into Friday evening, Bunny can be found in the idyllic retreat of her Connecticut garden, the emotional center of her life and the source of perhaps her greatest creative efforts. After five days at the top of the design world, nothing means more to this warm and brilliant woman than to spend the next two with her hands in the dirt, musing about the effect of trees and flowers, paths and benches.

The passion Bunny feels for her garden is a deep one shared by countless others — in the country, in the suburbs, and even in the city. Gardening has become America’s favorite pastime, but its vocabulary remains intimidating, even to those fluent in the language of style and design. Applying the lessons we’ve learned about interior space to the outdoors is a good idea, but it doesn’t work without help: before we can decorate the outdoor room we need to understand its character, and few people can guide us to that understanding better than Bunny Williams.

alexa-hampton-photo-501Under owner and designer Alexa Hamptons’s direction, the world famous firm Mark Hampton LLC has completed a wide range of designs for domestic and international projects, from New York City to Hangzhou, China, including apartments and large residences, private airplanes and yachts.

A perennial member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and House Beautiful’s Top Designer list as well as a member of Elle Décor’s A-list, Hampton’s work is classic, traditional and eclectic. Her involvement in design goes far past her position as President and featured designer of Mark Hampton LLC; she is on the board of trustees for the New York School of Interior Design, the New York Landmarks Conservancy and the Institute for Classical Architecture. She was one of the three inaugural designers who launched Gilt Groupe’s Gilt Home Design Boutiques, serves on the design board of MyDeco.com and was the only ever female cast member of “This Old House” and was a co-host of PBS’ “Find.”

Over the years, Hampton’s work has been featured in many national and regional shelter and design magazines. In recent years, Hampton received an honorary PhD from Moore College of Art and Design, was awarded Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Female Award, Connecticut Cottage & Gardens’ Design Innovator Award and the Hyland Award for Interior Design. She was also the first woman to receive the Design Icon Award at the World Market Center.

Marcus_Sheridan_photo200pixMarcus Sheridan
Partner, River Pools and Spas
Founder, The Sales Lion

Marcus Sheridan is the founder of The Sales Lion, one of the internet’s fastest growing marketing websites focusing on the transformational powers of inbound marketing on small businesses. But before spreading the good word about marketing, Sheridan, who also owns a prominent swimming pool company, established the most popular swimming pool website in the world through content marketing.

Known for his contagious enthusiasm and boundless energy when on stage, Sheridan has since become a popular speaker and has been called the ‘Gary Vaynerchuk of the Swimming Pool Industry.’  Called a “Web Marketing Guru” by the New York Times, Sheridan has traveled the world, helping businesses and brands of all sizes simplify marketing in the digital age so they get results.  Learn more about Marcus Sheridan.

adam_japko-new_266Adam Japko is Chief Executive Officer of Esteem Media, Inc. He formed the company with the acquisitions of Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Design Bloggers Conference, Garden Bloggers Conference, and WineZag. The company is focused on acquiring, launching, and expanding media properties in local and global luxury markets driven by digitally engaged trade and consumer communities. The company’s mission is connecting communities with common business and enthusiast interests for commercial, educational, and professional networking purposes while helping luxury business professionals navigate the shifting traditional-to-digital media landscape.

Recently he served as President at DigitalSherpa, a fast growing SMB social media and internet discovery business offering content, social, reputation management, local listings, CTA’s, web business intelligence, and other internet marketing programs. The company served over 4,000 SMBs.

Japko spent 14 years at PennWell Corporation, a privately held business-to-business information provider serving the global Technology, Energy, and Municipal Services markets as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Advanced Technology Division and member of the board of directors.

Japko began his career with Hecht, Higgins and Peterson, a small ad agency specializing in broadcast media. His background in the publishing, online, and event management industry includes sales and management positions at Media Networks, Inc. a 3M Company specializing in local networks of national magazines including Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, and Business Week, Sunday Magazine Network, and various B2B media companies including BMT, Gralla, and Miller Freeman (United Newspapers).

In 1979 Japko received a BA in Journalism from New York University. Adam is also an active member of the wine industry’s social media landscape through his award winning blog; WineZag.


shawna-coronado-440Shawna Coronado is an author, on-camera spokesperson, newspaper columnist, photographer, internationally recognized keynote speaker, and successful social media marketer with over eighteen years of experience with sales, marketing and public relations.

Shawna will speak on the topic “How to Monetize Your Online Brand.” Within the our industry in the last five years, social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, blogging and more have transformed how people communicate and build their businesses financial stance. Bloggers the world over are utilizing these tools to both connect and monetize their brands. Discovering how to build brand legitimacy and find new ways to monetize our brands while attracting fresh and interested consumers as our readers is the first step to creating a blogging revenue stream. In this discussion, Shawna will talk about techniques for blog monetization that can lead to stronger income.

As an experienced spokesperson with green lifestyle living, organic gardening, social media, and eco content creation, she campaigns for social good online and speaks internationally on building community, simple living, and green lifestyle tips for the everyday person. Shawna’s social media expertise has propelled her far within the online industry – she has over 200,000+ followers on her social media outlets and 170 videos on YouTube with a million+ views. Her goal with her online presence is to better the world by utilizing community involvement and simple green living as tools to encourage social good.

Shawna appears regularly on international radio and national American TV as well and has been featured on many stations including ABC, NBC, WGN, and PBS TV. Her organic living photographs and stories have been featured both online and off in many international home and garden magazines and multiple books. You can learn more about her at http://www.shawnacoronado.com.

Jan_Bills-150x150Jan Bills owns and operates Two Women and a Hoe®, a boutique indoor/outdoor sustainable landscape design, installation, and landscape management company in Michigan.

In 2006, she developed her business plan and strategy to exit corporate America to start her business. In 2008, she replaced her corporate high heels with Wellies and never looked back! Today she is living her dream and mixing business with pleasure!

In 2012, Jan launched a new business venture in her off-season, Social Media Millionaire Makers. Her passion for social media affords her the opportunity to consult and train small business owners, bloggers, and non-profit organizations. She also developed an e-Course entitled, ‘Numbers Don’t Lie’. With over 225,000+ Fans on her business Facebook page and a robust social media presence, she is anxious to share her strategies with others.

Jan holds a Masters of Art in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management. She is an Advanced Master Gardener and Certified Landscape Designer. She is also a contributing writer for State-by-State Michigan Gardening.

lisa-steele-523Lisa Steele | Fresh Eggs Daily®
Lisa is the founder of Fresh Eggs Daily, currently the largest online natural chicken keeping resource. In five short years, her Facebook page has amassed nearly 400,000 likes, and her blog, which she has been writing since the beginning of 2012, was named one of the Top Ten Garden Blogs for 2014 by Better Homes & Gardens magazine. A certified herbalist, Lisa peppers her blog with herbal remedies, tips on growing and using herbs, practical craft projects, recipes using fresh eggs and produce, and homemade products for the coop and home along with her basic natural chicken and duck keeping advice, drawing in more than 375,000 page views a month.

Her blog has more than two dozen corporate sponsors, an Amazon affiliate storefront and Lisa runs an Etsy shop from which she sells rustic, farm-themed goods that she handmakes. In addition to her blog and Facebook page, she is also an active presence on YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

In October 2013, Lisa wrote her first book titled Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens…Naturally (St. Lynn’s Press) which has held the #1 spot on Amazon.com in the Bird Care category for most of the time since its release. She is currently working on a second book. She is also a contributing writer for Hobby Farm magazine, Hobby Farm Chickens magazine, Hobby Farms Ducks, Urban Farm Magazine, HGTVGardens, and Backyard Poultry magazine.

As a true testament to the burgeoning interest in raising backyard flocks as a whole and Lisa’s personal success in the field, she recently recorded a radio show with P. Allen Smith and will be appearing on his television show on PBS as well. She also has appeared on a local NBC-affiliate lifestyle-themed television show. She has been featured in several national magazines here in the US, including Southern Living and Good Housekeeping, as well as publications as far away as Great Britain and New Zealand.

Lisa’s plans for 2015 include Fresh Eggs Daily-branded products in conjunction with several national companies and appearances on national television, along with growing her brand and presence online by continuing to provide relevant and high-quality content and information on both Facebook and her blog, as well as expanding her scope to include more duck-related projects. Her 2014 gross income reached six figures.

lorrie_thomas_ross-546Lorrie Thomas Ross (aka The Marketing Therapist®), is a marketing expert, educator and author. She is the CEO of Web Marketing Therapy, Inc., a digital marketing agency and training company that gets organizations on the right path to success. Her expertise empowers organizations to create scalable web solutions that brand, build and boost business. She speaks nationally on a number of marketing-related subjects. Lorrie teaches custom courses for corporations as well as workshops through UC Berkeley Extension. Her book, The McGraw-Hill 36-Hour Course to Online Marketing is a common companion to professionals looking for online marketing management expertise, support and guidance.36_hours_book_cover_200x200

Ross’ marketing and education background have turned her into a “markEDing” evangelist (that’s not a typo, it’s a mashup: Marketing + Education = markeding®). She is staging a peaceful revolution on the way that people and companies think about and approach marketing. Approaching marketing in an ethical way with a pure, educational purpose helps people better understand why to support an organization’s products and services, takes the stress out of marketing and gets more “good” organizations over their fear of marketing so they get in the game.

Lorrie Thomas Ross holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University. She has been featured in the media as a marketing expert by publications including INC, Forbes, SUCCESS Magazine, the Associated Press, eCommerce Times, Entrepreneur and FOX News.

www.lorriethomas.com
www.webmarketingtherapy.com

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rochelle-greayer-429Rochelle Greayer is the author of Cultivating Garden Style (Timber Press, September 2014) as well as the founder and editor of Pith + Vigor, a literary newspaper and online magazine for garden enthusiasts. In addition, she is the creator of the popular blog Studio ‘g’, named one of the top ten gardening blogs by the editors of Better Homes and Gardens and BHG.com; co-founder and editor of Leaf Magazine, a digital design magazine for garden makers; and a weekly columnist (The Gardenist) for Apartment Therapy, “one of the most influential interior design sites on the Web” according to Forbes magazine.pith-vigor cover-200px

A graduate of the English Gardening School in London, she has been designing gardens for private residences and hotels around the world since 2002. A lover of fresh homegrown food, she is also one of the founders of the Harvard Farmers Market, the largest weekly farmers market in central Massachusetts. Prior to her garden design and writing career, Rochelle was a physicist rocket scientist (yes, really), riding in the cockpits of F-14s and F-18s and helping launch Russia’s first commercial satellite.

Prior to writing her first solo book, Cultivating Garden Style (Timber Press, September 2014), in 2012 she was featured in Luke Dixon’s Keeping Bees in Towns and Cities and in 2004 and 2005 she worked with Rosemary Alexander to co-author The Essential Garden Design Workbook and The Garden Makers Manual.


nick-mccullough-466When it comes to the art and science of landscape design, Nick McCullough’s talents lie in both worlds. He studied both horticulture and art history at The Ohio State University, giving him a unique perspective on every design project. Furthering his experience, he also studied landscape design in Northwest England. The aesthetic of English gardens made a profound impact on Nick, and many of his projects have ties to the classic design elements found in the English countryside.

Nick is an APLD-certified Designer, who has won numerous awards including Young Professional Of The Year from the Perennial Plant Association. A self-described “plant nerd,” he is passionate about perennials and has a masterful understanding of how plants thrive in the Midwestern climate. This love of cultivating extends to Red Twig Farms—the nursery extension of his business, where unique perennials, annuals, specimen trees and hedges are grown for use in his designs. His social media presence of over 3 million Pinterest followers makes him a standout in the industry, and a sought-after public speaker. Author of the Thinking Outside The Boxwood blog, Nick has also been a featured writer for publications such as Garden Design magazine.

Nick has owned and operated McCullough’s Landscape & Nursery, LLC since 1997. Family operated, the business is a blend of Nick’s artistic vision, his Midwestern roots, and a genuine love of making exceptional properties truly extraordinary. Nick lives in Central Ohio with his wife Allison their two children.

allison-mccullough-331Allison McCullough has a unique ability to set forth a grand vision, then follow through on every detail. While her finance degree from Indiana University gives her a business-minded foundation, her background in retail marketing and interactive advertising helped shape her passion for bringing that business vision to life in print and online. As the head of marketing for McCullough’s Landscape & Nursery, Allison ensures that the brand is known for thoughtful communications and special touches that can only come from a family-owned business.

 


CSA CookbookLinda Ly is the voice behind the award-winning blog Garden Betty, a lifestyle website devoted to gardening, homesteading, sustainable living, and inspiring a meaningful and adventurous life. The blog began in 2010 as a personal project and soon earned the title of “Best Gardening Blog” from Country Living magazine. As a gardening expert for HGTV, Linda focuses on edible gardening, farm-to-table cooking, and backyard chicken-keeping.

In the four years since it launched, Garden Betty has grown into a top resource for gardeners from all over the world and countless climate zones, ranging from the US and Canada to Australia and England. Every month, over 200,000 visitors turn to the blog for tips and tricks, how-to guides, personal anecdotes, and growing inspiration from Linda’s quarter-acre plot in Coastal Los Angeles. She has an affinity for unusual heirlooms and “ugly” vegetables, and is well known for crushing common food myths in the American eating culture.

This expertise led to her first book, The CSA Cookbook (Voyageur Press, 2015), which emphasizes a no-waste approach to cooking from a community supported agriculture box, farmers’ market, or backyard bounty. The book features over 100 recipes for utilizing all the edible parts of the plant — think of it as a nose-to-tail approach for vegetables. Months before it was ever published, The CSA Cookbook was a Top 10 title in Amazon’s “Whole Foods” category and held the #1 New Release spot for several weeks.

Prior to becoming an accidental full-time blogger and author, Linda was a freelance graphic designer and web developer with over 15 years of experience. These days, she’s thrilled to add blogger and photographer to her many titles!


sara-bendrick-photo-347Sara Bendrick, as a landscape designer with a passion for being involved with her projects, hosting the DIY Network’s ‘I Hate My Yard’ was the perfect fit! Sara Bendrick loves to interact and help homeowners realize the opportunity in their exterior spaces. With a DIY attitude her crew and Sara tackle tough backyards with the help of the homeowners to keep the budget in check. She guides the homeowners through the renovation process by tasking them with fun, creative and aesthetically pleasing projects to take back the yard once & for all.

Sara is a landscape designer by trade –  born & raised in San Diego, California, and started at a young age with a passion for art, nature and an appreciation for anything living. She always had a passion for doing as opposed to watching. When she was young I would sew doll clothes out of her old T-shirts, draw, paint, and dig in the dirt. Her whole life has been about trial & error, figuring things out as she goes. When she was a little older shedecided she wanted chickens, so she read a book and got to it, luckily that was a success! Unlike her attempt at a 5000 Red-worm worm farm.

She studied at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and received a Bachelors of Science in Landscape Architecture. As a college student she immediately got her hands dirty in the field working different landscaping gigs, including being a forewoman for a landscape maintenance company. After college Sara honed her residential design skills by working for a design/build firm and eventually went out on her own and started her own landscape design business.

Sara loves the opportunity to combine nature with a built environment to create a sense of place. She has always been interested in horticulture & art, and designing landscapes allowing her to combine both of my passions. She feels very fortunate to have a career that can combine artistic expression & environmental awareness with purpose & function.


Kelly-Fitzsimmons-493Kelly Fitzsimmons has been a photographer for more than half her life. Her work spans many genres, including portraiture, fine art, editorial and event photography, all with a focus on documenting moments and subjects with the goal of display and preservation. Using natural light, unexpected perspectives, artistic post­production techniques, and enthusiasm for seeing the beauty in all things, Kelly creates images that are timeless yet uniquely captivating.

Kelly’s work has been featured in many publications, including Andrew F. Smith’s, New York City, A Food Biography and Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Wine as well as Rochelle Greayer’s Cultivating Garden Style. She also is a photographer for Pith+Vigor magazine, and contributed to Leaf Magazine as well. Kelly currently has an exhibit in the Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center “Hall of Hope” featuring photographs and stories of children born prematurely. She was also named Artist of the Month by For Art’s Sake in Harvard, MA.

While Kelly has greater success photographing gardens than growing them, she did earn high praise in 2014 for her homemade blackberry moonshine ­­ harvested from the wild bushes overtaking her front yard. She is married with four school­aged children and lives outside of Boston, MA.

You can follow Kelly’s work on Facebook www.facebook.com/kellyfitzphotography, on Instagram @kellyfitzphoto or by visiting her website at www.kellyfitzsimmonsphotography.com.

lisa sabin-wilson-photo-501Lisa Sabin-Wilson
Chief Operating Officer and Co-owner
WebDevStudios

Lisa is Chief Operating Officer and Co-owner of WebDevStudios, a design and development company specializing in customized WordPress themes and plugins, and the author of WordPress For Dummies. As the “For Dummies” brand franchise author on all things WordPress she’s also written several other WordPress-related books geared toward the beginner to intermediate level user of the WordPress platform.

Lisa worked with WordPress since 2003, and is also a regular public speaker on topics such as WordPress, blogging, design, and social media. You can find Lisa on Twitter at @LisaSabinWilson


rob-ciampa-photoRob Ciampa
Chief Marketing Officer
Pixability

Rob Ciampa is an award-winning entrepreneur and CMO at Pixability. He is YouTube-certified, and co-author of the upcoming “YouTube Channels for Dummies,” and Pixability’s “Top 100 Global Brands On YouTube,” one of the most comprehensive and data-intensive studies of YouTube. He is passionate and wickedly opinionated about sales, marketing, startups, food and wine.

A dynamic spokesperson for the company, Ciampa is known not only for his sharp criticism of viral video promises and faulty digital video advertising, but also for his prescriptive YouTube strategy, content marketing, and advertising work with brands. He uses his sales, marketing, and domain expertise to become a trusted advisor for customers across industries. Rob and his growing marketing team spearhead strategic content and brand initiatives at Pixability, including data-driven analyses of brands and industries on YouTube.


beth-lamanach-photo-256Beth Le Manach
VP Programming, Kin Community and
Host, Entertaining with Beth

Beth Le Manach has been cooking and entertaining for over 20 years. She grew up in a family that always entertained, and throwing together a last minute party, has always come naturally. She is a home cook that has refined her cooking skills by cooking, constantly; as well as producing over 500 episodes of food content for both cable and online networks.
She is inspired by her French husband and their many trips to France where she has learned how to cook his favorite French foods, directly from her in-laws. She is also an avid gardener and her extensive vegetable garden serves as the basis for many of her favorite recipes. Her mantra is “minimum effort, for maximum impact.” She lives in Los Angeles, with her husband and two children.

tony_perez-500Tony Perez is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sucuri, Inc. He believes that usability and website aesthetics should be built on a strong foundation of secure design. Tony has invested the better part of 5 years analyzing and assessing the state of security within the realm of websites. He travels the world engaging website owners and developers in an effort to build a bridge between traditional Information Security processes and those that end-users should employ. He strongly believes that the challenges webmasters face today around security can be addressed through education and awareness.

brett_vankoski-267Brett Vankoski
Vice President and Co-Founder, Latitude Beverage Co. ,
Ninety+ Cellars
Sitting in his cubicle one day in 2007, Brett realized that all he could expect to measurably accomplish in another decade of corporate confinement was a few more totally awesome PowerPoint presentations. Not satisfied with this vision of the future, he left the corporate world to pursue his MBA. Brett’s Masters in Beverage Appreciation consisted of compiling a small wine collection in his son’s closet; arguing that dry rose is a great choice for beer drinkers; and discovering that not everyone likes the wines he likes no matter how crazy good they are. Impressed by his bodacious wine skills, in 2009 Kevin asked Brett to help him to launch 90+ Cellars. Since then, he spends most of his days, evenings and weekends tasting, selecting, selling and promoting the wines of 90+ Cellars.

Brett has a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University and has successfully completed Boston University’s Wine Studies Program. He lives in Brookline with his lovely wife, two sons and Norma, the wine lovin’ English Bulldog.


Jonathon-Alsop-photo-172Jonathon Alsop is founder & executive director of the Boston Wine School and author of The Wine Lover’s Devotional: 365 Days of Knowledge, Advice & Lore for the Ardent Aficionado published by Quarry Books.

Jonathon started life as a wine writer covering wine, food & travel in 1988. He is author of the wine column In Vino Veritas by Jonathon Alsop as well as many articles for the Associated Press, Frequent Flyer, La Vie Claire, Beverage Business Magazine, Mobil Travel Guides, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Boston Globe, and many others. He founded the Boston Wine School in 2000 where he teaches wine and food classes.

Kika GiKika_Gilbert-photo-newlbert
Head of Community at @Tinybop

Kika hails from London, having done a few short stints in New Jersey and Tokyo as well. She came to the states at age 18 to attend Smith College where she studied art and education.

Kika spent a few years working with artists and art startups before taking a year to immerse herself in the NYC public school system as a teaching assistant in a kindergarten class. Kika is passionate about innovative education and making learning just as fun as real life. She can most often be found eating in Brooklyn and hanging out with her two dogs. She loves learning new things!

Tinybop is a studio of designers, developers, and artists which has focused on building truly special apps for kids. Their first app “The Human Body” was chosen as App of the Year by Apple and was one of the most successful children’s apps in 2013.


bekka-palmer-photo-419Bekka Palmer
Former GM of Tattly, 9 million Pinterest followers, works with many digital companies on content and production.

Bekka Palmer spent her childhood alternating between sitting on the floor of her mom’s sewing room and helping her dad in his wood shop. She watched them with a careful eye and picked up their incredible attention to detail. Now, she’s a photographer, designer and maker living in Brooklyn. Every Wednesday, she and her friend Dave publish interviews with strangers about their days at On A Wednesday.