Webinar Series: Presenters

Lineup of Presenters

MBNLA’s webinar series has a fantastic line-up of industry leaders booked and ready to share their knowledge with you. A diverse blend of speakers will cover topics ranging from pest control to irrigation, water quality, and the introduction of new plants!

Get to know this years speakers and presenters by reading their bios below.

Presenters, Index

Duayne Friesen Sales Rep, Ball Seed Company

Duayne grudgingly got started in the horticultural trade, mowing and weeding the yard, but eventually began helping with the family’s greenhouse business. This experience led him to the University of Guelph, where he graduated with a Diploma in Horticulture in 1989. In 2004 Duayne became the Grower and Manager of Lacoste Garden Centre, a position he held until the summer of 2009. Since then he has represented the Ball Seed Company, serving garden centres and greenhouses in Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario. Duayne also spent 20 years as host of The Lawn and Garden Journal, saying goodbye to the airwaves in 2017. Duayne and his wife Bev reside in Winnipeg.

Matt Kellas Sales Manager, Aubin Nurseries Ltd

Matt was born and raised in Winnipeg. He has been in the green industry for 10 years and graduated from the Greenspace Management Program at Red River College in 2013.

Matt began his professional career working as a Forest Health Protection Inspector at the City of Winnipeg. He then moved to Thompson, MB to become the youngest Golf Course Superintendent in the Province. 3 years later, he started his first sales job as an Account Manager at Consolidated Supply – where he sold landscape/irrigation materials. Most recently, he has found his true passion as the Sales Manager at Aubin Nurseries.

Matt recently served as the treasurer on the MBNLA board for two years. Some of his interests include watching/playing sports and spending time with family and friends.

Matt will be presenting on behalf of Aubin Nurseries. He will present various plant varieties: from new & exciting, to underrated & reliable. As well, he will discuss the product availability outlook for 2021 and beyond!

Philip Ronald – Research and Marketing, Jeffries Nurseries

Philip Ronald was raised in the Canadian prairies and educated in plant breeding and horticulture at the University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan. He currently divides his time between teaching ornamental horticulture at the University of Manitoba, managing a 20-acre fruit farm, and providing support to the research and marketing programs at Jeffries Nurseries. He resides near Portage la Prairie with his wife Karen and their children.

Owen Vanstone Owner, Vanstone Nurseries

Owen Vanstone is a joint owner of Vanstone Nurseries, a greenhouse and nursery operation located in Manitoba. The company produces a wide range of hardy perennials, shrubs and roses, as well as a growing line of herbs, vegetables, and annuals. Owen is involved in plant testing and selection, as well as many details in the day-to-day operations.

Owen has enjoyed developing the perennial trial site at the nursery location. Plant material from several breeders is evaluated for cold hardiness and suitability to the Prairie landscape. The nursery trial site is also host to the All-America Selections trial, with a focus on the Herbaceous Perennial category. Owen enjoys evaluating new plants and working to bring the best of them to Prairie gardeners.

Pratisara Bajracharya – Pesticide – Minor Use and Regulatory Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development

Pratisara has a M.Sc. Degree in Plant Science with a concentration in Plant Pathology and Genetics from the University of Manitoba. She has a B.Sc. Degree in Microbiology from North Dakota State University. Pratisara started her career working as a “Field Crop Pathologist” with Manitoba Agriculture. She is currently employed with MB AG as a “Pesticide – Minor Use and Regulatory Specialist,” under which she has multiple roles, including pesticide registrations, a regulator etc. When she has some spare time, Pratisara loves to travel, listen to country music, and try new recipes.

Denise Ilychna – Regional Pesticides Officer, Health Canada

Denise is a Regional Pesticides Officer with Health Canada’s Pesticide Compliance Program. She has been with Health Canada’s compliance and enforcement department since 2009 and thoroughly enjoy the work she does with the Pesticide Program. Denise grew up on a farm in rural MB so it only seemed fitting for her to head to the U of M to obtain an Agriculture Degree. When she’s not at work Denise enjoys cross country skiing with her family and watching hockey and basketball games… only on tv this year. She’s hopeful she can soon get back to the rink/gymnasium to watch her 2 sons play their favorite games!

Krystal Penner – Pesticide and Agricultural Specialist, Manitoba Conservation and Climate

Krystal Penner is the Pesticide and Agricultural Specialist for Environmental Approvals Branch. She has been employed by the Branch for thirteen years. Krystal is the current environment designate for the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Committee on Pesticides and Pest Management. In her spare time Krystal volunteers as manager for Timbits hockey and sits as a member of Sunnyside Childcare Board of Directors.

Laura Barbison – Technical Manager, Master Plant-Prod Inc.

Laura joined Plant-Prod in 2013 after completing her Master’s degree at the University of Guelph. As MPPI’s Technical Manager, her goal is to maximize your growing potential.

Sanda Jovasevic – Sales and Marketing Manager, Master Plant-Prod Inc.

Sanda is MPPI’s Sales and Marketing Manager globally, she has been with Plant-Prod since 1994 and she holds a Master’s degree in Plant Production.

Judy Colley – IPM Specialist, Plant Products

Judy is an IPM specialist for Plant Products, with over 30 years experience. Her crop experience includes topicals, annuals, and greenhouse potted plants.

Judy also has experience as an IPM instructor at the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture and at Niagara College.

Carla Antonation – Owner and Arborist, Trilogy Tree Services Ltd.

Carla is a practicing Arborist in Winnipeg, MB. Carla graduated from the Greenspace Management program at Red River College where she studied the environment through the streams of arboriculture and horticulture. While working in the industry, Carla went on to achieve her Arborist Certification and Tree Risk Assessment Qualification from the International Society of Arboriculture.

Carla co-owns and operates a tree care practice that focuses on the maintenance and preservation of as many trees as possible! Carla divides her time between consulting, and managing the business as well instructing the Arboriculture course at the University of Manitoba. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Urban Forest Council and of Trees Winnipeg.

Peter M. Baloglou – Director of Education and Information, Trendscapes Supply Company

Pete, aka “Paver Pete” of Techo-Bloc (will present on behalf of Trendscapes Supply Company) has 25 plus years in the industry. “Paver Pete” has authored numerous articles and has appeared as a leading hardscape expert on more than 25 national and local television and radio programs, including “Hometime,” “Home Team,” and “Man Cave.” Pete is one of the industry’s leading experts on permeable pavement systems and is an accredited instructor on Porous Pavements for the American Institute of Architects/American Society of Landscape Architects.

Pete has taught, bid, marketed, sold, and installed pavers and SRW’s on a large scale, in over 30 states in the U.S. and five countries abroad.

Currently residing in Ohio with his wife and daughter, Pete enjoys his collection of Jeeps, motorcycles, and cars. Reading close to 50 books per year on history, politics, religion, and economics…as well as business, marketing, sales, and construction keeps Pete very busy!

Derek DeCooman – Sales Manager, Unilock

With a sales and architectural background, Derek boasts nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry. Joining Unilock in 2006, he began as a Commercial Territory Manager, securing specifications with architects, landscape architects and engineers while working with commercial contractors. In 2013, Derek played a key role in bringing Unilock Natural Stone to the Ontario market. In 2017 he was promoted to Sales Manager in Ontario where he enjoys coaching and mentoring Unilock Territory Managers to deliver ever-better Unilock service and support.

Lee Hotas – Key Account Manager for Manitoba and NW Ontario, Expocrete Concrete

Lee has been the Expocrete Concrete Key Account Manager for Manitoba and NW Ontario for the past 12 years. Expocrete is a Member of ICPI and Lee is an Allan Block Certified SRW Trainer, Manitoba Masonry Institute Treasurer, Member of MBLNA, Friends of MALA, and a Graduate of the University of Winnipeg.

Wayne Patram – Vice President of Innovation, Barkman Concrete

Wayne is the Vice President of Innovation at Barkman and has been developing products for the company for 10+ years. He grew up in Mitchell and currently resides in Steinbach with his wife and two boys. In his spare time, Wayne serves as President for the Chamber of Commerce in Steinbach and is looking forward to warmer weather and spending the summer outside with his family.

Paul Proulx – Eastern Canada Sales Manager, Hunter Industries

Paul Proulx is a graduate of Turf Management from the University of Guelph. Paul has been in the green industry for over 25+ years and is an active member of Landscape Ontario. Early in his career, Paul was a lawn care business owner for 12 years in Guelph, Ontario with over 5,000 customers and 11 service vehicles. He is a Class C Golf Course Superintendent and holds 5 Landscape Exterminator Licenses with the Ontario Ministry Of Environment.

Paul has worked as Hunter Industries’ Eastern Canada Sales Manager for 9+ years. His territory encompasses the area from Winnipeg, Manitoba east to Saint John’s, Newfoundland.