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.