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The McManus Group


At the age of 37, the University of Mississippi hired Jeff McManus as the Director of the newly formed Landscape Services Department. As one of the most junior directors on campus, the immediate challenges that faced him were staggering - exceptionally low morale with an unacceptable lack of productivity. In many ways, the Ole Miss landscape services was actually an extreme example of the same problems facing many organizations then and today.

Jeff believed the challenges could be overcome with focused team effort. So, he established a four-step process he calls “The GROW System.” Jeff works from the position that everybody wants to be successful and they can be - by recognizing their personal potential. Great teams, Raising results, Offense scores and Winning Attitudes, these four things, formed Jeff’s GROW System.

Jeff has been praised by Forbes and the Huffington Post for his book, Growing Weeders into Leaders, where he shares how his team went from last place to being on the national stage. It wasn’t long before PGMS, Newsweek, Princeton Review, and USA Today all recognized Jeff’s teamwork and awarded their efforts with the nation’s most beautiful campus designation.

Dan Cathy, chairman of board of Chick fil A, had this to say about Jeff’s book, “…[it] serves as a guide for all current and future leaders. As a member of the leadership team at Chick-fil-A, part of my job is to help define the future of our business. One thing we have learned throughout my tenure at Chick-fil-A is that there’s a big difference between locating leaders and cultivating them. Jeff reminds us that all leaders can be cultivated with the right pruning and nurturing.”

Jeff holds a bachelor's degree in Landscape and Ornamental Horticulture from Auburn University and is a Certified Arborist and Grounds Manager.


Based on Jeff's new book, Cultivate, Tailgate Huddles to Grow Stronger Teams, this motivational session gives practical steps to transform the mindset of a weeded into a leader.  Jeff identifies 7 clear ways for you and your employees to grow stronger leaders, master communications across all generational gaps while cultivating the culture that brings rave reviews for your company.  According to a recent survey by Survata, more than 70% of employees want their companies to improve how they communication information.  One of the obvious and most popular "fixes" is to simply communicate more and more often.  But, does the "more often" just become a lot of noise?

Take Aways:  

  1. Why owners should focus on culture and not behavior.
  2. How to motivate cross 5 generations of employees.
  3. How communication to 5 generations helps to grow employee leadership skills.


10:00AM - 11:30AM

LIVE Presentation

There will be a breakout session immediately following the class. 

Books will be available for purchase and signing.  







Arbor Access, Inc.

Andre Sprague is an ISA certified arborist who has been a climbing arborist for twelve years. He received an associates degree in Arboriculture and Community Forestry Management at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture in 2012. Spending his time in the industry continuing his education, Andre has kept up with progressing industry standards and has pursued unique training opportunities in the field with industry leaders.

In 2017 Andre and a partner opened a local tree company, Arbor Access Inc., which also provides subcontracting services to local tree care businesses. He is the lead climber at Arbor Access and also trains other climbers and crew members on working in accordance with industry standards. His time spent following and speaking with leaders in the development of safety standards in arboriculture has helped him shape his own practices.

"Experience from the field; learn how to make smart decisions in tree care."

Things happen quickly in tree work. Whether the moves or cuts are big or small, decisions and outcomes are almost always final. In a trade where no two scenarios are ever the same, what resources do we have to help us be sure what we are doing is SAFE and are best management practices? This talk will go over scenarios we face in the field, how to navigate these scenarios, and what safety standards we can reference to help guide our decision making.


2:00PM - 3:00PM

LIVE Presentation





Plymouth Quarries

As a second generation stone mason/designer Derek has been working in the industry for over 25 years. Having worked in every aspect of masonry Derek realized that the attention to detail in outdoor living and hardscapes interested him the most. At a young age his father educated him on plants and landscaping, so combining that into his hardscape designs is an added feature to his work. With education in communications and years of construction under his belt, Derek enjoys focusing on public speaking at various trade venues around the country. Working with PBS and DIY helped him hone his skills in the TV world of construction. He jokes that “TV production and construction are two worlds that should never meet, but when it worked it was great.”

With over 200 episodes, 7 years on TV, speaking at international trade shows and teaching hands on classes at quarries, he enjoys the variety of work. Trained in the old world school of hand cutting stone with hammers and chisels he looks forward to those projects that call for the full veneer stone bringing him back to his roots of working with his family. Derek lives in the South Shore of Boston, MA, with his wife and two kids.

"Hardscape Design & Permeability"

Learn how to design with natural stone, concrete products in a dry application with tips on permeability.


3:00PM - 4:00PM

ZOOM Presentation

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Nicholas Brazee, Ph.D.

Extension Plant Pathologist

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Nick is an Extension Plant Pathologist at the University of Massachusetts, where he directs the UMass Plant Diagnostic Lab, providing woody plant disease diagnostics and management support for Green Industry professionals. In addition, he conducts research on fungal pathogens of urban and landscape trees. Dr. Brazee has a Ph.D. in Forest Pathology from the University of Massachusetts.

"Review of Tree and Shrub Diseases from the 2022 Growing Season"

Based on samples submitted to the UMass Plant Diagnostic Laboratory, Dr. Brazee will review important tree and shrub diseases from the 2022 growing season in southern New England. Weather extremes (heat and drought) continue to predispose and weaken woody plants in managed settings, in some cases facilitating disease and insect outbreaks. Specific topics will include, but are not limited to, beech leaf disease, arborvitae needle blight, foliar diseases of pine, and stem/branch cankering pathogens on deciduous hardwoods. Management strategies, when possible, will also be discussed.


1:45PM - 2:45PM

ZOOM Presentation



Richard W. Harper, Ph.D.

Extension Associate Professor of Urban and Community Forestry

University of Massachusetts

Rick is a Past President of the International Society of Arboriculture-New England Chapter and is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist. He currently teaches courses in urban and community forestry and human dimensions of natural resources and administers an applied integrated research and extension program in urban forestry. He received his Ph.D. in Forest Resources-Arboriculture from UMass, an MS in Entomology from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He is a recipient of ISA's "Early Career Scientist" award and the "Public Education Award" from Tree Canada.


Trees face a variety of stress factors in the urban environment. This session will outline steps and best practices designed to help arborists advocate for trees and their protection from undue injury in association with construction activities.


10:00AM - 11:00AM

ZOOM Presentation

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Marie Chieppo


EcoPlantPlans, LLC

For 25 years Marie Chieppo been the principal of an ecological design business whose focus is to engage people with nature. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees in the sciences have complemented her education in design and horticulture with a deeper understanding of what's involved in the creation of healthy and beautiful landscapes. In 2021 she moved down to Cape Cod from Needham where her property was often used as a demonstration garden to teach others about the beauty and functions of native plants. She designed, installed and helped to maintain a few public spaces there to further educate about the many benefits native plants have on our properties. In 2020, she researched and authored the report, " Plastic Pots and The Green Industry: Production, Use, Disposal and Environmental Impacts." A national campaign was then formed by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and is receiving worldwide attention. She has written for many organizations about ecological approaches to landcare and given talks for the Ecological Landscape Alliance, the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, Wild Ones and the Association to Preserve Cape Cod.

“Closing the Loop in Landscapes:  Enhanced Sustainability from Plants, Materials and Methods”

The plants, materials and methods we employ in our planned landscapes significantly impact the overall health and sustainability of our projects. The integration of native plants into the landscape ecosystem are inherently more resilient to changes in our climate and provide myriad benefits for indigenous flora and fauna. Employing organic methods and materials will help protect the health of our water systems and reduce inputs on the landscapes we work on. When native plants and organic-based materials and methods are properly used, the life within the landscape create their own version of sustainability - a healthy ecosystem.

WEDNESDAY, January 25

9:30AM - 10:30AM

LIVE Presentation

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TARYN LaScola-Miner

Director of Crop and Pest Services

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Pesticide Program

Taryn LaScola-Miner is the Director of Crop and Pest Services within the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. Since joining the Department shortly after graduating from Westfield State in 2000, most of her career has been working in the Pesticide Program. She was a pesticide inspector for 13 years before becoming Chief Inspector in 20I3. Then in 2016, she became Director of Crop and Pest Services where she oversees the entire Pesticide Program along with several others.

“Massachusetts Laws and Regulations, An Update”

This session will provide pertinent updates to any new laws and regulations. Additionally, some basic pesticide information will be covered as a refresher.

WEDNESDAY, January 25

12:00AM - 1:00PM

LIVE Presentation

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National Sales Manager

Abbott Ipco, Inc.

Nelson Darden is the National Sales Manager for Abbott Ipco, one of the world’s largest suppliers of plant bulbs and other horticultural supplies. Since early 1970, Abbott-Ipco has served the Horticulture industry as an international source of caladium bulbs, imported Holland bulbs, perennials and other new and unique products for the greenhouse industry, garden center, landscaper, and gardener. Abbott-Ipco’s subsidiary, Classic Caladiums, is the licensee for Proven Winners Heart-to-Heart Caladiums. The company is the world’s leader in production and distribution of the widest selection of caladium bulb varieties, with the broadest catalog of ever-changing, new and improved variety options and of course, introductions. The company is constantly curating new varieties to be more superior in performance, resistant to disease and insects, tolerant to heat and able to survive in wider geographic areas.


Nelson will introduce the industry’s Proven Winners’ newest Heart-to-Heart Caladium varieties and share the state-of-the-art breeding that has resulted in varieties tolerant of full sum and heat. He will share how these virus free introductions add exceptional full-season color to any landscape


1:45PM - 2:45PM

ZOOM Presentation

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Regional Account Manager

Pleasant View Gardens

Amy Cardello is a Regional Account Manager for Pleasant View Gardens, one the nation’s largest Proven Winners propagation facilities. Amy is responsible for preselling crops, expanding key accounts, and performing on-site merchandising setup for retailers. In addition to serving the needs of landscape industry members, she also conducts ongoing seminars and Proven Winners┬« Certified Garden Center training and education for retailers, which ties in well with her background within the education market. Prior to joining Pleasant View Gardens,  she served as Associate Director of Admission at The Pike School in Andover, Massachusetts, Admission Associate at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, and Assistant Director of Admission at St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, Maryland, where she honed her skills of communication, training, problem solving, and organization. Amy earned her BA in history from Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut and is currently pursuing her Landscape Design certificate through coursework at North Shore Community College.


Amy and Malia will introduce Proven Winners newest plant introductions and share how they’ve been bred for exceptional performance. They will focus on best and appropriate uses within the landscape and landscape design, recommended combinations that complement each other, and cultural tips for long season performance. Photo examples will illustrate each and highlight why these new varieties are so exceptional

WEDNESDAY, January 25

11:00AM - 12:00 AM

LIVE Presentation

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malia michaud

Regional Account Manager

Pleasant View Gardens

Malia is a Regional Account Manager for Pleasant View Gardens, one the nation’s largest Proven Winners propagation facilities. Malia manages relationships with landscapers and independent garden centers in the Northeastern United States. Michaud’s horticulture experience spans back to her childhood. More recently, she worked in sales and customer support at Geremia Greenhouse while helping garden centers with their finished plant material needs. Prior to that, she was employed with Express Seed calling on wholesale growers and retail garden centers. Malia also worked with WH Milikowski where she drew from her greenhouse production experience to provide customer support and recommendations.


Amy and Malia will introduce Proven Winners newest plant introductions and share how they’ve been bred for exceptional performance. They will focus on best and appropriate uses within the landscape and landscape design, recommended combinations that complement each other, and cultural tips for long season performance. Photo examples will illustrate each and highlight why these new varieties are so exceptional

WEDNESDAY, January 25

11:00AM - 12:00PM

LIVE Presentation

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Regional Sales Representative

Four Star Greenhouse

John Antonelli is a Michigan State University alum with a strong background in sales and a love of gardening that comes from his grandfather, John is an advocate for growers and landscapers. The heirloom tomato seeds passed down for generations in the Antonelli family have been added to our Tasty Treats line as the Gino Tomato. Family legend has it that they were brought from the Old Country more than 100 years ago. John is a Regional Sales & Landscape Representative with Four Star Greenhouse in Carleton, Michigan - the nation’s largest propagators and producers of Proven Winners plants.


John will introduce several new Proven Winners annual plant introductions and share how they’ve been bred for exceptional performance. He will focus on appropriate uses within the landscape, recommended combinations that complement each other, and cultural tips for long season performance. Photo examples will illustrate each.


12:30PM - 1:30PM

ZOOM Presentation

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Jane Beggs-Joles

Landscape Program Manager

Spring Meadow Nursery

With over 20 years of experience working in the nursery industry,  Jane has worked in the wholesale plant industry for over twenty years. During this time, she has had the pleasure of helping to introduce many exciting new plants to the North American horticulture world. She has a B.S. in horticulture and an M.S. in agricultural economics, both from Michigan State University. All Proven Winners┬« ColorChoice┬« shrubs originate and are propagated at Spring Meadow Nursery, located in Grand Haven, Michigan.

“New Problem-Solving Shrubs for Cape Cod Landscapes”

Get inspired for spring with new woody plants that are easier to grow and maintain in the landscape. Jane will highlight the newest Proven Winners ColorChoice shrub introductions, how they were developed, and how they solve problems when designed in the landscape.

THURsday, January 26

10:00AM - 11:00AM

ZOOM Presentation

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laura robles

Regional Product Manager

Walters Gardens

Laura oversees sales in the Mid-Atlantic states and is responsible for managing the trialing program sent out to customers. She was previously the Trials Manager for Walters Gardens where she managed container trialing of new varieties and production methods, as well as finished production for shows and events. Laura has been involved in the horticulture industry for over 20 years in various aspects including retail, public gardening, growing and research. She has degrees in Natural Resources from Cornell University and in Horticulture from Michigan State University and is an alumnus of the Greenhouse Product News 40 under 40 Class of 2013.

“Amazing New Perennial Selections That Will Make Your Job Easier”

Laura will highlight Proven Winners newest improved perennial varieties that are showier, easier, and asked for by name. Laura will share how to leverage the ease of design and procurement that the new varieties provide, how perennials can enhance landscape design, and will identify complimentary species. This presentation will illustrate how featured varieties are improvements over old standbys.

THURsday, January 26

11:30AM - 12:30PM

ZOOM Presentation

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Senior Director of Technical and Regulatory Affairs

National Association of Landscape Professionals

Prior to joining NALP, Bob was a thirty plus year veteran of the professional lawn care industry, mostly recently with Lawn Dawg based in Nashua, New Hampshire.  A native of Duxbury, Massachusetts, Bob graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Agricultural Economics.  He serves on the Board of Directors and is Past-President of the Massachusetts Association of Lawn Care Professionals.  Bob has been privileged to represent the landscape industry in many public forums including the Pesticide Board Advisory Council in Massachusetts, the Northeast IPM Advisory Council.  Most recently Bob was appointed to the Environmental Protection Agency's Pesticide Program Dialog Committee, a forum for a diverse group of stakeholders to provide feedback to EPA on various pesticide regulatory, policy, and program implemental issues.  


Landscape professionals take a lot of heat for our use of fertilizers and pesticides in caring for our client’s properties. Are we the bad guys? What is the state of affairs here on Cape Cod and the Islands and how might things change in the near future? NALP’s Bob Mann will review both local, state and federal policies that touch upon this subject and what you need to watch for in the coming year.

WEDNESDAY, January 25

8:00AM - 9:00 AM
LIVE Presentation




Research Scientist & Technical Support Specialist

Bartlett Tree Experts

Beth Brantley is a Research Scientist and the Northeastern Technical Support Specialist with Bartlett Tree Experts. Her key areas of responsibility include diagnostic support, research and public education in arboriculture, with emphasis in tree risk assessment, veteran trees, and wood decay. Beth has a PhD in Plant Pathology from The Pennsylvania State University. She taught forestry and related courses for more than 20 years at Penn State Mont Alto prior to joining Bartlett Tree Experts in June of 2019.


Beech leaf disease is moving quickly across our landscapes. Beth will focus on the biology and potential management strategies of this novel disease. Additional pests and pathogens affecting beech trees will be featured, along with hope for the future.

Tuesday, January 24

11:15AM - 12:15PM
ZOOM Presentation

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Lead Sales Associate

Hyannis Country Garden

Jamie (Dekes) Dedekian has worked at Hyannis Country Garden for more than 13 years. He received an accreditation from the Northeastern Organic Farming Association (NOFA) as an Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP). Jamie is the point person for organic lawn care at HCG. A native of Cape Cod, he says his goal is to “save our sandbar one lawn at a time.” In addition to his work at Hyannis Country Garden, Jamie is the owner of Inspired Organics, specializing in organic land and plant management. He has been a landscape professional on Cape Cod for more than 20 years.

“Organic Land and Plant Management”

During the summer of 2022 we experienced a record-setting drought season on Cape Cod. Jamie (Dekes) will give you ideas to increase survivability of your landscaped plants and turf during drought stressed times. This presentation will also guide you with the restoration of turf, using best organic practices.

WEDNESDAY, January 25

2:15 - 3:15PM
LIVE Presentation




Assistant Extension Professor

University of Connecticut

Dr. Ana Legrand obtained her Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Maryland and currently works in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture at UConn. Her research and extension interests are in the areas of biological control and plant-insect interactions.

“Landscaping to Attract and Conserve Beneficial Insects”

This presentation will include a review of beneficial insects found in ornamental landscapes and the natural pest control services they provide. Steps to sustain the presence of these insects will be discussed.

THURSDAY, January 26

2:30PM - 3:30PM

ZOOM Presentation

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Cape Cod Landscape Association
  PO Box 460
Centerville, MA 02632-0460
Phone: 508-317-1533

Cape Cod Landscape Association is a 501 c3 – registered non-profit
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