FEATURED SPEAKERS

Our featured speakers are some of the brightest individuals across the country in turfgrass management and research. These high-profile speakers will present top trends impacting the turfgrass industry. Learn more about each featured speaker by scrolling over their image and selecting their bio.

Stan Kostka, Ph.D.

Penn State University

Steve Cesare, Ph.D.

The Harvest Group

Fred Whitford, Ph.D.

Purdue University

Doug Soldat, Ph.D.

University of Wisconsin - Madison

SESSION SPEAKERS

The following individuals represent turfgrass institutions and industry professionals from across the state of the Iowa. Learn more about these individuals by scrolling over their image and selecting their bio.

Nick Christians, Ph.D.

Iowa State University

Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

Iowa State University

Tony Goldsby, Ph.D.

The Andersons

Tim Van Loo, CSFM

Iowa State University

Jeff Iles, Ph.D.

Iowa State University

SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

 

Steve Cesare, Ph.D.

Steve Cesare, Ph.D., has more than 30 years of human resources experience. Currently, Steve is the Head Harvester for Human Resources, with the Harvest Group, a nation-wide consulting firm, emphasizing improved organizational performance through human resources, business operations, and customer relations management. Prior to joining the Harvest Group, Steve was employed with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, Sentara Health Systems, and NASA.

 

Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University.  He has authored 57 professional journal articles and made 50 presentations at professional conferences.  Additionally, he has 17 years of collegiate teaching experience at Old Dominion University and the University of San Diego where he taught in the Departments of Psychology, Business, and MBA program.

Nick Christians, Ph.D.

Nick Christians, Ph.D., is a professor of horticulture at Iowa State University. He earned his B.S. degree at Colorado State University and his master's and Ph.D. at The Ohio State University. Christians’ research focuses on turfgrass fertility, weed control, growth regulators and naturally occurring herbicides for the turf industry. His university appointment consists of a blend of teaching and research. His excellence in the turfgrass industry has been well-documented through the numerous awards, including  the Iowa State Horticultural Society Honor Award, an appointment to the Musser International Turfgrass Foundation Board of Directors, the Fred Grau Turfgrass Research Award from the Crop Science Society of America, the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa GCSA and the Meritorious Service Award from the Iowa Turfgrass Institute.

In addition to his participation in many state and regional turfgrass conferences around the United States, Christians has lectured on basic turfgrass management in Spain, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Japan.  He has been a GCSAA faculty member since 1983 and he enjoys spending time with his grandchildren.

 
 

Anthony Goldsby, Ph.D.

Anthony Goldsby, Ph.D., provides product and technical support to the professional products business and serves as a resource for distributors and customers in the golf, sports turf and lawn care industries. Prior to joining The Andersons, he served as a research technician for Kansas State University’s 13-acre turfgrass research facility in Manhattan, Kansas. Goldsby received his Ph.D., master of science and bachelor of science from Kansas State.

 

Jeff Iles, Ph.D.

Jeff Iles, Ph.D., serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University (Ames, IA).  He teaches, conducts applied research, and provides Extension programming in the areas of landscape plant establishment and maintenance, woody plant evaluation, and nursery and garden center management.  He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in horticulture from Michigan State, Penn State, and Iowa State, respectively.  Between degrees, Jeff worked in the retail garden center segment of the green industry, first in suburban Detroit, Michigan, and later in Littleton, Colorado. 
 

Jeff is a member of the Rotary Club of Ames and serves on the Board of Directors of the Ames Foundation (a non-profit organization dedicated to tree planting in Ames, IA), Iowa Arboretum, Brenton Arboretum, and in his spare time he is an ice hockey referee and an avid cyclist.  

 

Stan Kostka, Ph.D.

Dr. Stan Kostka is currently a Visiting Scholar at Penn State-Berks where he is involved in discovery and application of technologies to modify the rhizosphere of plants. Previously, he spent 25 years leading programs in the soil surfactant industry with the goal of understanding how surfactants can be used to manage soil water repellency, to improve water use, increase crop productivity, and enhance performance of input chemistries in turfgrass, ornamentals, and agricultural crops. As a recognized expert, Stan has been an invited speaker at numerous technical meetings globally in the fields of turfgrass and soil science.  He has over 40 publications and holds fifteen patents relating to novel surfactant technologies and their use.  Stan received his PhD in Plant Pathology from the University of Massachusetts, a MS in Plant Science from the University of Connecticut, and a BA in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA.  

 

Doug Soldat, Ph.D.

Doug Soldat, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Doug completed his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Soil Science from UW-Madison and earned a Ph.D. in Plant Science from Cornell University. His research and outreach programs are focused on improving turfgrass nutrient and water use efficiency. Doug advises the turfgrass management students at the UW and teaches courses on turfgrass management and general soil science.

 

Adam Thoms, Ph.D.

Adam Thoms, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the department of horticulture at Iowa State University. He earned his B.S. in horticulture with the turfgrass option from Iowa State University, a master’s in plant science in the turfgrass option from the University of Tennessee and his Ph.D. in plants, insects and soils from the University of Tennessee.

His appointment allows him the opportunity to be involved with extension, research and teaching. Thoms’ research focuses on the performance of turfgrasses subjected to various management techniques. 

 

Tim Van Loo, CSFM

Tim VanLoo, Certified Sports Field Manager (CSFM), is the Director of Facilities and Grounds at Iowa State University.  Tim received his B.S. and M.S. at Michigan State University in Crop and Soil Science with an emphasis on Turfgrass. 

 

Fred Whitford, Ph.D.

Fred Whitford, Ph.D., has served as the Coordinator of the Purdue Pesticide Program since 1991. Fred is the author of The Grand Old Man of Purdue University and Indiana Agriculture: A Biography of William Carroll Latta, The Queen of American Agriculture: A Biography of Virginia Claypool Meredith, and For The Good of the Farmer: A Biography of John Harrison Skinner, Dean of Purdue Agriculture as well as two other books on pesticide management. He has authored more than 300 publications and is a popular speaker with more than 5,000 presentations given throughout Indiana and the United States. He has received numerous awards from organizations and universities.

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