West Michigan Home and Garden Show
March 3-6, 2016

Seminar Stage Headliners

PLEASE NOTE: The following information is from the 2015 Home & Garden Show. The 2016 Show details will be posted soon…

Dan Faires, HGTV’s “DanMade”

Dan Faires, HGTV’s “DanMade”

Growing up in a century old home in Arkansas, DAN FAIRES learned first hand from his father about renovation. When he wasn’t building and designing the inside of the home, he was helping his mother landscape and garden outdoors.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Biology, Dan moved to New York. His passion for landscape, construction, and design earned him a position where he was able to work with some of the best tradesmen in the greater New York area. During this time, Dan also continued to pursue his passion for landscape and design through various outlets. Custom furniture building and landscaping work happily consumed much of his free time.

Dan was selected to join the cast of HGTV’s Design Star where his charisma and charm earned him the honor of being named Fan Favorite. Following Design Star, Dan was given his own web series on HGTV.com called DanMade for which he currently can be seen as the host. He has provided his skills and talent to countless television specials and web content ranging from showing off his landscaping skills on HGTV Gardens to his most recently completed series of videos for the new HGTV site uLive showing you everything from backyard BBQ tips to a DIY baby changing table.

Dan has a knack for turning trash into treasure by creating new, modern pieces out of reclaimed and antique materials that are sustainable and budget-­-friendly. Dan defines his style s “rustic” and believes that “design should always incorporate rustic elements because it adds texture and warmth to every space.”

J Schwanke, uBloom

J Schwanke, uBloom

J Schwanke’s love of Flowers began at birth during a Snowstorm at a State Flower Convention in Nebraska. J’s career grew and blossomed… as he joined his family’s Flower business: Green’s Greenhouses Inc. in 1976 and directed the Flower Shop and Garden Center operations starting in 1981. J is a member of the American Academy of Floriculture, the American Institute of Floral Designers, and the Professional Floral Communicators International and the National Speakers Association.

In 1994 J began an independent career as a flower design consultant, Flower Industry Spokesperson and the foremost Flower Design Expert in the American flower industry. As the HOST of the World’s First Web Broadcast Flower Design Show: JTV! Offering Flower Enthusiasts everywhere the opportunity to have FUN with Flowers and J all the time! J’s Passion for Flowers is far reaching and Infectious. He gives Flower demonstrations in every state in the Union, Canada, and throughout Europe. Critics, sponsors and Flower loving attendees agree J is one of the most sought after experts in the World of Flowers.

Leslie Hart-Davidson, Hart-Davidson Designs

Leslie Hart-Davidson, Hart-Davidson Designs

Leslie Hart-Davidson, Allied Member ASID, is a nationally recognized interior designer and owner of Hart-Davidson Designs (HDD) in Michigan. Leslie holds a B.A. in interior design and has nearly two decades of industry experience, but credits her family for the desire to enter the world of design. The Hart family practiced real estate flipping while she was a child, so her calling for home improvement came early.

Leslie lives and breathes interior design not only in her successful design business, but also through monthly live tv segments on WZZM’s Take 5 & Company. When she’s not busy presenting innovative seminar titles like “Remodeling Your House Without Killing Your Spouse” or helping clients live better in their homes through good design, you can find her happily pinning to her designdemocracy Pinterest boards and posting cool “Thing/Not a Thing” game queries to her Facebook page.

She also just launched her own Design Democracy YouTube Channel.

Rick Darke, Horticulturist, Landscape Design Consultant, Author, Photographer

Rick Darke, Horticulturist, Landscape Design Consultant, Author, Photographer

Rick Darke is a landscape design consultant, author, lecturer, and photographer based in Pennsylvania who blends art, ecology, and cultural geography in the creation and conservation of livable landscapes.

Darke served on the staff of Longwood Gardens for twenty years, and in 1998 he received the Scientific Award of the American Horticultural Society. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on National Public Radio.

Darke has studied North American plants in their habitats for over three decades, and his research and lectures have taken him to Africa, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, and northern Europe. His books include The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes, The American Woodland Garden, and In Harmony with Nature.


You may also be interested in the author’s own Web site, www.RickDarke.com.

Awards for Rick Darke

  • American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta Professional Citation
  • American Horticultural Society Horticultural Writing Award
  • American Horticultural Society Scientific Award
  • Perennial Plant Association Garden Media Award
Chef Angus Campbell, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education

Chef Angus Campbell, Secchia Institute for Culinary Education

The Chef:

A City and Guilds Master Craftsmen, with over 29 years of experience, Chef Angus Campbell was born and raised on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland. Beginning his professional career, Chef Campbell worked at the Bahamas Hotel Training College where he became the Department Chair for their Culinary Arts Department before moving to Grand Rapids where he currently teaches in the Culinary Arts program as Chef-Instructor in the Heritage Restaurant for lunch service.

Chef Campbell currently teaches at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College.  Along with a program for enrolled students, the department offers seminar-styled cooking classes annually to the general public through their GRCC Cooks Workshops (click the link for topics and registration information).  He is also co-author of the best seller Modern Garde Manger, selected as the IACP Award Winner for 2007 in the Technical Reference Category.

The Recipes:

This year, rediscover the amazing versatility of vinaigrettes, with their myriad of fresh ingredients and flavors they can be transformed into many other culinary wonders. Watch as they are converted from simple salad dressings into new applications that you can use in your daily kitchen like tangy soups, meat sauces, appetizer spreads and pasta toppings. Learn new tricks on how to make, use, store and serve them. Learn how to correctly incorporate herbs and spices into your dressings to enhance flavor and presentation. Sample fresh interesting twists on the world of vinaigrettes

standard kitchens Secchia Institute.296 BLUE, GOLD.ol
Tommy Fitzgerald, Kitchen Sage

Tommy Fitzgerald, Kitchen Sage

Tommy’s recipes are stupidly simple by design, with creations that are surprisingly simple and quick, but with big taste to wow your palette!

Tommy lives in Grand Rapids, and among many other projects runs Kitchen Sage, a nonprofit whose core focus is to provide access to nutrition and culinary awareness to the community while making sure kids are fed, along with teaching culinary skills to high school students.