Seminar Stage Headliners
PLEASE NOTE: The following information is from the 2020 Home & Garden Show. The 2021 Show details will be posted soon…
Dr. Robert Geneve, University of Kentucky Horticulture Professor
Dr. Robert Geneve has been a factulty member of the University of Kentucky, Department of Horticulture for over 30 years doing teaching and research in ornamental plant production and propagation. He is an author of several books including co-authoring the textbook “Hartmann and Kester’s Plant Propagation: Principles and Practices.” Dr. Geneve has been recognized as a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Sciences and the International Plant Propagator’s Society – Eastern Region. He is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on subjects ranging from plant propagation, seed biology and plant morphology.
Diane Devereaux, The Canning Diva
Diane Devereaux is The Canning Diva®, a nationally syndicated food preservation expert, television presenter, instructor, mother of two, and author of Canning Full Circle: From Garden to Jar to Table and The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning. Devereaux has bridged the generational gap of traditional canning methods for over a decade, teaching the art and craft of home canning to busy families across America.
J Schwanke, J Schwanke’s Life In Bloom, uBloom
J Schwanke is the host of J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom, a half-hour lifestyle show featuring everything flowers and the positive impact they make on daily life, broadcast nationwide. J is a fourth-generation florist, award-winning author, and speaker – whose passion for flowers is infectious.
“Research has shown the presence of flowers has an immediate impact on people’s health and happiness,” says J Schwanke. “It’s been my life-long mission to show people how easy it is to improve their daily lives, by including flowers. Viewers have responded so positively to the beauty and relaxation flowers provide – even from just taking a break and watching the show. I’m excited to show many simple ways to interact with flowers, which can improve our environment, mood, and even physical well-being.”
In each episode of J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom – seen on public television (PBS) and Create TV stations – J shows viewers how to arrange flowers with simple techniques that guarantee success. He also welcomes friends and guests for segments with crafts, cooking, cocktails, and flowers for entertaining. Location segments include visits to flower farms. Flowers intersect topics as varied as soap making, pets, and bonsai are included, as well as easy-to-make recipes with flowers as ingredients, such as a lavender cheesecake and garden gimlet cocktail.
J Schwanke was actually born at a flower convention and grew up in his family’s greenhouses. His website, uBloom.com, offers flower fans everywhere the opportunity to learn and experience the fun of flowers and flower arranging, 24/7! J has given flower demonstrations in all 50 states, Canada and England. Highlights include the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Art in Bloom, Bouquets to Art, San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, Flowers at Kensington Palace and hundreds of state, association, wholesale and public shows. J has also appeared several times on the PBS show “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home.” J is the author of Fun with Flowers, which received a Silver, Living Now Book Award. His most recent book, Bloom 365 – The Essential Guide to Arranging Flowers Every Day, was awarded the Gold IPPY (Home and Garden category) by the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Bloom 365 features 365 tips, tricks, and techniques to make flower arranging easier.Don’t miss J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom airing on WGVU Saturdays at noon starting March 21st!
Chef Angus Campbell, Culinary Consultant
A City and Guilds Master Craftsmen, with 43 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 taught food production at the Hospitality Education Department at their acclaimed public restaurant ‘The Heritage.’ He has won medals at many levels of food competitions and is an accomplished junior culinary team coach. He recently produced a twelve part series on Italian and Scottish cuisine on location for WZZM TV13 and his production of a monthly cable TV show recently won a national bronze medal at the Paragon Awards. His years in the culinary field has taught him the importance of simple being best and allowing the food to speak for itself. Now, as he steps away from teaching, he continues to consult for local, national and international companies.
The 2020 Recipe: Fresh, Healthy Noodle Bowls with Lightly Smoked Seafood
Leslie Hart-Davidson, HDD Studios
Leslie Hart-Davidson is a nationally recognized professional interior designer, author, and owner of HDD Studios 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 My West Michigan. She has written two home improvement books full of snark and great content: Remodeling Your House without Killing Your Spouse in 2014 and her new release It’s Not Your Room, it’s You.
The design philosophy Leslie adopted when she started her business in 2001 is straightforward: design is a democracy, not a dictatorship. This guiding principal helps audience members and clients better understand design language and the psychology behind how they live in their homes. Her innovative seminars include “Taste of Her Own Medicine: Lessons from a Designer’s Home Kitchen Remodel” & “It’s Not Your Room, it’s You” When she’s not on stage or on camera, you can find Leslie happily pinning to her designdemocracy Pinterest boards and creating helpful videos for her designdemocracy YouTube Channel
Derek Woodruff, Floral Underground
Derek joined the floral industry at the age of 16 where he began learning floral design in vocational school and working for a local florist. Since then, he as continued to study the trade through institutes such as Michigan State University, the Great Lakes Floral Association (GLFA), and the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). In 2008 he launched his own business, Floral Underground. Derek is a captivating speaker who specializes in “today’s consumer” connecting and engaging them through different types of media including demonstrations, subscription services and hands-on workshops with both plants and flowers. In addition to being an educator, Derek is considered a “National Floral Design Champion” spending many years polishing the practice of live floral design competition. This love of competition has won him numerous awards in the industry, including the GLFA’s Chuck Bannow Award and Designer of the Year (twice), AIFD’s Bobbi Cup (Thrice), Chicago’s Best in Blooms Competition, second runner-up on a national television floral design competition reality show called: “The Arrangement”, is the 2016 Sylvia Cup Design Competition Champion and was the runner-up in the 2018 FTD America’s Cup Competition.
After each of Derek’s seminars, he’ll be hosting a Pop Up Shop/Make & Take where you can create & purchase exactly what’s covered in the seminar! Additional fees required.
Thursday 8pm – Pop Up Shop at the Home Stage
Friday 4pm & Saturday 3pm – Succulents Bar in the Grand Gallery
Sunday 2pm – Pop Up Shop at the Home Stage
Sydney Kamaloski, Lauren Figueroa Interior Design
Sydney Kamaloski is the Operations & Design Assistant at Lauren Figueroa Interior Design (LFID). With five years of experience in professional organizing, Sydney works with clients that strive for a simplified, streamlined space that best serves their lifestyle. Her simple approach takes the guessing away from home organizing by breaking down the process, systems, and strategies to approaching your home with intention. You can find more information and tips on home & wardrobe organization, designing your space, project reveals, and more on the LFID blog. Sydney is also a photographer for QuickSites.co, shooting branding, lifestyle, and product photography for local businesses and individuals. One client puts it this way, “You’ve probably never met someone as positive and optimistic in your life. Sydney is incredibly organized and creative, has awesome skills in marketing, photography, and design, and has the amazing ability to make you feel, well, happy!”
Chef Tommy FitzGerald
Tommy’s recipes are stupidly simple by design, with creations that are surprisingly simple and quick, but with big taste to wow your palette!
2019 Recipe: Grilled Stuffed Campari Tomatoes
Come witness the versatility of a natural gas grill!
Expertly trained and mentored by dozens of renowned chefs spanning the globe, FitzGerald is one of the most well-known and foremost chefs in Grand Rapids, receiving such accolades as 2017’s Chef of the Year from the Greater Grand Rapids American Culinary Federation. Tommy lives in Grand Rapids, and among many other projects is the new Sous Chef at The Urban Platter inside Mercy Health.