About Our Speakers

Loren McIrvin

Loren McIrvin is recognized as a leader in transforming how commercial landscapes in the San Francisco Bay Area are maintained by pioneering a holistic and team approach to landscape asset management. He is both an experienced practitioner and instructor or environmentally conscious practices who is guided by the conviction practices who is guided by the conviction that managing landscapes in a sustainable way is both pragmatic and responsible for all stakeholders. He has a passion for education, solving problems, and getting things done. His forward thinking approach to reducing chemical use and conserving water is leading a shift in our local industry. Loren holds licenses and certifications as a General Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Expert Certified Water Manager, ISA Certified Arborist, Bay Friendly Landscaper, IA (CLWM), CLIA, CIC, CID, NALP (CLP, CLT).

Suzanne Bontempo

Suzanne is an experienced horticulturist, IPM Advocate, urban garden educator and fine gardener. She has served in retail nursery management, and is a landscape designer. She has advanced training in integrated pest management, business management, urban composting, vermiculture, greywater systems and storm water pollution prevention. Broad experience includes running her own landscape business, and project managing. Collectively, with the IPM Advocate Program, she received the 2013 IPM Innovators award.

Current passions include teaching folks about gardening without pesticides. As a representative of the Our Water Our World program in the San Francisco Bay Area, she actively mentors and lectures various groups about pesticide runoff and non-toxic alternatives to support integrated pest management around their homes & garden. Philosophies are that of Deep Ecology and Biodynamic practices.

Nicholas Staddon

Nicholas Staddon has been working with plant breeders, hybridizers, and professional plant explores for 25 years, scouring the globe for new creations and discoveries in the plant world. Born in England, Staddon received credentials in Agricultural Science from Otley Agricultural College. When he first arrived in the United States, he managed garden centers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico “…where the vistas will move your heart and the gardening will break it,” he says. Staddon went on to work for Monrovia Nursery for 27 years, 15 of which as the leader of the New Plant program.

Staddon resides in California and is working with Everde Growers as their Spokesperson and Plantsman supporting their marketing and new plant introduction programs. He is a sought-after speaker and guest for gardening television and radio shows across the United States. He works closely with professional garden writers, providing information on plants and sharing his views on garden trends and more. He has created a series of informative ‘Plant Savvy’ videos available on YouTube, and recently partnered with Kellogg Garden Products for a video series on soil and soil amendments for the garden and landscape.

Nicholas is proud to be professionally affiliated with the Royal Horticultural Society, California Plant Alliance, and AmericanHort. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Mediterranean Garden Society of Southern California, Climate Ready Landscape Plants, a USDA SCMP Project, and Cal-HIP (California Horticultural Invasives Prevention), which is a voluntary partnership to help gardeners and the horticultural industry to proactively address the problem of invasive plants in the trade. He is also a Regional Director of GardenComm. A community of Garden Writers and Communicators working across the United States providing gardening information and related services.

Rich Shortall

Richard Shortall is a retired San Francisco Fire Department Assistant Deputy Chief. He has also served as the SFFD EMS Chief, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Office of Emergency Services, and General Manager of the Bay Area SUASI Homeland Security Program. Rich is currently a member of the Board of the Ross Valley Fire Department and is an elected Director of the Sleepy Hollow Fire Protection District. He joined Fire Safe Marin as a Director in 2015 and currently resides in San Anselmo with his wife Diana.
 

Jacqueline Lewis

Jacqueline’s love for wildlife started young, as she grew up visiting WildCare’s courtyard as a toddler, and went on to attend our summer camp programs. The day after her eighteenth birthday she signed up for our volunteer orientation.
After a year of volunteering Jacqueline completed our Hospital Internship Program and just two weeks after that she was offered a job as a seasonal Wildlife Assistant. Jacqueline has since achieved the titles of Senior Wildlife Technician, Hospital Internship Manager, and most recently Hungry Owl Project Program Manager.
Jacqueline also participates in foster care, specializing in neonates (that means feeding babies up to every three hours through the night!) and manages the Rodent Foster Care Team. In her spare time Jacqueline likes to spend her time with her family and her two dogs, Shiloh and Mama Snow.

 

Bryce Carnehl

Bryce Carnehl has been in the landscape industry for over 20 years working in construction, landscape architecture, sales, corporate social responsibility, and marketing. Throughout these years he has dedicated himself to promoting the value of green spaces.

Every project begins with a plan and better planning leads project success. Bryce now works to create business opportunity for landscape stakeholders through design, planning, and specification efforts. He believes that together we can build business prosperity, increase the value of landscapes, and ensure healthy communities in which we all live, work, and play.

Kent Gordon England

Across a lifetime dedicated to design and preservation, Kent is an engaging conservationist committed to global sustainability and environmental regeneration. He designs project sites, architecture and interiors that are environmentally respectful and sustainably efficient. He specifies building materials that are considerate to the environment, socially conscientious, beautiful and safe for living things. Kent embraces new products, technologies and innovation that raises performance levels in these built environments ensuring a project’s success as well as our planet’s health. And as a skilled plantsman, he designs healthy gardens that support Nature’s horticultural and biological diversity.

Protecting and caring for people, our ecosystems, and the diverse animals, plants, and habitats within them… these are his prime objectives. ‘Reuniting Nature with the Built Environment’ his pledge.

As a transformational speaker, Kent delivers presentations that inspire excellence. He assures us that there should be no conflict between work, family and personal life. That these three parts of our lives should be ‘in perfect alignment’ with each other. They should not be in conflict, but completely harmonious. And that Health, Wellness and Stewardship should guide and influence all that we do. Come join us as Kent shares with you how he ensures his own and others’ success through innovation, culture and purpose. His morning presentation will be followed up with an in depth workshop to follow.

Karey Windbiel-Rojas

Karey Windbiel-Rojas is the Associate Director for Urban and Community IPM and Area Urban IPM Advisor with the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM). In her role as Associate Director, Karey provides leadership and coordinates communication and collaboration to address pest issues around homes, structures, landscapes, gardens, schools, and public areas and works with various audiences who live in or serve these areas.

Karey oversees UC IPM’s statewide urban educational materials, including content for the UC IPM website, training materials, and printed resources.
As a cooperative extension advisor, she conducts research and provides educational resources on local pest issues in the three counties she serves.
Karey earned a Master’s degree in Integrated Pest Management from UC Davis in 2006, where her studies focused on entomology, biological control,and pesticides, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Chris McNairy

Chris is currently employed as a Sales Manager by Hunter Industries, a leading manufacturer of water conservation landscape irrigation products well as FX Luminaire landscape lighting products. He consults with Municipalities, School Districts, Colleges, Landscape Contractors, and Distributors supporting the specification, sales and installation of Hunter and FX products. Prior to coming to work for Hunter Industries in 2001, he was employed for 11 years by Automatic Rain Company where he designed irrigation systems in vineyards and orchards in the North Bay. He also managed two stores. Chris received his BS in Agricultural Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and emphasized design of irrigation systems, pumping plants, filtration stations and drainage systems.

Peter Estournes CWM-E, LIC-M

Peter Estournes brings over 40 years of experience in the landscape and green industry. He and business partner Jay Tripathi, own and operate Gardenworks Inc. a Design/Build and Management Landscape Contracting firm in Sonoma County.

Peter has a degree in Horticulture from Cal Poly, Pomona.  He is an ‘Expert’ level Certified Water Manager, a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper and a Landscape Industry Certified Professional. Peter helped build then served as a Co-Director for CLCA’s Water Management Certification and Performance Program from 2007 – 2010. He served as the California Landscape Contractors Association State President in 2007. He is currently serving as co-chair of the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership’s Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Program Board of Directors and served on the State of California Department of Water Resources’ Independent Technical Panel. He has provided industry related input for the last three updates to California’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. Peter was inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame in 2017.

Peter Estournes brings over 40 years of experience in the landscape and green industry. He and business partner Jay Tripathi, own and operate Gardenworks Inc. a Design/Build and Management Landscape Contracting firm in Sonoma County.

Peter has a degree in Horticulture from Cal Poly, Pomona.  He is an ‘Expert’ level Certified Water Manager, a Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper and a Landscape Industry Certified Professional. Peter helped build then served as a Co-Director for CLCA’s Water Management Certification and Performance Program from 2007 – 2010. He served as the California Landscape Contractors Association State President in 2007. He is currently serving as co-chair of the Sonoma Marin Water Saving Partnership’s Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Program Board of Directors and served on the State of California Department of Water Resources’ Independent Technical Panel. He has provided industry related input for the last three updates to California’s Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance. Peter was inducted into the Green Industry Hall of Fame in 2017.