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Speakers

Expo Speakers

Schedule coming soon

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Marco Cedeño Fonseca

Aroid Researcher

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Morphological Photography Documentation as an Important Tool for Taxonomic Studies in Araceae
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Orlando O. Ortiz

Biologist specializing in botany, biodiversity and conservation

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Morphological Photography Documentation as an Important Tool for Taxonomic Studies in Araceae
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Brian Williams
 

Owner and breeder of Brian's Botanicals




Breeding Colocasia and Other Aroids


 
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Steve frank
 

North Carolina State University Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology



Pest Diagnosis & Management on Tropical Plants


 
Mike
Michael D'Andrea

Owner of MDA 1635 

Variegated Monstera:
An International Perspective - 
With discussions on origins, names, new introductions, ID's, sports, tc, Future outlook, & q&a
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Marie Nock
 

Ree Gardens

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Enid Offolter
 

NSE Tropicals

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Bill Rotolante

Silver Krome Gardens

Paul Marcellini
Paul Marcellini

Understory Oasis

 

Rory
Rory Antolak
 

Antolak Landscape & Garden

Dinner Event Speakers

Aroid Expert Panel: Bridging Generations

Host
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Marco Cedeño Fonseca

Aroid Researcher

Marco Cedeño Fonseca is a dedicated researcher specializing in the Araceae family, with a focus on the flora of Central America. From 2011 to 2014, Marco completed a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at the Technical University of Costa Rica. Building on this foundation, he pursued a master's degree at the University of Costa Rica from 2015 to 2019, concentrating on a taxonomic revision of the Monstera genus in Costa Rica.

 

Currently, Marco is a Ph.D. student at the Free University of Berlin. His doctoral research project, titled "An Advanced Backbone Phylogeny of the Genus Philodendron Schott (Araceae) and the Evolutionary Origin of Its Species Diversity in Mexico and Central America," aims to unravel the complex evolutionary history of this diverse genus.

 

With nine years of research experience, Marco has collaborated with prominent researchers from universities in Mexico, Panama, and Colombia, and has worked closely with Dr. Thomas Croat, Dr. Michael Grayum, Dr. Alistair Hay, and Dr. Alejandro Zuluaga, contributing significantly to the understanding of the Araceae family in Central America.

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Orlando O. Ortiz

Biologist specializing in botany, biodiversity and conservation

Over the last 12 years, he has worked on research projects related to the biodiversity and conservation of the Neotropical Araceae, which has allowed him to publish ca. 60 papers, 3 book chapters and many field guides. In addition, he is a researcher associated with the Herbarium of the University of Panama (PMA), Tropical Herbarium of the University of Florence (Italy), and is part of the associated editorial committee of the "Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography" (Webbia).

 

Orlando has worked for several years as a researcher and professor at the University of Panama. Currently, he is studying a Ph.D. program in Plant Sciences at the Free University of Berlin, Germany.

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Brian williams

Owner and breeder of Brian's Botanicals

Brian Williams is the owner and breeder of Brian's Botanicals. He and his wife, Sarah, run Brian's Botanicals in Louisville, Kentucky. He has had a passion for Aroids since the age of 16 and has been an active member of the International Aroid Society for the past 30 years. This passion moved into breeding with the help of his mentor, John Banta. Brian is known for breeding Colocasia, Alocasia, Canna, and Philodendrons, just to name a few.

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Steve Frank

North Carolina State University Department of Entomology & Plant Pathology

Steve is a professor at North Carolina State University. His research and extension programs focus on Integrated Pest Management and biological control of arthropod pests in greenhouses and nurseries. His goal in these programs is to help growers and consumers effectively and sustainably manage pests on ornamental plants. Steve is also the founder and owner of the Frankly Plant Farm. He growers and sells rare aroids in-person and on Etsy.

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Mike

Michael D'Andrea

Owner MDA 1635 inc 

Michael D’Andrea is the founder of MDA 1635 Inc. (Mike’s Nursery) based in Hollywood, Fl. He has worked in the plant industry since the mid 1990’s with an emphasis on rare and variegated plants and is responsible for the discovery and introduction of the following plants:

  • Variegated Alocasia Pink Serendipity

  • Variegated Alocasia Gold Serendipity

  • Variegated Alocasia Portora albo

  • Variegated Alocasia Calidora albo

  • Alocasia Grim Reaper

  • Monstera Masterpiece

  • Monstera Shamrock Shake

  • Monstera Oceana (w/Logan Conley)

  • Monstera Spartacus

 

He is also responsible for the trade names of many popular plants such as Mint Monstera, Monstera Crème Brûlée, Philodendron Emerald Ice, Philodendron Cotton Candy and has sold mail order plants under the user name MDA1515 since the early 2000’s

Michael graduated from the University of Arizona in 1995 with a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture. After graduating he took a job in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, USA where he lived and practiced Landscape Design and operated a Nursery for 6 years.  He returned  to the mainland in 2001 and worked for an Interior landscape company in NYC growing and maintaining plants in interior lobbies and atriums. In 2006 he and his family moved to Hollywood, Fl where he opened his nursery which he operates from home to the current day, and has recently developed some growing land on the Big Island of Hawaii. 

Over the years his emphasis on rare, and in particular, variegated sports and mutations have led him all around the world. He has been to Thailand over 15 times to visit growers and nurseries and has been a vendor at all 5 of the International Exotic Plant Exhibitions in Bangkok/Chaingmai.  He has also worked with plants in Japan and the Philippines.   

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Marie Nock

Ree Gardens

Marie earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Miami and her Master’s at Florida Atlantic University.  In 1975 Marie and her husband Steve opened Ree Gardens growing many varieties of rare tropicals.  They were charter members of the International Aroid Society and always participated in the Annual Show and Sale. 

 

Steve hybridized the first large purple birdsnest anthurium, Anthurium ‘Marie,’ which was put in tissue culture and sold around the world.  In the nineties he created another anthurium hybrid which Marie named Anthurium ‘Delta Force’ .  They travelled to many countries, collecting and trading with other collectors to develop a varied and interesting plant collection which they would propagate to sell in their “Plant Sales”.

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Enid Offolter

NSE Tropicals

Enid Offolter has been collecting aroids for over 25 years and is the founder of NSE Tropicals. She is a former two-time President of the IAS and has been profiled in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Bloom and Grow radio podcast, Vice TV, and on Summer Rayne’s Plant One On Me YouTube channel. She even has a plant named after her, Anthurium offolteranum.

 

Enid has created numerous Anthurium hybrids, the most notable being Anthurium ‘Chainsaw’, a spectacular cross between wendlingeri and scherzerianum.

 

Her written work has been published numerous times in Aroideana and Enid is also the author of the best selling book, Welcome to the Jungle.

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Bill Rotolante

Silver Krome Gardens

William "Bill" Rotolante is a second generation nursery owner of SIlver Krome Gardens Inc., current Vice President of the International Aroid Plant Society Inc., co-chair of the IAS Tropical Plant Expo,  Former President of the Miami Dade Chapter of FNGLA, Former Board Member of Miami Dade Farm Bureau, Member of Florida Farm Credit Young Farmer advisory board,  and published author in Aroideana. 

 

Bill grew up in the plant business working at Silver Krome Gardens since 1998 when he got out of College at the University Of Miami. 

 

He has won numerous Best in Show awards at the IAS Show and sale since 1998.

 

He was invited to be the speaker at the Thailand International Plant Show in 2023.

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Paul Marcellini

Paul Marcellini

Understory Oasis

Paul Marcellini has been fascinated with plants since the age of nine. Beginning with orchids, his interest quickly expanded to ferns, palms and aroids.

 

After college, Paul became a photographer of wild Florida, selling fine art prints. His photograph of the Everglades, “Path of Light” was selected as a USPS stamp and he also won the 2018 Photograph of the Year in the International Landscape Photography Awards.

 

A trip to Panama in 2017 reignited his love of plants and encouraged a shift to breeding and selling Anthuriums through his company Understory Oasis; blending his botanical knowledge and artistic eye.

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Rory Antolak

Antolak Landscape & Garden

Rory Antolak has been fascinated with plants most of his life and a part of the South Florida nursery business for just over a decade. In that time he has grown a wide variety of tropicals, with a primary focus on palms, cycads, and aroids. Following this interest, he has had the privilege to do a number of trips throughout the neotropics to study a variety of poorly understood species in situ.

Rory
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