The conference will offer industry professionals a dynamic and interactive experience through The Southern Plant Conference.
ATLANTA, GA — The Southern Nursery Association (SNA) has announced final details of The SNA Conference, co-locating in 2018 with the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show (MANTS). Both events will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center with The SNA Conference preceding MANTS on Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 8-9, 2018. MANTS will take place on Wednesday and Friday, Jan. 10-12.
This year’s Southern Plant Conference is integrated with the SNA Research Conference as a part of The SNA Conference with a clear focus on connecting the industry to identify today’s business challenges and opportunities, and develop new insights and solutions. The conference will offer industry professionals a dynamic and interactive experience through The 15th Southern Plant Conference, The 62nd Annual SNA Research Conference, keynote sessions and participant-driven roundtable discussions. In addition, SNA will be conducting annual business as well with the 119th Annual SNA Business Meeting.
The Southern Plant Conference will unveil some of the hottest new plants coming to market. Fast-paced sessions will boast the best and the hottest new plant varieties and provide a unique opportunity to discover a vast array of new plants, with focus on new and superior cultivars, the most resistant, prolific blooming, superior shape or habit and the most interesting flower or foliage.
The SNA Research Conference will offer cutting-edge content of the latest horticultural research. Top researchers and educational leaders, from across the country, will participate throughout the event. This two-day conference, which began in 1956, is held annually and is the country’s longest running woody ornamental research conference, long recognized for quality research. Hundreds of topics in 13 categories are shared in presentations that run approximately seven minutes each.
SNA Awards will be presented at the conference, including the Slater Wight Memorial Award, the David E. Laird, Sr. Memorial Award, the SNA Pinnacle Award, the SNA Environmental Award, the Porter Henegar Memorial Award and the Don Shadow Award of Excellence.
The impressive lineup of speakers presenting during The Southern Plant Conference and the SNA SuperSessions includes:

  • Shannon Currey, Marketing Director — Hoffman Nursery, Rougemont, NC — “A New Perspective with Green Infrastructure”
  • Raymond J. Evison, OBE — The Guernsey Clematis Nursery Ltd and Raymond J. Evison Ltd, Guernsey, Channel Islands, GB — “Clematis for Today’s Gardens”
  • Dr. Charlie Hall, Professor & Ellison Chair — Texas A&M University, College Station, TX — “The Forecast — A Preliminary Outlook for the Spring Season”
  • Heidi Hesselein, Vice President — Pleasant Run Nursery, Allentown, NJ — “New and Classic Ornamentals for Eastern Landscapes”
  • Hayes Jackson, Regional Extension Agent — Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, Anniston, AL and Director — Longleaf Botanical Gardens, Anniston, AL — “Pushing the Limits to Expand Your Plant Palette”
  • Mark Krautman, Owner — Heritage Seedling, Salem, OR — “Opportunities to Unite Plant Geeks and Conservationists”
  • Brent Markus, Owner — Rare Tree Nursery, Silverton, OR — “Conifers and Maples from the West Coast to the East Coast”
  • Bill McLaughlin, Curator of Plants — U.S. Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C. — “Beyond Echinacea: Native Plants Awaiting our Attention, Breeding and Selection”
  • Dr. Richard Olsen, Director — U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C. — “The Legacy of Plants and People and the Future of New Plants”
  • Dr. Marco Palma, Associate Professor & Extension Economist — Texas A&M University, College Station, TX — “The Forecast — A Preliminary Outlook for the Spring Season”
  • Craig Regelbrugge, Senior Vice President — Industry Advocacy & Research — AmericanHort, Washington, D.C. — “The Players — Capitol Hill Report”
  • Kim Shearer, Tree and Shrub Breeder and Manager of New Plant Development Program — The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL — “Chicagoland Grows® a Greener World”
  • Rupert Spaargaren — W.J. Spaargaren, BV, Boskoop, Holland — “European Trends Can Change the Nursery Industry”
  • Danny Summers, Board Advisor — Southern Nursery Association, Acworth, GA — “The Game Plan – Leveraging the Takeaways”
  • Angela Treadwell-Palmer, Co-Owner — Plants Nouveau, West Newbury, MA — “The Challenges of Bringing New Plants to Market”
  • Paul Westervelt, Annual & Perennial Production Manager — Saunders Brothers Nursery, Piney River, VA — “The New Perennial Movement and Why It Matters”

Conference registration is $279 (Non-Member), $229 (SNA Members), $179 (Educator/Student) and includes access to the SNA Conference, the Southern Plant Conference, the SNA Research Conference, keynote sessions and roundtable discussions on Monday, Jan. 8 and Tuesday, Jan. 9. In addition, continental breakfast, lunch and breaks are included both days. The conference schedule and activities, speaker bios, session titles and descriptions and registration information can be found on the SNA website at
All conference participants are encouraged to attend MANTS on Wednesday, Jan. 10 – Friday, Jan. 12. MANTS registration is separate from The SNA Conference registration. Hotel reservations for The SNA Conference should be booked through the MANTS 2018 room block to take advantage of their special rates. MANTS registration and hotel information can be found at
For more information, contact the Southern Nursery Association, Inc., PO Box 801454, Acworth, GA 30101, 678.809.9992, , or visit the SNA website at