The Knowledge College is the place for cutting-edge training to become the best industry professional you can be!

For 2017, The Knowledge College Redux brings 13 thought-provoking, relevant and hands-on workshops to keep participants in-step with industry competition. Attendees build a program tailor-made to meet their unique business needs. All three-hour sessions are priced at $75 per workshop. Full-day workshops (Design Seminar I & III) are $200 per workshop.

Thursday, November 2

Full-Day Session, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (lunch not included)
Design Seminar I: Basic Drafting and Design (W1)

Dr. Richard Ludwig, Bill Slack and Vicki Proano,
Landscape Design & Graphic Workshops, Gainesville, GA

Make your landscape design presentations go from mediocre to magnificent by learning the fundamentals of speed graphics, bold symbols, and high speed title blocks. It is first impressions that make a difference. Learn how to package a complete presentation. All drafting supplies included.

Afternoon Sessions, 1 – 4 p.m.
Advanced Irrigation: Design & Troubleshooting (W2)

Kurt Thompson, K. Thompson and Associates, LLC, Clover, SC

Use valves, controllers, meters, wire, etc. in a hands-on format to learn a standard process of diagnosing the mechanical and electrical problems found in an irrigation system, with an emphasis on productivity. The learner should have a basic understanding of the components of an irrigation system.

Summer Reset: The Season Isn't Over, It is Just Different (W3)

Judy Sharpton, Growing Places Marketing, Savannah, GA

Spring isn't enough anymore. In this program, we'll look at a complete summer reset and expand those concepts to fall and holiday resets. We'll evaluate techniques and products that can reset your staff and your store for those days of fewer customers but potentially higher average sales. What product sizes do you change and on what specific dates? How do you repurpose inventory to create new containers? What does your staff need to be doing instead of dragging a hose? Benchmark your customer count and average sale for August for the past three years. You can do this with your POS or your register tapes. With that data in hand, you'll learn in this workshop when to schedule your seasonal resets and what to focus on to increase average sale.

Hagan Ace Hardware's flagship garden center in Mandarin, Florida just completed a summer reset that resulted in double digit sales increases for the month of August - with higher transaction count and higher average sale. Manager Lisa Harrison will join us in this session to explain how Hagan Garden Shops combined product reset, specific display techniques and staff incentives to drive August sales.

Also included in workshop:

  • Learn about the five biggest opportunities for your store, no matter the demographic
  • Understand your store, your problems - with solutions that don't require a bulldozer or a bank loan
Increasing Margins: Sales and Job Costing (W4)

Mark Bradley, TBG Landscape, Toronto, Canada

Hunting and Farming  - Mark will discuss how to estimating and job costing effectively allows a company to understand where they are earning the best profit and it clarifies how selling the highest profit per man hour works. He will share his methods of finding the right customers, the sales approach, how to find the right staff and how to motivate them to eliminate waste, execute projects efficiently, in a way that will help contractors implement change quickly and focus on the right things at the right times. 

Hardscaping Workshop: Ultimate Enhancements to Your Landscape Designs (W5)
(On Show Floor)

Chris Bettinger, Coastal/Oldcastle Company, Longwood, FL

When planning your landscape masterpieces, remember to add the finishing touches with hardscapes to enhance your designs. This hands-on workshop will show landscape professionals how to define themes, character and space through creative patterns of concrete pavers, retaining walls and innovations of construction materials. Attendees will leave with an understanding of how to prepare the site for installation, identify sustainable attributes to paver systems and resources as well as leave with key maintenance tips to guarantee the successful lifetime of the hardscapes.


Friday, November 3

Full-Day Session, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. (lunch not included)
Design Seminar III: Creating the Ultimate Landscape Design (W6)

Dr. Richard Ludwig, Bill Slack and Vicki Proano,
Landscape Design & Graphic Workshops, Gainesville, GA

Developed for landscape professionals wanting to formulate their design philosophy and create plans that are stunning, unified and functional. This is a hands-on workshop that will not only increase your knowledge of landscape design but sharpen your pencils because you will leave with a greater understanding of how to draw plans that will amaze your clients. With an architectural approach to design along with an emphasis on form composition and lines of force, the workshop will weave sustainable, earth-friendly principles into the traditional design.

This workshop is geared to train attendees in design theory; moving from a basic understanding to creating a master plan in just one day! Improve your skills as you create and sell beautiful, practical, profitable earth-friendly design solutions for your clients.

Morning Session, 9 a.m. – 12 Noon
Basic Irrigation -The Technicians’ Guide to Irrigation Hydraulics (W7)

Kurt Thompson, K. Thompson and Associates, LLC, Clover, SC

Water source, pipe sizing, and elevation changes affect the efficiency and performance of the sprinklers. Attendees will find the technicians’ Guide to Irrigation Hydraulics perfect to use when figuring out problems on existing system or in the design of a new system. This workshop is filled with loads of practice sessions to using math and theory on paper to get it right in the field. Attendees should have a basic understanding of the components of an irrigation system.

Well-Designed Mixed Gardens: Building Borders with Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Annuals & Bulbs (W8)

Tracy DiSabato-Aust, Horticultural Classics and Consultations, Columbus, OH

This interesting and informative lecture discusses the design fundamentals of border building using a wide palette of plant material. How do we effectively combine the plethora of woody and herbaceous plants available today? Design steps, color, texture, form, design principles of order, unity, and rhythm, garden art, maintenance of the mixed garden, as well as mixed garden designs, vignettes, and combinations will be highlighted. Learn from an artist and keen plants woman about creating gorgeous and environmentally sound mixed gardens.

50 Ways to Find, Recruit and Hire Super Star (W9)

Tony Bass, Tony Bass Consulting, Fort Valley, GA

Tony Bass has hired hundreds of employees to work in his portfolio of companies. He is a JOB CREATOR! During this workshop, Tony will take an in depth look at how to effectively find, hire and build your company’s successful team. He is ready to share over 50 ways to build a team, how to look out for the common hiring mistakes and gain quality employees at a lower cost! You can’t afford to miss this workshop!

Advanced Pruning Techniques (W10)
(On Show Floor)

Jeff McManus, Director of Landscape Services, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

Back by popular demand, Jeff McManus will focus on pruning from the ground up featuring shearing, selective and rejuvenation pruning skills. If pruning like a pro is what you are looking to master, this fun and engaging workshop will provide sustainable pruning strategies to maintain a long-term and beautiful landscape design.

Afternoon Sessions, 1 – 4 p.m.
Zoysiagrass in the Florida Landscape (W11)

Dr. Kevin Kenworthy, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL;
and Erin Wilder, Sod Solutions, Tallahassee, FL

Zoysia continues to increase in popularity for the Florida landscape. This session will explain the history of zoysia in the marketplace, its successes and downfalls, give you tips for proper management and share information about further developments of zoysiagrass in Florida.

Container Workshop: Catchy Containers (W12) This Workshop has been cancelled

Debbie Mola Mickler, Walt Disney World, Lake Buena Vista, FL

With years of experience making container gardens come to life and look absolutely magical, Heather and Debbie have teamed to share with attendees the creative way to design eye-catching containers. From color to the type of pot as well as the proper selection of plants, the workshop will offer recipes for success. Want to use more containers in your landscape designs? Come get your hands dirty and create some magic of your own. Container masterpieces will be auctioned off to the highest bidder and proceeds will go to the National Horticulture Foundation.

Account Manager Master Track (W13)

Ben Gandy, Envisor Consulting, Alpharetta GA

Want to know what defines a successful account manager? This workshop will spend the time looking at the keys to customer service excellence along with strategies and tactics for service recovery. Leave with ways to increase productivity and work smarter.


Why Be A Part of TLS Knowledge College?

Who Should Attend?
Retail Garden Center Professionals, Landscaper Professionals, Landscape Designers, County and Municipal personnel, Nursery Growers, and anyone interested in furthering their knowledge of the issues and topics affecting Florida's nursery and landscape industry.

Continuing Education Units

In an effort to help attendees maximize their experience, CEU's are often granted for the following programs:

  • FNGLA Certified Professionals: FCHP, FCLT, FCLMT, FCLD, FCLC
    All workshops approved for 3 FNGLA CEUs each with full-day sessions quailifying for 4 FNGLA CEUs.

For additional details on this or any other FNGLA educational offering, contact Linda Reindl at FNGLA for more information, (800) 375-3642.