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MNLA Staff:

Cassie Larson, CAE, Executive Director

Oversee all administration including budget and personnel management. Association planning including strategic plan implementation. Strategic oversight of educational programming including online initiatives. Overall Northern Green planning. Oversee association networking initiatives. Participate in government affairs policy direction. Overall management of the MNLA Foundation. Staff liaison to the following committees: Education & Certification, Networking, Northern Green Joint Programming Board, liaison to the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation.

Mary Dunn, CEM, Membership Director & Trade Show Manager

Manage trade show sales and exhibitor communications. Advance and onsite registration for Northern Green. Research and manage member service programs. Membership renewal, retention and recruitment programs. Member outreach at supplier shows. Implement membership directory. Employee benefits coordinator. Serves as back-up for accountant. Staff liaison to the following committees: Membership and Trade Show.

Jon Horsman, CAE, Associate Director

Develop and implement a strategic approach to member communications, including development of ongoing content and look of, MNLA eNews, and The Scoop. Manage press relations when appropriate to position MNLA and its members as a key resource for information on plants, landscaping, and green industry public policy issues. Graphic design for Northern Green materials. Onsite staff administrator for Northern Green trade show move-in, move-out, and exhibit rules. Manage association programs to recognize member excellence. Staff liaison to the following committees: Communications & Technology and Networking.

Sue Flynn, Education & Certification Director

Manage implementation of educational programming for MNLA and assist with Northern Green educational programming. Coordinate online Certification exams in cooperation with the executive director. Manage MNLA-CP recertification process. Coordinate industry segment and other networking groups including member lists and promotion of upcoming meetings. Staff liaison to the following committees: Education & Certification and Networking.

Forrest Cyr, Director of Government Affairs

Analyze proposed legislative actions; determine the potential impact on the organization; and develop recommended policy for consideration by the Government Affairs Committee and the Board of Directors. Coordinate with legislative and regulatory policy makers and staff, including state and national nursery and landscape associations to discuss issues, draft and present testimony, reports and regulatory comments. Work with the MNLA lobbyist to communicate to members of the Minnesota legislature, regulatory agency leadership and their staffs on industry related issues. Monitor the activities of various state agencies, and ensure the “voice” of MNLA is heard and acknowledged. Develop messaging and tactics to promote legislative awareness to members. Staff liaison to the Government Affairs Committee.

Lora Sondrol, Administrative Assistant

Phone reception and greet office visitors. Fulfill member material requests. Maintain office supplies and office equipment. Oversee Scoop article compilation, mailing list, and other logistics. Plan and manage MNLA Community Center at Northern Green. Assist with Northern Green registration. Assist with logistics for Day on the Hill. Assist Education & Certification Manager with event registrations and materials, and recertification program.

Dr. James Calkins, Regulatory Affairs Manager

Analyze proposed regulatory actions, determine the potential impact on the organization, and develop recommended policy. Coordinate with regulatory policy makers and agency leaders to discuss issues, draft and present testimony, reports and regulatory comments and ensure the “voice” of MNLA is heard and acknowledged. Staff liaison to the Government Affairs Committee.

Kris Peterson, Accountant

Manage bookkeeping and financial transactions for the association and foundation. Working within the Investment Policy Statements established by the association board and the foundation board, work with MNLA’s bankers and investment consultants to maximize the return on financial reserves.

MNLA Consultants

MNLA works very closely with two independent contract companies on a daily basis.

Betsy Pierre, Advertising Sales Manager, Pierre Productions & Promotions Inc.
Fax 763-295-2550

Betsy sells advertising for The Scoop, Member Directory Resource Book, Northern Green Program,, and MNLA eNews. They also coordinate sponsorship opportunities for Northern Green and MNLA Foundation fundraising events.

Doug Carnival, Government Affairs Consultant and Lobbyist, McGrann, Shea, Carnival, Straughn & Lamb Chartered

Represents MNLA on a variety of legislative and regulatory affairs.



MNLA Foundation

The MNLA Foundation improves the environment by investing in research and education.

Paulette Sorenson, CMP, Program Coordinator

Manage programs that promote to youth the value of green industry careers including Assist research information director with Research for the Real World. Manage MNLA Foundation scholarship program. Manage MNLA Foundation fundraisers and networking events, including Garden Party, Golf, and Shootout. Manage the Research Partners Fund and donor appreciation efforts. Build and manage online presence of MNLA Foundation. Staff liaison to the MNLA Foundation Board of Trustees.

Dr. James Calkins, Research Information Director

Jim Calkins is a horticulturalist, researcher, and educator with extensive experience in plant identification, distribution, production, culture and use, and has been an active member of the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association for over 20 years. Jim has taught a variety of classes at the University of Minnesota and has also spoken extensively to community and professional organizations.

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1813 Lexington Avenue N
Roseville, MN 55113

Ph: 651. 633. 4987
Toll Free: 888. 886. 6652

Fax: 651. 633. 4986