Our Staff

Dave Whitinger, Executive Director (@dave)

Dave was raised by a family of gardeners in a rural area, and his love for nature led him to a career in serving gardeners online. Since the mid 90s, he has been a leader in the online world of educational and social media resources, having founded and operated a number of large and successful websites.

In addition to serving as Executive Director of NGA, Dave is also the software developer responsible for the continued development of Garden.org. When he's not programming or spending time with his friends at Garden.org, he can be found interacting with other corporate and non-profit members of the gardening industry.

Trish Whitinger, Chief Operating Officer (@Trish)

For more than 20 years Trish has operated behind-the-scenes to keep websites growing and successful. She manages the day to day operations of NGA, providing vision, focus and direction, interfacing with the community and business partners, and making sure that the things that need to get done are handled by the right people at the right time. When something needs to get done, she makes it happen. When she is not helping run NGA, she is homeschooling her 8 children and helping tend her extensive and beautiful gardens.

Jonathan Whitinger, Executive Assistant (@jon)

Jon has been involved with Garden.org since 2011. He maintains an extensive collection of daylilies and has produced a number of interesting new varieties through his hybridization efforts. He is well known locally as a qualified gardener and is knowledgeable in many areas of horticulture. His interest in photography takes him to gardens around the state of Texas where he photographs plants for our Plants Database.

At Garden.org, Jon is responsible for much of the content our visitors enjoy on a daily basis. He produces our inspirational images, oversees our articles, ensures the content on the site is categorized appropriately and is accessible to gardeners. He is also a member of the Plants Admins team, and helps oversee the accuracy and growth of our Plants Database.

Paul Cohen, Gardening Research

Paul has over 40 years of direct marketing and marketing research experience. He began his career in the list business at Names Unlimited in New York. In 1977 he joined Garden Way, Inc. as a direct mail manager where he had an integral role in developing the direct mail program for the Troy-Bilt Rototiller. He was promoted to Director of Research in 1983 and later became Garden Way’s Director of Research and New Business Development.

In 1985 Paul joined the American Contract Bridge League as Director of Marketing.There he was responsible for new member recruitment, public relations, member retention, product sales, and the publishing of the league’s monthly magazine.

Paul is currently a professor in the Department of Business Administration at CastletonUniversity in Vermont and principal of Paul Cohen & Associates.

Paul has conducted research for a host of organizations including Brookstone, L.L. Bean, Chadwick’s of Boston, Pleasant Company (American Girl), Gardener’s Supply Company, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Plow and Hearth, Country Life Magazine, Eating Well Magazine, and The American Contract Bridge League. Paul has personally designed, implemented, and analyzed over 100 consumer surveys and focus groups. Paul has been a speaker and panelist at Direct Marketing Association (DMA) conferences and has guest lectured at colleges and universities around the country as part of the DMA’s Visiting Executive Program.

Ian Baldwin, Gardening Research

Retail business consultant Ian Baldwin was born in England and has worked in the nursery industry since he was 16, holding a BSc in Horticulture (London) and an MBA from Medway in England. He has lived in California since 1986 and is an American citizen.

For over 30 years Ian has consulted for the best L&G companies in N. America and Europe on store-planning, merchandising, “retail detail”, team and business leadership and increasingly, financial success. Ian is a trained trainer and facilitator, has been an expert witness, a “Strategic Retreat” leader and a market analyst.

Through his national network groups of owners and managers, Ian has access to POS data and trends in the garden retail and hardware channels.

His “Gap” theory, identifying the key performance indicators for retail profitability, has helped many independent retailers thrive while others have faltered.

Ian writes a regular blog on industry trends and is a featured speaker at many L&G meetings. Over the years he has been retained by The ANLA, Armstrong Garden Centers, The National Gardening Association, Ball Horticulture, Epicor, Westlake Ace Hardware and The Scotts Company.

His business management program “The Garden Center University” has set the standard for future training in the business of the retail garden business and is fully subscribed at each enrolment.

For the last five years Ian has been asked by the National Gardening Association to analyze and comment on their “National Gardening Survey”, giving him a unique insight into the consumers’ attitudes and shopping behavior in the L&G industry.

"Zuzu", Plants Database Administrator (@zuzu)

Zuzu, a recently retired translator and professor of comparative literature, is happy to finally have enough time to tend her flower beds properly. She has been gardening for decades and developed a passion for roses more than 30 years ago, gradually accumulating about 2,000 rose bushes, including almost 1,700 different cultivars. She also grows many other flowering plants and would grow foliage plants and edibles if she had the space for them. She is a relentless zone pusher, growing tender tropicals and rugged alpine plants with some success.

Sue Brown, Plants Database Administrator (@Calif_Sue)

Suzanne (Sue) Brown inherited her love of gardening from her mother, who acquired it from her own mother back in Germany. She amassed a collection of various plants that she grew on a small city lot until she and her husband retired in 2011 to northern California. where they now garden on 1/2 acre along with their two small dogs and five chickens. Her two children live nearby, along with their spouses and Sue's three grandchildren.

In the past she was an avid daylily grower, active in the American Hemerocallis Society, serving as regional treasurer for the West Coast and as the procurement chair for her local daylily club. She has now expanded her interests to other plants and grows a wide variety of roses, daylilies, irises, and other perennials and shrubs, continuing her learning process as she develops her garden. Her other hobbies include photography, sewing/quilting, and eliminating the dreaded gophers from her garden.

Kent Pfeiffer, Plants Database Administrator (@KentPfeiffer)

Kent is a biologist who has devoted his career to the conservation of endangered species. He currently lives in southeast Nebraska where he works with private landowners to improve the management of their native prairies and oak woodlands. He is also trying to pass on the love of gardening, learned at the feet of his mom and dad, to his own two children.

Rob Duval, Plants Database Administrator (@robertduval14)

Rob Duval was born and raised in rural southern New Hampshire and still lives there. He is a professional landscaper (15+ years) and has been working on his own garden for about 10 years. He has three children, two stepchildren, and one grandchild. He enjoys trying to find new ways to squeeze one more plant into his flower beds and is always looking for different varieties of veggies to try each year.

Joshua White, Plants Database Administrator (@Australis)

Joshua grew up in rural Victoria, Australia, and moved to Melbourne to become an electrical and computer systems engineer. Both Joshua and his wife enjoy gardening in their spare time. He is primarily interested in Liliums and Cymbidium Orchids and enjoys combining his various interests in assisting with the database.

Today's site banner is by Marilyn and is called "Flowers"

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