Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios 2018-10-29T13:18:15+00:00

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John van der Wilk
John van der Wilk
John van der Wilk has been in the Horticulture industry for 32 years and with Priva for 20 years. Currently, John is the Vice President of Business Development for Priva where he leverages his passion for strategic innovation to support and grow his customers’ businesses. John works globally to develop key partnerships that strengthen new opportunities.
Paul Selina
Paul Selina
Paul Selina has spent his entire working life in the greenhouse industry, starting in England. His career spans a wide range of climates and greenhouse technology all over North America. Paul has been with Village Farms since 2000 and is VP of Applied Research. He has an intimate knowledge of how the engineering, the systems, the climate, and crop management, needs to come together to achieve top level production. Paul has been involved in many projects for Village Farms and is currently part of the team establishing a 1,100,000 sq ft cannabis greenhouse operation in BC Canada.
Jody Vukas
Jody Vukas
Jody Vukas is the Design & Operational Specialist behind the Denver based company, Smart Grow Pros. Jody has been in the cannabis space for the last 15 years, 8 of which have been in the regulatory space in Colorado. Jody also works with clients in several legalized states and Canada where he and SGP are designing and building highly efficient grow facilities which include heat and CO2 recapture.
Laust Dam
Laust Dam
Laust brings a dynamic approach to the greenhouse Industry developing and implementing up to date growing techniques with tried and true horticultural methods for both greenhouse and indoor growing. Born and raised on a greenhouse farm in Denmark, Laust graduated from the School of Horticulture in Vilvorde, Denmark before embarking on an 18-year career working throughout Europe as a Crop Advisor. In 2000 Laust moved to Canada to work for Rijk Zwaan Seed Co and four years later began his own successful consulting business, HotHouse Consulting. In 2018, HotHouse Consulting was sold to Aurora Cannabis, with Laust currently serving as VP of Horticultural Development for Aurora/ALPS and also COO of MediSun Inc.
Paul Arkesteijn
Paul Arkesteijn
As a Climate Performance Analyst for Svensson Paul Arkesteijn collaborates closely with growers, academia and horticultural research institutions from all over the world in support of greenhouse climate improvement. No stranger to the horticultural industry, Paul Arkesteijn served as a greenhouse climate computer specialist with Hoogendoorn Automation for 18 years before beginning his career with Svensson in 2009, where today he specializes in researching the greenhouse climate using Svensson climate screens as the central subject. Paul’s vast knowledge of different growing climates span from crop focus, to light and energy saving applications to production maximization.
Armando Suarez
Armando Suarez
Armando has earned a BS in Farm Management and Agricultural Engineering. Initially, he focused on research at the University of Arizona with variety trials in greenhouse for tomatoes and bell peppers. Armando spent many years consulting with large greenhouses throughout the US, specializing in consulting on crop optimization and high tech irrigation for large greenhouses customers. He was also a successful hydroponics lettuce grower but his passion for helping solve challenges in agriculture soon brought him to Grodan. Currently Armando focusses on crop substrate and irrigation systems in the controlled environment agriculture of greenhouses and growing chambers. He is a popular writer for several magazines and is a speaker at international events.