Keynote Speakers 2024

2024 Keynote Speaker:


Dr. Katrina Cornish FNAI, FAIMBE, FAAAS

Dr. Katrina Cornish serves as Endowed Chair and Ohio Research Scholar, Bioemergent Materials, and as Research Director, Program of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives, at The Ohio State University. She is an internationally recognized expert and innovator in alternative natural rubber/latex crops, their latex, solid rubber, and coproduct processing and formulation technologies, biodegradable and recyclable rubbers and bioplastics, product and device innovation and development, and valorization of industrial, agricultural and food processing wastes. Her career spanning federal, academic, and industrial appointments has resulted in ~35 issued or pending patents, many with student and staff coinventors, over 310 published papers, numerous worldwide lectures, and a history of considerable public and private funding. At OSU, she has mentored and graduated 23 graduate students with Ph.D. or MS degrees from four departments.

Cornish’s research has been recognized by her election as Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and by numerous awards, including The 2024 Charles Goodyear Medal, The Ohio State University’s 2018 Innovator of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Bioenvironmental Polymer Society and the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops, and the Good Housekeeping Award for Women In Government.

Cornish is CEO of EnergyEne, Inc, and co-founder of several other alternative natural rubber companies intended to increase the geographical and biological diversity of the natural rubber supply.

Cornish holds a BSc (1st class honours) in Biological Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Plant Biology, both from the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, England.


2024 Guest Marketing Speakers:


Dr. Alex Lindsey

Dr. Alex Lindsey is an Associate Professor of Crop Ecophysiology in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Since joining the faculty in 2015, he has focused on how crops interact with environmental factors to influence growth and yield. He also teaches three courses per year and serves as a coordinating advisor for the Agronomy specialization of the Sustainable Plant Systems major. Dr. Lindsey received his Ph.D. in Agronomy from Ohio State University in 2015 under Dr. Peter Thomison and has been a Certified Crop Advisor since 2009. Before coming to Ohio, he received his BS and MS degrees from Michigan State University.


Meagan Nace 

Meagan Nace Staff PhotoMeagan Nace joined the AmericanHort education team in 2017 after 10+ years of working in horticulture research as a biologist at Scotts Miracle-Gro where she collaborated with cross-functional teams in developing new products and innovative solutions for consumers for the Miracle-Gro and Ortho brands.

At AmericanHort, Meagan works to find creative and innovative solutions to delivering industry best practices through educational programming. She is responsible for the program development, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs and activities that meet the identified needs of members. This also includes building relationships with association members, managing partners, industry media, various vendors, member communities, volunteers, speakers and other event guests, industry research and academic communities, and related organizations. She works closely with our exhibits and sponsorship sales team to develop business opportunities for both AmericanHort and sponsor companies. Meagan also serves as a staff liaison with the Interior Plantscape and Garden Retail Community Connector groups.

Meagan graduated with a bachelor’s in science degree in Agricultural Education from the Ohio State University. She resides 45 minutes north-west of Columbus with her husband and four children on her family’s third-generation farm. In her spare time, you can find her chasing children, horses, and dogs, gardening, baling hay, and giving rides to and from the fields

Mental Health Workshop  

Dr. Schadd
A Schaad, PsyD
I enjoy working with folks undergoing major life transitions, which specifically attracted me to working with college students. So much happens in one’s time at a university- in undergrad and graduate studies- and I am honored to be able to walk with people as they are working through the challenges that these transitions bring. I appreciate working with survivors of trauma and connecting individuals to the resources they need. I feel honored to work with folks as they explore their own intersecting identities and experience growth in their values and beliefs. I identify as an ally, advocate, and activist and thus I also know the importance of a strong self-care practice to prevent burnout. Self-care is essential in my personal and professional life, and I work to promote self-care from a luxury to a priority in student’s lives. I aim to make coping skills accessible and personalized. I enjoy utilizing mindfulness and the power of the present moment in session. I often work with trauma, anxiety, depression, LGBTQ+ concerns, relationship concerns, self-esteem, assertiveness, substance use concerns, and anything else the life of a student may bring.

Research and Industry Alumni Panel

John Koenig, MS

Profile photo of John Koenig

John Koenig is a very enthusiastic and driven individual bringing over 14 years of agronomic experience to MAX Agronomy. He has earned both a BS degree in Agronomy and an MS in Plant Pathology from The Ohio State University and a CCA from the American Society of Agronomy. His agronomic experience started young working alongside his father and grandfather on their family farm in Northwest, Ohio. Professionally he has experience in agricultural education/ FFA advisory, soil sampling data interpretation, turfgrass management, plant pest diagnostics and management, fertilizer recommendations, and consumer product development including fertilizer, herbicide, fungicide, insecticide, wetting agents, and combination products. Other research projects included water quality assurance and carbon sequestration. He aspires to become an innovative leader in the agricultural industry, promoting the safe and proper usage of fertilizers and pesticides in efforts to maintain a sustainable ecosystem while increasing farm profitability. Koenig looks forward to providing consulting services in soil fertility and on-the-farm research to the agricultural community in Michigan.

Nathan Donley, AS

Nathan Donley

Nathan’s passion for agriculture started in Mr. Larry Kauffman’s high school Intro to Horticulture class. After graduation, Nathan attended The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, where he earned a degree in Greenhouse Production and Management in 2010. A grower since, Nathan has held positions in a variety of operations including one as head grower for an 8-acre facility. Before joining CropKing, Nathan worked as the Greenhouse Manager for The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute, where his graduates worked in hydroponic food crops, in ornamental greenhouses, as high school educators, and in licensed cannabis facilities.

Dr. Rob Golembiewski, PhD

Dr. Rob “G11” Golembiewski is the Director of Technical Services at Atticus with the responsibility of providing technical expertise for all non-agricultural markets.  Previously, he served as a Green Solutions Specialist with Bayer/Envu for 11+ years.  Rob received his B.S. and M.S. from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Rob’s career has included positions with Montana State University, Dow AgroSciences, Paramount Landscape, University of Minnesota, and Oregon State University.