Graham Farrar

Graham Farrar

Graham Farrar

CEO and Owner, Glass House Farms

Graham Farrar is President and Chief Cannabis Officer for Glass House Farms, a Carpinteria, CA-based company, which is currently comprised of two greenhouse operation sites totaling 10 acres of cannabis. Farrar is a jack of all trades and a serial entrepreneur, who is the founder of several start-up companies. He was part of the founding team of Sonos Inc., which designed and manufactures a next-generation multi-zone wireless digital home stereo, and an original team member at Software.com, the company that developed the first high-end email infrastructure servers for telephone companies and ISPs. He has also worked at WaveFront Technologies, an industrial 3-D animation software development company. Farrar ventured into the regulated cannabis industry by founding Elite Garden Wholesale in 2014, an agriculture technology company focused on developing products for the hydroponics industry. He opened the first 21+ cannabis store in Santa Barbara in 2019. Glass House Brands Inc., which owns and operates Glass House Farms 500,000 square feet of grow operations, is now a publicly-traded company (OTC: GLASF).

Chuck Buffington

Chuck Buffington

Chuck Buffington

Vice President of Sales, Berger

Chuck Buffington is Vice President of Sales at Berger, a high-quality growing media supplier with 13 sites across the U.S. and products distributed in 20 countries. Buffington previously worked for 30 years at Syngenta, one of the world’s largest agribusiness companies, holding senior sales management and marketing positions in the specialty agriculture and greenhouse markets. He has extensive experience in many different crop input segments, including agricultural chemicals, seeds, vegetative genetics, and soilless substrates. Buffington holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from South Dakota State University. He has also completed advanced Executive Leadership training at both INSEAD and Purdue University. 

Suzanne Quintero

Suzanne Quintero

Suzanne Quintero

COO, ForwardGro 

Suzanne Quintero has extensive experience managing, reviewing, and evaluating both tactical and strategic operational functions across a multitude of emerging industries. She has been instrumental in growing many companies. Her 19 years of experience have been extremely beneficial for her work at ForwardGro, a startup medical cannabis grower in a startup industry in Maryland. Quintero’s background with customer service, her business-centered approach, and her understanding of financial operations and compliance are all skills she brings to her current position. 

Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey

Steve Garvey

Head Grower, Dallas Johnson Greenhouse

Steve Garvey is the Head Grower at Dallas Johnson Greenhouses (#16 on Greenhouse Grower’s 2021 Top 100 Growers list) in Council Bluffs, IA, and Greenhouse Grower’s 2021 Medal of Excellence Grower of the Year award winner. Garvey started his growing career at Gurney’s/Henry Fields when he was in high school. He graduated with a degree in Horticulture from South Dakota State University. After college, he took a position as the Head Grower at an independent garden center in Omaha, NE, a position he held for more than 14 years. Garvey has been the Head Grower at Dallas Johnson for a little more than six years, and he says it “is a grower’s dream job.” He takes pride in Dallas Johnson’s high-quality plant material and is focused on using the newest growing technology, new media components, and good genetics to produce unrivaled quality plants from seed and unrooted cuttings to finish containers.

Dr. Marco Palma

Marco Palma

Dr. Marco Palma

Professor of Food and Resource Economics, Texas A&M University

Dr. Marco A Palma is a Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Texas A&M University. His areas of interest are consumer economics, experimental and behavioral economics and neuroeconomics. Dr Palma is a Texas A&M Presidential Impact Fellow and the Director of the Human Behavior Laboratory, a transdisciplinary facility that integrates state-of-the-art technology to measure neurophysiological responses of human decision-making. The HBL aims to facilitate the integration of neurophysiological responses to traditional methods of studying human behavior to better understand, predict, and change behavior that improves people’s health and well-being.

Dr. Erico Mattos

Erico Mattos

Dr. Erico Mattos

Co-Founder and CEO, Candidus

Dr. Mattos received his B.S. degree in agronomic engineering from the University of Sao Paulo (Brazil) in 2009 and a Ph.D degree in crop and soils sciences from the University of Georgia in 2013. Dr. Mattos is also co-founder and CEO of Candidus, a horticultural lighting control company developing smart lighting control systems for crop production in greenhouses. Candidus received Greenhouse Grower’s Medal of Excellence Technology of the Year award for 2021. Before committing himself full-time to Candidus, Mattos served as the Executive Director of Greenhouse Lighting and Engineering (GLASE) consortium. 

Todd Downing

Todd Downing

Todd Downing

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, BEST Human Capital and Advisory Group

Todd Downing has enjoyed three decades of specialty horticulture experience, the last 15 years as a talent acquisition and human resources consultant. During this time, he has enjoyed partnering with client companies in evaluating, developing, and executing strategic hiring plans; behavioral-based assessment; benchmarking; building and reorganizing corporate teams; on-boarding; evaluating and negotiating compensation standards; succession planning; and retention. His industry experiences include ornamental and nursery, controlled agriculture, hydroponics, hemp and cannabis, and lawn and garden.

Todd is a member of AmericanHort, has participated as a speaker and published human resource articles for trade magazines. He graduated from Bowling Green State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business.

Art Van Wingerden

Art Van Wingerden

Art Van Wingerden

CEO and Co-Owner, Metrolina Greenhouses

Art Van Wingerden grew up in greenhouses and knew he wanted to grow plants as early as five-years old. He now manages more than 8,200,000 square feet of environmentally controlled space and 250 acres of field production at Metrolina Greenhouses, one of the largest ornamentals greenhouses in the U.S., ranked No. 5 on Greenhouse Grower’s Top 100 Grower list. Metrolina Greenhouses is an advanced operation with facilities in Huntersville, NC, and York, SC. VanWingerden is a progressive grower who takes an active role in designing new automation equipment and technology, working closely with equipment manufacturers to develop growing solutions.