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Bio: Jeff Swenson is the driving force behind the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival. When he's not too busy planning this fabulous event, he can be found at WSU football games or on the golf course.
Bio: Courtney Goetz started at the garden show in 2004, assisting her mother, designer Sue Goetz of Creative Gardener, install gardens at the show. What was a youthful “chore” became a lifelong love. In 2011 she was ready to tackle the challenge of designing her own garden – as a high school senior project. Her garden, “Paradise (to be) Regained,” received great acclaim, winning a Gold Medal and the Sunset Western Living Award. She was (and is still) the youngest gold medal winner in the Show’s history. Courtney returned again in 2014 as a co-designer with her mom for another Gold Medal garden, “The Art of Retreat: Two Generations Define Their Own Garden Studios,” which won the Fine Gardening Award, the Sunset Western Living Award and the American Horticultural Society Award.
Courtney joined the show in 2014 as the Social Media Manager, growing the online community behind the show and showcasing the beauty of the NWFGS online. She held the position until the show was transferred to Marketplace Events in June of 2018. She is now the Operations Manager of the show, handling bigger projects and working on bringing exciting things for our attendees. We’re excited to see her “grow” with the show!
Bio: Lloyd Glasscock is well-known to people in the gardening industry, having been involved in the landscaping and nursery industry in Washington State for over 35 years. He has worked in retail, wholesale, and nursery and horticultural supplies, and he has also served in a number of leadership roles in industry associations. The past 20 years he’s been a retailer of stone, water features, paving brick and building block to both the public and contractors, and he has had his own landscape design business. This makes Lloyd a natural to be the newest Garden Coordinator at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, since the fully-built display gardens contain over 200,000 pounds of rock and boulders, countless pallets of brick and pavers, and many different kinds of water features. The three words Lloyd will make sure he never hears in the tense hours before the show opens: “There’s a leak.” But even better, Lloyd has created over 20 display gardens at the show. He’s well versed on what it takes to design and build a garden, the complexity and the stress, and has always been interested in the whole planning process.
Lloyd has lived in the Stanwood area for over 30 years with his wife Denise, joined by their cat, Izzy Princess. They have a ‘turf free’ house landscaped with a wide variety of plants (Lloyd would much rather be hiking than mowing the lawn), some choice specimens dating back to their earliest years on the property. A Styrax obassia (Fragrant Snowbell) and Enkianthus in the front garden are both over 25 years old and are beloved for their flowers and fall color. When they’re not out in the garden, Lloyd and Denise like to travel (Scotland being a favorite destination, which explains Lloyd’s occasionally donning his kilt) and they also enjoy wine tasting. Lloyd is an avid hiker and when he can get away from meetings with garden creators or show planning, he hits the trail, most recently in the Grand Canyon.
Exhibit Sales Consultant
Bio: Linda was born in Eastern Washington and grew up in Arlington, studying business at ITT Business School and Edmonds Community College. She has a daughter living in Seattle who is a top hair stylist, and a son in San Diego who runs his own electrical business – and she recently become a grandma. Linda first started at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in 2001. In 2005 she took on the challenging job of Exhibits Manager, and joined the Marketplace Events staff in 2018. Like her colleagues, she loves how each day brings something new and exciting, as she juggles the countless details and requirements of over 300+ exhibitors. Linda loves working with so many friendly nursery owners, artists, craftsmen and business people, and it shows in the great customer service she provides – and how much all the exhibitors love her! The show’s move-in days are absolutely crazy and Linda loves the energy and excitement in the behind-the-scenes chaos, with everyone pulling together to produce a great show.
Linda’s gardening has run the gamut from having a huge garden with a greenhouse where she started many plants from seed, to her cozy garden now – three dozen containers brimming with flowers, edibles and evergreens on her patio and front entry. She has a passion for rare conifers and brilliant tuberous begonias, and her container garden on her patio with a huge blue Hosta, “Love Pat.” And her home is filled with botanical art from the garden show, since it’s a great place where nature lovers can find things they love for their home décor. An avid sports nut, Linda loves to play golf and watch the Seahawks and Mariners, as well as try her hand in the kitchen trying out new recipes for family and friends.
Seminar & Judging Manager
Bio: Janet was born and raised in California, moving to the Pacific Northwest in 1978. After working for a decade as a respiratory therapist she returned to school at the University of Washington for a degree in Public Communication, which launched a career in healthcare marketing and PR management for many years. She left work when her daughter was born, and her gardening addiction blossomed. Soon she became a volunteer leader in horticulture organizations, chairing the Pacific Northwest Gardens Competition for ten years and serving on the board of the Arboretum Foundation. She also served as Open Gardens chair, Hardy Plant Study Weekend chair and president of the Northwest Perennial Alliance. In 2005 she joined the garden show as the Seminar Manager, continuing in that role with Marketplace Events team in 2018. She loves working with leading garden writers, horticulturists and designers across the nation, bringing many ‘must-see’ speakers to our avid show attendees. She only wishes she could actually sit through an entire seminar, but running the seminars means constantly being on the go. In 2010 she served as the show’s first Social Media Manager, which she held for three years, and she also manages the judging of the show’s display gardens. In 2017 she added yet another hat, creating and managing the new GardenPRO Conference for professionals, launched at the 2018 show.
Janet’s Mill Creek garden was featured by Val Easton in the Seattle Times in 2004 but as her time at the computer cut into her gardening time, she’s renovated her garden for lower maintenance with easier-care plants loved by birds and bees. If she had to choose a favorite plant it would be the magnificent Kousa dogwood in her rear garden, a white cloud of blossoms for six weeks in June she can enjoy from her second story home office window. She lives with her husband, Mike (whose favorite ‘garden’ tool is a 7-iron) and her daughter Peyton, a WWU grad now working as an accountant. She loves HIIT, reading, gardening, baking, and taking a daily sanity break walking through the nearby nature preserve with Katie, her Golden Retriever. She also (secretly) loves Husky football, despite being surrounded by a sea of Cougars.
Show | Office Administrator
Bio: Michelle Derbes knows all about trying to garden with wildlife. Born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, her parents grew vegetables every summer, only to have them eaten just before harvest by marauding moose. After attending the University of Alaska for a year, she moved down to the ‘lower 48’ to attend Southern Oregon University, where she received a bachelor’s in business and marketing. Michelle now lives in Puget Sound with her family – but no moose.
Michelle assists in coordinating many of the show features, including the display gardens, City Living gardens and the Floral Competition. She works hard all year for those two adrenalin-producing weeks of the show, from the very start of move-in, to the final farewell when the gardens are cleared out. She loves being a part of it all, helping it come together. You can find Michelle during the show as she greets people coming to the show office, so stop by and say hello. Michelle’s also hoping some of the skills of the gardening experts rub off on her, since she confesses that “plants are not safe around me – they have a very short life expectancy.” Her favorite plant is one she’s managed not to kill. When Michelle isn’t working or playing taxi driver for her kids, she enjoys reading, watching movies or attending the theater. After the long, cold winters in Alaska, her favorite time of the year is in the Spring when the days get longer and flowers start to bloom. That is the reason she loves the Northwest Flower & Garden Show the most, where she can dream about someday having a garden like the ones she sees at the Show.
Regional Vice President, Sponsorship
Phone: 604.639.2288 ext. 221
Bio: Home is where the heart is for Jill Kivett. A self-professed décor addict and graduate from the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. In 2003 Jill found her calling at Marketplace Events where she oversees ten major annual home shows in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, while dreaming up creative and engaging corporate sponsorships for all Marketplace Events shows across Canada and the United States. It’s a ‘dream come true’ for Jill to join the team behind the Northwest Flower & Garden Show (and we are ecstatic to have her on board)!
When she’s not racking up frequent flyer miles, Jill enjoys volunteering with Dress for Success Vancouver, doting on her adorable ridgeback, Dalton, and ending the day with a full-bodied glass of cabernet in-hand. Follow Jill on her travels (and occasional golf outing) on Twitter and Instagram at @JillKivett.