The four associations that sponsor GIE+EXPO and Hardscape North America, the industry’s largest gathering, have added a new keynote exclusively for landscape and hardscape contractors at the 2018 event. The session, set for Wednesday, October 17, 1:30 – 3 p.m., will feature Dr. Robert Ballard, world-renowned undersea explorer. Admission to the keynote, which is sponsored by John Deere, is included with registration.

This is the first time that the GIE+EXPO/HNA partners, the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute (ICPI), National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the Professional Grounds Management Society (PGMS) have joined together to co-host their keynote, bringing all of their attendees together in one place to listen to Ballard.

“We are thrilled to be supporting the first ever joint keynote address, with GIE+EXPO and its partners, OPEI, NALP, PGMS and ICPI (Hardscape North America),” said Ken Taylor, John Deere. “The keynote address promises to be a major highlight of this year’s event and we look forward to welcoming such a distinguished American icon, Dr. Robert Ballard, to the GIE+EXPO stage.”

One of the greatest undersea explorers of our times, Ballard is best known for his 1985 discovery of the RMS Titanic70-plus years after it sank in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. He has conducted over 140 deep sea expeditions, including the first manned exploration of the Mid-Ocean Ridge, and is credited with discovering many key chapters of human history, such as German Battleship Bismarckand President John F. Kennedy’sPT-109. He is a well-known author, a film producer of documentaries, an Explorer in Residence for the National Geographic Society and past host of their TV program “Explorer.”

In this gripping presentation, the oceanographer and former U.S. Navy officer, will share his stories of exploration, environmental discovery and leadership. With a passion for the last great uncharted territory, Dr. Ballard will entertain and motivate as he discusses his discoveries and adventures, which include the 1985 discovery of the Titanicwreckage. Attendees will walk away inspired to think outside the box and take risks to achieve their long-term goals.

GIE+EXPO and HNA 2018 dates are Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 17-19.

For information, visit www.gie-expo.com or www.hardscapena.com.

Please note that Dr. Ballard will be presenting two separate keynote addresses during GIE+EXPO – the keynote for contractors mentioned above from 1:30-3 p.m., as well as an earlier keynote for dealers and exhibitors from 10:30 a.m.-Noon.

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