People

We are privileged at the Center to have such an esteemed and accomplished group of people overseeing our operations:

Board of Directors

Ken Altman - Altman Plants in Vista, CA
Chairman

Jim Bethke - UCCE
Academic Advisor

John Kister - Sunlet Nurseries in Fallbrook, CA

H.M. (Mike Sr.) Mellano - Mellano & Company in San Luis Rey, CA

Greg Opgenorth - Plug Connection in Vista, CA

David Pattison - Western Farm Service in Valley Center, CA

Dustin Meador, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Ken Altman and his wife, Deena, started Altman Plants in 1975; Altman Plants supplies annuals, perennials, and succulents across the country from facilities in Southern CA, Northern CA, Phoenix, AZ and Southern Florida.  Ken Altman serves on the board of the San Diego Farm Bureau and the American Floral Endowment. Founding CfAHR is proof of the Altman's interest and dedication to helping growers to be successful in growing high quality plants and helping the industry to adopt new and more efficient technical information.

Jim Bethke is the Farm Advisor assigned to San Diego North County at the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. More information can be found at that website.

John Kister is the co-owner of Sunlet Nursery, Inc., in Fallbrook, CA, with his wife, Janet.  Specializing in growing florist quality indoor flowering plants and selected foliage plants for wholesale customers throughout the United States, the Sunlet Nursery name gained national recognition for introducing the Kimberley Queen® fern into the United States from Australia and for their award winning Jester's Crown USPP #16531 fern. Mr. Kister currently serves on the board of directors of the Kee Kitayama Research Foundation. A graduate of Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Botany, he also holds a Masters of Science degree from University of California, Davis, in Environmental Horticulture.

Mike Mellano, founder of Mellano & Company, has made of his business a very successful cut flower operation. Mr. Mellano, with his experience and expertise has greatly influenced the development of the local floriculture industry, and improved the green industry in California. Mr. Mellano has a long history of public service in a number of horticultural associations and has been awarded with multiple recognitions from all sectors of the horticultural industry. His last one was in 2008, when he was granted the Leadership Award by the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

David Pattison is a Sales Representative for Western Farm. He has vast experience in horticulture, particularly in the area of pest control. Mr. Pattison is the President of The California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) and has served as a board member of several horticultural associations in California. He is also engaged in education and has been a speaker in several local colleges and plant societies.

Dustin Meador, Ph.D.

©2011 CfAHR