Here are the bios for the 2018 Communities in Bloom Judges!
Berta Briggs – Berta Briggs believes that serving the community is a privilege and has always enjoyed participating in and contributing to organizations that improve the quality of life. Since 2000 Berta has been honoured to judge Communities in Bloom at the provincial, national and international levels. Berta finds that judging is a wonderful learning experience and a great inspiration to see the growth in communities as they set and achieve goals. Berta’s background in the greenhouse industry and years of active involvement in community organizations has given her the skills to evaluate and to share suggestions and ideas with participating communities. Following graduation from the University of Alberta Berta lived and worked outside Canada for over 5 years. The first winter back in Canada she realized that she had to be in the green – this lead to a passion for growing plants. In 1981 she founded Arber Greenhouses near Wetaskiwin; she now considers herself semi-retired since her daughter and son-in-law took over the greenhouse. Berta’s best crop, by far, has been her three amazing daughters. Berta continues to conduct workshops through the greenhouse and in the community. She has received recognition for entrepreneurship, land stewardship, contributions to the greenhouse industry and youth leadership. Other pastimes include curling and travel.
Karin Rindal – Karin Rindal’s wide ranging business career in manufacturing and government includes time involved in international trade program evaluation and training in Total Quality Management (TQM). Her business activities include extensive work in identifying sources of local, state, federal and international grant funding and resources for small businesses and trade associations. In 2004 Karin discovered the New Jersey Master Gardener program which set off a chain of experiences that resulted in an appointment to the Board of Directors at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum in Morristown, NJ, where she organized annual plant sales and coordinated activities of volunteer committees including donations, raffles. Karin won awards at the New Jersey Home and Garden Show for container design and for horticultural entries at the Newport, RI Flower Show. For two years she wrote a regular weekly garden column for an online community news site. Since 2005 she has taught gardening and cooking classes to adults and children. Now located outside Washington, DC, Karin currently volunteers at the US Botanic Garden where she assists with a broad variety of educational events, including presenting a class on sustainable container gardening. Through her work at the Botanic Garden on the Sustainable Sites InitiativeTM (SITES) she completed the requirements for the New Jersey Environmental Stewardship program. 2018 will mark her fifth year as an America in Bloom national judge. In addition, for the last three years she has worked to research, design and establish a local memorial garden with historical accurate plant material. She continues to research and visit gardens across the US and Europe for presentations on a wide variety of topics ranging from the 12th century German medieval gardens of Hildegard Von Bingen, to the Svalbard Doomsday seed vault in Norway to Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. A past president of her local garden club, Karin is currently focused on improving the garden club’s print material and website with new photography and graphics. She is also searching for a home for a new project… a Civil War medicinal herb garden. Karin’s career began with a degree in Political Science and German, with a minor in French, followed by a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies that included a year in Bologna, Italy. She is fluent in German and has knowledge of Italian and French.