Oct. 16 2018 12:00 AM

Dr. Robert Ballard, best known for his Titanic discovery, to speak Oct. 17 at 1:30 p.m.

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

This is the first time that the GIE+Expo/HNA partners, which include the Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute, the National Association of Landscape Professionals, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the Professional Grounds Management Society have joined together to cohost the 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)," says 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 Titanic’s remains 70-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 filling in many key chapters of human history, such as the wrecks of the German battleship Bismarck and President John F. Kennedy’s PT-109. He is a well-known author, a producer of film documentaries, an Explorer in Residence for the National Geographic Society and past host of its TV program “National Geographic Explorer.”

In what is sure to be a 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 Titanic’s wreckage. Attendees will walk away inspired to think outside the box and take risks to achieve their long-term goals.