Our Team

Joe Samnik


joe_samnikJoe Samnik is a certified arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), a consulting arborist with the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), and is licensed by the Division of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS), Bureau of Entomology, State of Florida.

Joe is entering his 43rd year of practice including tree and horticultural consulting and the dispute resolution process.

He received the Edward W. Bok award for recognition of lifetime achievement in the excellence of arboriculture.

Joe was the founding president of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Florida Chapter and sat on the Board of Directors for six years as the Consultant’s Representative. He is the Florida Chapter, ISA Licensure Committee Chair. He is also a past president of Association of Eminent Domain Professionals (AEDP).

His abstracts on tree assessments were selected for presentation at four (4) International Tree Conferences. His formula for appraising the value of roadside vegetation was included in Rule Chapter 14-40 of the Florida Highway Beautification Act.

Joe is a recognized expert witness in small claims, civil, criminal, and eminent domain courts of law. He has been involved as an expert in over 500 litigation assignments.

Joe is a prolific speaker and facilitator of seminars. His presentations are recognized for continuing education units for the Construction Industry Licensing Board (CILB), the Society of Professional Engineers (SPE) , the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA), Department of Insurance and other professional organizations.

Matt McGraw

Matt McGraw

Position:  Sales Manager

Education:  1993 BS

Work History:

  • My early work experience was in Parks and Recreation in the North Carolina Parks system.
  • From 1994 to 2003 Telecommunications business development and customer engineering for Nortel Networks
  • From 2003 to 2007 – Mortgage finance and insurance brokerage for Right Choice Mortgage
  • From 2008 to 2012 – Palmco Quality Palms and Bamboo.

    Doug Orr

    Doug OrrThe Law Office of Douglas A. Orr, Esq. is a Florida law firm providing creative, results oriented legal representation with individual attention to meet your unique needs. In all cases we aggressively represent our clients' personal & financial rights. Speedy, superior & cost effective case management is our mission & reputation.

    All lawyers are not equally competent, qualified or experienced to handle your case. Attorney Orr has over 10 years of experience in insurance, injury, real estate & construction disputes & in commercia

      Forrest Samnik

      Forrest SamnikMeet Forrest Samnik

      Certified EFT Practitioner & Trainer
      Certified Matrix Re-Imprinting Practitioner & Trainer
      Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist

      Founder of LifeWorks Counseling & Coaching

      Forrest has dedicated her career to helping people through life's challenges. A psychotherapist, life coach, and retired Registered Nurse, Forrest has more than 30 years of experience in counseling and medicine. She has been practicing the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) since 2002 and is the Founding President of the Florida EFT Association (FEFTA).

      Forrest holds certifications as an EFT Practitioner through EFT Universe and as a Practitioner/Trainer (Level 3) through the Association for the Advancement of Meridian Energy Techniques (AAMET). Other certifications include Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner and Trainer, and Clinical Hypnotherapist. Forrest has had phenomenal success treating issues relating to trauma - including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – depression, phobias, panic and stress disorders, grief, low self-esteem, and relationship issues.

      Her background includes working with the Suncoast Hospice where she provided counseling support to pediatric patients and their families. She also founded Alliance Coaching, offering guidance to help clients strengthen families, improve relationships, enhance personal growth and make positive career choices.

      Forrest is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, and earned an Associate of Science Degree in Nursing from St. Petersburg College. In addition, she has advanced training from the Institute of Life Coach Training, the International Traumatology Institute, and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

      Forrest’s mission is to empower people to live joyful, peaceful, satisfying lives through emotional freedom and healing. Her frequent workshops and training which teach others the healing power of EFT is a dynamic means of meeting this mission.

        Monica L. Elliott

        • Monica L. ElliottJ.D., May 2004, summa cum laude
          Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL
        • Ph.D. in Plant Pathology; June 1987
          Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
        • M.S. in Plant Pathology; March 1983
          Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
        • B.S. and B.A. with Honors; August 1978 Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL Majors: Botany, Environmental Biology, History
        • Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center
        • CV


        • Broschat, TK; Elliott, ML. 2009. Effects of Fertilization and Microbial Inoculants Applied at Transplanting on the Growth of Mexican Fan Palm and Queen Palm. HORTTECHNOLOGY 19 (2): 324-330..
        • Elliott, ML. 2009. Emerging Palm Diseases in Florida. HORTTECHNOLOGY 19 (4): 717-718..
        • Elliott, ML; Des Jardin, EA; O'Donnell, K; Geiser, DM; Harrison, NA; Broschat, TK. 2010. Fusarium oxysporum f. sp palmarum, a Novel Forma Specialis Causing a Lethal Disease of Syagrus romanzoffiana and Washingtonia robusta in Florida. PLANT DISEASE 94 (1): 31-38..
        • Harrison, NA; Helmick, EE; Elliott, ML. 2009. First report of a phytoplasma-associated lethal decline of Sabal palmetto in Florida, USA. PLANT PATHOLOGY 58 (4): 792-792..
        • Chouvenc, T; Su, NY; Elliott, ML. 2008. Interaction between the subterranean termite Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera : Rhinotermitidae) and the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium anisopliae in foraging arenas. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ENTOMOLOGY 101 (3): 885-893..
        • Elliott, ML; Rayamajhi, MB. 2008. Lower temperature during the dark cycle affects disease development on Lygodium microphyllum (Old World climbing fern) by Bipolaris sacchari. BIOLOGICAL CONTROL 45 (1): 56-63..
        • Broschat, TK; Sandrock, DR; Elliott, ML; Gilman, EF. 2008. Effects of fertilizer type an quality and nutrient content of established landscape plants in Florida. HORTTECHNOLOGY 18 (2): 278-285..

        Edward F. Gilman Ph. D.

        Edward F. Gilman Ph. D.Ed Gilman has a 50% research: 50% extension teaching assignment and teaches an arboriculture class. He works with arborists, consultants, landscape contractors, tree nursery operators, urban foresters, planners, landscape architects and others engaged in tree selection, growing, planting and management issues. Research includes irrigation, fertilization, roots, and other tree transplant and after-care techniques and a recent focus on tree response to pruning. Our team provides service to the industry and to citizens in Florida by incorporating this and other research-based information into educational programs, demonstration sites, publications, Web site, and software for our target audiences.

        Theodore E. Karatinos

        Ted KaratinosTed Karatinos is a partner in the Lutz law firm of Holliday, Bomhoff & Karatinos, P.L. Mr. Karatinos litigates cases primarily in the areas of personal injury and insurance law. In the appellate arena, he has procured favorable reported decisions in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; the Florida Supreme Court; the Second District Court of Appeal; and the Fifth District Court of Appeal. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Among other publications, Mr. Karatinos has authored nationally in Barrister Magazine, The Young Lawyer, The Federal Lawyer, and The Florida Bar Journal. He teaches Federal Civil Pretrial Practice as an Adjunct Professor of Law. After obtaining a degree in classical civilization from Franklin & Marshall College, Mr. Karatinos earned his juris doctor degree from Stetson University College of Law in 1993.

        Michael MarshallMichael Marshall is Vice President and General Manager at Marshall Tree Farm, a 450 acre
        ornamental tree farm in north central Florida. His active participation in ISA leadership
        began at the Florida chapter level as a graduate student, and over the past decade he has
        served the Florida Chapter ISA as President, chair of Education and Conference committees,
        and on the State Licensure committee.
        He has served on the ISA Board of Directors since 2005 and has served on the Governance Task Force and Conference
        and Events Committee. As a member of the Board of Directors Mike hopes to help strengthen ISA’s focus on professional
        development and safety, uniting a diverse international community of arborists, and working to educate the average person
        about the value of professional arborists in maintaining the trees that are essential to a healthy environment. Mike enjoys
        working with teams to solve problems and he has the ability to see the big picture, while still retaining attention to details.
        Mike’s experiences on the ISA Board and with the Governance Task Force have given him a complete understanding of
        ISA, its membership, and the importance of a Strategic Board to guide ISA into the future.
        He has been actively involved with the ISA since joining in 1997 because he believes in the mission of the ISA and wants
        to help further that mission. Arboriculture is more than an industry, for many people it is a life dedicated to the promotion
        and care of something that they have a deep appreciation for - trees. Michael truly believes this industry is unique in the
        passion of our members towards the industry and the trees we grow and care for. He is passionate about our industry and is
        a motivated and capable leader who is committed to serving the ISA and its worldwide membership.
        Michael received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Environmental Horticulture in 1994 and a Masters of Science degree
        in Environmental Horticulture in 1997 from the University of Florida. His Masters research focused on tree transplanting
        and establishment methods. Michael continues to be active in tree research and education by partnering with the University
        of Florida on research projects at the family tree farm and by working with industry groups on educational programs
        throughout the year. Michael regularly speaks to groups throughout the Southeastern United States about tree production,
        tree quality, and grades and standards for trees.

        Shawn Wilson

        shawn_wilsonShawn E. Wilson, MAI, is the owner of Compass Real Estate Consulting, Inc., in Lakeland, Florida. Ms. Wilson is a Florida State-Certified General Real Estate Appraiser with over 22 years of eminent domain and litigation–related appraisal experience. She has provided real estate appraisal services in over 29 Florida counties, and has authored articles and presentations on appraisal topics. She has appraised numerous properties with valuation issues pertaining to trees and landscaping, including plant nurseries, citrus groves, citrus nurseries, and blueberry farms. Ms. Wilson is a member of the Appraisal Institute and the International Right-of-Way association, and is past president of the Association of Eminent Domain Professionals. She has experience appraising vacant urban land, vacant rural land, improved properties, special use properties and partial interests. Ms. Wilson has been qualified and presented testimony as an expert witness in the circuit courts of Seminole, Orange, Sarasota, Manatee, Polk, DeSoto, Pasco, Lee, Volusia, and Hillsborough counties, as well as in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

        Lori Ballard

        Lori BallardLori Ballard is a Florida Nurseryman, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) Certified Horticulture Professional, Certified Arborist with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and a partner in the firm of Samnik and Associates, Expert Tree Consultants. Ms. Ballard has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida. Lori has been intricately involved as a litigation support arborist with tree and landscape nursery business damage assignments in the areas of eminent domain and insurance claims. She manages all neighbor dispute claims in the practice. She is assigned to numerous developer clients seeking tree assessments and designations. Lori has supervised the implementation of environmental preservation specifications in accordance with governmental permitting.