Perishables Research Organization
6644 West Sandpiper Ct.
Florence, AZ 85232


B.Sc. in Plant Science, Univers­ity of Connecticut (l966)
M.Sc. (l967) and Ph.D. (l970) in Horticulture, Michigan State University

National Defense and Educational Act (NDEA) Fellowship (1966-70)
Gamma Sigma Delta outstanding graduate student research award (1970)
Amador Fire Protection District Distinguished Valor Award (2007)

Gardner / Greenhouse Worker, Greenwich and Storrs, CT (1958-66)
Graduate Research Fellow, Michigan State University (1966-70)
Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Horticulture, Ohio State University (1970-82)
Sabbatical Professor, University of California, Davis (1977-78)
Co-founder and Vice President, Horticulture Research Services (1978-82)
Vice President of Research, FoodSource Incorporated (1982-83)
Co-founder and President, Perishables Research Organization (1983-present)

Co-founder of the national Chain of Life™ floral educational program (1975)
Taught herbaceous perennial/annual and two postharvest classes (1973-82)
Established and coordinated a floriculture internship program (1975-82)
Co-founded the interdepartmental plant physiology program (1979-82)
Received significant research grants for postharvest floral crop research (1971-82)
One of four faculty members to oversee the Ohio Florists’ Short Course (1971-82)
Presented about 440 talks and published 313 scientific and trade articles
Established the Chain of Life Network® website that had over 10,000 members (2002)
Founder and coordinator of the PRO Institute educational programs (2005-present)
Wrote eManual entitled Care, Handling, and Marketing Recommendations for Floral Crops
Proprietor of a floral postharvest and marketing database with over 19,450 articles
Develop and/or helped commercialize numerous postharvest products and/or systems
Master Gardener, Pinal County, Arizona

Brother of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity (1963-present)
Member of the American Society for Horticultural Science (1967-2012)
Volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (1960-2009)
Married to his high school sweetheart Kathy Vrtiak since 1966
Has two grown sons and three grandchildren
Endowed scholarships for undergraduate ornamental horticulture students