Presenters from The Learning Channel, the Food Network, and local chefs and home improvement experts headline the 50th annual Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show, Wisconsin’s largest home improvement and remodeling show. The Show runs Thurs., Feb. 9, through Sun., Feb. 12, 2012, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis.
What once started as a couple of pitch guys for a national grill company has turned into a cult following that has swept the Midwest. For over 30 years, self-proclaimed “Grillologists,” Mad Dog & Merrill, have entertained and educated thousands of grilling enthusiasts. Mad Dog & Merrill not only travel the country performing in front of live audiences, writing cookbooks and making videos, they also host the TV series, Mad Dog & Merrill’s Midwest Grill’n airing throughout all of Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Behind the comedy and entertainment, the duo recently applied their years of grilling experience to create authentic blends of sauces and spices produced locally and distributed throughout the Midwest.
Doug Wilson is a designer, author, television personality, and philanthropist. While at the Home Improvement Show, he will discuss “Doug Wilson's Life In Television & Interior Design,” explaining what it's like to have a television and design career, while giving his tips and secrets on how consumers can create for their own home.
Wilson has three television shows on TLC, “America’s Ugliest,” “Moving Up,” and “Trading Spaces,” and recently authored his home design book, “Doug’s Rooms,” which offers design ideas, how-to’s, and decorating advice. He also writes a regular design column in “In Touch Weekly.”
He is an expert in wall treatments and decorative painting techniques and often encourages homeowners to focus on a specific touchstone for each room – a swatch of fabric, a favorite trinket, or a thrift shop find – to create their space.
Growing up in Green Bay, Chef Jyll Everman was in for a major food shock when she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19. Never seeing or tasting foods from so many other cultures or cooking anything but Midwest comfort food, she immersed herself into the culinary world, putting herself though culinary school and also spending many hours learning what her own style should be.
After five years of being a private chef, Everman decided to open Jyllicious Bites, a catering company specializing in finger and comfort foods that are recognizable, beautiful, and delicious. By combining her Midwest roots with a sophisticated California flair, Everman considers herself a finger food specialist.
On a dare from her husband and mom, Everman went to an open call in August of 2010 for Food Network’s “Food Network Star.” After three regional auditions, she went to New York for a final audition. “After an entire day at Food Network headquarters, I was convinced I hadn’t made the show,” Everman said. “Two weeks later, I received a phone call inviting me to be on Season 7.”
Everman continues to work at her business, teaches cooking classes at Village Kitchen Shoppe in Glendora, and doing demonstrations for various events all over the United States.
Tom Feiza will discuss “Just Fix-It – The Absolute Best Home Repair Tips” on Thurs., Feb. 9, at 1:00 p.m., Fri., Feb. 11, at 3:30 p.m., Sat. Feb. 11 at 12:30 p.m., and Sun., Feb. 12 at 2:00 p.m. A NARI Certified Professional, Feiza’s public appearances combine down-to-earth information with a dash of humor, while his radio call-in show on AM620 WTMJ, which draws over 45,000 listeners each hour, allows him to provide practical solutions to callers’ questions on home repair and related projects.
A writer of a weekly question and answer column that appears in over 80 newspapers, Feiza has also written two books on home repair. In addition to radio and print, he regularly appears on television talk and news shows.
Melinda Myers, “The Plant Doctor,” is a gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, and columnist, with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. During her two presentations on Thurs. Feb. 9 at 3:30 p.m. and Fri., Feb. 10 at 1:00 p.m. at the Home Improvement Show, Myers will discuss “Small Space Gardens.”
Myers has written over 20 gardening books, and she hosts the nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment” segments that air on 89 TV and radio stations throughout the U.S. and Canada, including Today’s TMJ4 and WMYX-FM 99.1 in Milwaukee.
She is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and writes the twice monthly Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Gardeners’ Questions” newspaper column.
Gus Gnorski, considered Milwaukee’s best-known handyman, began his broadcast career in 1966 on WTMJ-AM 620. The Milwaukee area first saw FOX 6’s “Ask Gus,” his weekly television show, in 1992. More than 700 original episodes were produced and aired. He will answer any questions on Thurs., Feb. 9 at 11:00 a.m. and Sun., Feb. 12 at 12:30 p.m., related to home improvement and repairs, offering attendees his experience of almost three decades and teaching them when to do it themselves and when to turn to the professionals for help.
Lis Friemoth, best known as “The Garden Hoe,” will conduct presentations on Sat., Feb. 11 at 4:30 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 12 at 11:00 a.m. She has been passionate about and gaining knowledge of plants since childhood. According to Friemoth, she’s been “rolling in the dirt since she was six months old.” She fondly recalls her formative years spent in the home garden planting, growing, and maintaining lots of flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
Friemoth's love of healthy plants, her science background, and the alluring smell of wet dirt led her on a plant disease quest to expand her knowledge, understanding, and expertise. That quest resulted in a desire to work in the discipline she knows and loves, took her out from behind a desk in corporate research, and put her behind a shovel. More than 10 years ago, she applied that burgeoning knowledge and expertise into the community service field as a county horticulturist.
For more information, visit www.milwaukeenari.org or call 414-771-4071.