National Celebrities & Local Experts on Food, Home & Gardening to Present at Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show

Jan. 29, 2014

Presenters from HGTV, along with local chefs and home improvement experts, headline the 52nd annual Milwaukee/NARI Home Improvement Show, Wisconsin’s largest home improvement and remodeling show. The Show runs Thurs., Feb. 13, through Sun., Feb. 16, 2014, at the Wisconsin Exposition Center at State Fair Park in West Allis.

Alison Victoria, presented by Waste Management of WI, will appear Sat., Feb. 15 at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and Sun., Feb. 16 at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. As the first female host of the popular “Kitchen Crashers” series on the DIY Network and HGTV, Victoria surprises homeowners throughout the country with extravagant kitchen redesigns completed in three days on the show. She hunts in stores across America for weekend warriors who could definitely use some help bringing style, beauty, and simplicity together to create harmony in their kitchens.

A Chicago native, Victoria moved to Las Vegas in 1999 to attend the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where she graduated and embarked on her professional career as the youngest designer at Christopher Homes in Las Vegas and Park City, Utah. Her responsibilities included designing and creating stunning interiors for affluent, custom residences.

In 2003, she launched her full service interior design firm Alison Victoria Interiors, with locations in Chicago and Las Vegas, where she brings design and personality together at boutiques, resorts, and private residences across the country.

For over 30 years, self-proclaimed “Grillologists,” Mad Dog & Merrill, have entertained and educated thousands of grilling enthusiasts. These grilling buddies will conduct demonstrations each day of the Show.

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 have applied their years of grilling experience to create authentic blends of sauces and spices produced locally and distributed throughout the Midwest. “We want nothing more than to make everyone a better griller and show how easy it is to be creative and entertain in their own backyard,” said Gary Merrill.

Tom Feiza, Mr. Fix-It presented by J&B Construction, will discuss “Just Fix-It – The Absolute Best Home Repair Tips” on Thurs., Feb. 13 and Fri., Feb. 14, at 1:00 p.m., Sat. Feb. 15 at 5:00 p.m., and Sun., Feb. 16 at 12:30 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 with total circulation reaching more than 600,000 homes, Feiza has also written two books on home repair. In addition to radio and print, he regularly appears on television talk and news shows, where he shares his Mr. Fix-It tips.

A registered professional engineer with over 30 years of building management experience, Feiza obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University. He consults in the area of home remodeling and construction, and he performs home inspections.

Melinda Myers, “The Plant Doctor,” is a gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, and columnist, with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. Appearing at the Home Improvement Show on Thurs. Feb. 13 at 3:00 p.m. and Fri., Feb. 14 at 11:00 a.m., Myers will discuss “Low Maintenance Lawn & Garden Care.”

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.

Myers hosted “The Plant Doctor” radio program for over 20 years as well as Great Lakes Gardener on PBS. She has a master’s degree in horticulture, is a certified arborist, and was a horticulture instructor with tenure at Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Gus Gnorski, appearing Thurs., Feb. 13 at 5:00 p.m. and Fri., Feb. 14, at 5:30 p.m., is considered Milwaukee’s best-known handyman. 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, and Gnorski in 2010 retired as a regular on “FOX 6 Wake-Up News.” He will answer any questions during his presentations 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, appearing on Fri., Feb. 14 at 3:30 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 15 at 1:00 p.m., is known as “The Garden Hoe.” 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. She then took her love of healthy plants, the lure of science, the pleasant challenges of analysis, and the risk of business, and put them all together to create and launch her own endeavor - The Garden Hoe.

During her two Show presentations, Friemoth will discuss “Love In The Garden.” “We'll explore plant combinations that play together, happily, under a variety of site conditions,” she said.

The complete seminar schedule, which is subject to change, and all Show information is available at

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