Minutes of the Quarterly Meeting of

The Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies

January 9, 2009

Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Coral Gables, Florida


The following is included in the minutes at the request of the out-going Chairman:

 After a delicious lunch coordinated by Sandra Roth, Hospitality Committee Chair for the host society, the Bromeliad Society of South Florida, the meeting was called to order and Juan Espinosa-Almodovar took the opportunity to thank the Bromeliad Society of South Florida for all the support he received for the last three years as its Senior Representative at the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies.  Juan recognized Nat Deleon as an honored guest, as well as welcomed back Martha Kent as a distinguished visitor (Fifteen years prior, when Martha was on the Florida Council for BSSF, she had hosted a meeting for FCBS in her own home; presently she is a staff member at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden).

Next, Juan announced the end of his service at the Florida Council and recognized the incoming group of FCBS officers: Betsy McCrory, president of the Bromeliad Society of South Florida, as Chair; Tom Wolfe, president of the Bromeliad Guild of Tampa Bay, as Vice-chair; David Johnson, president of the Sarasota Bromeliad Society, as Secretary; Sudi Hipsley, as Treasurer. 

Juan and Betsy stood up, shook hands to signify the change and the meeting continued under Betsy McCrory, as the new Chair for FCBS in 2010.

Chairman Juan Espinosa Almodovar called the meeting to order at 1:00 PM. and introduced the new officers of the Council. He thanked all present for their support during the past and turned the meeting over to Betsy McCrory.

Betsy welcomed all society representatives and guests and thanked the Bromeliad Society of South Florida for their hospitality and the wonderful lunch. It was recognized that the unusual cold and rainy weather was likely responsible for the light turn-out for the meeting.

The Chairman asked for a volunteer to take minutes of the meeting in the absence of the secretary. Jay Thurrott volunteered for this duty. A roll call was taken by way of introductions. It was found that 7 societies were represented, representing a quorum.

Present were:




Juan Espinosa Almodovar - Past chair




Calandra Thurrott




Carolyn Schoenau


Bill McCrory


Jose & Sara Donayre


Jay Thurrott


Vicky Churnside


Steve Provost

Sudi Hipsley - Treasurer

U of Fl.

Ron Cave


Ron Schoenau


Nat DeLeon 


Mike Michalski




Betsy McCrory –Chairman




Linda Sheetz




Brian Corey



2. Minutes:

The minutes to the November Council meeting were accepted with a minor correction noted in the listing of Council representatives present(Carolyn Schoenau was present and represented FECBS).

3. Treasurer’s Report:

Sudi Hipsley submitted a financial report showing an ending balance of $21,537.41. The report was accepted and filed for audit. Sudi has sent invoices to each society for their 2010 dues. There has been a net gain of 6 members over the past year. She also noted that Harry Luther had sent a thank you note for the contribution from the Council to the BIC.

4. Webmaster:

A report was submitted on current website activity and distributed for review.

5. Newsletter:

A report was submitted. Betsy requested that club news be submitted directly to Karen Andreas for inclusion in the newsletter.

6. Weevil Report:

Dr. Ron Cave provided an oral report on the status of the Weevil Project. Fly production has been down 42%, possibly due to a lack of pineapple tops for rearing. Despite this, 900 pupae have been produced. 2 releases of flies were made in October and November in Collier State Park. Dr. Howard Frank and Dennis Guardino went to Guatemala in the Fall of 2009. It was noted that this trip was not sponsored financially by the Fl. Council. Moneys sent from the Weevil Fund to the Honduras lab resulted in a low rate of larvae produced. There may be sufficient remaining funds for another collecting trip.

In response to questions, Ron noted that the cold weather experienced recently in Florida will probably not affect the weevil.

Sudi Hipsley reported that a Central Fl. Bromeliad Society member has experienced a weevil infestation in her collection.

Ron was please to announce that Theresa Cooper has now graduated and will be working under his supervision. Hopefully 2010 will be "the year of the fly"!

7. BSI:

Jay Thurrott reported on progress being made on the upcoming World Conference and encouraged all to not only attend the conference, but to also attend the annual BSI members meeting that precedes the board meeting. This is the appropriate forum to make members’ voices heard regarding BSI policies and directions that you wish to see the organization move in. Jose Donayre spoke of the upcoming nominations for BSI board positions and encouraged the societies to participate. Discussion ensued regarding the upcoming BSI elections and the continuing lateness of the Journal. Nat DeLeon spoke regarding the tension between BSI and FCBS and would like to see a link between the web sites of the two societies so that should any important features of either fail, the other would pick it up.

8. Clone Preservation Project:

Nat reported on the lack of response to date regarding the request for volunteers to act as growers in maintaining stocks of clones of special concern. He also suggested that following this recent cold weather that lists be developed of plants lost due to the cold. He noted the problem of so many Neoregelia hybrids currently registered and wondered how many are still in cultivation.

9. Judges School:

It was reported that a class has completed the first school with the second scheduled to take place in March.


Bromeliad Extravaganza – Betsy McCrory reported that although regarded as very successful, the 2009 Extravaganza did not meet the hotel’s room commitment. Discussion is currently under way with the management regarding this. Despite this, a small profit was still made from this year’s event. All present acknowledged the outstanding quality of the 2009 Extravanganza and congratulated Betsy on an exceptional job in carrying this through.

11. 2010 (Bromeliad) Extravaganza:

Treasure Coast has indicated that they will not be able to host the event this year. To date there are no volunteers for 2010. Discussion ensued regarding the possibility of the Council as a group holding this year’s Extravaganza at a central location. A suggestion was also made of having the Extravaganza host society selected through a ‘rotation’ similar to that used in determining quarterly meeting hosts and in selecting officers each year. This will be discussed further at the next meeting. A question was raised of the consequences with having no Extravaganza this year and the financial implications associated.


WORLD CONFERENCE 2012 – Jay Thurrott noted that there have been no volunteers for the next BSI World Conference raised the issue of the possibility of the Florida Council hosting the 2012 event. Carolyn Schoenau made the motion that the Florida Council volunteer to host the 2012 World Conference and to make this known to the BSI. The motion was seconded by Mike Michalski. Discussion of this took place, including the possibility of tabling this issue for future discussion. This was followed by a vote with the motion passing with 2 dissenting votes. A suggestion was made that perhaps use could be made of a the Council website in a manner similar to the BSI board-relay for communications among volunteers when planning begins for the 2012 conference. The Chair indicated that she would discuss this with the Webmaster.


Betsy called for an audit of the financial records. Carolyn Schoenau volunteered for this.


Betsy appointed Karen Andreas to serve as Parliamentarian during the upcoming year.


A draft policy for consideration was discussed regarding the newly acquired cash registers. A suggestion was made that the draft be modified to address the situation where a rental may be returned to the next renter without a return directly to the Council. This is not currently covered in the draft policy, but will be reviewed at the next meeting.

A draft procedural policy regarding the silent auction was discussed. A motion to accept the draft policy as presented was made and approved unanimously.

Discussion took place regarding making the positions of Treasurer, Webmaster and Editor voting members of the Council. During the discussion it was decided that should this change be considered, these positions would not contribute to establishment of a quorum at any meeting. It was recommended that this be considered as a by-law change and to be made ready for consideration by the Council at the next meeting.


Central Florida Bromeliad Society had a very nice Christmas party hosted at Dean Fairchild’s house. Dean had earlier hosted a reception for Francisco Oliva-Esteve at his home. Al Muzzell from Gainesville will be their speaker for January.

The Bromeliad Society of Broward County was pleased to have Paul Isley as their speaker in Sept. The speaker’s fee was shared among three clubs. Their auction was very successful and took place in October and they hosted a ramble the same month. The BSI webmaster was their November speaker.

Florida East Coast Bromeliad Society had Bud Martin of Blossom World Bromeliads as their November speaker followed by their annual Christmas party in December. January’s topic of mounting bromeliads on wood was conducted by past club president Bradley Rauch. Their annual sale will be on April 17th at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in Deland.

Florida West Coast Bromeliad Society will be having Terrie Bert as a speaker in February. New officers have taken office. Their annual sale will be the weekend of April 17th at USF. David Benzing spoke to the group in January

The Gainesville Bromeliad Society did not participate in the Fall sale a Kanapaha Gardens this year but will be the Spring Festival. They have had some difficulty in recruiting offices for the society.

The Bromeliad Society of South Florida had their ramble in November. Tom Wolfe presented a program on Longwood Gardens last month. The three Herndon families will have an open house of their nurseries in February.

The Caloosahatchee Bromeliad Society also had Paul Isley as a speaker recently. They had a very successful show and sale in November despite the inclement weather that weekend.

Discussion took place regarding the usual speaker’s fees offered by each club.

There being no further new business, a move was made to adjourn at 3:00 PM. Motion passed.