Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies


October 13, 2007


Meeting was held at the home of Jose "Pepe" and Sara Donayre, where an elegant lunch was served and enjoyed by all. Some of Sara Donayreís specialties were in evidence, especially her warm hospitality.

Members present were convened by chairman Jay Thurrott at 1:00 pm.

Quorum of seven societies was established.

Jay requested a self-roll call from each person present. A motion was made, seconded and unanimously endorsed to approve the Minutes of our previous meeting, as posted in the website.

The treasurerís report did not include all pertinent details from the recent Extravaganza 2007, but we were all pleased to know the Auction results were about $6200.00. This amounts exceeds last yearís whooping $4,000 from BSSF and sets a new record by BSBC. Treasurer Sudi Hipsley reported that the total accounts balance, as of October 13, 2007, was $19,254.12. Her report was filed for audit.

Jay shared a postcard received from Harry Luther and a couple of notes from Selby Gardens in appreciation for FCBS support during their troubles with the reverse osmosis water system.

Michael Andreas, Webmaster, reported the website still running smoothly and the new support company is working out very well. Domain name is currently paid through 2011; a benefit incurred with a free year every time the site is renewed.

Michael acknowledged some backlog but also noted that it takes about one hour just to post ten new images. These images include several hundred from Australia alone, while numerous new Neoregelias will be registered in the near future.

The website, however, was roundly praised, with Tom Foley, from Callosahatchee, saying it was "a great responsibility and a fantastic website; one of the wonders of the world!" Jay joined in with "Itís a truly wonderful resource to all", and all present concurred with applause for Michael and his efforts.

Reporting on the Newsletter, Karen Andreas, Editor, reminded us that any errors in the current Roster Issue need to be corrected by the individual with her or his local society and will be thus listed in next yearís issue. FCBS is not able to add to, or correct, the current issue once it is released.

On the subject of publishing in color, images will not reproduce to advantage unless we use specially coated stock. For four pages printed in color, as part of a regular issue, would bring cost to $1,650.00. Another point to consider is which issue would be chosen for color: Coverage of the annual Extravaganza, documentation of plant material, or some other topic?

We were reminded also of Carol Johnsonís question, several years ago, whether our newsletter needs to include so many images? Karen suggested that, perhaps, we ought to ascertain "what does the membership want in the newsletter?"

It may be possible to raise funds at local society meetings to underwrite costs associated with color printing, as funds have been raised for the Anti-weevil campaign. Betsy McCrory proposed that "online donations could be accepted to sponsor color images." Finally, Karen suggested this could be an agenda item for our next meeting.

Aware of the substance of the FCBS Newsletter, Karen has completed an Index of the issues for the last three years, which adds up to twenty pages (an average issue runs 20-24 pp.). To make this document available to our membership, a motion was made, seconded and approved to authorize a fifth issue this year of this three-year Index to be printed and mailed. Representatives thought it would be a good idea to publish an index every three years.

Nat DeLeonís suggestion a few months back to keep a data bank of programs and speakers available has been very well received and we all need to submit new listings when contacted by Karen. Comments or reviews of the same are very helpful.

Andrew Flower has been given permission by the BSI to start publishing single topic publications; and Karen requested suggestions to pass on to him from members present, as well from the societies at large.

On the front against the Evil Weevil, it was reported by Dr. Howard Frank that a second predator-fly release at the Loxahatchee Preserve took place the day before. The event was well publicized in advance and very well attended by members of the media and government agencies.

Jay concurred saying that "it was very exciting to be present at the release yesterday. It received a lot of attention." Dr. Frank went on to say "all the releases of the predator fly have been exciting, but this last year media coverage have expanded much needed publicity. It seems previous efforts are truly paying off; so many groups and areas have become aware of our efforts, every day more groups join our side and are saying: Yes!

Betsy McCrory brought to our meeting a large insect, preserved in alcohol, she had found to ask for Dr. Frankís identification. Unfortunately, it was indeed that of a weevil, confirming a large infestation in a new area.

The Florida Councilís support is crucial to maintain shipments of larval material from Honduras, as we are not yet able to create sufficient larva on our own laboratories in Florida. However, there are encouraging signs that the predator fly has already reproduced in the wild here. The coming cool season should not present a problem either, but prove beneficial. This should not create any public discomfort since according to Dr. Frank "The entire family of these flies do not bite people". One difficulty for lab work in Florida is finding sufficient pineapple-tops to work with. Apparently, some distributors remove and destroy the tops before shipping the fruit. Karen volunteered to track down and contact a central location of distribution to inquire about a possible arrangement to secure enough pineapple tops for lab-work.

The project against the Evil Weevil has already entered its sixteenth year and Dr. Frank has proven indefatigable in his efforts. Council members present expressed appreciation and encouragement on all counts.

Pepe thought it may be timely to publish a history of the crisis presented by the weevil and the ensuing efforts to control it. Dr. Frank said it would be best for an article on it to be published in a scientific journal.

It was reported that at the last meeting of Bromeliad Society International, New Orleans had been chosen as the site for the 2010 Conference. The event would be sponsored jointly by the Greater New Orleans and the River Ridge societies, during the month of July. The location should prove advantageous for its centrality, nation-wide, and relatively easy access to our Southern States. Note was taken, however, that the Australian choice for 2008 resulted in a significant boost of international membership for BSI; this is the first Bromeliad Conference to take place outside of the United States.

Some concern was expressed about BSIís apparent intention to revise its categories, and eliminate the dual membership. All present at this meeting were against such a move and hoped BSI thinks twice about it.

Jay asked what role should our own FCBS play at the coming event in Australia? A motion was seconded and passed unanimously to take a full-page advertisement, to be designed by Karen Andreas, as needed.

Reporting on the Bromeliad Extravaganza 2007, Jose "Pepe" Donayre, chairman of the event, could hardly start his remarks for all ours praising the enormous success Pepe and Sara Donayre attained. Pepe said he was "glad so many attended on Friday and Saturday; indeed, those who didnít may already regret missing it. We enjoyed several circumstances that ensured our success".

Giving recognition all around for the support and collaboration he and Sara received, Pepe recognized "The success at last yearís Extravaganza by the Bromeliad Society of South Florida and Ed Princeís example on how to proceed were a big help, and also set a precedent. I worked closely with Ed last year, who generously shared advice and experience with us. The teamwork he and Moyna put together paid off in the best way." Several months ago Ed Prince had donated twenty volumes of the book on Canistropsis presented at select attendees at last yearís event towards the 2007 Extravaganza, sponsored by the Broward County Society of South Florida. Some time after the sudden and painful news of Edís death, his wife Moyna donated another ten volumes to help the common cause.

Pepe and Sara started early to reach out to the community and solicit sponsorship and donations to finance in advance aspects of the coming event. Thus, basic expenses were covered. Commenting on those necessary expenses, Larry Searle said "Yes, we went in the hole at first, but it all work out well in the end". "A most important factor" Pepe continued "was to secure a first-rate venue that would provide adequate space and services for our vendors, and also attract positive responses from our audience and encourage their attendance".

A novel touch was instituted by Pepeís desire to schedule "an internationally renowned speaker for the guests attending the Dinner and Rare Plant Auction on Saturday evening." This proved, of course, a genial touch. Chester Skotakís choice was inspired, his presentation dynamic, informative and refreshingly amusing. Everyone enjoyed it and it probably whetted the appetites for the Auction Menu.

Mr. Skotak was truly delighted with the plaque presented to him in recognition of his appearance but enormously pleased with the special gift of a mineral specimen chosen for him by Pepe and Sara months in advance

Pepeís regular updates from April through August helped us in the Council , and in the aggregate societies, to understand and appreciate his approach. It also assured us that the planning stages of the big event for us, the Annual Bromeliad Extravaganza and Auction, were developing into shape. Now, Pepe was glad to report that final tallies are as follows: 114 hotel rooms, with over 200 hotel nights; 175 guests; dinner reservations were stopped (because of Fire department occupancy regulations) at 240 guests; vendors realized over $45,000.00 in sales, not including raffles or auctions; and Sunday Tours reservations generated about $2,000.00.

Last, but certainly not least, the FCBS fund-raising Auction proper included over 120 donated plants and items, which were sold for a total of $6,200.00. Last yearís record figure of over$4,000.00 from BSSF was a record, and this year BCBS set another one.

Lastly, Pepe noted how good it had been to enjoy the support of everyone at the Broward County Bromeliad Society. Colleen Hendrix and Larry Searle received plaudits from everyone present.

Pepe also suggested FCBS may consider in coming years a Ďseed-money advanceí or an Ďinitiating loaní to boost the local societyís resources towards sponsoring a Bromeliad Extravaganza. No motion was actually made at this time, so it may come up next year for discussion..

Juan Espinosa-Almodovar asked for time to convey two procedural concerns proposed by Nat DíLeon, BSSF, regarding the FCBS Auction.. "The large amount of plant donations received" Nat had told Juan a few days before this meeting, "made the actual Auction last too long, and run very late. The Council needs to remember that the donations are to be no more or less than five per society. That should keep the number down to a more manageable size."

The other question Nat posed had to do with "Why not allow guests to retrieve and pay for their plants before the last item has been auctioned off." Michael Michalski, BSSF, present at the meeting agreed with this and pointed out that it is never a problem to do just that at BSSFíS annual auctions. Juan and Michael explained that it is customary, during the auctions at BSSF, to fill out a three-ply, self-carbon receipt; top to Auction-bookkeeper, second to bidder, third with plant to holding area. A bidder may pick up purchases at any time turning in bidding number and receipts for items.

A lively ensuing discussion of these two points did not result in any formal motions. However, it was acknowledged that the process could be improved upon and warranted looking into before the next yearís event comes around. Jay appointed Karen Andreas to chair a committee to work on formalizing the Auction procedures. Betsy McCrory is on the committee with Jay as an ex-officio member.

Rounding up the topic of the Extravaganza, Colleen Hendrix suggested it may be helpful if a member of the Council served as liaison to the hosting society to provide guidance and procedures to follow. This point also did not result in a motion. It may be noted that the representatives of the hosting society to FCBS are already serving as liaison agents, in both directions.

The question of whether or not FCBS should undertake publishing here the Australian book brought out the following: The Queensland society will allow us to publish, for a cost of $0.50/unit as a donation to Identification Center at Marie Selby Gardens; most generous terms. Karen reported the cost of producing 500 copies about $8115.00, at $16.23 ea.; 1,000 copies for $9,637.50, at $9.64 ea.

However, variances in publishing technologies of Australia and the United States would result in changes in the end product, not necessarily enhancing to it, nor facilitating the process itself. Considering that Bob Riley, from Queensland had stated "The initial batch of sales would likely be the main sales for it Ö the remainder may take a while" Karen firmly advised the Council not to undertake this printing project. There was unanimous agreement to take Karenís advice, and a motion was made, seconded and approved not to undertaking publication of this volume..

Any future orders of the book from Queensland should include an added cost of $1.40 ea. for air mail posting.

Jay announced there was still no resolve on the issue of a repository (location or agent) for the FCBS Records Archive, and he reminded us it would not be in one of his closets!

A copy of Standing Rule #11 was handed out to all present by Karen, regarding the institution and upkeep of a Speakerís List. This matter had been ruled on at a previous meeting, following Nat DíLeonís suggestion to the Council. The following language was presented for the new Standing Rule and was approved by the representatives: "Standing Rule 11: In the interest of providing program resources for affiliated societies and at the request of Nat DeLeon, the following Standing Rule was passed at the regular quarterly meeting, July 14, 2007.

"Council representatives, upon request, will provide information about good guest speakers
for their society meetings.  The editor will contact each society at least quarterly and
maintain the list for printing in each newsletter except the August (roster) issue.
Representatives will provide the name and topic and are encouraged to include comments
or descriptions about the program."

Betsy McCrory expressed an interest, on behalf of Central Florida Bromeliad Society, to host the 2009 Bromeliad Extravaganza, which caused much positive interest among the members present. Central Florida is discussing the possibility and will let the Council know.

A motion to adjourn was made, seconded and unanimously endorsed, with Jay closing this last meeting of FCBS for the year 2007.

Respectfully submitted,

Juan Espinosa-Almodovar

Next Meeting: Seminole Bromeliad and Tropical Plant Society

Officers for the New Year:

Chairman: Bromeliad Society of Broward County

Vice Chairman: Bromeliad Society of South Florida

Secretary: Bromeliad Society of Central Florida