Speaker: Ron McHatton

Topic:  Q&A

Ron McHatton, Ph.D. is a chemist by training and is currently the American Orchid Society Director of Education and Regional Operations. Prior to that position he was Apopka production manager for Kerry’s Nursery, one of the largest wholesale orchid nurseries in the United States. In addition to his professional positions Ron is an accredited AOS Judge.

Speaker: Steve Balderson standing in for Paul Storm 

Topic:  Laelia-Schomburgkias & Myrmecophilias

Steve Balderson – proud husband, father, full time landscape/fertilization Sales person and all time orchid enthusiast.

Shady Tree Nursery was founded in 2014 by Steve and Nancy Balderson. Shady Tree Nursery is a humble backyard greenhouse that specializes in mounted orchids mostly cattleya alliance with some other oddities growing in the mix. Steve has used his 19 years experience in the green(landscape) industry and love of nursery’s to turn a few sales under tents to a 600 sq ft commercial greenhouse with repeat customers from around the state. Steve and Nancy are both AOS and Central Fl Orchid Society members and enjoy volunteering for all their events.  

Shady Tree’s goal is to create friendships and offer high quality orchids as well as sharing their knowledge and love of these amazing plants with their customers.

Speaker:  John Odom  

Topic: Encyclias



Speaker: Vern Bloch  

Topic: Brassovolas


I’m a retired navy pilot who got into orchids after leaving the service in 1987. Two years later Helen & I became owners of the Palm Bay Orchid Range. We participated in many orchid shows around the state. We sold the nursery in 2004, but continue to do business on a small scale. For the past 25 years I have regularly conducted programs for orchid societies ranging from the Florida Keys to North Carolina & west to Hawaii. My main interest has always been the cattleya alliance.

As a commercial orchid grower, I was often asked “What is the easiest orchid for beginners?” My recommendation was, and still is, Brassavola nodosa hybrids.     They are easy to grow in Florida, they bloom several times a year, offering a wide spectrum of colors, they are fragrant, and the flowers tend to last fairly well. 

This program includes some background on the species Brassavola, with an emphasis on B nodosa; where it is found in the wild, its natural environment, and the recommended growing conditions. It will also cover the prolific use of B nodosa in creating hybrids. 

This presentation is all about plants that you, the hobbyist, can acquire at reasonable prices and grow them successfully. For those who wish to try their luck without making a large investment in mature plants, there will be some smaller plants for sale.


Speaker: Francisco Miranda

Topic Cattleya species of Brazil


Miranda Orchids started in 1999 and is a nursery specializing in growing mainly selected Cattleya alliance species. In a sense, it is a continuation of Boa Vista Orchids, a nursery we ran in Brazil from 1986 until we moved to the U.S.A. Many of the plants available are produced in our lab and nursery in Central Florida from our extensive collection of stud plants. The rest we bring from Brazil to increase variety and novelty. Being native Brazilians, and having had a nursery for many years, we know that there is a lot of development in Cattleya species being done there. This is mostly because a lot of those species are native from Brazil (including all the bifoliate cattleyas) and because these plants are favorites of growers there. Of course having lived and grown orchids for a long time there we know most of the growers and what is being produced and we go there several times a year to make sure we are kept up-to-date. Miranda Orchids also grows other Brazilian species so if you are looking for something in particular do not hesitate in contact us. Our goal is to be your number one source for selected Brazilian Orchids.
A taxonomist, naturalist and orchid grower, Francisco travels extensively in the U.S. and internationally speaking at orchid-related events and meetings. He has been doing this since 1988, while still living in Brazil. The subjects of these presentations reflect Francisco’s extensive travels to study orchids in their natural environments.
Miranda Orchids is located between Orlando and Tampa, on the I-4 corridor. He will have a nice selection of orchids for sale.

Speaker: Thanh Nguyen

Topic: Paphiopedilums


Thanh Nguyen is the owner-operator of Springwater Orchids (Melbourne, FL). He is an engineer by trade, but also has been collecting and growing orchids for 35 years. His orchid business began in 2001, mainly selling on the internet but gradually moved to orchid shows in recent years.

Thanh loves orchid species. And although he grows and sells all orchid genera, his forte has always been the genus Paphiopedilum. He collects fine plants; grows, sells, breeds, and enjoys sharing his experiences with his customers and colleagues. His passion in paphs resulted in numerous award winning plants and an on-going paph breeding program using local lab work, and local growing environment. His goals are to bring the excellence of a paphs breeding program back to America, and augment the enthusiasm of paph growing by way of sharing his growing experience and educational programs via shows and society speeches. You will see these goals reflected in his breeding program with well thought process to target various audiences; from easy growing/flowering plants to state of the art breeding catered to the most difficult collectors’ interest, in parallel with conservation of breeding species, improving overall plant and flower quality, broaden their growing conditions to make growing paphs a joy, not an aggravation!

Give it a try, and buy a paph seedling!

Speaker: Author Chadwick.  

Topic: The Great Cattleya Species of the Cutp-Flower era


Art holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State and an MBA from James Madison University. He founded Chadwick & Son Orchids Inc in 1989 with his father who has been growing orchids since 1943.

‘The Classic Cattleyas’ is widely considered to be the definitive book on large-flowered Cattleya species and was written by Art and his father. Martha Stewart favorably reviewed the book and had both Chadwicks on her TV Show.

Art has the distinction of naming Cattleya hybrids after the wives of the last five U.S. Presidents and personally presenting the flowers to most of the honored recipients. He is a ‘regular’ on the orchid society speaker’s circuit and has been fortunate to give lectures internationally (Western Australian Orchid Conference, World Orchid Conference in France). He is looking forward to speaking at the World Orchid Conference in Ecuador in 2017. Each month since 2002, the Richmond Times-Dispatch has published Art’s orchid advice column. The Winston-Salem Journal now also runs the popular column.

Chadwicks operates 11 greenhouses in rural Powhatan County, a retail store in Richmond, and boards over 13,000 orchids for local clients. The company was recently featured in Southern Living Magazine and the New York Times.

Speaker: David Genovese  

Topic: Grooming Orchids for Exhibition


David Genovese will be talking to us at the April meeting on “Grooming Orchids for Exhibition…a Tips and Tricks Hands-on Demonstration” We will be going over ways to clean, stake and arrange orchids so that they produce the best wow factor for both home decor and orchid venues such as monthly meetings, shows and other AOS judged events. Members are encouraged to bring a plant that they might want to exhibit so they can participate hands on during this learning activity. Plants in bud or with spikes not yet fully developed are the best to work with. Since 2007 he has a total of 39 AOS awards, including both flower quality and cultural awards, exhibit certificates and two AOS Show trophies!! David’s presented is more of an open discussion with attendees rather than a straight lecture…questions are encouraged!


David has been growing orchids for 31 years. He grows many genera of plants but his favorites are the Vandaceous, Cattleya and Phalaenopsis groups. Approximately 30% of his collection are species, grown in a green house and in a screen enclosure. In addition to caring for and exhibiting plants, David also enjoys creating new hybrids and sharing with others what he has learned. 
He is an active Member of the AOS and CFOS.