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  • Robert Fuchs - R.F. Orchids, Florida
Robert Fuchs is a third-generation orchid grower, and president of R.F. Orchids, Inc., in Homestead, Florida, USA. The nursery was founded in 1970.
 
He has been a member of The American Orchid Society since 1960.
 
Robert's main interest in vanda breeding was producing large flowers on smaller plants. He has produced hundreds of vanda hybrids and received numerous AQs, FCCs, AMs, and HCCs from the AOS for his work with hybrids that were produced in and grown in South Florida. He is the recipient of the prestigious AOS Hybridizer’s Award and the only orchid grower inducted into the Florida Agriculture Hall of Fame.
 
Robert began AOS judge training in the Florida-Caribbean Judging Center. He later transferred to the Atlanta Center and became an accredited AOS judge in 1991. He commuted monthly from Miami to Atlanta before returning to the West Palm Beach Judging Center, where he has served as Chair of that Center. He is also a Life Member of the AOS.
 
Robert is also Chair of the AOS’s Centennial Committee, which will celebrate the AOS’s first hundred years, at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The 2021 event will also look ahead to the society’s next 100 years.
 
Currently, he is the President of the American Orchid Society, and looks forward to carrying on the hard work of his predecessors Frank Smith, George Hatfield and Susan Wedegaertner. He has enjoyed a lifetime dedicated to promoting orchids around the world.


 
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  • Thanh Nguyen - Springwater Orchids, Florida
Thanh is the owner-operator of Springwater Orchids in Melbourne, Florida. He is an engineer by trade and has been collecting and growing orchids for over 40 years. His orchid business began in 2001, selling mostly on the internet at the time, but gradually moved to offering his plants at orchid shows in recent years.
 
Thanh loves orchid species, and although he grows and sells orchids of all genera, his forte has always been the genus Paphiopedilum. He is a collector of fine plants who grows, sells, breeds, and enjoys sharing his experiences with his customers and colleagues. His passion for paphs has resulted in the production of numerous award-winning plants.  His ongoing paph breeding program employs local lab work, and local growing environment. In addition to his advanced complex multifloral breeding, Thanh continues with his paph species breeding program, striving to improve overall plant and flower quality while expanding their growing conditions to make growing orchids much more joy than aggravation!


 
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  • Martin Motes - Motes Orchids, Florida
Martin R. Motes Ph.D., the author of The Genus Vanda, a Research Associate at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, has maintained a lifelong interest in the genus Vanda. He began as a boy in the late 50’s collecting the new hybrids which were coming out of Hawaii and Singapore and growing them in a shade house in Miami. While still in high school, he started to import Vanda species from India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand in substantial quantities in order to select the best flowered forms for hybridization and for propagation. His career in horticulture, like the careers of most American males of his generation, was disrupted by the war in Vietnam. Following a Ph.D., several years teaching college in Ohio, and a Fulbright lectureship in Kosovo, he was able to return to his beloved Florida and begin breeding with the remnants of his Vanda collection.  


 
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  • Dr. Harold Koopowitz - Santa Ana, California
Harold Koopowitz is a former partner in Paphanatics, Unlimited, and has authored several books and papers on slipper orchids, among other topics. A past editor of the Orchid Digest he is still an active contributor to the magazine. Harold is active in breeding miniature and compact complex paphiopedilums and he will discuss “Progress in Breeding Miniature Slipper Orchids, What We Have Achieved and Where to Go Next.”


 
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  • Jose 'Pepe' Portilla - Ecuagenera Orchids, Ecuador
Pepe Portilla is the founder of Ecuagenera Orchids in Ecuador, which has grown into one of the largest orchid nurseries in South America, expanding recently to include a location right here in Apopka, Florida.  Ecuagenera specializes both in species for the collector and hybrids for the pot plant markets.
 
Pepe is not only an excellent businessman but he also has a deep love and understanding of his country’s orchids. He has traveled widely to observe the native orchids and is also committed to both in situ and ex situ conservation of the country’s orchid wealth. He will talk about Ecuadorean Selenipedium and Phragmipedium species.


 
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  • Theresa Hill - Hillsview Gardens, Mulino, Oregon
Theresa Hill is a partner in Hillsview Gardens, growers of fine quality Paphiopedilums.

Hillsview Gardens supplies a wide variety of hybrids and species – from connoisseur-quality divisions and specimen plants for discriminating hobbyists, cutting-edge hybrids in wholesale quantities for retail nurseries, and outstanding decorator quality plants to chain stores in Portland, Oregon.
 
Hillsview Gardens has been breeding orchids for 36 years since the operation began in 1985, and since that time received over 100 AOS awards, including five FCC/AOS, a Gold Certificate, seven Awards of Quality and a Bronze Award at the 16th World Orchid Conference in Vancouver, BC.


 
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  • Jurahame Leyva - The OrchidFix, Kurtistown, Hawaii
A little about me- 
 
I have the distinction of quite possibly being the youngest commercial orchid nurseryman in business- all thanks to a healthy head start. I have been growing orchids since I was 5 years old; the last 6 commercially. I own and operate The OrchidFix Nursery- where I specialize in species and novelty hybrids. I have a particular interest in line breeding select species and introducing otherwise unknown Orchidacea species to broader cultivation within the hobby community. To this end, I maintain over 1,200 stud plants of various genera; a good deal of which would be considered “specimen” sized.


 
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  • Peter T. Lin - Diamond Orchids, California
Peter Lin will be presenting his talk:  Mini & Compact Vandaceous Species and Hybrids.  Learn about the many different small growing species and the latest hybrids within the Vanda alliance. This fast paced PowerPoint presentation will include many pictures along with cultural tips. 
 
Peter started growing orchids over 35 years ago, but then stopped due to school and starting a career.  It wasn't until about 17 years ago that the orchid "bug" came back and he is now heavily involved once again.  He is an accredited judge with the American Orchid Society and a hybridizer of mini-catts and mini-vandas.  He enjoys meeting with other orchid enthusiasts, and can often be found at various orchid shows and societies around the country.  Please visit his website:  www.diamondorchids.com
 
Due to limited growing space, Peter likes to specialize in miniature orchids, both species and hybrids, and has received numerous AOS awards.  His other interests in orchids include Dendrobiums, Angraecoids, and Neofinetias.  He maintains a collection of several thousand orchids in Southern California.