2014 Convention (Nashville, TN)
July 1 – July 5, 2014
See Beautiful Tennessee
The Tennessee Gesneriad Society hosted The Gesneriad Society’s 58th annual convention in the music city of Nashville, Tennessee. The local chapter members, well organized by Carol Ann Bonner, welcomed the 156 convention registrants, including 26 first-time attendees. Convention registrants from more than half the states in the USA, four provinces in Canada, and three other countries gathered together at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Nashville.
Convention officially opened with the Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday morning followed by a group tour of the nine acres of tropical gardens under glass at the nearby Opryland Hotel. That evening convention attendees mingled at the opening dinner and the host chapter social where everyone enjoyed live music provided by the Fiddle and Pick Caeli (Irish dance party) Band, which included our own Julie Mavity-Hudson. Wednesday brought judging school, the GHA meeting and program, and the conservation meeting where Wen Fang gave a visual presentation on progress at the Gesneriad Conservation Center of China.
The featured lectures during the week were “Vietnam and Gesneriads – Mystery upon Mystery” by Wen Fang; “Gesneriads at the Atlanta Botanical Garden” by Michael Wenzel; “Why most Paradrymonia and Nautilocalyx species must change their names” by Marcela Mora; and “Sharing My Methods of Propagating Gesneriads” by Mel Grice. Dale Martens demonstrated how to prepare and present a Skype program, and there were two Growers Forums: one about rhizomatous gesneriads and one about growing Southeast Asian gesneriads. We also enjoyed mini-lectures and one poster presentation from the five students who had been awarded Society grants to attend convention.
The flower show contained 238 high-quality entries from 41 exhibitors. A list of all winners, accompanied by images, will be available soon. In the meantime, visit gescon14.tumblr.com to see the winners and more convention activities.
The convention was brought to a close on Saturday night with music and a buffet dinner at the nearby BB King Blues Club overlooking the Cumberland River. We all enjoyed beautiful Tennessee and the Nashville experience, and we hope to see old friends and new again next year at convention in Oakland, California, from June 30 to July 4.