Meet the New Officers of The Villages Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society!

By Karina Veaudry

New Villages Chapter Officers!
Inaugural Meeting

On Friday, January 30th, Steve Turnipseed, inaugural President, led The Villages Chapter inaugural meeting.  Steve had signed up interested persons through website and newspaper publicity ads and we were expecting 30 to 40 people.  By the start of the meeting, 162 people had filed in and we scrambled to set up enough chairs.  It was standing room only!  Within the first 15 minutes, a VP of Programs, VP of Field Trips, Secretary, Treasurer and Chapter Representative were confirmed.  Steve is a strong leader with excellent communication skills.  He has already given tasks and they are on their way to opening a bank account, etc. – and they have the next 4 months speakers recommended and are lining them up.  This chapter will be very successful.

I talked about the history of the FNPS, its mission, typical chapter meeting format, chapter initiatives, field trips, membership dues format, conference information, existing committees and their work, our research and conservation grants, landscape awards, etc.  Nancy Dwyer, President of the Sumter County chapter sent well wishes and Taryn Evans of the Marion Big Scrub Chapter attended the meeting and delivered a greeting and short presentation.

Not only did were officers and members secured, the new chapter had its first program with two speakers. The crowd was both energetic and enthusiastic.

New Memberships

150 membership forms were passed out.   We should expect the new membership forms to start arriving (online and mail-in paper form).  Steve has directed the Officers to join online so that he can record their membership number on the Chapter Approval Form and get it turned in before the BOD meeting on Saturday.  He will submit that form with the names and contact information of all the officers to the appropriate statewide officers and administrators by Friday, February 6th.

The house was packed!

Moving Forward

Devon Higginbotham, Kim Zarillo and Jonnie Spitler (State Finance and Treasury Officers) have already contacted the new chapter leaders and introduced themselves and will be assisting them in 501c3 (or not) set up. Anne Cox, FNPS President, will be attending a meeting within the next several months.

Steve Turnipseed, Villages Chapter President, and Susan, his wife, may be at the B.O.D. retreat at Archbold next weekend.  Please make sure to meet and greet them!


posted by Laurie Sheldon


Deniyo Nil said…
I can see the house is jam packed in your Inaugural Meeting. I wish I could have attended such meeting. I must say meeting rooms should be booked as per capacity of invited guests for the meetings. Well, Laurie you have shared nice information.
Thanks! I don't think they anticipated the crowd being so large, but I'm thankful for the amount of interest in natives in the area.

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