2024 FNPS Annual Meeting

The Florida Native Plant Society holds a members meeting once a year. All FNPS members are invited to participate. We will provide a "year in review" and announce grant awards, Palmetto Awards for members and then we will vote on new officers and directors. This year's meeting is July 20th, 9am Eastern. Registration for the meeting is here.


Welcome & Opening Statements - Mark Kateli
Welcoming Cherice Smithers, Operations Manager - Valerie Anderson
Interim Executive Director Statement - Lynda Davis
Council of Chapters Report - Melanie Simon
Policy & Legislation Committee Report - Gene Kelly & Travis Moore
Conservation Committee Report - John Benton & Lilly Anderson-Messec
Science Committee Report - Paul Schmalzer
Finance/Treasury Report - Ann Redmond & Chris Moran
Communications Committee Report - Shirley Denton
Landscaping Committee Report - Natalia Manrique & Charles LaGreca
Conference Committee Report - Athena Philips
Awards - Mark Kateli & Lilly Anderson-Messec
Bylaws vote - John Benton & Valerie Anderson
BOD Slate vote - Valerie Anderson
Conclusion & Statements by new President Gene Kelly

2023 Minutes

To be distributed soon.

Candidate Statements

Eugene Kelly, Hernando Chapter for President

I’ve lived in Florida since my family settled in the Orlando area in 1970 - that’s pre-Disney - and have spent most of those 50+ years working to understand and protect the natural resources and landscapes that make Florida such a wonderful place to live. After earning BS and MS degrees in Biology with coursework emphasizing the study of plant ecology, I interned with the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in the mid-80s when we were just beginning to really study and appreciate the incredible floristic significance of the Lake Wales Ridge. I have dedicated myself to plant conservation ever since.
I enjoyed working 16 years as a conservation biologist at the Southwest Florida Water Management District, where I assisted in conserving and managing natural areas protected through the Save Our Rivers, Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever programs. Then I rejoined The Nature Conservancy to serve as the Conservation Planner for the Florida Chapter. Now in semi-retirement, I have the luxury of working on just the occasional project that entices my interest and advances conservation.
FNPS has been the leading voice for plant conservation in Florida for 45 years. I have helped FNPS exercise that voice by serving as the current Chair of the Policy and Legislation Committee and as Conservation Chair for the Hernando Chapter. From 2008-2010, I served a term as President. It is more important than ever for FNPS to use its voice and extend the power of its dedicated membership to advance plant conservation and I look forward to continued service to the Society.

Ann Redmond, Magnolia Chapter for Vice President

I'm a Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) and am employed as the SE US Water Resource Practice Lead for the all-things-water consulting firm Brown and Caldwell. My degrees are in botany (BS) and ecology (MS) from FSU and I've worked with watershed, wetland and landscape-level planning and regulatory issues throughout my career.
I've worked as a water management district biologist, state wetland regulator, and private sector consultant. With this work and educational history, I especially enjoy the workaday challenges presented in integrating science and policy. 
I've been a member of FNPS for many years and have served at the chapter level as a board member, chapter rep, and co-chair of the Maclay State Gardens' Native Plant Garden Team. I've served at the state level as VP for Administration (2007-2008), Conservation Committee Chair (2009-2010), and Society President (2010-2011) when we moved to Louisiana in 2011 and I stepped aside. More recently I've been engaged with Tarflower's Mead Botanical Garden Sandhill Native Restoration Gardens and Tortoise Habitat Team (2020 to 2021) and VP of Finance (2021-2023). 
With our new strategic plan FNPS has charted an exciting course for our, and Florida's, natural future. These are exciting times for FNPS and I'm looking forward to working with our team to continue advancing FNPS's mission.  

Bonnie Basham, Sarracenia Chapter for Secretary

My name is Bonnie Basham, I am a member of Sarracenia chapter which draws its membership from Wakulla and Franklin counties in the Panhandle.

I grew up in Orlando and started gardening when I was 8. I learned about Florida native plants from both my mother and grandmother at that early age.
I hold two Masters’ degrees, one in political science and one in education.
It has been thrilling to be a part of the growth of FNPS which you, our members, have spearheaded over the last two years.

I have had the honor of serving as your Secretary for the past two years and would appreciate your favorable vote for a second term.

David V. Bruce, PawPaw Chapter for Director at Large

David was raised on a small farm in northern New York in Essex County. He has an AAS in Dairy Technology from Wm. H. Miner Agricultural Institute, SUNY at Canton, a Bachelor's of Science in Agricultural Education from the University of Georgia, a Master’s in Counseling and Master’s Rural Economics Development from the University of Arizona, and has completed additional graduate work from Cornell University, University of Minnesota and the University of Florida.

He worked for Cornell’s Extension system for over 30 years as a 4-H Youth Development agent, Community Development, Director and University Representative. Worked for Institute of Food and Agricultural Science for the University of Florida as a director for Miami Dade for two years, five years as a director for Catholic Charities for Dioceses of Albany and three years as a hospital administrator in Alabama.

He is greatly interested in monarch butterflies and he and his wife deliver lectures on the Kingdom of the Monarch. David is also active in the Human Service Ministry of Our Lady Star of the Sea, secretary of the Sugar Mill HOA, and serve with the Sea Turtle Conservatory with the Turtle Trackers.

David also runs marathons; having ran a marathon in all 50 states, member of the Seven Continents Club, having ran in six (6) of the continents with South America set for next year and do lectures on marathons for a variety of groups.

David is enthusiastic about making a difference in public policy regarding the importance of native plants for the benefit of our overall society.

Shirley Denton, Suncoast Chapter for Director at Large

I am a plant ecologist who also happens to be a computer programmer.  I have a PhD in plant ecology and worked professionally in ecology for over 35 years.  Prior to that I was a computer programmer, and more recently that morphed into web programming.

I am the primary developer of the current FNPS website including the plants section.  I also set up the handbook, the forum, and most of the chapter websites.  I set up the CiviCRM database that we use for membership management.   I have been on the FNPS Board using both of my skill sets since 2012.
FNPS is in a transition to having staff do many of the things that I initiated.  This is also a time of major change as FNPS is losing a really good Executive Director. My current goal in remaining on the Board one more term is to make sure that staff get the support that they need to successfully navigate the next few months.  Specifically to get any support that they need to manage CiviCRM (FNPS did just hire a new provider :)), support the website needs until we get them modernized (I think this will be the 4th time), support the chapters with their websites, and so on.  Being on the Board keeps me current with Society needs.

I hope to continue to support this organization both scientifically and technically.

Paul Schmalzer, Sea Rocket Chapter for Director at Large

Paul A. Schmalzer, Ph.D. is a plant ecologist who has worked at Kennedy Space Center, Florida since 1982. His work has included impacts of rocket launches on the environment, barrier island
vegetation, flora and rare plants, historical vegetation, fire ecology of scrub and wetlands, and restoration of long-unburned scrub vegetation.

He is author or co-author of 54 published papers, 45 technical reports, and numerous presented papers. He served on the Selection and Management Committee for the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, a local government land conservation program, from 1990 to 2021. He has been a member of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS) since 1984 and has served as Chair of the Science Advisory Committee since 2006. He has led field trips for the Sea Rocket Chapter since 2008 and is the current Chapter President.
Statement: The Florida Native Plant Society is the only state-wide organization in Florida that focuses on the preservation, conservation, and restoration of the native plants and native plant communities of Florida. FNPS was established to promote science-based conservation. I believe that it is important that science be represented in the decisions of the FNPS Board of Directors and therefore request consideration as a candidate for a Director position on the Board.

Bailey Piper, Paynes Prairie Chapter for Director at Large

I was born and raised in Central Florida. After graduating from UF in 2013 with a degree (BS) in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and a brief seasonal job with the Denver Botanic Gardens, I returned to Gainesville and have been with Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) as a Biological Scientist for the last 8 years.

My work with FWRI has mainly focused on upland habitat restoration and community ecology projects such as native groundcover restoration, plant/pollinator interactions, and ephemeral wetland restoration.

My work in restoration and community ecology fueled my personal interest in functional native plants in urban settings, and I've spent the last few years attending native plant sales, visiting nurseries, and transforming my formerly blank-slate suburban yard into a native ecosystem. I’ve been a casual member of the FNPS for about 5 years but I’m excited to serve and help forward FNPS goals within a more official capacity. Specifically, I'm interested in native plant research and restoration.

Bylaws Changes

Current Bylaws

Proposed Changes


This proposed amendment to the FNPS bylaws removes the limitation of one term for the office of President and allows additional, non-consecutive terms for election or appointment of a past-president to the position. This amendment clarifies that the term limitations adopted in the Bylaws change of 2022 begin in that year.


B1. Keeping and modifying current language

B. Limitations of office. The President shall be limited to serves a two-year term as specified in Article 9 A (1) as part of a four-year term in the cycle of President-elect (1 year), President (2 years), and Past-president (1 year). A president may serve a second elected term (or partial term if appointed), but not consecutive terms. The Vice President of Administration, Vice President of Finance, and Treasurer shall be limited to two (2) consecutive two-year terms. Retiring Officers are immediately eligible to be nominated for a different office. Retired Officers are eligible for appointment to an unexpired term or nomination to the same office after one year. Directors (that are not officers) shall be limited to three (3) consecutive two-year terms. Officers and Directors shall take office immediately upon election or appointment and serve until replaced. These limitations for office apply from their adoption at the Annual Meeting in June of 2022.


Anonymous said…
Where is the meeting?
It's virtual via zoom

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