New presentations appear each day at noon CDT and remain visible for remainder of convention
by Julie Mavity Hudson
About the Presentation
Zoom is the popular platform AVSA chose for all the live events at the 2021 Cyber Convention. Julie teaches how it works for those who have little experience with Zoom. The first half of her program offers the basics for how to get into a meeting, how to present yourself favorably, and how to use basic Zoom tools like chat and polls. The second half of her program provides very useful tips to leaders who might wish to host violet club meetings in Zoom.
Julia been growing African violets since she was 9 years old, and has been a life member of both the AVSA and the Gesneriad Society for many years. She is a past president of the Gesneriad Society. Julia was an early adopter of computer technology (both in her personal life and her career in brain research). She has been Webmaster and Chair of the Internet Technology Committee for the Gesneriad Society since 2006. Julie started hosting Zoom meetings for her local Gesneriad society from the time of the lockdown began, and also has hosted board meetings for the Gesneriad Society.
Launches Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 12 noon CDT
by Sandra Skalski
Sandy shares her updated set of violet growing rules called the “Ten Propers” – a system she learned many years ago in her violet club. She explains each of these ten important cultural practices and adds tips especially for newer growers. In addition, viewers will learn about the different sizes and types of African violets and some basic tips on propagating leaves. Sandy’s best tip? Limit your collection to a number that is manageable for your situation.
Sandy Skalski started growing African violets more than 30 years ago. While 9 months pregnant with her daughter, she accidentally found the African Violet Club of Burlington County show as she walked through the mall. She has been a member ever since. Some of her award-winning plants have been featured in the African Violet Magazine. Sandy writes the beginner column for the African Violet Magazine called, ‘Your First Violets.’ She is a Senior Judge. She has retired after 35 years as a chemical engineer and now has more time for violets and her butterfly garden.
Launches Monday, May 31, 2021, 12 noon CDT
by Terri Vincenzi
Streptocarpus are the nearest relative of African violets, even though they look quite different. Terri shares her tips for growing sturdy happy streptocarpus in your home. She adds some surprising tips to achieve the beautifully shaped show-ready specimen plants which have earned Terri many top awards.
Terri Vicenzi has a PhD in Biochemistry and spent over 20 years at Eli Lilly and Company in pharmaceutical drug development. She has grown plants all of her life, but developed a strong interest in the cultivation of African violets, streps, and other gesneriads since retiring in 2014. At her first Gesneriad Society convention in 2019, Terri had 16 strep entries and won Best Streptocarpus and Runner-up to Best in Horticulture with Streptocarpus ‘Little Kan’. Terri is passionate about sharing her love of these plants, and is a contributing member to social media gesneriad sites, AVSA, and the Gesneriad Society.
Launches Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 12 noon CDT
by Dr. Jeff Smith
Why do violets bloom? And why don’t they bloom? Learn about the reason for flowering and the key factors involved if a violet is going to come into bloom. Dr. Jeff Smith shares some of the tricks used by growers to push violets into flowering, and explains why these tricks work. This is an excellent presentation you will want to watch more than once!
Dr. Jeff Smith has a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Oklahoma, but his research area was physiological ecology of the prairie grasses, not African violets. He has found that the classic training in Botany has been very helpful in working with African violets. He just completed his 169th column of “In Search of New Violets” for the African Violet Magazine – a little over 28 years of columns. This is the longest running regular column in the history of the magazine. In addition to additional articles written for the African Violet Magazine, Dr. Jeff has been a popular speaker at many previous AVSA conventions.
Launches Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 12 noon CDT
by Dianne Duggan
Dianne Duggan stepped forward in 2020 as a volunteer to update the images of African violet blossom and leaf types for the AVSA website and the Judge’s Handbook. Viewers will see her beautiful water color images in this premier presentation and hear the artist speak about what she learned about the order of violet flower and leaf traits as she painted. You might even be inspired to seek out these traits the next time you buy violets!
Dianne Greeley Duggan is a self-taught artist who has created art for as long as she can remember. Her natural talents allowed her to work in advertising design and illustration and as an artist in the graphics department at NASA Langley Research Center, Virginia followed by 25 years of Sales and Marketing for Assisted Living and Alzheimer’s care Communities. Dianne has had the pleasure of living in 13 states and England. Those travels allowed her to see much of the United States and the natural beauty was never lost on her. Dianne recently retired and can finally pursue art and other hobbies full time.
Her art has been in exhibited in the several Galleries in the Houston-Galveston Area. Dianne frequently does one day workshops and or demonstrations in Alcohol Inks and acrylics and teaches private lessons in multiple mediums.
Dianne began raising African violets in 2012. She is currently the President of the NASA Area African Violet Society. She is a member of Spring Branch African Violet Club, HAVGS, LSAVC, DAVS, and AVSA. She raises over 150 varieties of African violets and other Gesneriads.
The Texas Gulf coast is a good fit for such a lover of animals and nature. Dianne is currently living and painting in Webster, Texas with her husband Ken and 2 Chinese Crested dogs.
Launches Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 12 noon CDT
by Rich Follett
Rich shares gems he has discovered about the 75 years of AVSA’s history found in the archive of African Violet Magazine issues stored on the Smithsonian’s Biodiversity Heritage Library website. Viewers will be treated to a review of many old photos and cover images to see how much things have changed in publication and how far AVSA has come.
Rich Follett joined AVSA as a Life Member in 2002 at the Washington, D.C. convention and hit the ground running. In the years since, he has served on various committees, written dozens of articles and authored a column for the AVM, survived a turn as a National Convention Chair (Cherry Hill, NJ, 2011), served on the AVSA Board of Directors, hybridized a registered variety or two, and proudly earned (and used) a Senior Judge credential. Along the way, he has made friendships to last a lifetime and instigated no small amount of mischief. Despite expert coaching and state-of-the art support from AVSA friends far and near, he still cannot get an African violet to bloom on schedule for a national show, even with fervent prayer and painstaking attention to detail. He remains undeterred.
Launches Friday, June 4, 2021 at 12 noon CDT