Lyle Arnold (Southwestern USA) – Lyle is a resident of Poway, just north of San Diego, and became a member of the International Palm Society and Southern California Chapter of the IPS about nineteen years ago. For several years he also served as a member of the board of directors of the Southern California Chapter. By training Lyle has a Ph.D. in Chemistry and has been a faculty member of the Medical School of the University of California at San Diego, followed by a career of more than twenty years in senior management positions of five different biotechnology companies. Lyle is active in a variety of plant related activities and has been growing palms for more than twenty years. His current palm dominated garden has become a regular location for various fund raising activities.
Philip Arrowsmith (Southeastern Queensland, Australia) – Philip joined the IPS in 1976 and has attended six Biennials, the first one being the Biennial in Thailand with post-tour to Malaysia. He plans to attend the Biennial in Costa Rica and subsequent Biennials. Living in Brisbane (Australia) as a teenager, he began planting palms in his parent’s garden on the Gold Coast. Moving to Brisbane, Philip commenced work in the nursery of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens, where his interest in palms expanded. He contributed to the establishment of many palm species in both the gardens in the city and the newer Botanical Gardens at Mt.Coot-tha. Philip has traveled to many areas – especially in South East Asia and he has conducted palm-based eco tours to the Malaysian state of Sarawak. For 26 years, he has been growing a wide range of palms in his gardens. Philip serves on the Board of Directors of PACSOA.
Bill Baker (Central USA) – Bill remembers that as a fourth grader from New England he was vacationing in Florida and became fascinated with palms; within a week he knew the differences between dates, coconuts, and royals. As an adult he now lives where he can grow palms and has taken full advantage of that fact. Bill is a member of both the Houston Area Chapter of the IPS and the Palm Society of South Texas, and is a past Chairman of the latter group. He has contributed articles to the Bulletin of the Palm Society of South Texas and to publications in Canada and France. Having grown up near the border with Canada, he began speaking French at an early age, and in later years, living near the Mexican border, he learned Spanish. Bill graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a major in American Studies and French followed by extensive graduate work in geography at the University of Vermont. For most of his adult career he has worked in the field of Emergency Medical Services then with a company providing flood certifications for mortgage lenders. In his spare time Bill manages a small palm consulting and nursery business in Austin, Texas.
Jeffry Brusseau (Southwestern USA) – Jeff maintains a two-acre garden “Cuesta Linda” in Vista, California, which is home to several thousand species of palms, cycads, ferns, bamboo, succulents, bromeliads, cacti and assorted tropical vegetation. Other involvements include membership in several plant societies, Board of Director and Officer positions in three commercial Owners Associations, ownership of a commercial nursery, and the restoration of the family's Historical home. Jeffry is hard working, persistent, determined, and extremely detail oriented. He believes in living life to it’s fullest and strives for excellence in all matters of his life.
Jim Cain (Central USA) of Houston, Texas, an IPS member since the early 1970s, played a key role in organizing the Houston Area IPS Chapter. Jim served as President of the IPS from 1992-1996 and then as Corresponding Secretary from 1996-2000. Jim has been the IPS Supplement Editor since the inception of the regular Supplement to Palms. His palm activities are purely an avocation, unrelated to his work. However, Jim’s business has taken him throughout the world, providing the ability to meet with IPS members in Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. This has strengthened his goal of forging stronger rapport between the IPS and its affiliates worldwide – with emphasis on making the IPS more responsive to its full international membership.
John DeMott (Southeastern USA) – John, a South Florida resident involved with commercial ornamental horticulture for over 35 years, is the owner and operator of Redland Nursery, Inc. He has introduced many “new” palms to the industry. John has worked closely with Montgomery Botanical Center and the Florida Nurseryman and Grower’s Association in the development of a seed bank. John has been married to Carolyn for almost 34 years. They have two children: Jeffrey 24 and Jenifer 23. John was a fireman for 28 years, and holds a commercial pilot’s license. His latest passion has been the forming of the “Florida Keys Botanical Center”, a 501c3 corporation, which is being developed on a nine-acre site on Big Pine Key in Monroe County with hopes of maintaining germ plasm, primarily from the Caribbean Basin. John is currently an IPS Vice President and has served on the IPS Biennial, Website and Nominations Committees.
Garin Fullington (Hawaii, USA) – I fell in love with palms when I was six years old and living in Illinois. Luckily family on both sides moved to southern Florida and to the Sarasota area where, in my youth, I was able to nourish my interest, which grew into a passion. I moved to the San Francisco area in 1963 and began my many trips to the Andes and elsewhere, and began to introduce more cool growing species into cultivation, particularly Parajubaea and Ceroxylon species. The large C. quindiuense and the C. vogelianum in Golden Gate Park's Strybing Arboretum were from seeds I collected, grew, and donated to the arboretum. I was instrumental in initiating the Lakeside Palmetum in Oakland and was its caretaker for some years. In Hilo, I initiated the palm plantings at the zoo, which have become extensive. I have been a member of the IPS since 1972, and have missed, I believe, only two or three biennials since that time. I have a three-acre garden in Hawai’i that contains many rare mature and younger palms.
Haresh (Africa, Middle East and India) – Haresh lives in Madurai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India, and has been studying and growing palms for over 30 years. Palms are the integral part of his plant hobby that also includes tropical flowering trees, succulents and orchids. As a business executive, his work provides extensive travel opportunities to visit gardens and growers in the US, Europe and in many parts of Asia. He brings his business management and international exposure to the society. Haresh is currently involved in developing two gardens near Madurai. He hopes to take more time off in the coming years to visit threatened habitats and to study the palm populations in his part of the world.
Tom Jackson (Southwestern USA) – Tom and his wife Kathy Grant have raised palms in Marin County California for over 25 years. They are long term members of the IPS and the Northern California Chapter. Tom would bring his experience in temperate climate gardening, helping expand the range of palm collecting and IPS membership. Twenty years of community service on not-for-profit boards, both local and national, including chairmanship of Blood Centers of the Pacific, would add administrative and financial experience useful for an IPS Director. As a pathologist, he would encourage IPS to support the scientific content of our meetings and publications. Most importantly, through participating in many biennials, he has come to know many of the members of the IPS board and looks forward to working with them wherever our travels may take us.
Leland Lai (Southwestern USA) – Leland, a resident of Topanga, California, is former Vice President of the International Palm Society and a past President of the Palm Society of Southern California. Leland also heads up the 2008 Biennial Committee for the IPS. Born and raised in Hawaii, his love for tropical flora and fauna has captivated his work and outside interests with more than a passion. Leland has built his career assisting in the development of sustainable aquaculture: producing and distributing biological and artificial larval and maturation diets, designing hatchery modules for seed stocks, and providing bio-technology in the form of aquatic genetics for selective breeding.
Jill Menzel (Central / South America and Caribbean) – Jill spends most of her time in her garden/ranch in Brazil where she has a large palm collection. Jill is working with the Smithsonian Institution in the preservation of the Golden Lion Tamarin, indigenous on the property. She is always ready to travel on a moments notice, looking for additions to her garden. She has sponsored attendees to our biennial meetings and the IPS is considering the Biennial in 2010 to be in the Rio de Janeiro area with a visit to this garden.
Larry Noblick (Southeastern USA) – Larry is the Collections Manager/Palm Biologist of the Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) of Miami, Florida. Trained as a plant taxonomist, he first became interested in palms as a Peace Corp Volunteer in Brazil 25 years ago. As an active palm explorer and collector, he has traveled in numerous countries gathering research materials and introducing many varieties of palms, some poorly know and some new to science, not only to South Florida, but also to many other national and international botanical gardens. As a palm scientist, he and a colleague have worked on a grant to discover the relationships between the coconut and its relatives. As Collections Manager at MBC, he has contributed to designing, developing and managing an extensive scientifically valuable collation of palms on the 120-acre site along with its associated database and mapping. Over 1,100 palms currently flourishing at MBC are directly related to his collecting actives. MBC is and will continue to become a very popular site to visit for many palm scientists and enthusiasts alike and has hosted a past IPS Board of Director meeting.
Kathryn Ostedahl (Southeastern USA) – Kathryn is a native resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 1993 and is currently a Project Engineer at a large refinery just outside of New Orleans. Kathryn got her love of plants from her mother and bought her first palm, a Phoenix roebelenii, in 1998. At that time, there were only a few common species of palms readily available in the New Orleans area, so Kathryn began germinating seeds of the more unusual palms that caught her attention. She has been a member of the IPS since 2000 and served one term as Treasurer and two terms as President for the Louisiana Palm and Cycad Society. Since 2003, she has been editor for EtCeteras, the Louisiana Palm and Cycad Society’s quarterly publication. Kathryn attended the last biennial in the Dominican Republic and is looking forward to the next one in Costa Rica.
John Rees (Southwestern USA) – John is a retired professor of geography at California State University, Los Angeles and resides in Camarillo, California. He joined the Palm Society in 1957. John began growing palms after collecting seeds in Mexico while doing fieldwork for his Ph.D. at UCLA. Since then he has collected palm seeds in Australia, New Zealand, China, and in Central and South America. For many years he grew all his plants, even large palms and cycads, in containers. Recently he planted an expanded palm garden at his home in Camarillo. John has served as an IPS Director for the 2000-2004 and 2004-2008 terms and is also an Area Chair (Ventura / Santa Barbara) for the Palm Society of Southern California. He has contributed articles to PALMS (and it’s predecessor Principes) as well as to the Southern California Palm Journal, has co-authored a book on palm sago, and has made presentations to various groups about traditional uses of palms. John has attended five of the last six biennial meetings. In 1996, he organized and guided the IPS Biennial Post-Conference Tour to Ecuador.
Sue Rowlands (Southwestern USA) – Sue, of Riverside, California, joined the International Palm Society and the California Chapter in 1988. She served as a Director of the Southern California Palm Society as Area Chair for Orange and Riverside Counties from 1994 to 1998. She served as Chairman of the IPS Biennial held in Southern California in 1996 and became a Director of the IPS that same year. As an IPS Director, she has served as in various capacities, including IPS Corresponding Secretary. She has attended all Biennials and Board meetings since being elected in 1996 and has contributed articles to the Southern California Palm Journal and to the IPS journal, Palms.
Grant Stephenson (Central USA). Grant’s fascination with the plant world began at the age of three while working with his grandmother in her garden. After studying landscape design and architecture at Louisiana State University, Grant entered the horticulture industry. Grant came to be relied on as a spokesperson in the horticulture industry, fielding gardening questions on popular local radio programs, providing advice to community groups and businesses concerned with environmentally sound solutions to landscape problems, and helping provide greenery to decorate the sets of PBS's Austin City Limits TV series. He is now owner of Horticulture Consultants located in Houston Texas. His vast knowledge of temperate Tropicals goes a long way in any landscape.