National Capital Judging Center
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I am a Geologist and Manager of the Smithsonian’s Meteorite collection.
My Area(s) of interest include Cattleyas (blue species, white hybrids and minicatts), Paphs, and
I have been growing orchids since: 1992, have grown on windowsill, then lights and now Green
I’ve been a plant person since the time I could pick up a shovel. I bought my first orchid (out of
bloom, no less!) as a poor graduate student, from the scratch and dented section of the grocery
store. While it had no tag, I knew it to be an orchid and was up for a new plant challenge. Within two
years, it became this snarled and unruly mass of pseudobulbs which I eventually figured out was a
With a degree under my belt, it was time to think seriously about what to do with my odd houseplant.
My office happened to be close to the loading dock where orchids from the Smithsonian collection
were transported for a weekly display. Not missing an opportunity to bend the ear of someone who
obviously knew something about orchids, I pummeled the expert with questions until he
encouraged me to join an orchid society. It’s been a runaway train ride ever since.
I put in my first orchid exhibit in 1995 (which I still enjoy!), and within two years I was in the judging
system, becoming fully accredited in 2004. What I like the most about judging is the sharing of my
fellow judges interests and philosophies, meeting new people, traveling to shows to see new
orchids and how they are grown (and meeting the growers!) and the challenge of coming up with
unique educational programs or ways of looking at how we judge.