February 2014 - Sandra Tillisch Svoboda

Sandra Tillisch SvobodaSandra Tillisch SvobodaWe are pleased to welcome Sandra Tillisch Svoboda, current President of the American Orchid Society, who will be speaking on "Breeding with Recently Described Paphiopedilums from Vietnam".  Sandra’s visit is jointly hosted by the Palomar and the San Diego County Orchid Societies.  Accordingly, she will present a talk on Tuesday, February 4 to the San Diego Society on “The Orchids of Bhutan” for those of you who are interested in that topic. This month’s plant table for will be provided by Casa de las Orquideas.

Growing up in Minnesota, Sandra's only exposure to orchids was that prom corsage. After graduating with a degree in nursing, she moved to California and ended up in Santa Barbara. She began her orchid life as a pot washer for her husband Al and became fascinated with the history of her husband's complex paph collection, which included many of the oldies like Paph. F.C. Puddle. Al's knowledge, love, and enthusiasm for orchids were contagious and when they built a second greenhouse, she decided it would be hers and that was the moment that orchids became an important part of her life. 

Sandra serves as President of the American Orchid Society.  She is an accredited judge in both the American Orchid Society and the Cymbidium Society of America judging systems and is treasurer of the AOS Pacific South Judging Center. She is the present Editor in Chief of the Orchid Digest. She was president of the Cymbidium Society of American and co-chair of the annual Cymbidium Society Congress. Locally, she has served on the boards and been president of the Orchid Society of Santa Barbara and the local branch of the Cymbidium Society. Sandra served on the board of the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show and, for several years, was the show manager of this prestigious show, one of the largest in the nation.  

Besides the plants themselves and the never-ending opportunity to learn about them, Sandra loves being involved in the orchid world because it offers an opportunity to meet and work with so many amazing and fascinating people.

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 6:30pm - 9:30pm