President’s Message

I would like to welcome two new members to our BSF team. Rob Kempinski is taking the reigns as second Vice President  from Adam Lavigne.  And David Camargo, the president of Literati Grove, has volunteered to take over the speaker’s bureau from Mike Knowlton. Both were approved by BSF Board votes per the BSF Bylaws.

Rob has been a member of BSF for many years and is a former president of Bonsai Clubs International. He is known around the world and has performed many demonstrations or programs at venues in every continent (except for Antarctica). He has written a book on bonsai, “Introduction to Bonsai, Growing and Appreciating Bonsai Across the Globe” which received excellent reviews but is sadly now sold out. However, he says a second edition is coming for those that don’t have a copy. He has also taken over the duties of Editor of the online BSF bi-monthly magazine along with our webmaster Jorge Nazario.

I would like to thank Adam for all his hard work on the past five conventions and in his duties as second VP. His effort to establish the online magazine is appreciated as and has made it a success.

David Camargo, the president of Literati Grove, has volunteered to take over the Speaker’s Bureau from Mike Knowlton.  They have been working together for the past couple of months to effect a smooth transition. If you have suggestions or ideas for speakers contact David. His email address is

Mike Knowlton, as expected, did a fantastic job as the BSF Visiting Artist Chair.  He brought in several renowned artists and continued to make this program a valuable part of BSF.  Thanks Mike for the effort for BSF.

In other personnel moves, Mark Ceskavich is the new trustee for District 4, he is the treasurer of the Central Florida Bonsai Club. Thank you to Donnie Emenegger for the last three years of service as District 4 trustee.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our third new club to the BSF family this year. Mike Blom has informed me that he has formed Emblem Bonsai Society in Ft. Lauderdale.  Contact information for Mike is

July’s show “Kormorebi,” Miami’s first National Bonsai Exhibition was sponsored by the 2nd new BSF club this year, Literati Grove Bonsai Society and Adam Lavigne. It featured Mary Madison, Ed Trout, Sergio Luciani and Adam Lavigne.  It was a great success, attended by many BSF members and over 500 public visitors .

Next year’s convention efforts are moving right along. We have now secured Ted Matson and Pedro Morales as headliners.  Jorge and Paul Pikel are working on a separate website for convention information and registration.  It is going to make online registration a lot easier.

We have been working on addressing a couple of items that were nonexistent in our “By Laws” and/or in our Guidelines and Procedures Manual.  This was brought on by several emails and phone calls regarding the absence of BSF rules in the ByLaws that govern the Epcot committee.  In the January 2018 board meeting, I asked for a panel to come up with some recommendations for the responsibilities of the “Epcot committee.” At the May 2018 board meeting, two suggestions were proposed. The one that was chosen by the board, voted on and passed was the following:

The Epcot committee will comprise of a committee chairman who will remain until he or she is replaced by the BSF president and approval of the board. The four other members of the committee include the presidents of the BSF, Central Florida Club, The Kawa Club and the Brevard Club or a club member designated by the club president. These positions will not be permanent, except for the committee chairman, as the BSF and clubs will rotate when new presidents are elected.

The second item to be added to our By-Laws and the Guidelines & Procedures Manual is the establishment of a “Code of Conduct” for all BSF board members and committee chairmen.

My goal is “onward and upward” to make our organization the best it has ever been. I am so fortunate to have such a great team with the same focus that I have. I am honored to be part of the team of Reggie Perdue, Rob Kempinski, Jorge Nazario, Barbara Poglitsch, Sandy Racinski, Paul Pikel, and a great team of committee chairmen and a board of trustees that are totally dedicated.  I feel enthusiastic about the future of BSF and the opportunity to support our membership especially considering we have 3 new clubs joining the BSF family this year. That’s a first in recent history.

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