Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The 16th IPA Symposium July 9-10, 2010 in Ontario, California

By Tom Harper Reprinted by permission of the IPA Journal

ONTARIO, Calif. -- The International Phalaenopsis Alliance will hold its 16th Symposium July 9-10, 2010 in Ontario, Calif., at the Hilton Ontario Airport Hotel.

Registrants will experience a special event in the rich history of IPA Symposiums for several reasons. First, they will get to hear the big winner at the Taiwan International Orchid Show for the last two years, Kuo-Liang Hong of Tying Shin Orchids, give the keynote address. Second, the format is being changed from a three-day to a two-day event.

Tying Shin Orchids is a small nursery Kuo-Liang and his wife, Jane, own and operate near Cao Tun Township, Nan Tou County, Taiwan. Kuo-Liang won a total of 60 awards from the American Orchid Society and Taiwan Orchid Growers Association at the 2008 and 2009 shows. His colorful hybrids were recognized for superb culture, flower quality and hybridizing excellence. (See a story about how Kuo-Liang became interested in orchids, started Tying Shin Orchids and his breeding goals on Page xx.)

He will focus on his Phalaenopsis breeding program, especially his work with orange and desert tones, in his Symposium presentation. He also will bring plants to sell, including his new and continuing line of unique Phalaenopsis hybrids.

This will be Kuo-Liang’s first visit to the United States, so those who can attend but haven’t met him in Taiwan at the annual show there are in for a very special treat.

Symposium organizers are still developing the speaker and workshop programs. As those plans are finalized, they will be announced in Phalaenopsis and on the IPA Web site,

The meeting will debut a two-day format for IPA’s annual Symposium. Until now, Symposiums have typically been three-day Friday-Sunday events. At some Symposiums, activities began on Thursday with a golf outing designed to further enhance the camaraderie among members.

In the three-day format, Sunday was usually a travel day and people often started leaving while events were in progress so they could make flights or because they had to drive long distances. Harper, in his role as vice president in charge of planning the Symposium, decided to try the new format in hopes it will encourage people to stay for all the events.

Another benefit of the format change is that it should help attendees save on expenses. Although the registration price hasn’t been determined, attendees will definitely save money on meals because of the condensed agenda.

Activities in Ontario will begin Friday morning, July 9 at 9 a.m. with set-up in the sales area and entering of the show plants for ribbon and AOS judging. There will be a preview party Friday evening followed by the first speaker at 7 p.m.

Kuo-Liang will give the keynote program Saturday morning. The rest of the agenda will be filled with other speakers to be announced, workshops, a luncheon and auction. The Saturday agenda and the Symposium will end at 5 p.m. Special plans are being made for a dinner Saturday for those interested in staying over until Sunday or Monday.

Norman Fang will make his Norman’s Orchids in nearby Montclair available for visits during the Symposium. Details about when these visits will be scheduled and other arrangements are being worked out. Fang is the director of IPA’s Southern California Region.

Sunday will be a travel day for IPA members to return home or, for those who might want to stay an extra day, an opportunity to visit other nurseries in Southern California.

The hotel is undergoing a $5 million renovation, expansion and transformation. The changes are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009.

Tom Harper is first vice president of the International Phalaenopsis Alliance and director of its Southeast Region. He also is one of the four founders of the alliance, a past president and is an American Orchid Society judge. 9373 Clovercroft Road, Franklin, Tenn. 37067-8131. 615 771-2755.