FFGC Chairmen/ FFGC Chairmanships
FFGC Bylaws & Standing Rules (5/1/2021)
(updated 3/4/2021 - changes in blue)
The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs Headquarters 1400 S. Denning Drive, Winter Park, FL 32789
Office: Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4 PM
Venue Tour Hours by Appointment: Monday - Friday 9 AM to 5 PM
Garden Shop hours: Monday – Friday 9 AM – 4 PM
Weekend – Office closed – venue available for events
Headquarters Staff: Jenn Cowin, Office Manager & Membership Administrator
FFGC Library: The library is available to all FFGC members during office hours. The loan period is one month, with privilege of one month renewal. Library inventory
The general nature and object of this non-profit Corporation shall be: To organize themselves into a non-profit association for the purpose of engaging in activities which are charitable, educational and scientific within the meaning of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Specifically, the purposes of the association are as follows:
(a) To further the education of the members and the public in the fields of gardening, horticulture,botany, floral design, landscape design, environmental awareness through the conservation of natural resources, civic beautification, nature studies, and to instill in our youth the love of
gardening and the respect for and protection of the environment.
(b) To encourage the erection of memorials to veterans of the United States armed forces;
(c) To coordinate the interests of the several Garden Clubs in the State of Florida to the extent such coordination represents a furtherance of the activities specified in (a) and (b) above provided always that such purposes shall be effectuated by activities which are within the scope of Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
(d) To do and perform all other acts and things necessary to carry out the purposes of this Corporation as a Corporation not for profit in accordance with the law in such cases made and provided.
Membership in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. is open to all regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity or religious affiliation
Established: April 24, 1924, Federated April 25, 1925
Number of Federated Clubs: 235
Board Meetings: 2 per year, September and January
Administration: Changing every 2 years in the odd numbered year
Convention: Annual held in Spring (Annual Meeting)
Officers: 8 - President, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Vice Presidents, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary
Founding Clubs: Halifax Country, Miami, Jacksonville, and Winter Park
Fiscal year: June 1 - May 31
Headquarters Building established: February 2, 1961 with renovations in 1991, 1998, and 2005
The Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. is a charter member of the National Garden Clubs, Inc. 4401 Magnolia Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110
FFGC Bird - Mocking bird, Buttterfly - Zebra Long Wing, Flower - Orange Blossom, Song - Suwannee River, Tree - Sabal Palm, Wildflower - Coresopsis
Officers of the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc.
President: Marjorie H. Hendon
Theme: Worlds of Wonder
Marjorie H. Hendon was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale. She attended Florida State University, where she enjoyed playing French horn in the Marching Chiefs. She also attended Florida Atlantic University, obtaining her BA in Education. Her Masters in Special Education was earned at NOVA Southern University. She enjoyed thirty-two years of teaching before retiring and joining the Pioneer Garden Club of Ocala, Inc.
These last two years, as First VP for the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs, have been busy. Marge was Chairman of the Finance Committee, and on the Long-Range Planning Committee. If being on those committees didn’t open her eyes to the wonderful activities of FFGC, then the other activities that were undertaken would. She was pinned a NGC 4-Star member at the 2017 FFGC convention.
Marge continues to enjoy her free time. Singing in the church choir, meetings of the camellia society, and her plant business keep her enjoying her community and State. Her number of llamas have gone down from 123 to 14 over a thirty -year period, and her chickens keep her with fresh eggs year round. Four Sister’s Foliage, LLC, her plant business, keeps her busy during the Fall and Spring. Her two daughters, their husbands, and little granddaughter often enjoy visiting Grandma at “the Farm”.
First Vice President: Tina Tuttle
Bettina (Tina) Venettozzi Tuttle is FFGC’s First Vice President. She will also serve as the Chairman of the Finance Committee and a member of the H&E, Strategic Planning and ByLaws committees.
Tina grew up in Pensacola and received an AA degree from Pensacola Junior College, a BS from Florida State University in Vocational Home Economics Education and taught high school Home Economics for 4 years before joining the Navy on a dare.
She retired from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander in 1996, after having served in several capacities to include: Barracks Officer, Ordinance Officer, Nuclear Weapons Courier in Norfolk VA, DOD Coordinator for Mardi Gras and Operations Officer in New Orleans, Administrative Schools Officer in Meridian MS, NROTC Curriculum Manager and Midshipmen Summer Training Officer for the Chief of Naval Education and Training in Pensacola. She received a Masters' degree in Education from the University of West Florida (1987). In 2015, also from UWF, she earned an Education Specialist (EdS) degree in Curriculum and Instruction.
Tina is a 5-Star member having attained Master level in NGC Gardening, Landscape Design, and Environmental Consultant and Flower Show Judge. She also served as an NGC Horticulture Instructor 2003-2017 and continues as a Flower Show Procedure and Symposium instructor. She was a Master Gardener and certified Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Advisor for 12 years (retired in 2011) and has served as Florida’s Horticulture Chairman and the FFGC State Endangered Plant Advisory Council representative by the Commissioner of Agriculture. She has served as the President for the Florida Flower Show Judges 2011-2013 and as an FFGC District Director (District I 2013-2015). She has served for 9 years as the Chairman for Short Course North and is the Author, editor and creator of “Digging It!”, Florida’s Horticulture Study Series.Tina has one married son, Michael, 38, who works with Harves Entertainment in Orlando. Her husband, Art, is also a retired Navy officer and he volunteers at the historic L&N Train Depot in Milton, Florida. Tina says they are owned by three sweet kitties.
Second Vice President: Christy Linke
Christy and her husband Larry moved from New Jersey in 2007 to Plant City, FL. after retiring from the police world. Her first encounter with FFGC was at Camp Wekiva 10 years ago where she does the 7th grade primitive tent program. Camp Wekiva and all it stands for had me hooked from that moment and I’ve gone back every year since. She has been a member of the Plant City Garden Club for 11 years where she was President 2012-2014 and 2016 - 2017 as well as Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary.
She served as FFGC District Director VIII 2017-2019 representing 23 clubs. Her first FFGC board chairmanship was Bees Birds, and Butterflies starting September 2011 until September 2015 she became FFGC Bees State Chairman. She travels to educate the public about the importance of native bees as well as honey bees. She will also serve as Secretary of the Finance Committee, Chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee, Ways and Means and Chairman for Convention 2020. Her other passion is when she became a Flower Show Judge. She has served on the FFSJ elected board for two different terms as Recording Secretary. Christy spends her spare time traveling to TN where she and her husband Larry have 2 sons, Jason and Mark, 5 wonderful grandchildren, 3 of which are 3 year old triplets. And one cannot forget Chase our Quaker Parrot.
Third Vice President: Mary Ann Whisler
Mary Ann Whisler grew up in Tampa and is a Florida native. She attended the University of South Florida. In 1976 she and her husband left Florida for a career opportunity. Over the next 20 years she and her family moved all over the country. She worked for IBM Corporation as a communications specialist, project manager and technical sales specialist. Her hobbies include gardening, golf, scrapbooking and kayaking.
After retiring she returned to her beloved Florida and joined the Crystal River Garden Club where she was Secretary, Vice President and President (2015-2017), District V Secretary (2015-2017), District Director (2017-2019), SEEK Registrar (2016), SEEK Chairman (2017-2021), Convention Chairman (2018), Vice President Tri-Council (2019-2021), H&E Committee and Co-Chairman of the 2022 Convention. She has completed all four NGC Schools and is a Flower Show Student Judge. She has been a volunteer for Wekiva as a nature volunteer for eleven years. Mary has received FFGC Life Member award, Hall of Fame, Pillar of Pride and this year she received the Blanche Capel Covington Leadership award. She is honored to become the 3rd Vice President of FFGC and looking forward to serving on the Executive Board.
Treasurer: Jana Walling
Jana Purvis Walling has been a member of Tallahassee Garden Club for 30+ years. She has been Chairman of the Jasmine Circle during several terms and Circle Treasurer for numerous years. Jana served as President of Tallahassee Garden Club 2009-2011, and served as its Treasurer for three years preceding her term as President. She has been on the FFGC Board since 2011, serving as SEEK Finance until 2015, and then serving as Scholarship Endowment Chair until 2015. She is currently serving on the FFGC Finance Committee and has been since the beginning of the 2015-2017 term. She serves as Treasurer of the District III Flower Show Judges and served as FFGC Recording Secretary during the 2017-2019 term.
Jana has served as a member of the Board of Goodwood Museum and Gardens, Inc., a Tallahassee house museum and gardens. She served as Chair of the Board during 2013-2015. Jana has also served as a member and Treasurer of the Friends of Maclay Gardens, a support group for the Alfred B. Maclay State Park. She assists University Lutheran Church and Student Center with their payroll and tax filing.Jana is a graduate of Florida State University and was a Florida Certified Public Accountant for over 30 years. She retired from State of Florida government after 32 years of service. She and her husband Ken have two grown sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law, and two adorable grandsons.
Parliamentarian: Carolyn Lowry-Nation
Carolyn began her affiliation with Florida Federation of Garden Clubs in 2012. She founded Gardeners Out East Garden Club in Lakewood Ranch in 2014 with the required ten members. It was her desire to experience what her mother had experienced for 50 years belonging to a garden club based on friendship. GOE has flourished and has created a true sense of pride for Carolyn along with creating long-lasting relationships. Carolyn is presently the NGC Environmental School Accredited Chairman for South Central and Central Atlantic areas and also serves on the board of FFGC District VIII.
FFGC ranks at the top of Carolyn's priority list. She has served in the capacity of President of FFGC Tri-Council as well as Earth Steward Chair. In 2018, Carolyn completed the five units of study within the allotted time, to become a Registered Parliamentarian and currently is in the process to complete her Professional Registered Parliamentarian status. Carolyn served as FFGC Parliamentarian from 2019-2021 and now again from 2021-2023.
Recording Secretary: Sue Roberts
After graduating from college in Connecticut and a 37 year career with IBM, my husband and I retired to Florida in 1997. We settled in southwest Florida, but after my second retirement as a consultant we moved to central Florida. I finally had some free time to do some of the things I had missed – one was joining a garden club in 2001. I have been a member of the Camellia Garden Club of Eustis since then and in 2008 joined the Lakes and Hills Garden Club in Mount Dora. Between the two clubs and the Lake County Council of Garden Clubs I have been secretary, treasurer and president of both a circle, a club and a council over the last twenty years. I served on the district 7 board in several capacities and became district director in 2017. Presently I serve as the FFGC Website editor and Dues Ambassador. I look forward to being the FFGC recording secretary for the 2021-2023 term.
My husband and I built the last of many houses during our marriage in 2008 in Mount Dora where we became avid lawn bowlers. I have serve in most officer positions at the Mount Dora Lawn Bowling club and I still enjoy the challenge of the game. When I married I became the step mother to three great kids and now the grandmother of 5. And now that travel is on hold I have a granddaughter living in New Zealand and one in Spain. Hopefully I will get to visit them before I get too old!
Corresponding Secretary: Ingrid Velez
Ingrid was born in Washington D.C., raised and educated on Long Island, New York and started her government career as a Secretary in the Department of Defense in 1965. She switched careers in 1974 and went to work for the Department of Transportation as an Air Traffic Controller working at Islip- MacArthur, New Haven, Pompano Beach and Ft. Pierce Airports – also had a 4 month detail to St. Croix Airport in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She retired from government service in 1997.
She found out about FFGC in 2006, when she joined the Brooksville Garden Club. She served as Corresponding Secretary, Vice President and President of Brooksville Garden Club. She has been Chairman of Garden Path Bricks and Florida Gardening Magazine Coordinator. In 2010 she “found” Wekiva Youth Camp and the camp has become her passion. She is on the Wekiva Committee, sets up the Camp Office and volunteers two weeks each summer. She now has taken on the task as Co-Coordinator of Wekiva Volunteer Training every February.
She and Skip have been married for 44 years and have rescued abandoned and abused Dobermans since 1980. They are presently “owned” by 2 Dobermans a Doxie and a Toy Terrier.