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[APD] AGA 2003

Hi All,

I wanted to take the time to shoot the people who attended the convention a quick note. Our club, the DFW Aquatic Plant Club, hopes that everyone who was in attendance enjoyed their visit and had a chance to visit with some old friends and make some new friends. I know I did and it was nice putting a name to a face for so many individuals that I?ve met over the internet. Attendance this year was outstanding for the convention with over 117 people registered, the best since Amano came to speak in Nashville. The speaker line up and the new idea of the focus groups proved to be an excellent draw. In addition to the incredible speaker line-up, we also had an outstanding auction with plants that were collected the Thursday of the convention, and numerous donations from various vendors that provided us with some excellent products and rare and outstanding plants for the convention?s auction. This included some very rare swords from Florida Aquatic Nursery that have not reached the market yet, the Echinodorus ?Kleiner bar?.

I would also like to extend my gratitude to the speakers, Karen Randall, Dr. Sean Winterton, Kristel Kasselman, Roger Miller, George and Karla Booth, Erik Olsen and all of the focus group presenters Ghanzafar Ghori, Tom Barr, Andrew Smith of Seachem, Neil Frank, Dr. Sean Winterton, and the DFW Aquatic Plant Club?s own Luis Navarro, Mike Cameron, and Tarah Nyberg. The wide range of topics presented at this year?s convention should have appealed to everyone in attendance and we hope that people came away from the weekend with some added knowledge and new ideas. I would also like to congratulate the winners of the aquascaping contest. This year proved to be the most widely contested contest with opinions from the judges being varied and contrasting. However, as seen during the banquet, the winners of the contest all showed why they had winning marks by the judges. I hope that the contest winners gave people inspiration to put together tanks for next year?s contest.

I would also like to thank our very generous vendors, especially the ones who made the trip and spent the time to answer questions from the many different people. Without their help, this year?s convention wouldn?t have been nearly as successful. The AGA and the DFWAPC thank you, as do the many people in attendance.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the members of the AGA and the DFW Aquatic Plant Club who were involved in helping putting together this year?s outstanding convention. Our club, being only 2 ½ years old was not sure that we would have the manpower or capability to put together such a daunting task. However, we went ahead with the bid and with many hours of hard work and planning by the people involved, we hope to have pulled off the best convention yet. I would personally like to thank some tireless people who spent many hours before and during the convention to make this past weekend run smoothly. Larry Lampert, Tim Cincotta, Cheryl Rogers, Scott Heiber, Erik Olsen, Ricky Cain, Ben Belton, Tarah Nyberg, Barbara Bretherick, Christy Cameron, Luis Navarro, Valerie Grove, Phil Edwards, Aaron Glass, Walter Klockers, Ghanzafar Ghori, D?Wyatt Green, Kathy Stearns, and numerous others who I probably have failed to mention. Thanks for a great job!

For those who weren?t able to come to this year?s convention, you missed a great one. I hope you?ll plan on going to next year?s convention, which I hope is bigger and even better. Until next year. Go forth and aquascape.

Bailin Shaw
Executive Board Member
DFW Aquatic Plant Club

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