Orange County, Florida
Tarflower Executive Committee
June 2023 - May 2024
President: Amanda Morgan Freed
Mandy Morgan received a Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences and a Master of Science in Environmental Horticulture both from the University of Florida. She specialized in medicinal plant production and has two publications on medicinal use and production of Florida native Scutellaria species. Mandy has a passion for ecology and ethnobotanical plants. She joined the Tarflower Board as Vice President of Programs in 2017 and desires to learn more about Florida ecology and the uses of native plants in this region.
Duties: Preside at regular and Executive Board meetings, appoint committees for special tasks and be an ex-officio member of all committees, sign all Tarflower Chapter business agreements/contracts, attend annual FNPS Conference, train successor
President Elect: Mac Camacho
Originally from Puerto Rico, MAC grew up in Annapolis, MD. She is passionate in her involvement and commitment to the study of nature and the environment. A member of the FNPS Tarflower Chapter and a long-standing member of the Florida Humanities Council, she enjoys kayaking, hiking, flats fishing, and traveling. An avid photographer and mixed-media painter, she regularly contributes observations to iNaturalist and the UF Air Potato Patrol as a citizen scientist. She volunteers regularly at the Oakland Nature Preserve and assists in habitat restoration, plant surveys and education efforts as a Florida Master Naturalist and Blue-Hike leader, exploring Florida Waterways. MAC is a Rollins College Alum with a Degree in Psychology. She has proven expertise in guest services and oversight management within the theme parks and international tourism industry. She brings a wealth of knowledge to the Tarflower Chapter.
Duties: Coming soon...
1st Vice President - Programs: Spencer Bennett
Spencer has lived in Orlando most of his life, he holds a BS in Emergency Management & Homeland Security and MS in Emergency & Crisis Management from the University of Central Florida. Spencer enjoys the many facets of gardening - from installing natives, cultivating a food forest, and tending to voracious carnivorous plants. He is also an avid hiker and explorer of our many National and Florida State Parks, finding joy in viewing natural landscapes.
Duties: Chair the Program Committee, aide the President and/or act on behalf of in his/her absence, train successor
2nd Vice President - Events: Jim Irwin
Jim Erwin is a Florida native, BA University of Pennsylvania, MA University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, English. He enjoyed and misses his first job, teaching composition, after which he worked for Public Television shooting film projects (when there was actual film in the cameras), while slowly falling into poverty. Driven by hunger, he taught himself programming and worked for a long time in database administration, made bearable by racing catamarans and hiking. He has enjoyed Sierra Club activities -- backpacking, service trips, and taking disadvantaged kids on day trips. Now retired, he feels privileged to support the FNPS mission, in the company of these pretty remarkable Tarflower people.
Duties: Chair the Events Committee, aide the President and/or act on behalf of in his/her absence, train successor
Treasurer: Erik Ransom
Born and raised in Florida, Erik’s journey with plants began approximately 10 years ago with a small cactus garden that eventually led down the path to Florida native gardening. A member the Tarflower chapter since 2019, Erik enjoys propagating native plants from seed, nature hikes, and outdoor activities in general. Erik holds a Doctorate degree in music from Indiana University and is currently an adjunct professor at Rollins College.
Duties: Chair the Budget Committee, maintain records of and report at monthly at Board meetings financial transactions of the Chapter, sign checks, train successor
Secretary: Paula Durlach
Paula moved to Orlando in 2001. While in school in New York she expressed an interest in the horticulture track at the vocational high school but was steered into college prep instead. Doing her teachers proud, she went on to complete a PhD in experimental psychology in 1982. She retired from her research career toward the end of 2019, just ahead of the Corona virus pandemic. Finding herself at home with tons of free time, she reignited her passion for gardening and, in particular, gardening for pollinators. Her goal is to observe flying, crawling, and burying critters in an environment free of pesticides and herbicides and inspiring neighbors and friends similarly. When not gardening, Paula enjoys water activities such as sailing or kayaking and other close-to-nature activities. She also enjoys being “taken away” through travel, reading, and movies.
Duties: Record, maintain and report meeting minutes of Executive Committee (Board) and regular meetings, be custodian of all non-financial records, prepare correspondence, maintain Chapter website, train successor
FNPS State Chapter Director: Jennifer Ferngren Cappelleti
Jennifer has always had a passion for nature and preserving our natural systems for future generations. Jennifer is an Orlando local and graduated from UCF with a degree in Environmental Science. She now works at E Sciences, Inc. as an environmental consultant. She works on environmental permits with local governmental agencies ensuring that impacts to natural areas are done in the most sustainable and ethical manner possible. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her cats and dogs and slowly converting her yard to a habitat for wildlife.
Duties: Attend quarterly State Board meetings as Tarflower Representative, attend annual FNPS conference, advise Executive Board and provide reports from quarterly and annual State FNPS meetings, train successor
- Program - Chair: Spencer Bennett
- Budget - Chair: Erik Ransom
- Events - Chair: Jim Irwin
- Plant Sales and Fund Drives - Chair: Jackie Rolly
- Newsletter - Chair: Ann Dang
- Publicity/Communications - Chair: Heather Chasez
- Field Trips - Chair: Pete Dunkelberg
- Mead Gardens - Chair: Catherine Bowman
- Membership - Chair: Nihal Hafez
- Conservation - Chair: Julie Becker
Committee Needing a Chairperson
Please contact the President using her link above if you would like to Chair a committee.
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