In the Beginning


MAAVS History 

The thought for a new violet society was introduced by Joyce Stenger (Sugarloaf) at a meeting of the Potomac Council of African Violet Judges (PCAVJ). Her idea was to have a Mid Atlantic Meeting of AV judges so that they could exchange judging ideas and unify the groups.  This motion was seconded and passed. Before the motion could be implemented,  the Gulf War began which meant key people were not be for planning. Jack Wilson (then president of the PCAVJ) sent a note informing the Baltimore AV Club (BAVC) that the Potomac Council of African Violet Judges will not pursue the motion.

Diane Richardson and Marie Burns of BAVC decided to try to  form a group that included not only the judges but all violet growers interested in attending an affordable, fun convention where they could share ideas and get to know people from other clubs. The first organizational meeting was by invitation.  This meeting was held on March 9, 1991 in Marie's living room.  The following people were in attendance:

  • Marie Burns (BAVC

  • Diane Richardson (BAVC

  • Sharon Toolan (BAVC)

  • Janet Haag (BAVC)

  • Joyce Stenger (Sugarloaf)

  • Ken Barbi (Potomac Council)

  • Laurene Jones (Old Dominion)

  • Carol Van (Tidewater)

  • Audrea Salzmann (Tidewater)

  • Andrea Burrell (Sugarloaf)

  • Julia Stahl (BAVC)

  • Betty Lages (BAVC)

At the March 9 meeting in Marie Burns house, the small group of individuals each put $20 into a startup fund and installed Diane Richardson as the first President and thus MAAVS was born. In the Fall of 1991, November 1 - 4,  MAAVS held the first annual convention in Virginia Beach at the Holiday Inn on the Ocean. 

MAAVS Announced in AVM

Volume 44 No 3, May 1991 of African Violet magazine had this announcement of the formation of MAAVS written by Ken Barbi.

MAAVS in The Twenty First Century

November 12, 2001 after the "Carolina Patchwork of Quilts" convention in Raleigh, NC this official MAAVS web site was launched, . Four years later, on December 6, 2005 MAAVS really entered the electronic age with the eMailing of the MAAVS eMemo. Ken Barbi created an Adobe PDF version of the printed MEMO and through the facilities of the MAAVS ISP it went out to the MAAVS eMemo subscribers.  What, you didn't know about the eMemo??? Fill in the subscribe box at the lower right corner of this page.  Click here to download this historic eMemo (warning 2 megabyte Adobe PDF file).


MAAVS Conventions

We have been blessed over the years with an exciting and diversified group of host clubs and their respective cities for past conventions. Look at where some of our annual conventions have been held.

  • 1991 Virginia Beach, VA 
  • 1992 Baltimore, MD
  • 1993 Richmond, VA
  • 1994 Frederick, MD
  • 1995 Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1996 Virginia Beach, VA
  • 1997 Williamsburg, VA
  • 1998 Baltimore, MD
  • 1999 Richmond, VA
  • 2000 Frazer, PA
  • 2001 Raleigh, NC
  • 2002 MAAVS/AVSA Washington, DC
  • 2002 Rochester, NY
  • 2003 Raleigh/Cary, NC
  • 2004 Annapolis, MD 
  • 2005 Richmond, VA
  • 2006 Owego, NY
  • 2007 York, PA
  • 2008 Fredericksburg, VA
  • 2009 Williamsburg, VA
  • 2010 MAAVS/AVSA Raleigh, NC
  • 2010 Owego, NY
  • 2011 Baltimore (Timonium), MD
  • 2012 Richmond, VA
  • 2013 New Bern, NC
  • 2014 MAAVS/AVSA Nashville, TN
  • 2014 Wilmington, DE
  • 2015 York, PA
  • 2016 Mt Laurel, NJ

Convention Souvenir Booklets 

 A collection of souvenir booklet covers is accessible by selecting the "Convention Booklets" in the menu item under "History" at the left. Make sure you view this colorful collection of over 20 varied covers from past conventions.


AVSA 2002 Convention

In the spring of 2002, May 19-25,  MAAVS was  host to the 56th International AVSA Convention in Washington, DC. The African Violet Show was one of the best ever since MAAVS has some of the finest African Violet Growers in the country.  Take a look at our AVSA convention pages for a MAAVS-centric view of this Violet show in the past conventions pages.

AVSA 2010 Convention

For 2010, MAAVS was once again called upon to host the AVSA National Convention. The 64th International Convention of the African Violet Society of America was held in Raleigh, NC from April 11-17, 2010 at the Hilton North Raleigh. The convention theme was "The Once and Future Violet", and honored the development of the African Violet from the earliest species to todays' modern  hybrids. MAAVS was the convention hosting organization with MAAVS members Tom Glembocki as Convention Chair and Brenda Petry as Show chair. The "Past Conventions" menu has a selection for viewing the photos from this convention.


AVSA 2014 Convention

MAAVS Membership unanimously voted to co-host the AVSA National Convention with the Lone Star Violet Council of Texas.  The convention took place in Nashville, TN from May 26 to June 2, 2014.  The Convention was an overwhelming success with the highest number of registered attendees of the past 20 years.   


MAAVS has been led by some strong and talented leadership over the years:

  • Diane Richardson 1991-1995
  • Sue Hoffmann 1995-1999
  • Linda Ablanalp 1999-2001
  • Ken Barbi 2001 - 2005
  • Rodney Barnett 2005 - 2007
  • Rich Follett 2007 - 2011
  • Joan Santino 2011 - 2015
  • Brenda Petry 2015 -