Barb Schmidt

Vice President

Barb Schmidt has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry.  She worked as an environmental scientist for Pennsylvania Power & Light Company for 10 years before running her own environmental water quality consulting firm for 25 years.  In 2004, Barb went back to school, received a teaching certificate in secondary science and began teaching at a local middle school. 

Barb has been raising orchids since 2004 and teaching orchid classes throughout the country since 2015. She is a regular instructor for the New York Botanical Gardens, the Smithsonian Associates, Longwood Gardens, and a local community college. In 2016, Barb published her introductory orchid care book, Orchid Care: For the Beginner. She also has had the privilege of writing articles for the American Orchid Society’s (AOS’s) Orchids magazine and in 2021 she created a children’s sticker book for AOS, Stuck on Orchids.

 In 2017, Barb found her AOS home on the Education Committee which combined her love of orchids and passion for education. In 2020, Barb received the AOS Certificate of Meritorious Achievement in Orchid Education, and in 2021, she was elected to the AOS Board of Trustees. She became Chair of the Education Committee in 2022 and has promoted projects such as the Junior Flower Show, the creation of QR Codes for the committee’s orchid care sheets, and the development of youth orchid education classes.

 In 2023, the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association (TOGA) invited Barb to speak at the 2024 World Orchid Conference in Tainan, Taiwan. The topic of her presentation was, “The American Orchid Society – Engaging, Educating, and Empowering Youth”. Also in 2024, Barb was elected as an AOS Vice-President. Her goal for her tenure on the Executive Committee is to encourage more people to join the AOS family.