MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF ACCREDITED JUDGES
The mission of MAAJ is to provide education, resources, and networking opportunities for its members to promote the love of horticulture, floral design, and botanical arts.
MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF ACCREDITED JUDGES (MAAJ) HISTORY
The Michigan Association of Accredited Judges (MAAJ) of The National Garden Clubs, Inc. was formed in October 1952 to ensure “high and uniform standards in judging and flower show practice.” A constitution was adopted, and officers elected. MAAJ exists within the framework of The Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. and is subsidiary to that body. In February 1953 MAAJ held its first workshop in Lansing for judges and flower show chairs. Subsequent programs were held in conjunction with business meetings twice a year to help members be better judges. In 1959 MAAJ co-sponsored its first Refresher in East Lansing which in 1967 became the Judges Symposium we have today. MAAJ-sponsored Symposiums are how flower show judges maintain their credentials and further their education. Since its inception, MAAJ has always provided educational opportunities for judges and, from time to time, has sponsored or co-sponsored flower shows as well. The first was a State Flower show in 1967 co-sponsored with MGC and held in Dearborn.
Recent MAAJ Presidents: Marge McGoff (2001-03 & 2013-15), Sharon Yantis (2003-05), Jean Moran (2005-07), Dolores Stouwie (2007-09), Kathryn Clary (2009-11) Florence Smith (2011-13), Sherry Sanelli (2015-17) and Jenny Bond (2017-21).
The objectives of this organization are:
- to interpret the standardized judging rules of The National Garden Clubs, Inc. and to keep its members informed on changes
- to promote sound ethics in judging
- to promote advanced study in horticulture, floral design, botanical arts, and flower show procedure
- to support Flower Show School and Symposiums of The Michigan Garden Clubs, Inc. (MGC) to provide advanced education as required by National Garden Clubs., Inc.
MAAJ MEMBERSHIP QUALIFICATION AND ADMISSION
- Be an active member in good standing of a MGC local club (exception: Emeritus Master Judge)
- Be accredited as a flower show judge by National Garden Clubs in good standing and/or successfully complete at least three courses in Flower Show School
- Maintain credentials through schools and/or Symposiums
MAAJ MEMBERSHIP CLASSIFICATIONS
Criteria for each classification can be found in the Handbook for Flower Shows, most recent edition:
- Student Judge
- Accredited Judge
- Accredited Life Judge
- Accredited Master Judge
- Emeritus Master Judge
MAAJ has reorganized into a committee structure with seven representatives – one for each District. The chair of the committee is a member of the MGC Board of Directors. The committee includes the MGC Flower Show Judges Credential Chair, MGC Flower Show School Chair, and MGC Flower Show Awards and Advice Chair. The MGC Third Vice President participates in an advisory capacity.
MAAJ COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITIES
- Provide information to ensure that horticulture, floral design, and botanical arts programs are considered when planning educational offerings at MGC conferences, district meetings, and local garden club meetings
- Support Flower Show Schools and Symposiums by providing horticulture and floral design exhibits for point scoring; acting as point scoring test room monitors; and serving as chair/committee members for these educational opportunities
- Include names and contact information of Judges willing to present horticulture, floral design, and botanical arts program listings on the MGC speaker’s list
- Provide programs, seminars, and workshops in advanced study on horticulture, floral design, and botanical arts for flower show Accredited Judges and Student Judges
- Provide a mentoring program for Student Judges to ensure they are offered opportunities to judge and enter flower shows to receive credits necessary to move forward in the accreditation program and to invite students to join local Guilds to further the educational process
- Facilitate effective communication among MAAJ District Representatives, District Directors, and local garden clubs by:
- Attending President’s Meetings when asked to educate club presidents on programs being offered by MAAJ
- Encouraging local garden clubs to stage a Specialty Flower Show or Small Standard Flower Show
- Offering guidance to local clubs on writing a flower show schedule and staging a flower show
- Encouraging garden club members to attend Flower Show Schools and Symposiums to build knowledge and confidence when entering flower shows
- Contribute articles to the MGC publication, Thru the Garden Gate, on horticulture, floral design, and botanical arts
- Review and endorse budgeting and use of MAAJ funds
HOW CAN JUDGES HELP THEIR DISTRICT?
- Stimulate interest in horticulture, floral design, and botanical arts subject matter (e.g., posting on social media sites, entering flower shows, joining flower guilds, etc.)
- Support and attend Flower Show School or Symposium when it is held in their district
- Work with the MAAJ District Representative to maintain the speakers list
- Encourage clubs to host flower shows and apply for flower show awards
- Promote MAAJ or provide brief educational programs at District Meetings, club meetings or other events