Ron Giles

Although his background is in Electrical Engineering and Computer Information Management development, Ron Giles finds orchid growing compatible with his love for order, form, classification, and research. A native of Eldorado, Illinois and graduate of the University of Evansville and the University of Michigan, Ron currently shares a 4-acre Certified Wildlife Habitat in Evansville, Indiana with his wife Sharon and their numerous pets. He retired from IBM in 1999 and then served as an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Evansville until 2007 and then Chief Information Officer at Oncology Hematology Associates until July 2011. He has been growing orchids for 12 years and has found his specialty in cloud forest orchids. He enjoys giving tours tours of his two greenhouses to view his more than 790 species covering the Restrepia, Gongora, Dracula, Stanhopea, Scaphosepalum and Phragmipedium genera. Many have said that his Dracula and Restrepia collections are probably the most complete in the Americas. Ron has given many talks in the tri-state area on cloud forest orchids and orchid conservation. Ron became interested in cloud forest orchids as a result of annual trips he and his wife take to Costa Rica to satisfy his other hobbies of bird watching and nature photography. A Gold-level member of the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardeners Association, Ron has served as Vice-President and President of the organization. He has been a key advisor and participant in the annual Orchid Escape presented by Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo and Botanic Garden and serves regularly as a Plant Docent in the Zoo’s Amazonia Building and as a member of the Zoological Society Board and Strategic Zoo Planning Board. Ron hopes to bring to the AOS Board of Trustees his enthusiasm for orchid conservation, his project management skills as well as his abilities to innovate and to envision means of utilizing modern technology for increased efficiency and accuracy wherever applicable.