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FAVACA Honors 2012 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year at International Days

For Immediate Release                                                            March 27, 2013

FAVACA Honors 2012 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year at International Days

March 27, 2013 - The Florida Association for Volunteer Action in the Caribbean and the Americas (FAVACA) announces they will honor the 2012 Outstanding Volunteers of the Year at the Florida Chamber of Commerce's International Days. The Volunteers of the Year are Dr. Xiaoan Sun, Robyn Perlman, Gail Meltzer, and Terrie Temkin and they will receive their award at the 8 am breakfast reception on April 3rd, 2013.

Dr. Xiaoan Sun, a long time plant pathologist for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, first volunteered with FAVACA in Trinidad in 2002. He took part in a National Workshop on Citrus Canker in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture Crop Protection Section and with the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. The workshop focused on combating the spread of the disease, epidemiology, field symptoms, lab diagnosis, control and management, quarantine aspects with reference to disease free areas, and surveying and sampling techniques. In December 2012, Dr. Sun traveled to Dominica at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture to assess the current status of citrus greening and other diseases and create a management strategy for the citrus industry. Thirty extension agents and farmers were trained to monitor populations of vectors and to use the vector's natural enemies to combat their populations. Dominica aims to be the first country to eradicate Citrus Greening Disease.

CoreStrategies for Nonprofits' founders Robyn Perlman, Gail Meltzer and Terrie Temkin, all with more than 20 years expertise in organizational development, first traveled for FAVACA in 2007. Most recently the team worked closely with FAVACA to implement a U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs Exchange Program between Florida and Colombia. The team provided organizational skills building workshops for Colombian Fellows upon arrival in Florida, then Perlman, Meltzer and Temkin traveled to Colombia to work with Marcela Aragon of Equilibrium Foundation, an organization dedicated to strengthening and building the capacity of Colombian nonprofits, and Ricardo Ramirez of Solidarity Organizations, a Colombian government entity designed to formalize nonprofits and volunteer groups. They led a panel, roundtables, and one-on-one counseling on fundraising collaboration and community building during a National Symposium on Volunteerism in Armenia, Colombia November 1-4, 2012. More than 800 attendees from 500 organizations benefited from the event.

FAVACA is also hosting the 2012 Volunteers of the Year Reception on Wednesday, April 3 from 5:30-7 pm at 1020 E. Lafayette Street. This event will offer light hors d'oeuvres and a beautiful art show in collaboration with 1020Art.

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About FAVACA: FAVACA keeps Florida at the forefront of promoting social and economic development in the Caribbean and the Americas. These efforts match State, federal, foundation and private funds building on 30 years of partnership with our closest neighbors throughout the hemisphere. Our partners include: U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange, the U.S Agency for International Development, Jimmy Buffett Singing for Change Foundation, Tupperware, Money Gram, Western Union, Cayman National Bank, and many more. For more information, please contact Rebecca Reichert at (954) 458-5629 or rebecca@favaca.org or visit: www.favaca.org.

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