APS Candidate Bios

For President (1 year): Elizabeth Lawson

Elizabeth received her BA in English Literature from Bryn Mawr College, an MA in Botany from the University of Texas at Austin, a PhD in Plant Biology from Cornell University, and an MFA in Nonfiction from Southern New Hampshire University. She has worked at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and completed a decade of work each for the Botanical Society of America and the Ecological Society of America, and completed her career with another decade of work in the Writing Department at Ithaca College, where she taught a number of writing courses, her favorite being Writing as a Naturalist. She now writes as a naturalist at www.elizabethwinpennylawson.com, and has written a book about primroses for Reaktion Press’ Botanical Series. It came out in 2019 and is called Primrose. She first met primroses while working in the Decorative Department at Kew, where she potted up several hundred Primula obconica and came down with a horrible case of stinging hives from head to bottom of the feet that could have ended her love of primroses, but did not.


For Vice-President (2 years): Mark Dyen

I have been a gardener for several decades, an interest inherited from my mother who nurtured the addictive nature of growing or buying interesting plants that make beautiful flowers (if you let them).  I’ve been a member of the New England Chapter of APS for many years now, first joining in an attempt to figure out how to get my Thompson and Morgan seeds to germinate (Solution: Get seeds from the seed exchange), and have gradually expanded my interest to include more varieties, and to judging the show entries.  While I am still a mixed success at propagation, I am a champion proselytizer for the genus, and do my best as a board member to move the agenda along and reach key decisions.  I would be happy and honored to continue in that role.


For Secretary (2 years): Dean Wiegert

I joined the American Primrose Society in 2013.  I have served as the society secretary since 2019.  I am an estate gardener in S.E. Wisconsin by profession and a primula hobbyist at home.  I am convinced that the genus has something for every northern gardener and plant enthusiast.  I attended my first National Show in 2017, I have contributed to the quarterly, Primroses, and I have helped with the indexing project for the quarterly.


For Director (3 years): Susan Haddock

I have had a lifelong passion for gardening, and studied horticulture and later botany as an undergraduate. I have been a member of APS since 2015, but have been growing primulas for much longer. I am also a member of North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS), and the National Auricula and Primula Society, UK (NAPS).  I grow many primulas and auriculas from the APS, NARGS and NAPS seed exchanges, and have written articles for the APS quarterly, and the NAPS ARGUS publication and their newsletter. My home is in southeastern Michigan, and my personal goal regarding APS is to increase the APS membership in the Midwest. To that end, I give primula talks to various gardening groups in the region.


For Director (3 years):  Joshua Piper

My name is Joshua Piper and I have been a primula enthusiast for many years. I live in Sequim Washington, near the beach of the beautiful Olympic Peninsula (zone 8b). Apart from being an avid gardener, I run a landscape contracting company and a mobile sawmill in partnership with my beautiful wife. We built our own home on 5 acres in the forest, and I have been sneaking primula into the landscape every chance I get.


For Director (3 years):  Amy Olmsted

Amy Olmsted is a long-time member of American Primrose Society. Many of you may know her from the work she has done running the Seed Exchange program for the past several years. Amy has worked in the nursery field for four decades, and is currently the chief horticulturist for Rocky Dale Gardens in Bristol, Vermont. She lives with her husband and their three cats in a cottage among her personal gardens on the shores of a small lake.