The Distinguished Merit Award for 2019 was awarded to Bobbie Ann Hutchins and Stanley Schikowitz as a joint award.

Bobbie and Stan have worked hard within the society for more than 20 years, serving on various committees.  Bobbie Ann served terms on the board of governors, as Vice President, and two terms as President of the Society for Louisiana Irises (SLI).  She has served as convention chair for four conventions in Shreveport.  Stanley has served as the auctioneer for many live auctions at the conventions.

Stanley and Bobbie Ann have contributed thousands of Louisiana irises to the restoration of areas in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, hundreds of irises to the local Master Gardener organizations, have donated irises to various plantings in and around Shreveport, LA, and have been very generous with cash contributions to the society.

Bobbie and Stan established a commercial nursery many years ago and started by digging up and transplanting thousands of irises from the defunct Lone Star Nursery near Dallas, TX.  They also helped Marie Caillet dig and replant her famous pond one year and took several thousand irises from her pond back to the nursery in Mooringsport, LA.

They recently donated hundreds of irises to the park project in Lafayette.

This award was presented during the annual convention in Lafayette, LA, on April 6th, 2019.

The award presented had previously been awarded to Aline Arceneaux of Lafayette, LA, in 1990.  Aline returned the award to the society in 2019 and requested it be used again as she had moved into a nursing home and no longer had the proper place to display the award.  Search this web site to find the citation for Aline's award in 1990.