Skip to main content

International Affiliates

Main Article Section

International Affiliates Activities Committee "COMAAI"

International Affiliates Activities Committee "COMAAI"

During National Conventions, have you ever wondered about the groups of women speaking in different languages that willingly travel from far away countries to answer the "Call" to Convention?   Have you been surprised to find out that sometimes there is no need to speak the same language, when we have a shared interest in garden clubs or a special love for floral design?  These women are the members of the International Affiliates Activities Committee (COMAAI); an organization of numerous international affiliates founded by NGC to carry out the same work as national committees.

The first committee Chairman was Esther de Salinas, from Mexico; under her administration, she successfully organized and gave a purpose to this international committee, creating an interest in other affiliate members to become active in different NGC chairmanships.   Another influential factor was the establishment of the COMAAI website, which has since then served as a vital communication tool to all affiliate clubs.

At the same time, the International Flower Show Schools Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Sylvia Wray from Argentina, organized numerous Flower Show Schools in clubs throughout the Latin American countries. Since then, several flower show Judges have become prestigious NGC International Instructors, who diligently continue to extend this very special educational mission.

Cheryl Obediente, from Panama, became the second COMAAI Chairman; she has been recognized for her interest in promoting membership and for taking communications to the next level via the internet by establishing an essential and excellent venue for exchanging documents and helping with the collection of club's dues.    In addition, she sponsored the organization of Comaaiweb, an active web site committee having Regional Directors from Mexico, Central America, Panama and South America. Comaaiweb coordinates a team of horticulture, design and conservation editors, who closely work with individual National Directors from all the affiliate countries.  Cheryl is also to be acclaimed in helping with the NGC Handbook for the LDS, GSS and ESS international schools, which was issued to adapt different specifications to needs of the affiliate clubs.  Cheryl is highly regarded by the international clubs for her remarkable achievements and dedication.

The third and new COMAAI Chairman is Sara Lambarri, from Mexico, who has since 1999 served the committee as LDS Chairman.  Sara strives to use the website and internet to maintain and attract new membership, thereby encouraging members, who cannot travel to conventions, to become actively involved by committing themselves to leadership roles as COMAAI Chairman for establishing NGC projects in their countries.  In addition, Sara intends to promote the multiple educational opportunities offered by NGC, having the ultimate goal of attracting new members and creating an interest in the many meaningful projects established under the auspices of National Garden Clubs.

Perhaps now, when meeting an international member at future conventions, please remember that these women are our active "NGC ambassadors" who share our interest in horticulture, our love for floral design and continuously support our ideals of conserving and protecting the natural resources throughout the world.