Announcing PHS’s 2024 Rising Star Awardees!

February 26, 2024

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The Competitive Class division of the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show is excited to announce its 2024 Competitive Class Rising Stars. These individuals meet the following requirements:

  • Has exhibited in Competitive Classes for at least two Shows
  • Has won a Blue ribbon for a past exhibit
  • Has made a meaningful contribution(s) to the Competitive Classes community

Artistic Division

Reprsenting the Artistic Division is Jennifer Morello Fiss. Jennifer is an incredible botanical arts and arrangement exhibitor. She meticulously creates stunning exhibits and always finds time to assist and mentor others. Jennifer is passionate about sustainability in floristry. She has been a member of the Competitive Classes Committee for the past 5 years as an advisor and workshop presenter and currently serves as the Chair of the Arrangement Classes. “She is tireless in her pursuit of artistic perfection, whether it be for one of her own entries, on a team exhibit, or leading a committee to ensure the part of the Show she is responsible for is everything it can be!”

jennifeer morello fiss- rising star winner 2024


Design Division

Representing the Design Division is Joy Waldinger. Joy is a wonderful exhibitor who brings enthusiasm, delight, and outstanding exhibits to the Show. She is a special-needs educator and for the past 7 years has led her students to create exhibits for the Show. She uses this experience to “showcase their incredible artwork and to share inspiring art and science lessons.” She is “passionate about getting people involved in the Show, and she works tirelessly to make it happen each year!” Her sister says she is “the Philadelphia Flower Show’s biggest fan and she’s turned our family into a small flower cult,” getting the whole extended family involved in exhibiting. 

joy waldinger- rising star winner 2024


Horticulture Division

Representing the Horticulture Division is Cesario Gene Tobia. Gene has been exhibiting for 10 years and brings rare and exceptional plants. Gene is known for his excellence in horticulture, and his exhibits have garnered many ribbons, rosettes, and other special awards. Gene “merits recognition in the horticultural show for their exceptional contributions that have significantly enhanced the overall quality and diversity of the event. Their profound knowledge of horticulture, coupled with a passion for cultivating rare and unique specimens, sets them apart. The nominee's commitment to sustainable and eco-friendly practices further underscores their dedication to advancing horticultural standards. Their willingness to share insights and mentor others in the field has not only fostered a spirit of collaboration but has also contributed to the growth of horticultural knowledge within the community.”

cesario gene tobia- rising star winner 2024


Congratulations to our winners!

We are thrilled to announce this inaugural class of Rising Stars, and look forward to the future of these and new competitive class participants.