Name: Ron Goforth
Name: Peter Ponzio
| Ron was born in Houston, Texas, one of
those rare native Houstonians who grew up in the area. Always fascinated
with life sciences, he developed an early interest in keeping fish in
tanks as a boy. This interest grew further when he met a neighbor, Mr.
Okabayashi, the Japanese gardener brought in to Houston to develop the
gardens of a prominent Houston family. Ron observed and had his first
lessons in Zen gardening and in the areas of koi-keeping, pond culture,
ikebana, and bonsai. These interests have continued throughout his
life, as he received a Biology degree from Sam Houston State University,
with special interests in ichthyology and pre-med, as well as a Nursing
degree from San Jacinto College.
After returning to the Houston area,
Ron began the Houston Japan Festival, which has since grown into the
city’s annual International Festival, founded both the Lone Star Koi
Club and the Moto-Kara Koikai ZNA Chapter. His love of koi-keeping has
culminated in his relationship with Minoru Mano-san, before his death,
and with the Mano family, owners and operators of Dainichi Koi; Shigeru
Mano lived and studied English with the Goforths for a number of years
and is an adopted member of the Goforth family.
Ron has served as ZNA
District Chairman for sixteen years, held the ZNA positions of Local
Certified Judge, Assistant and Full-Certified Judge and was the first
non-Japanese to hold the honor Certified Judge in ZNA enabling him to
judge shows all over the world, including the All-Japan Show. He lives
in Friendswood, Texas, with his wife Nancy and his mother, and a great
Goldfish Show Judge
Peter has been raising
goldfish for over forty years, when fancy goldfish were more difficult
to acquire than they are today. His first “fancy” goldfish was an
Oranda, and they are still his favorite variety. Peter’s experience
with koi began over twenty years ago, when he purchased two koi to put
in his goldfish pond. The koi quickly outgrew the pond, which began a
lifelong series of new pond additions and improvements. His favorite
koi variety is the Showa.
Peter is a member of the
Northern Midwest ZNA club, the Midwest Pond & Koi Society club, and the
Mid-Atlantic Koi Club. Peter is one of the founding members of the
American Goldfish Association (AGA), and publishes their bi-monthly
newsletter. Peter has helped write the U.S. goldfish standards in 1996,
with a revision in 2009. The AGA site can be visited at
www.americangoldfish.org. He is a certified goldfish judge, and
author of Spike’s Goldfish Guide, which was published by the MAKC.
He is also an AKCA certified judge and has written the standard for
judging Longfin koi in conjunction with Larry Christensen, Joe Pawlak,
Myron Kloubec, and Joel Burkard. Peter has judged forty-six goldfish
and koi shows in the sixteen years that he has been judging.
When not judging goldfish
or koi, Peter writes novels, stories and poems, and teaches English at
McHenry Community College. Prior to teaching, Peter was a financial
executive at a Fortune 500 firm.