As I address you in this article, this is a time for reflection. I realize this is the last President's Column I will write. After this spring's convention, I will turn over the reigns of power to the capable hands of our next president, Austin Kennell. It has been an enjoyable and rewarding two years, meeting so many fine people who are members of this great organization.
It is pleasing to report that the American Rhododendron Society is growing at a healthy rate. We have a strong organization at a time when some plant societies are having a difficult time. The fact that we are a strong society is due to the efforts of many of you. Without our dedicated national directors, officers, and many committee people, we would not have the quality and growth we see in our society. Thanks also must go to the presidents and officers in each of our chapters. The chapters are the heart of our society.
It is pleasing to be able to announce that two new chapters are being added to our group. The Cowichan Valley Chapter on Vancouver Island, British Columbia and the Lower Fraser Valley Chapter also in British Columbia. Congratulations to District 1 and its retiring director Harold Johnson for helping to create these new chapters.
I would also like to say thanks and farewell to our Executive Secretary Paula Cash who has decided to retire this spring. She has done a great job running the day to day business of the society. With the passing of the new bylaws amendment which you as members of the ARS are asked to vote on in this issue of the Journal, a new position of Executive Director will be created. This position will replace the former office of Executive Secretary.
Personally, I would like to thank the many people who have been so helpful to me during my term as president. It is great to have worked with such a friendly group. People who want the best for the ARS and are willing to spend many hours of hard work to see the job is done right. Thank you all!
I look forward to meeting many of you at the convention in Victoria!