From the Executive Director
Happy New Year! The celebration of a new millennium is well underway, and the American Rhododendron Society has much to celebrate! All members renewed for the Year 2000 will soon receive a decal to display in their car window. Our Past President Harold Greer enhanced our logo, and our good friends and members Jack and Ann Root provided us with the grant necessary to give you this little gift and our first-ever full-color brochure. Special thanks are in order for this generous gift.
Computer technology has exponentially expanded the way we communicate, and most of us are now exchanging e-mail. Chapter officers will soon have a reference library available to them through our secured website, giving touch-of-the-mouse availability to records and other important materials which assure the smooth running of your chapter.
There's still nothing to replace the coming together of people, communicating in the spirit of teamwork to accomplish our mission. That's why we have chapter meetings. Last year this office started an "open forum" at each conference, with the purpose of setting a stage for members, committees, and officers to exchange ideas and share solutions to common problems. Your attendance does make a difference. For example, Bill Saunders, Middle Atlantic Chapter, announced that our present brochure is of no benefit to the chapters in the southeastern part of the U.S., who primarily grow azaleas. Enough said! Our new brochure, coming out in the spring, will have azaleas and rhododendrons equally represented. Bruno Falanga, Cape Cod Chapter, is sponsoring his local library, and encourages each of us to keep brochures available anywhere plant lovers congregate. You can get these from your chapter officers. Jim Fry, New York Chapter, dug up the old decal, which launched the decal project. Jim also reminds us that mentoring is the best way to encourage new members. That simple gesture of inviting a new member to visit your garden may be just the hug he or she needs. Barbara Smith, Mason Dixon Chapter, and Bronze Medal recipient, recognizes that half-year memberships have a high rate of attrition, but a few good members come from these introductory offers. Bill Hersh, Susquehanna Valley Chapter, would like to explore the idea of Bed & Breakfast exchanges among the membership. Pass along your ideas to chapter officers and attend an open forum at the next conference. It's your Society.
Office of the American Rhododendron Society (OARS)
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