From the Executive Director
TIME TO SAY GOOD-BYE. President Lynn Watts has quietly gone about the business of being our President for the past two years, after filling a vacancy for the First Vice President in 1997. Lynn was quick to share his great gift for establishing a chain of command. District Directors work with either the Eastern or Western Vice President when issues arise. Each committee is assigned to a specific Vice President, or the President, concerning developmental issues. Chapter presidents are encouraged to have an active communication with their District Director; but the door has always been open to the Presidents office. Our Society is run by working volunteers, and all of our thirty-one committees, thirteen District Directors, and five officers have had a very busy and productive two years under Lynns command.
WELCOME will be in order as Eastern Vice President Ed Reiley takes the helm at our Eugene convention at the end of this month. Ed and Lynn have some organizational background in common, having both served as school principals. Ed started gardening at the age of 7. He wasted no time becoming a leader in school affairs, including president of his student government and five clubs in high school. He received a bachelor of science degree in horticulture from the University of Maryland. After a tour in the U. S. Air Force he became a certified teacher and received his masters degree in economics. Ed has grown rhododendrons for about forty years. Selling a few hundred rhodies and azaleas each year, he keeps a hand in the nursery business.
Ed has authored three books, including A High School Horticultural Textbook, Success with Rhododendrons and Azaleas, available through the Society, and the Ortho Book, All About Azaleas, Camellias, and Rhododendrons, New Edition, 2001. As one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Mason Dixon Chapter of the Society, Ed has served as chapter president and was awarded the Bronze Medal by his chapter. He has also served as District Director, and after four years as Eastern Vice President, he is now prepared to give us continued excellent leadership.
PLEASE look for your name in the most impressive list of donors for Year 2000 in this issue. Your generous donations and that of special friends of the Society have allowed many exciting projects to go forward in the last eighteen months.
It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Robert Ornduff, Grants Director of the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust. Dr. Ornduff was Emeritus Curator for the U. C. Berkeley Botanical Garden, and became a very special friend of the Society during the last two years. The trust is credited with total sponsorship of our $30,000 Proven Performers Project. Today, Rhododendron & Azalea Care Guides are available for you to share with your local garden center, free of charge and postage. Just ask!