QBARS - v23n3 Notes on Committees

Notes on Committees
Carl H. Phetteplace, M.D., President

Carl H. Phetteplace
Fig. 39.  Carl H. Phetteplace,
M.D., new President of the
American Rhododendron Society.
France Studio photo

Ratings and Awards
Although the Society Committees on Ratings and on Awards in the past have been conscientious and hard-working, the system has proven fundamentally faulty to the point of producing dissatisfactions in some areas threatening the unity of the Society. The Long Range Planning Committee's proposal adopted by the Board at the annual meeting now makes both ratings and awards chapter functions, dealing with the varieties grown in their respective areas. Although not easy to implement, and some changes may be found necessary in time, the plan is fundamentally more sound and should be an improvement. Its success or failure depends, primarily, on the chapter presidents and their committees.
In the past, chapter rating and awards committees have not been very active. This has been due to lack of definite program, objectives and deadlines. The new proposal requires that such committees be composed of the chapter's more knowledgeable "doers" and very active. If possible there should be five or six members with one a recording secretary for maintaining permanent records and making reports. There always should be at least three members available for meetings and for appraisal of new varieties that may be submitted by growers. Meetings should be regularly scheduled. The chapter president might "feed" the committee a list of varieties he wishes considered each month. Reports to the regional officer (currently Mr. Martin in the east and Mr. McClure in the west) should be made quarterly. This is a large and time consuming task at first, but once all the usual varieties are cataloged the problem will be reduced mainly to dealing with new varieties.
Long Range Planning, and Budget and Finance
These committees should be combined. Long Range Planning is a strong committee capable of considering budget and finance, especially with the addition of a professional accountant. Planning and finances in general are inseparable. There should be an eastern section with a chairman. Geographically a personal meeting of the entire section may be unfeasible, but it does provide the mechanism for channeling views and ideas to the Board.
Editorial Board
It would please the Editor to have an "Editorial Board" consisting of a few people, any one or more of whom he might call upon to review or pass on material submitted for publication. Their purpose is solely to assist and counsel the editor as he may from time to time request.
Main task has to do with publication of the 5-year book, but should implement the publication of any other material approved by the Board, such as that suggested by the Publications Advisory Committee, Ratings Committees and other projects that may be approved by the Board.
Publications Advisory Committee primarily designed to keep abreast of world literature, both current and old, that could be of interest to members of the Society, such as original articles, accounts of explorations, reprints, summaries and translations. Also, personally contribute to the Bulletin and make suggestions for improvement. Recommendations go to the Board. This Committee retains the same personnel as only recently appointed by Mr. Dunn, except that he is Chairman and Robert Badger has been added.
Shows and Judging
Review and re-formulate rules for shows and judging. Outline a manual for same that may be copied or printed for chapter use. It may be found desirable to outline some regional differences, hence the committee is in two sections.
Native American Species
From several sources there has been much interest expressed that the Society assume an active role in further studies of native American species. Also, there is much concern over the rapid disappearance of sizable colonies of these species in the wild. Goals of the committee should be to:

  1. Locate, identify and preserve as many colonies of native species as possible.
  2. Describe, catalog and propagate better forms located, for distribution. Establish a registry.
  3. Explore breeding possibilities.
  4. Publish periodic reports in the Society's publications that the Membership and the Board may be informed.
  5. Eventually publish a text.

Dr. Mossman and Britt Smith have already done a great deal on western varieties. There is probably considerable additional knowledge about eastern and southern species that has not been published at this time.
Organization and Advertising
This committee should concern itself with strengthening and enlarging the Society as an organization. This would include (a) formation of new chapters, (b) offering assistance to chapters which may seem weakening. It might on occasion entail some member of the committee visiting a struggling chapter to diagnose problems and counsel the officers and even the membership. (c) Judicious increase in the amount of advertising that is sold in our publications could add strength to the society financially and could be explored by this committee. Committee on Revision of By-laws
A few minor changes are necessary to comply with actions of the Board at the annual meeting at Callaway Gardens. All other committee appointments require no comment.
Lively interest in increasing the Society membership is essential if we are to have the funds to provide some of the planned benefits for our members without raising dues. It costs relatively little more to operate a society with 10,000 than with 3,000 members. Experience has taught us that a National Membership Chairman only spins his wheels. Recruiting is best done on a chapter and individual basis. Each member should try to bring in one new member each year.
One cause of retarded growth is dropout. One chapter reports they have no dropouts because the chapter Secretary is so persistent that no one gets away. The spirit in the chapter, its programs and other features must be such that people like to belong. Therefore it is logical to appoint each chapter president, the secretaries and the program chairmen as the membership committee in each chapter.
Would someone from the deep South or Southeast either volunteer or suggest a member to serve on this committee from that region?
It is hoped that this committee may eventually publish a manual that could be sold to chapter members to at least defray costs.
Associate Editor
This appointment is in line with the Long Range Planning Committee's suggestion to facilitate better communications from the eastern sectors of the Society. For the present, the Assoc. Editor will serve without stipend.