From the President
Herbert A. Spady
This will be my last message to you in this column. I have tried to keep these remarks short so as not to take up much Journal space and to keep them pertinent to the activities of the Society and your needs as members. At this time I want to comment on the joys and disappointments of being president of the American Rhododendron Society.
Of course the joys should be first. There is great personal satisfaction in achieving some success. The one that has been most exciting for me is the initiation of the electronic media programs of the ARS. Many of you who are not into using computers may think this is not too important, but it is the wave of the future. There is a massive amount of rhododendron information. Someday perhaps it will all be available on electronic media. That will make it amazingly convenient and fast for people to find data that they want. Now it may take hours and much expense to find it. Not infrequently the efforts are abandoned. In this area there is much work to be done, but we have made a good start. Progress will never be fast as long as we must depend on volunteer help.
There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest benefit of being president is the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and visit so many outstanding gardens. Those people who do not participate in a plant society such as ours can appreciate the hospitality, kindness and generosity of gardeners. At the same time that our members are so gracious they spend countless hours keeping their gardens and many hours and resources donated to the functions of this Society. Never think that your Society or chapter officers gain any financial benefits from doing their jobs.
Perhaps my biggest disappointment at being president has been the fact that I have not been able to be a charismatic motivator and stimulator of other people. There are several areas where the Society's activities have lagged or been non-existent. It is not always possible to motivate volunteers. Threats of cutting their pay or firing them do not seem to be very effective. Regardless of the few disappointments I will never regret these years of service to this Society, I will be passing this administration on to some very able and dedicated people. For me the stress will be less and I will be able to devote more time to my favorite projects in the garden and in the milieu of genus Rhododendron . I wish to thank all those who have been helpful to me in performing the duties of this office.