JARS v53n3 - From the Executive Director

From the Executive Director
Deanna "Dee" Daneri
Fortuna, California

H. C. "Bud" Gehnrich finished his term as ARS president at the annual meeting, held on April 29 in Bellevue. Two years ago Bud received the gavel and with it was charged with overseeing the restructuring and relocating of headquarters. The office developed new programs for management and accounting, and the Society entered full-bore into the electronic age under Bud's watchful eye. With change comes tough decisions, and Bud never wavered from his determination to do what was in the best interest of the Society.

Today our chapters are showing a new enthusiasm toward expanding membership, and 30 committees are dedicated to better serving your needs. Because of our Web site, expanded immensely during Bud's term, your chapters receive new rosters and important financial information through password protected pages, and new members are coming from all around the globe

Bud has turned over the command and the ship in excellent shape. And it's a good thing, because our new president knows all about a ship in good shape.

Let us all welcome our new president, Lynn Watts. This modest man who slipped into the position of Western Vice-president two years ago appreciates a team working together toward a common goal. Born in Oregon, Lynn received a degree in physics from Willamette University, a master's degree in education from the University of Washington, and did his doctoral work at Stanford University.

Lynn received his commission in the navy after midshipman school at Notre Dame. He served on a destroyer during World War II, and on a destroyer escort during the Korean conflict, leaving the service as a commander. After settling in as a high school principal in Washington State, Lynn began the Greenery in 1960. He and his wife, Marilyn, also enjoy the time they share with their grandchildren.

President Watts, officers, district directors, committee leaders, chapter officers, and all other volunteers work without compensation, with a commitment to advancing knowledge about the genus Rhododendron.

The six-day 1999 ARS Annual Convention and International Rhododendron Species Symposium, held at Bellevue, Washington, offered everything from introductory workshops, tours and programs, to great advancements in the understanding of the biochemical and physiological workings of the genus Rhododendron . The convention committee rallied to the challenge of organizing the dual event, and should be commended for their volunteer commitment to offer our members such a rare opportunity.

Whether commanding the ship, organizing an educational conference for hundreds, or participating at a local chapter level, every contribution adds to the success of this wonderful organization.

A great contribution we can all make is to renew our dues early for next year. This will help your chapter treasurer and the Society! Now I'm off to the engine room. Your help to keep the OARS rowing smoothly is always appreciated.