JARS v57n4 - From The President

From The President
Mike Stewart
Sandy, Oregon

Recently I have been involved in a project that requires me to do a fair amount of research, looking for historical information in the ARS Journals and yearbooks from the past. As you may know, the yearbooks were written in the mid to late 1940s. So, the information that I am reading goes back a long way.
I once had an idea that I would read every Journal in my collection. I now have recommitted myself to that goal. Every time that I sit down with one of these documents, I find myself totally engrossed in the information that faces me. First of all, the commitment that the early membership had, to make this organization succeed, and the foresight that they possessed reminds me of some other "founding fathers." The mission that they envisioned and agreed upon is as relevant today as it was when the Society was born. I am continually impressed with the care that our members in the early years took to document their successes and failures in an obvious effort to move their particular project and the organization successfully into the future.
As I carefully look at the ARS of the present, I am so pleased to report that the same dedication and care that was demonstrated in those old Journal articles is alive and active in our Board of Directors, our staff, our committees, and our chapters. The difference between then and now is that time seems to be moving faster. Our opportunities to react to new technology demands are now almost an everyday occurrence. Our need to communicate on a daily and sometimes hourly basis is being accomplished by our dedicated committee members and staff. Our mission may be the same, but our opportunities and methods are not the same. Only a few short years ago I remember when many in our Society questioned our need to advance into the electronic media, communications world. How fast times have recently changed, and how obvious it is now that we made the correct and really only choice for the future.
As the person in charge of committee chair appointments, I congratulate and thank all of you who have accepted the responsibilities for your respective committee's work. Your dedication insures that our Rhododendron Society will continue to move in the direction that so many before us have envisioned. My next article will describe several new committees that further help our organization reach its mission and goals.