JARS v59n1 - From The President

From The President
Mike Stewart
Sandy, Oregon

Mike Stewart
Mike Stewart

The fall of 2004 has been an exciting and productive season. Our new Executive Director, Laura Grant, was introduced at the Western Regional Conference in Hilo, Hawaii, and took over the official job at that time. She has been working very hard to accomplish the many duties that this position demands. Welcome aboard Laura!
And speaking of exciting and successful happenings, the Western Regional Conference in Hilo was a fantastic event. Congratulations go to the event coordinators Sherla Bertelmann, Veryl Ann Grace, and the many, many others from the Hawaii Chapter who made the conference so successful. These wonderful folks certainly know all there is to know about hospitality. From the opening presentation to the Fellowship Dinner where participants from around the world were introduced, to the parting banquet with the traditional presentation of beautiful leis, this was a conference that will always be remembered. The speakers and the gardens were superb.
I would strongly recommend that the ARS continue to occasionally schedule these kinds of events at our offshore chapters locations. I can say that everyone who attended was revitalized by the uniqueness of the conference and the opportunity to learn about and to see rhododendrons that we normally don't experience.

Dee Daneri and Mike Stewart
At the Western Regional Conference in Hilo, Hawaii, Dee Daneri received
praise from ARS President Mike Stewart, among many others, for her many
accomplishments as ARS Executive Director. Dee retired in the fall and is succeeded
by Laura Grant of Toronto, Ontario.

The ARS Board meeting was held in Hilo. Your District Directors and committee chairpersons did a fine job of continuing the business of the ARS. Minutes to the meeting are available on the ARS web site. Look forward to hearing from Ron Mapes, who is our new chairman of Test and Display Gardens. Much work has already been done. This program should prove to be a very good avenue to promote both rhododendrons and the ARS.
And finally, I had the distinct pleasure of witnessing Sonja Nelson receiving a Bronze Medal Award from her chapter this last month. We are so fortunate to have a person of her skill and dedication as the editor of our Journal. Congratulations Sonja!