JARS v61n2 - From The President

From The President
Fred Whitney
Kent, Washington

Fred Whitney
Fred Whitney

As we commence a new cycle of leadership change, we must constantly focus our attention on "making an organization which is supportive of/responsive to the broadest base of our current membership as well as of interest to prospective members." Recent trends in home development (smaller lots with minimal "gardening space") have decreased demand for/interest in rhododendrons as a focus plant.
Demographic changes associated with the "bubble of upcoming retirees" with disposable income and available time should be capitalized on. We must embark upon a path of communication which reaches that potential audience (i.e., PUBLIC EDUCATION). The challenge is identifying the media which can reach these individuals. I would encourage your creative thinking/recommendations as to the means to accomplish this (as well as your willingness to revitalize/reconstitute the Public Education Committee).
I am committed to implementing "better management of our governing structure." A more structured organization will energize/better focus the volunteers who make the ARS function - we are an organization of volunteers with a minimum of paid staff. Changes in how we make the organization viable are needed and are welcomed.
The coming two years of my term will be challenging and rewarding as we expand our activities to areas which have not been "bastions of the rhododendrons domain." I am looking forward to the regional meeting in Mid-West North America and convention in Oklahoma! Likewise, the opportunity to experience the European/Asian regions of our species cultivation can certainly broaden our perspectives and give us opportunities to cultivate/experience other successes/cultures. We need to take advantage of these venues.
Thank you for affording me the opportunity to serve you as President. Ann and I will do our best to perform in a manner which warrants your trust and ensures the continued vitality of our organization.