From The President
As we "hunker down" for the second storm of the season (not totally sure which season this is), the leaves have left the trees, the soil is comfortably moist and the generator is in transit somewhere! But, those events will be handled in due course.
The fall has seen successful completion of both the Western Regional (244 registrants and an outstanding stable of speakers) and the Eastern Regional (100 registrants and outstanding speakers as well as tour of the magnificent Holden Arboretum).
Your Board members spent a full day in Cleveland dealing with business affairs including the committee activities being conducted on behalf of the ARS. Replacement of a Membership Chairman is underway under the guidance of Don Smart, Western VP, and we have identification of new Policies and Bylaws committee members underway as well.
Certainly one of the highlights of the gathering was the demonstration by Wing Fong of the Program Committee's activities in generating the DVDs for use in chapter meetings as well as for the use of chapters for public education for other groups (including use of them during truss shows for "public enticement/education"). The Society owes Wing and his committee a major vote of thanks for the effort involved in getting this endeavor underway and continuing to develop other programs of interest as well as enhancement of the DVDs. Contact Wing for copies of these programs as previously outlined in the Journal.
On the financial side, we adopted the budget prepared by Ted Stecki. Even though we were not able to initially achieve a zero balance, it appears there are areas which will have to be scrutinized as the year progresses to achieve this desired result. We have to continue to identify ways to conduct the business of the ARS at a reduced dollar expenditure rate. Certainly one area which has not kept pace recently is that of Donations and Bequests. These are items which have been most beneficial in past years to help the income side of the equation without further dues increases. When there are opportunities for contact by members to encourage/generate donations to ARS, they are gratefully acknowledged and appreciated.
The Board expressed an "increased comfort level" regarding the Seed Exchange Committee's finances with particular thanks to Werner Brack and our accountant. The SE budget was adopted as an integrated part of the budget for the first time (I think ever) as required by the Policy of the Board. Interest in the seed supply, most notably from our overseas members, remains high and is a valued membership benefit to members.
The spring 2008 Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma, promises to be a most entertaining gathering with a significant effort being made for entertaining, as well as educating, attendees. We are hopeful there will be a good representation to "dispel the outmoded perception of what Oklahoma is/isn't." Len Miller and his committee have worked hard for the planning, and the promise of available plant materials (including shipping arrangements) should be of value to attendees.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all and here's hoping the weather cooperates with both us and our plants!