From The President
What a spring!! As I sit in "the crow's nest" (third story vantage spot), the plethora of color by the 200+ rhodies is one to be so appreciative of. Some of the ones which should have been long gone are still in color and some which should have been in bloom are still only in bud - global warming, cooling or just Mother Nature showing us who is still in charge?!
We extend our sincere condolences to Mary Reiley and her family on the untimely death of our revered past president and Gold Medalist Ed Reiley. He will be sorely missed in the activities of the Society and the horticultural world in general. For the small group who attended the Tulsa convention, we can tell you "you missed a most entertaining event including some wonderful scenery/gardens/museums and being treated to cultural variety" which sent us home with a totally different concept of OKLAHOMA! THANK YOU LEN MILLER, KEN JOHANSSON AND THE OZARK CHAPTER MEMBERS FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK FOR US!! (also Bruce and Marianne Feller as registrars). Unfortunately, the lack of attendance has caused the first financial deficit in my memory for which the ARS has a liability - magnitude of which is still being calculated. That situation causes the Society to reassess how the planning and execution of these events occurs. Your BOD rightfully enacted a requirement that "should a sponsor expect the Society to cover any loss in the future, the financial planning of the event must have prior approval from the Board." The plans for 2009 meetings already in place are exempted but the requirement is in place for 2010 and on.
After dutifully and with so many accolades, our Journal ARS editor has decided that "it is time to move into another phase of her life" and therefore has submitted her resignation effective following publication of the winter issue. We reluctantly accept this decision and thank Sonja for her outstanding service to ARS as well as health and happiness for her future. She has written, and the Editorial Committee has concurred in, a comprehensive desk procedure/statement of work which will be used for soliciting an Expression of Interest/Proposal for the successor editor. Sonja has expressed an interest in continuing the computer prepress work if that is an agreeable split of the position. This split may cause us to explore a different process for publishing the Journal.
Elsewhere in this issue, the Gold and Silver medals awarded in Tulsa will be enumerated and we extend our congratulations to those recipients for their outstanding service to the ARS. Thanks also to Dee Daneri and her committee for the nomination and award process which brought these awardees forward.
The September Western Regional planning is moving forward in exemplary form - in the tradition of the previous successful event hosted by the Hawaii Chapter. It should be an expanding forum for the vireya group of our genus! With the global warming, almost all areas should be able to grow these! Even if that event is not real, vireyas should be marketed as competitors to orchid growing!
A few concluding thoughts/ideas as it relates to Society meetings:
1. They should be more encompassing than an individual chapter - District-wide - which would give "ownership/execution" of the event to the broader membership base.
2. The hotel guarantee of "room nights" - each registrant to the meeting does not translate to a room night! Couples comprise probably one-half of our attendees.
3. Plant sale/silent auction revenues should be used as "contingencies"/potential surpluses and not planned to cover basic meeting expenses.
Irrespective of weather which "is not typical this year," I do hope you are still convinced that RHODODENDRONS ARE WORTHY OF OUR DEDICATION!
See you in Hawaii come September.