JARS v63n4 - From The President

From The President
Ted Stecki
Voorhees, New Jersey

Ted Stecki
Ted Stecki

Being president of the society since May has been challenging. I have made changes to the Seed Exchange Committee, with Norm Beaudry replacing John Nicolella as chair. Fred Whitney has agreed to become chair of the Policies and By-Laws Committee. Unfortunately, Shirley Rock has just advised me that she will be resigning as Membership Committee chair - this is an important position that also needs to be filled ASAP. Two other committee chairs are also vacant, and Don Smart, the Western VP, is working hard to get chairs for the Resource Development, Test Garden and the Membership Committees. If you have interest in becoming involved in any of these committees, please contact Don Smart or me.

Many thanks to June Walsh for being the ARS secretary since April 2005. Kath Collier has volunteered to take over that demanding job, and many thanks to Kath for her support.

Karel Bernady, chair of the Eastern Regional Convention, 22-25 October, tells me that all is well and his team from all the chapters in District 8 is looking forward to having a successful regional convention. The theme is "Rhododendrons in Penn's Woods." The convention will honor hybridizers in Pennsylvania and excellent presentations are planned. Also Bruce Feller, Eastern VP, tells me that all is moving smoothly for the Annual Convention being hosted by District 7 in May, 2010, in Long Island, NY.

At the BOD's meeting in Everett, WA, in April, officers and directors voted to have a small dues increase. Details of this increase are in a separate write up in this issue of the journal. Increasing dues has become necessary to cover rising costs of printing the journal, postage and declining membership. No fees/salary increases were given to the Executive Director, Editor or Assistant Editor. Bill Mangels, our treasurer, noted that income from investments are down because the market is down, and income from both dues and investments are a significant part of our annual budget.

Our biggest challenge for the future will be to maintain our membership. In 2000, we had 5400 members and in 2009 we have 3800 members. Shirley Rock, our past Membership chair, did an excellent job of talking to chapter presidents about how they should keep chapter membership stable. She put a CD together which was given to chapter presidents explaining how chapters could/should maintain membership.

To all members, please feel free to contact me on what the society should be doing to improve and on issues that you feel should be addressed.