JARS v64n3 - From The President

From The President
Ted Stecki
Vorhees, New Jersey

Ted Stecki
Ted Stecki

Being your President for the past year has been challenging. I have faced a number of issues. Our biggest issue is membership. We continue to see our membership drop. We now have approximately 3400 members in 2010. A decrease of 2,000 members since the year 2000. Many chapters have their own way of attracting new members and retaining them. The key to getting new members to renew their membership is to have the person of the chapter who is in charge of membership or the officers, make a telephone call to them and find out if they have problems with growing, culture, obtaining plants, etc. We, as many other horticultural societies, are losing members because of many reasons. The main one being: getting new members that have time for gardening. We are competing with soccer, baseball and all sport activities that have young families devoting their free time to their children.

In May, District 7 hosted the annual meeting and convention. The facility, tours and speakers were excellent. The team worked hard to make this convention a success. Congratulations to all. At the annual meeting, four of our members received society medals. Don Voss received the Gold, and Dr. Paul Anderson, Werner Brack and Chris Callard each received the Silver. The Honors Committee had hard choices to make in selecting the recipients this year, but their choices were excellent. Congratulations to all.

Many of the chapters have had spring plant sales to stimulate their financial structure and provide a source for their members to obtain unique plants that are not available in local nurseries or garden centers. Also many chapters have started a P4 Members program which provides members with propagating and cultivating skills. Many new members have joined the society for this reason.

Many chapters are having picnics, which enable new chapter members to ask questions and get to know the more senior members.

Overall, the society is making excellent progress.