President's Message


This summer has been an active one in the American Hosta Society. Each of your new board and continuing members has been busily working upon their respective ongoing responsibilities as well as several exciting initiatives. 

Marcia Sully, Recording Secretary, New York, transitioned from an interim position into her first full term. Minutes and reports from the June board and business meeting were posted in the members section of the AHS website near the end of July (To view the minutes and reports, click HERE). The fall board meeting was held in mid-October. Be sure to check the same location on the website for greater detail than what I share within the scope of this publication. We hope you will be as excited as what we are in our service to your society. 

Two individuals, Mary Bardens, Newsletter Coordinator, and Judy Burns, Judges Records and Classification Chair, have moved on to pursue other demands of their time. Local newsletter editors and judges alike have benefitted from both individual’s diligent work that has been conducted behind the scenes for years. A hearty thanks goes out to both for their years of service. 

Mary Arnberg, Massachusetts, moves into the role of Newsletter Coordinator. 

Additionally, three individuals join the efforts within the area of Judges and Exhibitions. Donna Priester, Tennessee, accepted the role of Judges Records Chair. Kim Larsen, Minnesota, will chair the Classification List. Kathie Sisson, Connecticut, rejoins the service ranks as Judges’ Training Chair; her experience in training is unsurpassed and will undoubtedly maintain the high standard of judges’ expertise. 

The Genus Hosta group adds one new individual and is joined by a position from the Members Services area to facilitate communications during a new project. Roger Smith, Maryland, joins us as Education Chair. Our Public Relations Coordinator, Jeff Miller, Wisconsin, moves to this team. All are focusing upon information about hosta-related items to be made available upon the website and elsewhere. 

The society hit the jackpot within a single family from Michigan. Our VP Awards and Honors is joined by Libby Greanya as Awards Sponsorship Chair, a new position aimed at maintaining and finding sponsorship of current and future awards. Mike Greanya will be working with our Membership Secretary in another new role of Volunteer Coordinator. Look for the survey developed by Mike aimed at enhancing the number and quality of programs and services available to our society though volunteerism. Click HERE  to access the new survey. 

Members Services has seen change and additions as well. Mary Arnberg has already been mentioned. Display Gardens has been divided into two positions. Phyllis Weidman, Missouri, has taken the board position of AHS Display Garden Chair focusing upon public gardens. Barbara Jones, Massachusetts, rejoins the board as Members’ Gardens Chair aiming to maintain and expand upon the listing of gardens open to our traveling membership. Joy Collura, Wisconsin, has stepped into the new role of Web Resources that focuses upon maintaining updates to time sensitive data upon the website and the speakers list, updating and expanding this list as a service to our local societies. 

The Regional Directors group has witnessed change. The Midwest Regional Director, Sally Stewart, has moved on to different pursuits. A thank you is extended to Sally for her service and a welcome to Pat Gwidt, Wisconsin. Marcia Sully steps into the role of director for the Great Lakes Region. 

Judy Feltman, Alabama, our Treasurer, has been working tirelessly with the transition between treasurers. She has initiated the required audit. 

The Executive VP continues to work diligently with next year’s convention planners and has her focus set upon the following years. Chuck Zdeb, Georgia, has accepted the role of Merchandising Chair contributing his expertise with marketing garnered from years of experience with Target Corporation. 

The area of Publications is not to be left out of the news. Gerry Meyer, Minnesota, is our new eNewsletter Editor, taking over for Reldon Ramsey, Iowa, who built the eNewsletter into what it is now after its initial stages. However, Reldon’s service is not complete. Reldon was appointed to the position of Online Journal Editor as of the October 12th board meeting. The Online Journal is on track to go live on its annual launch date of Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 2013. 

While on the topic of publications, great efforts have been and continue to be made to keep you, the membership informed of news. Check out the society eNewsletter if you have not done so yet. Simply go to the website page linked off of the homepage or click HERE. A button labeled Newsletter Archive is located on the top third of the page for you to access previous issues. Go to the bottom of the page and sign up if you have not done so already. Signing up is simple and quick. You can encourage friends whether they are members or not; perhaps they will join us! Be sure to check your spam or junk mail boxes if you sign up and have not been receiving the eNewsletter; an important tip is that some service provider’s spam filters direct messages sent to that folder when the message is sent with several people listed in the address bar of the email. This newsletter will help keep members across the country and around the globe informed. 

The overwhelmingly gracious acceptance of invitations to accept appointments from across the country has been exciting and foretells of positive things to come in the ensuing months. I encourage all members to look for postings of both the reports and minutes from this fall’s board meeting upon the AHS website near the time of the Online Journal going live. Details of progress upon specific projects and initiatives are anticipated within those resources. 

In service,

Don Dean, AHS President


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