The ACS board of directors went to Tampa, Florida last weekend, for their annual winter meeting. The ACS board meets twice a year; once on the day before the National Meeting and once in early February. Tampa was selected a few years ago for its mild weather (less likely to experience weather mishaps) and our ability to secure reasonable hotel and meeting room rates.
While much of the agenda was regular Society business, such as approving minutes and reviewing and approving budgets, the board also welcomed a new Director, Neil Fusillo from the Southeast Region. Neil, it appears, is another Tom Cox convert, and spreads the conifer gospel with particular zeal and passion! Neal lives outside of Atlanta and works both in a technology company and as a TV actor. He was warmly welcomed by the board, where his business experience and acumen will be assets. Who knows, maybe he will also get a chance to use his acting talents?
The board also approved a potentially exciting new opportunity for our members: reciprocity with the American Horticulture Society. Suggested by Steve Courtney, the ACS National Office Manager, this agreement is of nominal cost to the ACS and allows our members to share in some of the benefits of AHS membership. It also means that the AHS will link from their website to ours, potentially increasing our visibility.
There was also spirited discussion about possible enhancements to the Conifer Quarterly, updates on the upcoming National Meeting (and dates finalized for 2016 in Newark, Ohio, June 23-25 and 2017 in Syracuse NY, August 17-19) and the formation of an investment committee, headed by Anton Klemens. The board is still seeking nominations for the Chub Harper Award, so if you know who you think deserves this honor, please send your nomination to board secretary Kathleen Pottratz. We’re also looking to form a group of about a dozen members from all regions to stir up some activity on our website forums, which have been fairly inactive. If you’re interested in joining this group, please advise me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ACS board meetings are open for observation to all members, and your regional President and Director are happy to both give you a recap of the meetings and/or take any concerns or suggestions that you may have to the board. If you don’t like something, can think of something that we can be doing better or have an idea for something new, don’t be silent, talk to your regional officers. Don’t pine for a better Society, help spruce it up!