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Re: OT: NEEDS Breathing New Life Into An Old Club

In a message dated 1/23/05 10:33:40 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
Oneofcultivars@aol.com writes:

<< To this end, adopting the AIS organization or attitudes as a model in 
 either rules or actions is counter productive and should be avoided. >>

Mr. Burleson, you have written a long letter, obviously heartfelt and the 
product of considerable cogitation. I do not intend personally to respond to many 
of your ideas, other than to say that I do not concurr with some of your 
analysis and several of your statements are, I believe, factually inaccurate. I 
will say this, however, because I personally believe it is the single most 
important thing to be remembered in the context of this conversation: 

First, AIS consists of nothing but its members, there is no We and They, for 
better or worse, there is only Us. 

Second, AIS as an international organization, and and those local groups 
which have embraced its mission via Affiliation, are defined by charter as devoted 
to education and conservation. As such, their work, their resources, and 
their services as you term them, are supposed to be directed OUTWARDS toward the 
public at all times, and not solely inward toward the members. This is the 
difference between a private recreational club, and an educational organization.

Registration to keep nomenclature straight, establishing firm rules that 
ensure the best and most uniform Judging practices and most confidence-inspiring 
Awards, stern rules for public Shows, the whole range of activity, is to make 
available to the PUBLIC the best information, reflective of the best wisdom and 
the highest standards that the Society can muster, and exhibit to them the 
best Irises, well grown and shown to advantage.

Any group's strength arises from carrying forth its mission, and the mission 
of AIS involves informed, committed, persistent, creative, and cheerful 
outreach. Accordingly, the real question to ask about prospective members, is what 
can the local group do for them, not what can they be persuaded to do for the 
local group.  A group whose focus is largely inwards, which is predominantly 
concerned with what it is getting from other members, including those working 
for the group at the national level, is probably neglecting the true source of 
its strength, and its duty.


Anner Whitehead
Richmond VA USA

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