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Re: [aroid-l] I know what is it all about

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] I know what is it all about
  • From: Ken Mosher <ken@spatulacity.com>
  • Date: Tue, 10 Sep 2013 15:52:23 -0400

Zach and Albert and fellow members,

I probably can't make the IAS show that's happening in 2 weeks but if I did attend I'd make sure to voice my confidence in the board as publicly as possible.  I agree that Greg sounded confrontational; maybe we were wrong about that.  Being involved in several all-volunteer organizations I know how hard it can be to get all the work done that needs to be done.  And the most difficult problem is always how to address dwindling membership and how to do outreach effectively.

I don't have any clever ideas with regard to growing the membership nor could I take my own advice of putting myself in charge of executing it instead of demanding that another put-upon volunteer do it.

I'll just close by saying that between aroid-l, the yearly IAS conference, the well produced, well edited and content-rich newsletter, the content-rich and technically impressive aroid.org and Aroidiana that I see a vibrant and healthy horticultural society.  It's triply impressive that these things are accomplished with an international board.  It's hard enough keeping the Connecticut Cactus & Succulent Society going strong with just one small state to cover. (But I'll brag that we have one of the best statewide C&S clubs and that we frequently get feedback that we're lots of fun and very welcoming to visitors and new members. I've heard that many hort clubs, especially bonsai and orchid societies, can be cliquey to the point of hostility.)

And the 4 IAS conferences that I attended in that past proved that the IAS is also a friendly, welcoming group.  Every person was approachable and eager to help and I quickly made several new friends that I maintain contact with.  We're also very lucky to have world-renowned aroiders that contribute heavily to the newsletter, Aroidiana and even aroid-l.  Not many clubs can boast that.  I'd fawn over Lord P and Allan Galloway except that I wouldn't want to shortchange the non-phallus obsessed experts out there that contribute at least as much.

Anyone that's super-frustrated or doesn't like the direction the IAS is going in should run for a seat on the board or become very active in another way.  If you can't take an active part in finding the solution to an identified problem and then help implement the solution then you should refrain from venting - at least in a public forum.

-Ken


On Mon, Sep 9, 2013 at 12:29 AM, Zach DuFran <zdufran@gmail.com> wrote:
Greg-

I am sorry you are frustrated. You are welcome to ask questions. It is often difficult to infer tone from emails and both of your messages have sounded confrontational and accusatory to me, and apparently most others who responded. I will take your word that your messages are not meant that way. 

You said that no one mentioned an alternative forum for discussing society matters. I actually mentioned in my first response that you are welcome to contact any of the active board members with your concerns. As you noted in your message, these are the persons who are able to address your concerns. While it is okay to write here, this mailing list was established to discuss aroids and is not even specific to the IAS.

I will reiterate that the board functions and communicates through email throughout the year. I don't know why you feel that the board is not communicating and I don't understand your comment: "It did disturb me to watch the communications between Board members trying to find out what was happening at the Show and Sale."

Concerning your comment about not putting plans into action, are there plans you are aware of that have not been implemented?

Active board members are listed on the website and you are welcome to email any of us at any time. You are especially welcome to send ideas or constructive feedback. 

Zach DuFran 


On Sep 8, 2013, at 9:09 PM, "Greg Ruckert" <greg@alpacamanagement.com> wrote:

Firstly I would like to thank all who have replied to my original email, both through this forum and directly. It is now a week since I received my last reply so I assume all have had their say.
The replies have raised more questions that they have answered. 
 
Firstly, to those that thought I wrote in anger, you have misjudged me. I wrote in frustration at not being able to find answers to my questions, all of which I felt were reasonable for an interested member to ask. I was finally motivated to ask my questions when I noticed that one of our Board members is not a financial member and nobody seems to have noticed.
 
To those that felt this is not the appropriate place to discuss issues relating to the Society, I notice nobody suggested an alternative forum. There is so little communication about Society issues and it is sad that some thought it should be shut down.
 
I thank Zach for his response though it did raise more issues and confirm some of my concerns. I recognise and appreciate the work done by volunteers and am aware that the IAS would not survive without them.
 
I have seen so many (including international) plant societies fail and I do not want to see that happen to the IAS.  It has certainly shrunk from what it once was.
As I see it, there are a number of reasons why societies dimish and fail, especially ones that do not have regular meetings.
 
The first of these is a lack of communication.  To the ordinary member there is little communication between the Board members. It did disturb me to watch the communications between Board members trying to find out what was happening at the Show and Sale. Communication from the Board to the ordinary members also appears to be almost nonexistent.  One hopes that this is not because there is nothing to tell us. I also see little evidence of communication between the Society and the general public.
 
The second issue is a lack of planning. If you don't plan to do anything then nothing will happen and you end up responding to issues rather than driving them.
The society does not appear to have any plans for the future and, from a management perspective, that is a major concern.
 
The third issue is the failure to put plans into action, but without plans then little will happen.
 
These are not matters that can be dealt with by the members, they are the domain of the Board.
 
I hope that the new Board might look at some of these issues to help drive a bright and growing future for the IAS.
 
Greg Ruckert
Nairne,
South Australia

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