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The AHS -- should you join?

Joe (and anyone else who has the question, "Should I join the AHS?"),

I found your post very elucidative.  One thing for sure, in order to
build anything that is mostly privately funded--a new shopping mall, a
skyscraper, an excellent customer base, it takes sales people.  I was
recently on the phone with an attorney who asked me, "Are you a
salesperson?".  I said, "Well, by nature, yes", to which he said, "I
thought so.  You're not listening to me".  Lawyers like to be rude that
way.  I hung up on him about a minute later.  He was being a jerk.

What marketing people are trained to do is take any negative and turn it
into a positive.  To create a reality from what other people can only
faintly glimpse as a vision.  The statement that Kevin made I believe was
said under "duress" to use a legal term.  He was not in his normal frame
of mind.  Of course he could tell me I'll all wet and to quit covering
for him because he doesn't need it and that he really meant to be that
mean, but that he may find time to do only after the Memorial service for
Gene Summers.  And only if he gives a rip.

Marketing people approach life differently.  Every customer is to be
treasured, and every AHS member is to be considered an asset to the
group--and yes, even the cranky ones.  Why?  Because we all love Hostas.
We're in this for the Hostas at first, but we'll stay in it because of
the people...

The problem with any organization that becomes stagnate is mostly when
people have lost, or cannot see, the vision clearly.  That is what
happened to me in my computer business after the Y2K thing.  I got burnt
out and lost my vision for that company (after 14 years of building).
For about a year, I tried to get it back but it was to no avail.  Most
everything I saw about the Hosta business looked good and most everything
I remembered about the computer systems business looked bad.

What I'm saying is that the vision of the AHS may not be clear on how to
attract and retain members, but I can assure you that the small
investment is worth every penny. It certainly is for me.   Not because
everyone is great to me all of the time and that somehow my life has
miraculously become totally fulfilling.  That would be preposterous.
What has occurred, however, is that I know that I am contributing to the
cause that supports Hosta from the BIG picture point of view.  No other
(Hosta) group that I could belong to has this same mission.  While it may
be flawed, and we can catch people having a grouchy day, the main value
is to be a contributing member to a cause that can only be accomplished
by a very LARGE body of supporters.  The two biggest benefits of the
national association are the convention and the AHS Journal.  No other
groups could pull this off because there are just not enough members (I'm
speaking of the Hosta societies).

That said, it's time for you to part company with those dollars.  $25.00
is a pittance for the benefit of "belonging" with a great group of people
like us.  And, you receive a wonderful personal copy of the AHS Journal
to boot.  I don't know if there is a nonmember fee to go to the
convention, but if it is members only that can go on the tour bus, then
you'll really want to sign up for sure.  Other than skiing, touring AHS
National Convention HOSTA gardens is the most fun you can have with your
clothes on.  And to get to be part of that, you've got to pay your dues.
(I could be wrong, but IMO that is how it should be, UNLESS nonmembers
pay an extra fee).

I wish someone had hounded me to join years ago.  I kick myself daily for
not having become involved with the local, the regional, and the national
groups a long time ago.

And Joe, you won't believe how much nicer we all are in person.  Heck,
even Kevin is tolerable. 8-)).  People that talk like enemies will be
hugging and smooching.  Come to Raleigh and see for yourself... People
are much nicer in person than they are on the Internet.  And if you don't
join, how will we ever get to meet you?

One last problem though, I talk just as much in person as I do via email,
if not more.  I'll want to talk your head off about allotetraploids,
autotetraploids, unreduced gametes, and whatever else you are willing to
share... Hopefully by then I might know something that you don't and the
conversation could prove to be mutually beneficial!

Hosta la Vista.  Send in that 25 bucks!!!  Just DO IT!

Andrew Lietzow
http://dev.hostahaven.com/discus -- where HOSTAS rule!!!

halinar@open.org wrote:

> Kevin:
> >In my opinion, if you don't like it leave the society!
> Now, that sure is a nice attitude to project for a society that wants
> to increase membership, or are the higher ups of the hosta society
> only interested in themselves?
> As someone who is not currently a hosta society member, your statement
> just about guarantees that I won't become a hosta society member.  All
> of my needs relating to hostas can pretty much be fulfilled by being a
> member of this robin.  I've meet a lot of nice people and gained a lot
> of valuable insight into hostas by being on this robin that I would
> never have achieved by being a hosta society member and only getting
> the Journal.  If the hosta society continues to be controlled by
> people like yourself, then I find it difficult how you are ever going
> to increase AHS membership.
> Joe Halinar
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