This issue of The Cut Flower Quarterly has been woefully neglected. It was begun in the weeks before the National Conference, when bits and pieces of it were pulled together, ignored during the final preparation for Long Island, and then hastily resurrected during the wrap-ups of the Conference when we returned. Any errors should be chalked up to sleep deprivation.
The good thing about publishing a magazine in 2009 is that once the final proof is approved, pdfs of the pages can immediately be posted online for members to read as immediately. No need to wait for the printer to produce it, or the postal service to deliver it. We wish we could afford the snappy online programs which present the image as an actual magazine, one for which you turn the page when you’ve read it, and hear a nifty page-turning sound effect when you do. For now, those processes are out of our budget. We’ll stick with the pdfs.
We know that many of you are still using dial-up connections, or must visit the public library to access your server. But the fact is that online communication is overtaking print publications on all fronts, and the ASCFG is doing all it can do adapt, while still serving members who may seem not able to embrace all things electronic. Those members not subscribed to the Bulletin Board are sorely lacking a huge connection to other growers, and an immense collection of archived information. If we lose a member to non-renewal, I frequently find that the person never once looked at the Bulletin Board, or logged on to the Members Only site. No wonder he didn’t feel he was getting the most from his membership!
John Friel writes an excellent piece on social networking in the October issue of GreenProfit. Check it out on page 38. Or online, of course.
Some of the Association’s best communicators are leaving the ASCFG Board at the end of this year. Brenda Smith has been the West Regional Director for six years, two heroic consecutive terms serving a huge area, including California, one of the most important flower-producing regions of the country. Brenda worked tirelessly to unite her members, especially by chairing the 2006 National Conference in San Jose, and establishing a cut flower tour day at the California Spring Pack Trials. I envision more members making this trip every year, and thank Brenda for her commitment. Jeriann Sabin represented the Northwest Region for three years, and brought great character and liveliness to the Board meeting. We’ll owe her forever for her beautiful artwork. Joan Thorndike has quietly and graciously served as ASCFG Vice-president; with her work as Nominations chair resulting in a quality Board of Directors for next year.
What to say about Dave Dowling? If you didn’t know, Dave has been the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, the chair of the 2005 National Conference, and the ASCFG President for the last four years. He’s probably the best ambassador for the organization, bringing in more than 30 new members, hosting and speaking at countless meetings, and perpetually sharing his own growing and marketing experiences. He has made my job easier, more enjoyable and I am glad to know that he’ll stay in touch with his nearly daily emails.
To honor Dave’s service to the ASCFG, the Board unanimously decided to rename the ASCFG student scholarship the Dave Dowling ASCFG Scholarship. Dave’s commitment to bringing young people and students into the cut flower industry will be publicly commemorated every year. No one could deserve it more.
As always, as we say good-bye to one terrific group of Board members, we welcome the chance to work with another. Incoming President Vicki Stamback, Vice-president Leah Cook, West Regional Director Christof Bernau and Northwest Regional Director Diane Szukovathy will undoubtedly carry on the excellent work their predecessors have begun. I’m looking forward to it.