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(June 2023)

Table of Contents

1.0 Definition of Policies
      1.1  Scope
      1.2  Terminology
      1.3  Procedure for Update
      2.0  Fiscal & Membership Years and Dues

2.1  Fiscal & Membership Years
      2.2  Membership Classes, Dues & Benefits
      3.0  Organization
      3.1  Chapters
      3.2  Districts and Regions

4.0  The Officers
      4.1  Officers’ Expenses
      4.2  The Officers as a Group
      4.3  The President
      4.4  The Regional Vice-Presidents
      4.5  The Treasurer
      4.6  The Secretary

5.0  The Board of Directors as a Whole
      5.1  Membership
      5.2  The Immediate Past President
      5.3  Meetings
      5.4  Quorum
      5.5  Rules of Meetings
      5.6  Authorizes Employment
      5.7  Written Record Re: Compensated Individuals
      5.8 (reserved)

6.0 The Elected Directors and Alternates
      6.1  The District Directors and Alternates
      6.2  The Director at Large and Alternate

7.0  Elections
      7.1  Limit on Number of Terms of Office
      7.2  Duration and Commencement of Terms
      7.3  Electors
      7.4  The Election Process

8.0  Office Administrator, Editor JARS and Associate Editor JARS
      8.1  Engage Contractors
      8.2  Office Administrator
      8.3  The Editor and Associate Editor, JARS
      8.4  Vacancies in Compensated Positions

9.0  Committees of the Society
      9.1  Executive Committee
      9.2  Nominating Committee
      9.4  Bylaws and Policies Committee
      9.5  Plant Awards Committee
      9.7  Editorial Committee
      9.8  Awards and Honors Committee
      9.10  Registrar of Plant Names
      9.11  Research Committee
      9.12  Seed Exchange Committee
      9.13  Endowment Fund Committee
      9.16  Archives Committee
      9.17  Planned Giving Committee
      9.18  Digital Publications Committee
      9.20  Test and Display Gardens Committee
      9.22  Membership and Chapter Development Committee
      9.23  Electronic Newsletter Committee
      9.24  Electronic Media Committee

10.0  Meetings
      10.5  Special Meetings
      10.6  Board of Directors’ Meetings

11.0  The Endowment Fund

12.0  Annual Audit or Review

13.0  Start-up Fund

14.0  Advertisement

15.0  Copyright Policy



1.1  SCOPE
This publication of the Policies of the Board covers in detail those items not specifically spelled out in the Bylaws. These policies have been put into effect by specific board action or traditionally adhered to by mutual consent and practice.

The term "Board of Directors" used herein refers to the officers, elected District Directors, the Director-at-Large and the immediate Past President of The American Rhododendron Society. (Bylaws: Article VI, Section B).


 1.3.1  All approved motions of the Board that affect the Policies of the Board shall be effective at the time of approval or as specified in the motion. All Policies of the Board shall be in conformance to, and not in contravention of, the Statutes of the State of Oregon governing the conduct of not-for-profit corporations chartered by said State, the articles of incorporation of such corporations, or the constitution or bylaws of said corporations, and in specific conformance with exempt organizations described in Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.

 1.3.2  Up-to-date copies of the Bylaws and Policies of the Board shall be maintained in the respective files of the Treasurer and the Office Administrator of the Society. A list of revisions shall be sent by the Office Administrator to each chapter President, District Director and alternate each year following the Society’s Spring meeting.



 2.1.1  The fiscal year of the Society shall begin on September 1 of each year and shall end on August 31 of the following year.

 2.1.2  Dues for all classes of membership in the Society shall be for a calendar year period beginning January of each year and extending to the next following December 31 for the year for which the dues are paid.

 2.1.3   All membership dues are to be paid on the basis of the annual period so stated and are due and payable on or before the 15th day of November immediately preceding the year for which the membership is issued or renewed.

 2.1.4  Members who renew at the ANNUAL rate received after November 15 of each year will not receive the January issue of Journal ARS. Additionally, members who renew with dues payments received after March 1 will not receive the April issue of Journal ARS. Members who wish to receive these issues may obtain them, if available, from the Associate Editor at the current price. COMMERCIAL, SUSTAINING, AND SPONSORING members receive all four issues of Journal ARS regardless of the date of renewal.

 2.1.5  New members joining after July 8 for the next membership year shall be included in the bulk mailing of the Fall Journal ARS.


 2.2.1 The Board of Directors shall annually review the dues for all classes of membership. Any board member wishing to initiate a change in the dues structure should submit the same to the Budget and Finance Committee at least 90 days prior to the board meeting at which it may be considered.

 2.2.2  Dues may be deductible for U.S. Internal Revenue Service income tax purposes as defined in applicable provisions of the I.R.S. code. JARS subscription is "value received" and member should consult own tax advisor.

 2.2.3  Membership in the ANNUAL (REGULAR), COMMERCIAL, or LIFE class entitles the holders thereof to votes equal to the names enumerated in the Society’s membership roster in meetings or elections of the Society. SUSTAINING and SPONSORING memberships issued in the names of two persons at the same address, entitle the holders thereof to two votes in meetings or elections of the Society.

 2.2.4  The Policies of the Board will establish the privileges of and annual dues for each of the seven categories of membership created by the Bylaws (Bylaws: Article II, Section B). ANNUAL (REGULAR) Membership


  • One copy of Journal ARS

  • Participation in Seed Exchange

  • Members’ discounts on books

  • Participation in chapter of choice


     Full year $40
     18-Month $40
     15-Month $40

The chapter is to retain or be remitted $10 from the dues for: ANNUAL (REGULAR), COMMERCIAL and LIFE memberships.

Membership applications received directly from areas where there is a chapter or chapters, shall be assigned to the nearest appropriate chapter, unless a chapter is specified in the application or the member wishes to be a non-chapter member. In the case of non-chapter members, the Society retains the full fee.

18-month Membership, available to new members only, joining after April 1 and before July 8. Benefits are same as for an ANNUAL/ (REGULAR), except that 18-month memberships include a bonus summer and fall Journal ARS for the year preceding the membership year.

15-month Membership, available to new members only, joining after July 8 and before October 8. Benefits are same as for an ANNUAL/(REGULAR), except 15-month memberships include only a bonus fall Journal ARS for the year preceding the membership year. COMMERCIAL or CORPORATE Membership

Benefits: Same as ANNUAL (REGULAR) Membership, plus, Annual listing in Journal ARS, Growers and Nurserymen receive free full-page ad at rhododendron.org
Discount (5 percent) from current rates for advertising in Journal ARS

Dues: $90 annually; chapter portion same as for ANNUAL/(REGULAR) Membership. SUSTAINING Membership

Benefits: Same as ANNUAL (REGULAR) Membership.

Dues: $75 annually; chapter portion $12 SPONSORING Membership

Benefits: Same as ANNUAL/(REGULAR) Membership.
Members receive an annual special gift as an expression of appreciation for this tier of donation.

Dues: $150 annually; chapter portion $14 LIFE Membership

Benefits: Same as ANNUAL (REGULAR) Membership

Dues: $1000 which will apply to up to two persons in the same household. Each person will be enrolled as a Life Member and the membership will expire at the death of the last person.

LIFE Membership dues shall be placed in a separate fund and invested. To provide income for supporting the cost of life memberships, the following spending formula will be used: 3 percent X the three year final market value of the Life Fund account (as of August 31 of each year). This amount (less the $10 chapter portion) shall annually be transferred to the General Fund. For LIFE Memberships received after July 1, 1984, the member's chapter shall annually be credited an amount equal to the chapter's portion of a one-year ANNUAL/(REGULAR) Membership. When a LIFE member dies, the principal of that membership shall remain in the Life Membership Fund. HONORARY Membership

Benefits: Same as ANNUAL/(REGULAR) Membership

Dues: None

HONORARY Membership may be granted to any individual deemed qualified by a majority of the Board of Directors of the Society, for the life of the grantee, or until such time as the membership shall be terminated for reasons considered sufficient by a two-thirds vote of the Board. The Board may continue Society membership for the spouse of a deceased honorary member by waiving further payment of dues by said spouse. Such waiver does not confer the status of honorary member on the surviving spouse. HONORARY Membership in a chapter may be granted by the governing body of the chapter, provided that the chapter either remits to the Society the LIFE Membership dues, or commits to pay annual dues for the life of the HONORARY Member. ASSOCIATE Membership

Benefits: All benefits accorded by a chapter to its members, but no additional benefits, participation or voting rights in the affairs of the Society.

Dues: Same as chapter portion of ANNUAL/(REGULAR) Membership.

Any chapter member in good standing in the Society may become an ASSOCIATE Member of another chapter of the Society, by payment to the chapter of an amount equal to the chapter portion of ANNUAL/(REGULAR) Membership dues. ASSOCIATE members do not receive additional copies of Society publications. STUDENT Membership (individuals under 25 years of age)

Benefits: All benefits accorded by a chapter to its members, except hard copy of JOURNAL.

Dues: $10 with $5 to chapter



Article III of the Bylaws covers the definition of a chapter of the Society, the method of formation of a chapter, the obligations of chapters and the limitation of chapter powers. The same article also provides for withdrawal of chapter charters in certain specific instances. The following policies with regard to chapters have been adopted by the Board.

3.1.1 Names of Chapters

The Board will approve a name for a proposed chapter which does not conflict with the name of an already existing chapter. Names preferably should be narrowly descriptive or locally geographic in nature.

3.1.2 Consult Existing Chapters

The Office Administrator shall immediately inform the chapter President and secretary if members of an existing chapter desire to form a new chapter. No action will be taken until the comments from the officers of the affected chapter have been received and evaluated by the Board. The affected chapter must transmit any comments to the President of the Society within forty-five days after being notified by the Office Administrator. Decisions of the Board with regard to names of chapters and approval of charters are final and binding.

3.1.3 Limitations on privileges of chapter guests

In accordance with the educational nature of the Society and its stated purposes of encouraging culture and increasing understanding and interest in Rhododendrons and Azaleas, the Board makes the following recommendations to the chapters: All activities of the chapters such as programs, shows, tours, study groups, etc. should be available to members and non-members alike. Chapters may, at their discretion, send meeting notices and other local publications to non- members. When chapters sponsor regional or annual meetings of the Society, such events should be open to members and non members alike, provided that required fees are paid. For the services provided to non-members, the chapter should charge fees that more than provide for the associated costs. Individuals or organizations provided with these services or courtesies are not to be considered chapter or Society members, but may be designated as guests of the chapter, without vote or other privileges of the Society or chapter membership. It is the intention of the Board that the involvement of guests in our activities will motivate and stimulate them to seek full active membership in a chapter of the Society. AFFILIATES a chapter of the Society located in a country other than the United States, may establish such a class of participants for its persons who have no interest in, or use for, the Journal ARS or the Seed Exchange. Those persons may become AFFILIATES of the chapter and are not required to join the Society. They do not receive Journal ARS or the Seed Exchange Booklet. AFFILIATES are not permitted to purchase seed from the exchange unless they contribute seed. AFFILIATES (or non – ARS members by any other name) are not permitted to hold office in the Society or in the local chapter.

3.1.4 Remitting Dues for Members of a Proposed Chapter

Dues to be remitted with the petition for a chapter charter shall be based on the amounts specified for Society chapters in Section 2.2 of the Policies of the Board.  If the charter is denied by the Board, the portion of dues previously retained by the proposed chapter shall be remitted to the Society.

3.1.5 Chapter Newsletter Distribution

The Board of Directors requests that each chapter send their newsletter (or other correspondence relating to chapter activities) to the District Director, the alternate District Director, the regional Vice-Presidents, the Society's President, the Office Administrator, and the Journal ARS editor.

3.1.6 Quoting Society Publications

Chapters are reminded that reprinting articles or excerpts from the Rhododendron and Azalea News requires permission from the author or photographer. Before republication, including placement on web sites, Chapters must confirm with the editor of JARS or R and A News, whichever applies, that the author or photographer has granted permission for such publication. The author's or photographer’s permission must be obtained directly by the chapter wishing to utilize such material in instances where permission is not on file with the editor. All quotations shall credit the originating publication and author or photographer.

3.1.7. Adherence to best practices for nonprofit organizations

The Chapter shall at all times be operated solely and exclusively in accordance with the following principles as adopted by the Society:
1. The Chapter is organized exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes related to the study of rhododendrons and azaleas, their hybridizing propagation, culture, care and development, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations described under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code (or local tax code in the case of non-US chapters).
2. No part of the net income of the Chapter may under any circumstances inure to the benefit of any private individual.
3. The Chapter shall not carry on any propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation.
4. The Chapter shall not participate in or intervene (including the publishing or distributing of statements) in any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office.
5. The Chapter shall not participate in any transactions resulting in a diversion of its income or assets to any officer, employee, member, or contributor.
6. The Chapter shall not conduct or participate in any activity whatsoever which a totally tax-exempt organization is not permitted to carry on under the provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Service laws and regulations then in effect (or those of the appropriate national and regional rules for non-US chapters).

3.1.8. Chapter Dissolution

In the event of the dissolution of a Chapter, undistributed assets shall be distributed, to another ARS chapter, or to another horticulture-related entity in accordance with local laws and regulations.


The Board of Directors has established the following grouping of chapters into districts and regions: (See the APPENDIX for the current listing.)



 4.1.1 For purposes of this section, the officers consist of the President, the Immediate Past President, the Regional Vice Presidents, the Treasurer, the Secretary and the Director at Large.

 4.1.2 Officers are encouraged and expected to attend meetings and other activities of the Society, districts and chapters.  The purpose of such attendance is to glean ideas from members and leaders at all levels regarding the officers' responsibilities, meet potential leaders and communicate at all levels of the Society.  Expenses associated with these activities are considered by the Society to be tax deductible and reimbursable at cost within the limitations of the IRS codes and regulations.  These expenses are as follows: Travel for the activities above, tourist class airfare at cost, or auto mileage up to 2,000 miles round trip at the rate approved by the IRS for charitable contributions of automobile use. Lodging, meals and incidentals for overnight stays at the activity - actual cost for the length of the activity only, but not to exceed the IRS approved rate. Other expenses appropriate to the duties of the officers, such as long-distance telephone calls, postage, copying, etc. are considered reimbursable at actual cost. Documentation for reimbursement must be submitted to the Treasurer in the detail required by the IRS regulations, and within the fiscal year that the expense is incurred.

4.2  THE OFFICERS AS A GROUP (Bylaws: Article V, Sections A & B)

 4.2.1 Are the President, the Regional Vice-Presidents, the Secretary and the Treasurer.

 4.2.2 Their term of office shall commence at adjournment of the annual meeting and continue for two years.

 4.2.3 They may only perform duties and acts permitted by the Oregon Statutes pertaining to corporate officers and directors, and not-for-profit corporations, and the Society's articles of incorporation and its bylaws and policies.

 4.2.4  Removal From Office (Bylaws: Article V Section J) Upon written request of any three (3) members of the Board to the Office Administrator, an action for removal from office shall be brought to the next regular meeting for its deliberation and decision. The Board of Directors may remove any officer at any time, with or without cause. Copies of the written removal requests shall be forwarded to the officer in question at least 30 days prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board to afford the officer an opportunity to speak in his/her own defense or discreetly resign from office without prejudice. For involuntary removal from office, three-quarters of the membership of the Board must vote in favor of the action.

4.3 THE PRESIDENT (Bylaws: Article V, Section C 1)

 4.3.1 Presides at all meetings of the Society, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee.

 4.3.2 May call special meetings of the Board and/or Executive Committee.

 4.3.3 Seeks advice from committee Chairs and consulting officers on committee appointments.

 4.3.4 Receives agenda proposals for board meetings from any member wishing to make same.

 4.3.5 Encourages all committees to have working sessions at the same time or preceding the regular meetings of the Board.

 4.3.6 Nominates two trustees annually by March 13 from the general membership of the Society for terms of three years each to the Rhododendron Research Foundation.  Similarly nominates successors in the event of vacancy as provided for in the Trust Agreement.

 4.3.7 Chooses one member of the Search Committee for compensated members.

 4.3.8 Directs the awards program through the appointment of a Chair and the regional Chairs.

 4.3.9 Appoints the Nominating Committee by January 15 of the year following assumption of office.

 4.3.10 Appoints the registrar of plant names.

 4.3.11 Encourages the enrollment of new members.

 4.3.12 Furthers all of the objectives of the Society.

 4.3.13 Makes him/herself available to chapters and districts seeking his/her leadership or participation in meetings and conferences.

 4.3.14 Presents an annual accounting of the state of the Society to the membership at each annual meeting of the Society.

 4.3.15 Reports to each Board of Directors meeting activity of the Executive Committee in the interim since the preceding board meeting.

4.4 THE REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS (Bylaws: Article V, Section C 3)

 4.4.1 Works closely with the President and the District Directors within his/her region.

 4.4.2 Informs the District Directors of the happenings within his/her region.

 4.4.3 Suggests improvements for the promotion of the Society.

 4.4.4 Coordinates any Society activities that occur in his/her region. In contested elections for Director or alternate in his/her Region, carry out the responsibilities enumerated in POB through

 4.4.5 Meet with the District Directors on a regular basis.

 4.4.6 Help represent district concerns and comments to the Board, Executive Committee and the President.

 4.4.7 Act as liaison for the Society with chapter(s) hosting a regional meeting or convention of the Society.

 4.4.8 Shall give every possible assistance to any district when called upon by the District Director or chapter President within such district.

 4.4.9 Additional Responsibilities of Senior Vice President (Bylaws: Article V, Section C2) Shall perform the duties of the President in his/her absence or if the President is unable/unwilling to perform the duties of office. Shall be the President designate.  When s/he is elected President, the Regional Vice President of an alternate region becomes the Senior Vice President.

4.5 THE TREASURER (Bylaws: Article V, Section C 4)

 4.5.1 Is responsible for the accounting of all monies of the Society. (should be in the Bylaws)

 4.5.2 Records receipts and disbursements in Quickbooks or other accounting software.

 4.5.3 Makes disbursements under the Board's directions. Receives requests for reimbursement of expenses from officers and contractors and honors them in accordance with policies of the Board and budget.

 4.5.4 Signs checks or authorizes electronic fund transfers for all obligations of the Society. Expenditures in excess of $5,000 must have prior approval by either the President or Senior Vice President. Said approval shall be by either postal or email, and retained in the written records of the Treasurer.

 4.5.5 Manages short term monies to maximize the return on current balance. Is Chair of the Long Term Investment Committee, and makes long term investments as determined by the Committee. Long term funds consist of the Endowment Fund, the Life Member Fund, surplus above general funds budgeted within a given fiscal year and any other monies so designated by the Board of Directors.

 4.5.6 Is a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, the Long Range Planning Committee and any other committee of the Society the actions of which might impact the budget.

 4.5.7 Prepares, files and retains the annual report as required by the Internal Revenue Service to maintain the Society's group exemption under Section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS code, and any documentation required by the State of Oregon. In conjunction with the Office Administrator, works with all US based chapters to ascertain that they have submitted their annual reports to the IRS as required for them to continue to be covered under the Society’s 501 (c) 3 umbrella exemption, or individually, as the case may be.

 4.5.8 Files any other reports required by federal, state or local governments.

 4.5.9 Ensures that the Society is adequately covered by proper liability and property insurance.

 4.5.10 Keeps in force in adequate amounts the fidelity bonds specified by the Board for various employees of the Society.

 4.5.11 Assists in the annual audit or review of the Society's financial statements, presents and interprets them to the Board and Journal ARS for their publication.

 4.5.12 Assures that only the income generated by the Endowment Fund of the Society is available for expenditure by the Board, pursuant to POB 12.3.1 and 12.3.2.

 4.5.13 Advises the Board of those steps necessary to assure appropriate accounting controls within the resources of the Society.

 4.5.14 Oversees movement of the investment income from the Endowment Fund to the general fund at the end of each fiscal year.

 4.5.15 Maintains life-membership funds in a separate account, which generates the chapter portion of the annual dues for life members. (POB Sec.

 4.5.17 Makes long term investments in instruments other than bank accounts (POB 9.23.1), as directed by the Long Term Investment Committee.

4.6 THE SECRETARY (Bylaws: Article V, Section C 5)

 4.6.1 Serves on the Executive Committee of the Board. (Bylaws Article VI, Section F)

 4.6.2 Gives notice of Board Meetings to all board members, stating time and place of meetings, not less than 30 days prior to the meeting. (POB 11.3)

 4.6.3 In consultation with the President and the Office Administrator, prepares an agenda for the board meeting and distributes copies to all board members and committee chairs not less than two weeks prior to the meeting and sees to its placement on the office web site.

 4.6.4 Keeps appropriate minutes and a true record of all votes cast at meetings of the Society, of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee.

 4.6.5 Distributes minutes of each Board and Executive Committee meeting to the members of the Board and for placement on the Society office website. The minutes for Society Awards and other matters of executive sessions shall not be placed on the website.

 4.6.6 Deleted by the actions of the Board Sept. 20, 2012

 4.6.7 Deleted by the actions of the Board Sept. 20, 2012

 4.6.8 Receives amendments to the Bylaws proposed by a board member, by majority vote of a chapter, or by petition of 30 members. (Bylaws: Art. XI, Sec. A) Transmits proposed amendments to the Chair of the Bylaws and Policies Committee for presentation and recommendation at the next Board meeting

 4.6.9 Assists the President by advising them of the terms of office for officers and Director-at-Large and alternate Director-at-Large prior to his/her appointing a nominating committee. (POB 4.3.12)

 4.6.10 Receives nominations for officers proposed by majority vote of a membership meeting. Receives nominations for officers proposed by petition of 5% of the members or by 250 members (whichever is greater) by December 31 of the year prior to the election year for officers. (Bylaws: Article VIII, Section D). Transmits nominations to the Chair of the Nominating Committee for action by that Committee.

 4.6.11 All notices and transmittals made or required of the Secretary may be by either mail or electronically.


5.1 MEMBERSHIP - Membership consists of the officers, elected District Directors, the Director-at-Large and the Immediate-Past-President of the Society. (Bylaws: Article VI, Section B)

 5.1.1 In the event neither the Director or alternate from any district is able to attend a Board meeting, the Presidents in such district may, by majority vote, designate an alternate to represent said district at that Board meeting. The chapter Presidents in any district exercising this option must present a letter, signed by at least one of them, certifying this provision has been followed and the designate named. The certification letter must be physically delivered to the Society Board before its meeting commences, and the Board shall, before conducting any other business, review and determine the validity of the designation. If the certification is accepted, the designate shall have the same power, at that meeting only, as the regularly elected Director.

5.2 THE IMMEDIATE-PAST-PRESIDENT - Is a full voting member of the Board. S/he lends her/his talents and experience to the officers and Directors at board meetings, and may serve on committees and be elected to another office by the Board.

5.3 MEETINGS - The Board shall meet at least twice yearly on call of the President or any five Directors. (Bylaws: Article VI, Section D) Written notice of meeting is sent to board members, electronically with verification or by mail, 30 days prior to the meeting by the Secretary. The agenda shall be sent well in advance of the meeting date, two weeks at the minimum. (POB Sec. 11.3.)

5.4 QUORUM – Two-thirds of the Board membership shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. (Bylaws: Article VI, Section E 1)

5.5 RULES OF MEETINGS - All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Robert's Rules of Order. (Bylaws: Article VI, Section E 4)

5.6 AUTHORIZES COMPENSATED INDIVIDUALS - The Board authorizes the engagement, termination, compensation and allowances of all staff and officers.

5.7 WRITTEN RECORD RE COMPENSATED INDIVIDUALS - The Board maintains a written record listing the executive offices to which appointments are made; the qualifications, duties, responsibilities, compensation, allowances, name and date and terms of engagement, and requires bonding of each person expected to handle $1000 or more of funds owned or in trust by the Society.




 6.1.1 Promote the purposes and objectives of the Society.

 6.1.2 Assist in obtaining new members. Each District Director and alternate should be available to carry on at the district level whatever methods of achieving this goal are recommended by the Publicity & Public Relations Committee and the Membership and Chapter Development Committee. (POB 9.26 & 9.27)

 6.1.3 Support the Registrar in registration of plant names.

 6.1.4 Act as liaison between the region and the chapter Presidents in his/her district.

 6.1.5 Confer with chapter Presidents and the chapters' boards of directors on a regular basis (at least once yearly). It is recommended that the District Director and/or alternate attend the regular meetings of each chapter in the district as often as possible, but at least once every year. The District Director should call meetings of the chapter Presidents and vice-presidents in the district at the beginning of his/her term of office, and prior to each meeting of the Society's board, to assure each chapter an opportunity to voice its position on the agenda for the Board meeting. Alternatively, the District Director and/or alternate should attend a chapter board meeting of each chapter of the district at least once every year.

 6.1.6 Confer with the Regional Vice President regarding his/her liaison functions and district activities.

 6.1.7 Familiarize him/herself with interests and activities of the chapters' memberships. Each Director shall prepare a report of district activities, projects, etc. for possible inclusion in Journal ARS. The Board of Directors has asked that each chapter mail their newsletter (or other correspondence relating to chapter activities) to their District Director and alternate District Director (P.O.B. Sec. 3.1.5).

 6.1.8 Help coordinate Society activities within the district.

 6.1.9 Communicate the needs and concerns of his/her district constituents to the Regional Vice President and the Board of Directors. All agenda reports shall be limited to items or issues which require consideration, discussion or action by the Board of Directors.

 6.1.10 Inform the chapters of pending and completed actions of the Board via the minutes of the Board and/or a personal newsletter. In addition to verbal communication at chapter meetings, the District Director and/or alternate should forward minutes of the Board meetings to each chapter President in the district. They should also issue a newsletter to each chapter President on a regular basis (quarterly or semi-annually), summarizing matters pending before the Society's board and sharing ideas gleaned from individual chapters (programs, available speakers, fund-raising, etc.). Copies of all District Director newsletters should also be sent to the Office Administrator, the President, and the Regional Vice-Presidents.

 6.1.11 Help identify potential leaders for future service to the Society.

 6.1.12 Serve on committee(s) of the Society as time and talents permit; and represent such committee(s) to the Board in absence of the chairperson.

 6.1.13 Arranges with the Regional Vice President pursuant to POB 5.1.1 for a representative to attend a Board meeting if the Director and the alternate are unable to attend.

 6.1.14 Initiates convening of district nominating committees. By October 1 of the year prior to a district election, the District Director initiates a conference of the chapter Presidents in said district for the purpose of nominating the candidate(s) for the next District Director and the alternate. The incumbent Director does not serve on the nominating committee, but does ascertain that the chair of this committee rotates every three years to a different chapter President in a manner agreed to by the Presidents of their chapters.

 6.1.15 Assist in and supervise rating and plant award programs at the chapter level.

 6.1.16 The reimbursement of a District Director's out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the performance of his/her duties is the responsibility of the chapters in that Director's district. The Board urges the chapters to provide at least partial reimbursement of such expenses by special assessments, contributions, use of net proceeds from district meetings, and/or other means.


 6.2.1 The Director-at-Large shall represent the concerns and interests of non-chapter members.  S/he shall use suitable means to establish communications with those members; shall attempt to involve such members in chapter activities whenever possible, and help motivate formation of new chapters wherever potential membership exists in non-chapter areas.

 6.2.2 In addition to representing non-chapter members, the Director-at-Large shall represent any chapter that does not easily fit into an established district because of that chapter's geographical location. Currently the Scottish, Dutch, J. D. Hooker, Danish, Swedish and Finnish Chapters are represented by the Director-at-Large.


7.1 LIMIT ON NUMBER OF TERMS OF OFFICE. (Bylaws: Article IX, Section C)

No officer, District Director or Director-at-Large shall serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office unless specific exemptions are made by the Board.


 7.2.1 Officers: two years beginning at adjournment of annual meeting. (Bylaws: Article V, Section A)

 7.2.2 District Directors, Director-at-Large and alternates: three years beginning at adjournment of annual meeting. (Bylaws: Article VI, Section C) Sequence of district elections: As now practiced, elections in year 1 are held by Districts 3, 6, 11, and 12; in year 2 by Districts 4, 5, 8 and 9; and in year 3 by Districts 1, 2, 7 and 10.

7.3 ELECTORS. (Bylaws: Article IX, Sections A & B)

7.3.1 The officers are elected biennially by the Board.

7.3.2 The Director-at-Large and the Director-at-Large alternate are elected triennially by the Board.

7.3.3 The District Directors and their alternates are elected by the full members of each district.

7.4 THE ELECTION PROCESS. (Bylaws: Article IX)

7.4.1 For officers, Director-at-Large and alternate Director-at-Large. (Bylaws: Art. IX, Sec. D) The President, by January 15 of the year following assumption of office, shall appoint a Nominating Committee chaired by a past President and four other members, each from a separate district and at least one from each region. The Nominating Committee presents its report to the Board at the next board meeting before the next annual meeting of the membership. One or more candidates shall be proposed for each office or Director-at-Large and the alternate. Petitions for nominees may be submitted by twenty five or more members or by any chapter, and must be delivered to the Nominations Chair by no later than ten days prior to the fall board meeting in the year of election. Any nominees proposed by petition of the membership shall be included in the Chair's fall report to the Board. Notice of this procedure and the offices to be voted on that fall shall be published annually in the spring issue of Journal ARS. The Secretary or designate sends a ballot, listing all nominees, to the Board by 30 days after the fall Board meeting in the year preceding installation of officers, and Director at Large/Alternate, or December 1 of the same year, whichever date comes sooner. Ballots shall be returned to the Secretary or designate no later than December 31 and any ballots received after that date shall not be counted. For members having the necessary equipment, ballots may be sent and returned electronically. Postal mail shall be used for those who do not have such equipment.

7.4.2 For District Directors and their alternates. (Bylaws: Article IX, Section E) District Director convenes District Nominating Committee (POB Sec. 6.1.14) by October 1 of year preceding the election. The Office Administrator requests the chapter Presidents in districts holding elections to submit the names and biographies of all nominees by November 1 of the year prior to the election. In the case of a vacancy in office, as soon after the vacancy as possible. The Office Administrator transmits the names and biographies of the candidates to the Editor for publication in the winter issue prior to the election. If there is no contest for the position of Director or alternate in a District, the Regional Vice President declares the lone candidate elected as further described below. In those cases where a position is contested, the Office Administrator sends ballots for the contested position to all full members of the Society in the district where the contest is taking place by February 15 of the election year, with a return date of April 1.

7.4.3 Certification of Votes by Regional Vice President. (Bylaws: Article IX, Section F) The votes are counted by the Regional Vice President. In contested positions, a plurality of votes is required. The Regional Vice President is authorized to certify the election on April 1. In the event of a tie, a plurality of the Board of Directors as a group decides the winner.


8.1 The board may engage independent contractors for these functions. The contractors shall provide the physical location and related resources to carry out the contract. The hours, times of day and days worked are within the contractor’s discretion. The contractors are responsible for providing any business license required where the work is done, and to pay all taxes, assessments or fees on earnings.

   8.1.1 Reasonable expenses of compensated individuals incurred in carrying out their duties for the Society shall be reimbursed including travel, meals and lodging in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Society and meetings of the Board of Directors.

   8.1.2 The results required of each contractor are specified in the descriptions under each category.

Compensation paid to contractors shall be reviewed annually by the Board.

Contractors are welcome, but not required, to attend board meetings and general meetings of the Society. If invited to attend such meetings as hereafter described, reasonable expenses for travel, meals and lodging shall be reimbursed within the limits of funds budgeted for the same. Documented expenses in the detail required by the then current Internal Revenue Service regulations must be submitted to the Treasurer for review and approval before payment.

The President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, shall determine meetings and contractor(s) for which an invitation shall be made a reasonable amount of time in advance of the event.


8.2.1 Administers the daily and general business activities and projects of the Society, manages the offices or headquarters of the Society and is responsible for other duties assigned by the Board. (Bylaws: Art V, Sec 1)

8.2.2 Provides content for maintenance of an administrative website of the Society, including passwords protecting members privacy, for access by officers of the chapters to their membership information. Other items not involving privacy such as Board Policies and Society Bylaws shall be carried on that site without password protection. Appropriate information and updates will be provided to the Society Webmaster to facilitate these entries

8.2.3 Receives and records the names and addresses of all current members, and maintains a list of life members.

8.2.4 Deposits any funds received from committees, chapters and other sources, and deposits them promptly to the appropriate account. Promptly informs and provides copies of all such transactions to the Treasurer for inclusion in the financial records.

8.2.5 Annually, prepares a list of the individual donors to the Society for inclusion in the spring issue of the Journal ARS.

8.2.6 Reminds the District Directors to convene by October 1 the District Nominating Committee (all district chapter Presidents) for District Director and District Director alternate in a regular three year sequence of districts holding elections.

8.2.7 Requests names and biographies of the district nominating committee's candidates for District Director and District Director alternate by November 1 of the year prior to elections. Transmits the information to the Editor for publication in the winter issue of Journal ARS prior to the election. (POB Sec.

8.2.8 Assists a District Director or his/her alternate to appoint a representative for his/her district in the case of their absence at a Board meeting. (POB Sec. 6.1.13)

8.2.9 Receives chapter newsletters and other correspondence. Files chapter newsletters in the Society archives. (POB Sec. 3. 1.5)

8.2.10 Notifies the chapter President and Secretary if members of their chapter wish to form a new chapter. (POB Sec. 3. 1.2)

8.2.11 Receives requests for use of the Society Membership list. Each request for use of the Society membership list (other than by Society Chapters) shall be reviewed by the Office Administrator to determine its merit. A request may be deemed an appropriate use if it is similar to past approved uses. If, however, the merit of the request is questionable, the Office Administrator may either deny the request or refer it to the Executive Committee for a ruling. Upon demand by the requester, denied requests shall be reviewed by the Society's Board of Directors at their next regular meeting. When a request is deemed an appropriate use, the Office Administrator will notify the requester, making it clear that the list shall be used only once and shall not be released. The Office Administrator shall report all label sales approved in the semi-annual report to the Board. The price charged will be determined by the Office Administrator will be determined as follows:

8.2.12 Sales to not-for-profit horticultural-related groups - The price charged will be equal to the current rate charged to Society chapters plus 20%.

8.2.13 Sales to For-Profit Organizations - The price will be set to net a substantial profit for the Society. Current industry pricing will be taken into consideration when setting rates. Discounts will be given to current Society members as follows:

Commercial members 5% discount.  Current Journal ARS advertisers 10% discount.

8.2.14 The formats offered will be those currently in use by the Society's office. Special requests that require additional programming and/or materials will be reviewed by the Office Administrator to determine if sufficient time is available to fill the request. The price charged for special orders will be substantially higher to take these factors into account.

8.2.15 Manages the advertising and sale of books and publications


8.3.1 The Editor The principal responsibility of the Editor shall be the timely creation of the quarterly Journal ARS. The Board of Directors shall review compensation for the position annually. Under the general supervision of the Board of Directors and the Editorial Committee, shall edit all Society publications and cause them to be published in such a manner and such a place as seems most efficient and economical for the Society. The Editor shall solicit material for publication which will be of interest to the members of the Society and which will add to the general knowledge of the genus.

8.3.3 The Editor shall solicit mutual exchange of advertisements-for-members, between the Society and similar plant and horticultural societies. Such agreements should be for a one (1) year period and be evaluated annually.

8.3.4 Not used.

8.3.5 Plant awards as approved by the Board from time to time shall be published in the journal of the Society on a timely basis.

8.3.6 Not used.

8.3.7 The Editor shall establish, in cooperation with the President, a jury of technical reviewers, and shall have proposed articles about plants and their culture reviewed for technical adequacy before acceptance for publication. The Registrar will be one of the technical reviewers.

8.3.8 Not used.

8.3.9 Prepares an annual Journal ARS budget for submission to the Budget and Finance Committee prior to their budget meetings. This budget must reflect any changes the Associate Editor anticipates regarding production, postal or other journal related costs.

8.3.10 Consults, confers with and provides information to the Editorial Committee.

8.3.11 Publishes the names and biographies of all candidates for District Director and District Director alternate in the winter issue of journal prior to the election.

8.3.12 Receives copies of all informational mailings sent by the chapters, officers and directors.

8.3.13 Publishes notice regarding nominations as provided in POB

8.3.14 The Associate Editor shall include in each issue of the quarterly Journal of the Society, a listing of all Society publications on hand for sale or distribution and the sale-cost per copy or quantity purchase price.

8.3.15 The principal responsibility of the Associate Editor shall be the timely production of the quarterly Journal ARS.

8.3.16 Under the general supervision of the Board of Directors and Editorial Committee, shall manage layout, printing and mailing JARS, and any formatting required for the electronic on-line JARS.

8.3.17 Seeks copyright permission from authors and photographers as described in the Copyright Policy.

8.3.18 Consults, confers with and provides information to the Editorial Committee.

8.3.19 Manages JARS advertising, including responding to advertising inquiries and accepting those suitable for Society publications. No plant prices shall be quoted in advertisements.

8.3.20 Shall review advertising rates and policies from time to time with the Editorial Committee. Any changes in rates or policy resulting from such review shall be presented to the Board of Directors for approval.

8.3.21 Shall solicit mutual exchange of advertisements for members between the Society and similar plant and horticultural societies. Such agreements should be for one-year periods, and evaluated annually.

8.3.22 Payments received by the Associate Editor for advertising, the sale of JARS, or other publications shall be deposited in a bank account established by the Society Treasurer.

8.3.23  Is responsible for resolving postal and address issues, re-mailing missed issues, and the sale of back issues of JARS. A supply shall be kept of quarterly issues to satisfy these demands. A yearly estimate of postage and printing costs for this service shall be included in the Editor’s budget estimates.


8.4.1 Persons in compensated positions of the Society should, if possible, give six months notice of intention to resign.

8.4.2 When acute situations arise, the President, in consultation with the Executive Committee, can appoint a pro tem person to fill the void until a permanent employee can be found. Prior compensated personnel might be the most appropriate for such short term emergencies.

8.4.3 The Office Administrator keeps a list of the ideal qualifications for each compensated position, readily available for guidance of the search committees and for publication.

8.4.4 Notification of the vacancy will be made, at least, by publication in the Journal ARS, independently to each chapter President and to each District Director indicating the nature of the position (salaries, terms of employment, etc.), the desired qualifications, the deadlines, appropriate contacts and the mechanism of selection.

8.4.5 The recommended composition of the Search Committee is the Eastern and Western Vice-Presidents, one member chosen by the Eastern Vice-President, one member chosen by the Western Vice-President and one member chosen by the President (a total of five members). The senior Vice-President should serve as committee chairperson.

8.4.6 Each candidate will be required to submit a résumé and a letter of application and be available for a personal interview.

8.4.7 The final hiring decision is a function of the Board of Directors regardless of the committee's recommendations.


Policies applicable to all committees, except the Executive, Long Term Investment and Honors Committees

9.0.1 The President, upon assuming office, appoints the committee Chairs and members who serve during his/her term, and at his/her pleasure. The President may delegate to the Chair the appointment of the remaining committee members. Members should be selected from different geographic areas of the Society so that various viewpoints will be represented. The Awards and Honors and the Long Term Investment Committees are exempted from this procedure. The methods of appointing their members are explained under their descriptions.

9.0.2 The President may delegate the consultation and guidance of certain committees of the Society to an officer who will counsel the President regarding those committees and their membership.

9.0.3 Each committee shall report to each regular Board meeting. Reports shall include activities in progress, policies proposed, matters reviewed, tasks completed and recommendations for furthering the committee's purposes.  For those committees handling funds, a financial report shall also be included.

9.04 Policies proposed by committees must be approved by the Board

9.0.5 Unless otherwise provided for in the policies pertaining to specific committees, after payment of expenses, any net income earned shall be transmitted annually to the Society. Proposals for allocating such funds will be considered by the Board which retains final discretion in these matters.

9.0.6 Minutes, policies, and important correspondence must be maintained for the guidance of successor committees.

9.0.7 The budget for each committee's activities shall be submitted to the Budget & Finance Chair annually. Committee Chairs are encouraged and expected to attend meetings and other activities of the Society, districts and chapters. The purpose of such attendance is to glean ideas from members and leaders at all levels regarding their committee responsibilities, meet potential committee members and to personally communicate with the Board. Expenses associated with the committee Chairs' activities are considered by the Society to be contributions within the limitations of the IRS codes and regulations.

9.0.8 Committees handling monies may be authorized by the Board to open bank accounts and to write checks against those accounts. Checks of $500 or less shall require the signature of the Chair of the committee only. Checks of amounts greater than $500 shall require the signature of the Chair and of one of the officers of the Society, or postal or electronic written approval of an officer before such checks are delivered to the payee if two signatures are impractical or not possible. The Chair shall select the officer and make the arrangements necessary to comply with this provision. These Committees shall maintain financial records and shall transmit such records to the Treasurer at the end of the fiscal year for review by the Society’s Accountant. Charges for these reviews shall be absorbed by the Society.

9.0.9 Committees placing advertisements in the Journal ARS will pay at the standard rate.

9.1 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (EC) (Bylaws: Article VI, Section F)

An Executive Committee consisting of the officers and at least three Directors nominated by the President and elected by the Board shall be responsible for the business of the Society between Board meetings. It shall not have authority to alter dues, elect officers except to fill vacancies on the Board occurring between regularly scheduled meetings, create financial obligations for non-budgeted items in excess of $500.00, or change the policies of the Board. Election of officers by the Executive Committee shall be reviewed and confirmed or modified as the Board determines at its next full Board meeting.


The functions of the Nominating Committee and its responsibilities are defined in Article IX, Section D of the Bylaws. The President shall appoint a nominating committee by January 15th of the year following assumption of office. That committee will present its report to the Board at the Fall Board meeting and before the next Annual Membership meeting. The nominations will be announced at the annual meeting of the membership following the Board meeting. Opportunity for nominations by the membership will be provided at that time.


The Committee manages the phrasing and presentation to the Board of the changes in the Bylaws or Policies proposed by others (or initiated by itself) to improve the governance and/or the services of the Society to its members.


Helps to improve the quality of available rhododendron and azalea plants by identifying new superior plants, hybrid and species, and publicizing them, thereby encouraging their propagation and distribution. Seeks to obtain wider utilization and popularization of rhododendrons for general garden use in varying climatic conditions. In accordance with these purposes, the committee shall administer two different programs as set forth herein.

9.5.1 A procedure for designation of specific clones as recipient of Conditional Award (C.A.), Award of Excellence (A. E.) and Superior Plant Award (S. P. A.). The specifics for this program are outlined in the Quarterly Bulletin of the ARS, Volume 31, Number 2, Spring, 1977, and in a publication titled "Plant Awards Program 1987" and are to be followed by the committee. Any changes to the program must be submitted to the Board for approval before being implemented.

9.5.2 A program titled "Rhododendron of the Year" for each of the following regions of the Society Districts/Chapters: Northwest - Districts 1,2,3,4 and California, De Anza, Eureka, Monterey, and Noyo; Northeast – Districts 6, 7, 8, and 12; Mid-Atlantic – District 9; Southeastern – District 10; Midwest – District 11; and Swisher – Hawaii. Overseas chapters are also welcome to participate in this program, and may choose to be included in one of the described regions or propose another region to be incorporated in this policy. Plants designated as Rhododendron of the Year shall be chosen by the Committee from Proven Performer lists developed by chapters within a given region or other sources deemed reliable, and shall be readily available in commerce at the time the award is announced to the general public. To satisfy the latter portion of the criteria, the Committee may advise the nursery trade two or more years in advance of generally publicizing each year’s awards. The committee shall develop a public relations campaign to assure the widest possible publicity to the general public of the designated plants in advance of and during optimal garden planting seasons each year. Further, the committee should seek the assistance of Districts/Chapters to achieve this goal and any other needs of this program, and Districts/Chapters shall cooperate therein.


The Editorial Committee should meet with the Editor to review Journal ARS production and make recommendations and provide support for the editor's efforts to produce for the Society the quality journal desired.

Annually review with the Editor and the Associate Editor:

9.7.1 Production of the Journal ARS.

9.7.2 Advertising rates.

9.7.3 Policies concerning publication of "In Memoriam Articles".

9.7.4 Policies concerning publication of "Medal Awards".

9.7.5 The balance of various types of articles and news over a period of time.

9.7.6 Use of, or requests by other organizations, plant or similar horticultural publications to "re-print" articles, etc.

This committee will support the Editor by identifying writers and encouraging them to submit articles for possible publication. The committee may suggest topics for future articles and will do whatever possible to assist and support the Editor in maintaining the quality publication desired.


9.8.1 The following awards may be granted as set forth herein: Citation for Service or Award of Merit, Bronze Medal, Silver Medal, Gold Medal and Pioneer Achievement Award. Citations for Service or Awards of Merit may be granted by either the Society or individual chapters. The Bronze Medal may only be granted by individual chapters of the Society. The Silver and Gold Medals and the Pioneer Achievement Award are granted only by the Society.

9.8.2 Citation for Service/Award of Merit. These awards may be granted to an individual, group of persons or organization that would not otherwise qualify for medal honors.  The recipient(s) need not belong to the Society. In chapters, the award may be initiated as its governing body directs. For the Society, the award may be initiated by the President or Board of Directors and shall be approved by a majority of the Executive Committee. The award shall consist of a text briefly describing the reason for it, written in calligraphic or other appropriate script, and delivered at a suitable ceremony/ meeting.

9.8.3 Bronze Medal. This award is delegated entirely for grant by local chapters and is initiated as the chapter governing body directs. The engraved medal, which is a part of the award, must be purchased by the chapters from the Society. It is awarded for outstanding contributions by individuals or couples to the chapter, which may include accomplishments of the recipient(s) outside the chapter consistent with the goals of the Society. The honoree(s) must be member(s) of the Society.

9.8.4 Honors Committee. There shall be a committee for review and consideration of Silver and Gold Medal nominations and of Pioneer Achievement Awards consisting of six members, including the Chair. The President appoints the Chair, who then appoints the other five members of the committee. Committee members shall be geographically representative of the Society membership and knowledgeable of the Society. Identity of the committee members, other than the Chair, shall be confidential. The Chair shall not vote on award nominations. The Chair shall circulate all nominations and supporting data to the committee, provide other appropriate information to committee members and otherwise generally facilitate the process in the best interest of the Society. Deliberations of the committee are confidential.

9.8.5 Petition Process and Content. A recognition award nomination is initiated by a Society member.  Coordination with the appropriate District Director/Director at Large should occur well in advance of the nomination package being submitted. The Director can assist in selecting the proposed award level and appropriate timeline. The Director must forward the nomination to the Honors Committee chair by November 15 of the year preceding the award year. Nominations and seconding letters must be signed by the author(s). If delivered to the Honors Committee Chair electronically, the same must be in the form of scans showing the signatures. A nomination shall contain the name, address and chapter affiliation of the nominee (s), and the names, addresses, Email addresses and telephone numbers of the proposer(s). It should set forth a detailed listing, including dates where possible, of nominee(s) accomplishments and contributions, together with suggested citation text not to exceed 125 words. A minimum of eight and a maximum of twelve supporting letters shall accompany the nomination to assist in documenting nominee(s) accomplishments rather than simply focusing on personality. For nominations which have been denied the Chair will request a new package for resubmission in a subsequent year if it contains new or additional information not previously considered by the committee. In the event nominations exceeding the awardable number are deemed worthy by the Honors Committee, the committee may defer action on the excess for consideration in the next year (together with new nominees).

9.8.6 Silver Medal. The service and impact of distinctive deeds and contributions of nominee(s) must have occurred in and served primarily in their district and or region.  This is not to negate the fact that all of our efforts benefit the Society and genus Rhododendron as a whole, but that the greatest and most outstanding efforts and impacts of the nominee(s) served to benefit a particular geographic area. Only members in good standing qualify for Gold and Silver Medals.

9.8.7 Gold Medal. The impact of outstanding accomplishments and contributions of nominee(s) must have enhanced the entire Society, without concentration within certain boundaries.  These shall extend beyond a given region and be of such significance that the effects and benefits are to the Society and or genus Rhododendron at least nationally and possibly internationally. Only members in good standing qualify for Gold and Silver Medals.

9.8.8 The Pioneer Achievement Award, established in 1981, is given for pioneering and original achievement in the advancement of rhododendrons. It may be given to any person(s), living or dead, from any country, for outstanding achievements in such areas as: original authorship; development of new plants; control of diseases or insect pests; revolutionary and innovative methods of breeding, propagation and /or growing techniques; taxonomic studies; plant exploration; and preserving germ plasma through selection of species. A group Award may be bestowed for similar achievements that were a group effort. These achievements shall have withstood a reasonable test of time to assure their lasting value. A maximum of three awards (individual or group) may be awarded each year. Awards may be omitted when deserving candidates have not been identified. Proposals for the Pioneer Achievement Award may be made by any person, in any country, in writing to the Awards and Honors Committee on the same schedule/process as for Silver and Gold Medals and shall document the specific achievements to be considered. A minimum of four and a maximum of six seconding letters are required. Nominations will be compiled by a District Director of the ARS or by the Chair of the Rhododendron Research Network. All nominees shall be reviewed and voted by members of the Awards and Honors Committee, using the process described in 9.8.4.

9.8.9 Final Approval. The names of those recommended by a majority of the Honors Committee to receive a silver or gold medal or a Pioneer Achievement Award together with the citation text, shall be forwarded by the committee chair to the Society President by February 15 of each year for action by the Executive Committee of the Board. Only favorable recommendations will be forwarded for action. Final approval by a majority of the Executive Committee is required before presentation of these awards.

9.8.10  Limitations.  The award of any one or more of the honors described above to a person or group does not preclude the grant of another award to the same recipient. No more than three silver or two gold medals may be awarded in any given year. If the Committee determines more than two nominations in either category generally worthy, the Committee shall further determine those two to submit for Board approval. In such event the Committee Chairman shall also advise the sponsor(s) of any application(s) not submitted for Board approval they may reapply in either or both of the following two years and may include additional information in support of the nomination.

9.8.11  Presentation.  Society-level citations and medals (gold and silver) should be awarded at the annual Convention of the Society banquet or other suitable venue.  Nominators of recipients should play a role in the award ceremony. In the absence of the nominator, the nominator’s Director should be involved in this activity.


The Registrar shall be appointed by the President and approved by the Board of Directors. The duties of the Registrar are:

1. To serve as North American registration agent for the Royal Horticultural Society, in its role as International Registration Authority for the genus Rhododendron.

2. To actively solicit and encourage registration of names of (a) new cultivars and (b) rhododendrons and azaleas already in the trade under unregistered names.

3. To conduct all registration activities in a timely fashion.

4. To prepare descriptions of those cultivars registered through the North American Registrar for publication in Journal ARS after registration has been accepted by the International Rhododendron Registrar.

5. To maintain a complete file of all registration materials, including applications, correspondence, and reference materials such as books and catalogs. These files are to be turned over to the succeeding Registrar.

6. To assist the Editor of Journal ARS by screening articles submitted for publication to insure the correctness and acceptability of rhododendron and azalea names.

It is the policy of the Board that the Registrar conform to all the provisions and requirements of the International Registration Authority. The Society will provide all plant name registration services free of any charge. There will be no fee for requested certificates, but a voluntary donation of $3 per certificate (to cover mailing expenses) will be solicited.

The Society shall add the Registrar of Plant Names to the mailing list for all future issues of Journal ARS and any other books or magazines published by the Society. These reference materials are to be Society property, and shall pass to succeeding Registrars.


One of the objectives of the Society is to increase knowledge of the genus Rhododendron through scientific research, and to give publicity to such findings. The Committee shall foster and encourage research in the rhododendron field in any way and shall be in touch with those conducting research in the field of rhododendrons in various experiment stations in this country and in other countries where feasible.

The committee should serve as a clearing house for those who are suggesting important problems which need research. In some cases, it will be able to say that research in that field is being carried on in a certain institution. In other cases, it may be able to suggest certain people who would be qualified to carry on such research, and possibly get them interested in doing so.

The Research Committee should work in close coordination with the Trustees of the Rhododendron Research Foundation not only to suggest and prioritize research projects for possible funding by the foundation, but also actively monitor projects funded at their recommendation by the Foundation.

Rhododendron Research Network - The Research Committee shall lead the work of the Rhododendron Research Network, including but not limited to the following Working Groups:

Conferences and Networking by hosting events that include researchers and the public, plus newsletters and social media
Community-based research by connecting ARS members with laboratory and field-based research opportunities in Rhododendron
Publications and Grant-writing by publishing papers and submitting proposals, focusing on supporting students and early career researchers
Research Resources by identifying, developing and maintaining resources such as databases, maps, Mendeley library.

Harold Greer Memorial Student Travel Award Program - The purpose of this program is to financially assist students to attend conventions and conferences of the ARS and to enable their participation as determined by the host chapter. Information about the award and application process may be found on the Rhododendron Research Network pages on the ARS Website. Funding is available to students inside and outside the US, including but not limited to Canada and Europe.

 Awards will be determined by the ARS Research Committee.

 Funding for the program will be provided by the Research Foundation.


The primary function of the Seed Exchange is to provide for the distribution of seed to the membership.  Species and hybrid Rhododendron seed and that for companion plants and trees shall be solicited and obtained by all means deemed desirable by the Committee.

The President shall appoint a chairman and six additional members to the committee. Geographic balance, inclusion of overseas members and contributors to the Seed Exchange are desirable factors in determining committee membership. Names of committee members shall be published in the booklet and the website offering seed each year.

The Seed Exchange is expected to be self supporting activity independent of funding from other Society sources by utilizing income from the sale of seed to support all its activities and expenses, and all income received shall be employed to further committee purposes. Expenses include services such as JARS advertising as well as all other expenses incurred in the collection and distribution of seed, equipment, supplies, the Chair’s space allowance and expenses for attending the spring and fall ARS Board meetings.

The committee shall submit an annual budget to the Board of Directors at its spring meeting for approval by the Board. This budget shall include estimated amounts for income, operating expenses, an amount for the Chair's space allowance, and reserves for equipment, software and other future needs. The budget shall also include an estimate of the chair’s travel, meal and lodging expense for attendance at conventions/conferences that include an ARS Board meeting. The Chair must attend the Board meeting to qualify for such reimbursement. Additionally, an annual report describing the prior year’s activity and any recommended changes in operation shall be submitted for Board review and approval.

The Chair shall be bonded in an amount commensurate with funds handled for the SE. An annual accounting review of SE monies shall be presented to the Board, together with any other information necessary for the Society to comply with its responsibility for reports needed to maintain its status as a charitable corporation


The committee shall consist of seven members representative of all regions of the Society as broadly as may be practical. The Society Treasurer shall be a member in accordance with POB 4.5.6. The President shall appoint a Chair and the remaining members; in the event appointment of other than the Chair is delegated under POB 9.0.2, final membership shall be approved by the President. The identity of the entire committee shall be regularly published in JARS and other Society publications, written and electronic.

The functions of the Committee shall be:

(1) Solicit, by whatever means the Board of Directors may approve, donations, memorial gifts and bequests to the Fund,

(2) Respond appropriately to donors,

(3) Recommend to the Board appropriate uses for Fund income, and

(4) Develop, administer and provide oversight to the Society’s endowment funded grant programs.


The committee cooperates with the University of Virginia Library to maintain archival records of the Society already deposited at the Library, and to determine the types of records the Society should forward to the repository in the future. It shall encourage gifts of rhododendron manuscripts and other appropriate material from individuals prominent in the rhododendron world for archival deposit. The committee shall promote awareness among Society members of the Library's collection of manuscripts, books and other information, and of electronic access to the same. Further activities generally considered archival in nature may be assigned to this committee by the President or the Board.


The committee shall identify potential financial resources outside the Society’s regular sources of revenue, e.g. grants or special contributions, determine procedures needed to obtain the same, and advise the Board thereof. The committee shall also be available to other standing committees or chapters of the Society for consultation and collaboration within the other committees or chapters area (s) of responsibility. Prior approval of the Society Board shall be required before the committee undertakes obtaining funds for any project.


The Digital Publications Committee shall oversee the digitizing of previous Bulletins and Journals and coordinate with the Editor of the Journal to ensure that all publications are in a similar form that will permit electronic publication. The form employed shall ensure these publications are searchable and compatible with both PC’s and Macintosh computers.

In addition to the above, the committee may wish to put articles from previous Bulletins or Journals on the Society’s web sites. The committee shall coordinate such insertions with the Editor of the Journal and the Electronic Media Committee. Articles or pictures being inserted shall be from publications issued at least five years previous to the time of insertion and shall have been cleared of any copyright concerns


The President shall appoint a Test and Display Gardens Committee, which shall serve as a resource group for chapters wishing to establish gardens of this type. The committee shall respond to requests for assistance from such chapters and provide guidance to them, generally in accordance with the following suggestions:

Display gardens are those developed to contain varieties that are in the trade, or available to it, and are essentially "variety collections". The purpose of display gardens is to promote interest in rhododendrons and enable members and the general public to study and compare varieties grown under local conditions. Such gardens should be in a public place, arboretum, botanic garden, college or university grounds, or a public park, or in a private garden where the public is regularly admitted, either free or on payment of a fee. If a fee is charged, the committee in charge should have free access at any reasonable time.

Plants may be furnished by the owners or management of the garden, by members, nursery specialists or by any interested individual. Ordinarily, and unless covered by special agreement, the plants, once established, become the property of the garden management.

Chapters of the Society are encouraged to establish, or foster, one or more display gardens in their territory, wherever and whenever satisfactory arrangements for proper care can be made. The details are the responsibility of the chapter, but should include a written agreement between the chapter officers and the management of the garden establishing the responsibility of each as to furnishing of plants, ownership of plants furnished, layout of garden, care needed and who will furnish such care, accessibility to the public, protection against theft and vandalism, whether or not propagating material may be taken, and any other important considerations. If at all possible, arrangements should be made so that routine care will be the responsibility of the garden management and not of the chapter membership.

Chapters sponsoring display gardens should have a regular committee to work out the details and provide continuing oversight, promotion, or whatever is needed to make the project a success.

A test garden is designed to provide facilities for growing new or special varieties so that they may be judged for their uniqueness, suitability for growing under local conditions and for judging for Society awards.

Obviously, more care must be exercised in establishing a test garden as potentially valuable varieties, not yet available to the public, may be submitted for test and possible award. The theft of such a plant or the unauthorized taking of propagating material might prove very embarrassing.

Since local conditions may vary considerably, and since the local chapter must take full responsibility for the terms of the agreement and the supervision of the test garden, no arbitrary form of agreement is proposed by the Society.

Such agreement should clearly specify the location of the test garden, the responsibility of the chapter and the garden management, the provisions for care of the plants, and accessibility and methods to be used to prevent theft. A copy of the agreement should be available, on request, to anyone contemplating entering plants for test.

Before plants are accepted for test, an agreement should be signed by the person entering the plants clearly stating whether or not they shall be returned to them and specifically absolving the chapter and the Society from any liability if plants should be stolen or injured in any way, or if propagating material should be stolen.

Free access by the general public is not necessary and may be undesirable. Adequate and continuing care of the plants and provision for free access by the proper persons are most important.

The local test garden committee should have authority to turn down plants to exclude certain pests, or where a breeder may want to enter several similar plants and have the judges do the "selecting" which he/she should do.

The matter of entry fees is left to the local committee with the suggestion that none be collected.  If high, they will tend to discourage entries; if low, they will be of little value and a nuisance to collect and administer.


This committee shall be responsible for the following:

9.22.1 Working with the Society Officers and the Director and the District Directors to encourage chapter membership Chairs and/or treasurers to develop more effective procedures for encouraging membership renewal.

9.22.2 Working with the Publicity & Public Relations Committee to develop educational display materials for use by chapters at public events such as horticultural fairs, flower shows, etc., to stimulate the public's interest in joining the Society.

9.22.3 Actively seeking out members willing to develop chapters in new areas.

9.22.4 Developing guidelines and materials to be used by local coordinators when trying to organize new chapters.

9.22.5 Working with the Office Administrator and the appropriate District Director to assist and advise the local coordinator when a new chapter is being formed.

9.22.6 Next-Gen responsibilities: Organize and promote ARS activities of interest to the next generation. Provide representation on the ARS Board of Directors. Collaborate with relevant committees.


The committee shall regularly solicit and assemble information from chapter newsletters and other sources, and edit the same for publication on the Society web site in a section titled "Rhododendron and Azalea News". Items published will be updated or replaced periodically to provide timely information on an informal basis. The committee cooperates with the Electronic Media Committee.


The committee shall be responsible for maintaining the Society’s presence on the World Wide web. Electronic media includes, but is not limited to, the Society’s websites, social media accounts, weblogs, online databases, video recordings, electronic journals, podcasts, and email accounts.

The committee’s technical team works to design and create new web pages, post updated content, ensure web site security, provide user support, manage email accounts, supervise hosting services, etc. Technical team members should have the knowledge needed to run websites, code, and debug web pages, maintain online databases, update social media apps, create podcasts, etc.

The committee also shall have a team of content providers who work collaboratively with the technical team. They provide the content hosted at the Society owned websites, published in the Society’s weblog, recorded in the Society’s podcasts, and posted in the ARS social media accounts (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.). Content providers include, but are not limited to, the Society Secretary, ARS Office Administrator, the Journal Editor, Plant Awards Committee, Honors Committee, Seed Exchange Committee, Research Committee, Plant Registrar, technical team members, etc.

Typically, the Chair of the Electronic Media Committee shall be the ARS Webmaster.


Annual Meetings and Regional Meetings (Bylaws: Article VI, Section D and Article VIII)

10.1 The Regional Vice Presidents shall be responsible for seeing to the scheduling of Annual meetings in the spring and Regional meetings in autumn, giving particular attention to coordinating those which will be the venue for Society Board meetings. Annual meetings in the East in even numbered years, the West in odd numbered years and Regional meetings in the East in odd numbered years and the West in even numbered years appears to be the most satisfactory. Every effort shall be made to maintain a schedule for such meetings five years in advance of the actual meeting dates. Board approval is required for Annual or Regional meetings outside North America that will include a Society Board meeting.

10.2 The larger chapters or Districts, hereafter referred to as the sponsor, should plan to host an Annual or Regional meeting when it seems convenient and desirable. None of the provisions of POB 11.0 shall preclude such meetings being sponsored by chapters located outside North America or an area from having Regional meetings more frequently than every other year.

10.3 The sponsor takes care of all the details including providing meeting rooms, registration, projectors and any other materials or facilities needed. It will arrange for a headquarters hotel or motel, and for reservations to be made. The sponsor will take care of local publicity for the meeting and should provide the Editor with sufficient pictures and other information so that he/she can give the meeting ample publicity in Journal ARS. The sponsor is encouraged to set a registration fee high enough to take care of necessary expenses but not so high that it will prevent attendance of a large number of members and guests.

10.4 The Board requests that ten percent (10%) or more of the excess funds from the Society’s annual meetings be remitted to the General Fund of the Society. The Board will consider indemnifying annual meeting sponsors that lose money up to a maximum of $5,000.


Special meetings of the membership may be called by the Board of Directors if required in accordance with Article VIII of the Bylaws.


The meeting of the Board of Directors will be held as specified in Article VI, Section D of the Bylaws.  The Board shall have at least two meetings per year. The budget, or any major change of policy, should be sent to the Board members well in advance of the meeting (two weeks minimum).


The Endowment Fund shall be maintained in the manner and for the purposes set forth below:

11.1 The purpose of the Endowment Fund shall be to further the purposes of the Society, as stated in Article I of its Bylaws.

11.2 The Fund shall be a repository for donations, memorial gifts and bequests specifically designated for the Endowment Fund, as well as for other donations the Board of Directors may accept.  All the accounts within the Fund shall be invested in order to produce income and capital growth on a long term and sustained basis.

11.3 Three separate accounts are presently established within the Endowment Fund.  The Board may establish additional accounts in the Fund upon acceptance.

  11.3.1 Donor Restricted-General:  This account is for direct donations to the Endowment Fund not otherwise restricted by the donor.  Subject to the restrictions provided by POB 12.4, income and a portion of capital appreciation shall be used as directed by the Board.

  11.3.2 Donor Restricted-Publications:  This account is for direct donations to the Endowment Fund that are designated for publications by the donor.  Subject to that donor restriction and the restrictions provided by POB 12.4, income and a portion of capital appreciation shall be used for publishing activities as directed by the Board.

  11.3.3 Board Restricted:  This account is for unrestricted gifts to the Society that a Board places in the Endowment Fund.  Distributions shall be for purposes directed by the Board, and shall be limited as provided in POB 12.4 except in circumstances the Board determines justify an invasion of principal.

11.4 Only increases as described in POB 12.4.1 may be expended from either of the Donor Restricted accounts.  This limitation shall also apply to the Board Restricted account unless the Board determines there are circumstances justifying a waiver of this condition.  In all instances expenditures from any of the accounts shall only be as budgeted by the Board in compliance with state and federal law applicable to the Society.

  11.4.1 Inflation Protection.  To preserve the endowment principal while providing income for expenditure, the following spending formula will be used: 4 percent x three-year final market value of the endowment (as of August 31 of each year). To achieve some uniformity in amounts to spend from one year to the next, the actual amount distributed from the endowment principal into the spending account in any given year will not exceed 106 percent of the prior year’s distribution, or be less than 96 percent of the prior year’s distribution. A distribution, based on this formula, is made from the endowment principal into the endowment spending account after September 1 of each year.  The Treasurer shall determine the amount of money thus available immediately prior to each budget cycle, advise the Budget and Endowment Fund committees thereof, and confirm the amount to the Board at the time the Board considers and adopts each year’s budget and approves expenditures from the Fund.

11.5 The Board, through its Long Term Investment committee, must invest and manage the assets of the Fund as a prudent investor by following an investment policy seeking a total return for investments, whether that return is derived from appreciation of principal or from earnings and distributions from principal.  In calculating the amount available for account distributions, the Treasurer and Board shall use the value of assets and earnings on the last day of each preceding fiscal year.


The annual audit or review of the Society's financial records shall be made and published in accordance with Article V, Section D of the Bylaws.


13.1 Definition and use. The Board has authorized and voluntary donations have established an earmarked fund of money from which the Society may make loans for expenses that must be paid prior to the receipt of fees from persons attending an event as defined herein. The loan is available to a chapter or chapters of the ARS hosting a meeting, which includes a regularly scheduled ARS Board meeting. The meeting must be advertised as and open to the general public. The maximum amount available from the Fund for each such meeting is $3000. Loans shall be non-interest bearing, and must be repaid within sixty days after the last day of the event.

13.2 Application requirements. A formal application for a Fund loan must be submitted to the ARS President. It shall describe the event, set forth items to be funded, anticipated dates of the expenditures and the date by which the money is needed. It shall also include an overall budget of income and expenses for the event.

13.3 Approval/Disapproval. The application shall be presented for consideration at the next Board meeting following receipt of the application or, in the event a Board meeting is not scheduled before the requested date of the loan, to the Executive Committee. The application may be approved if sufficient moneys are available in the Fund, it appears the event is in accord with this policy and Society purposes, and if it demonstrates a reasonable expectation the event will generate sufficient income for timely repayment to the Fund.

13.4 Contract and administration. In the event of loan approval the President or his/her designee shall send a contract to host and the parties shall enter into a contract in the form that follows. After the contract has been signed by all parties it shall be delivered to the Society’s Treasurer, who shall then disburse the loan to the host party at the specified date, maintain a record of the repayment date, and confirm repayment to the President. Loans approved and repayment thereof shall be recorded in the next succeeding Board meeting minutes.

13.5 Contract language.; The parties to this agreement are the American Rhododendron Society, an Oregon corporation, (Society) and ___________________________ [host chapter(s)]; or District] _____________, (Host). Host has applied for a loan from the Startup Fund in the amount of $_______, which has been approved by Society pursuant to the guidelines set forth in POB 14.1 through 14.3. The purpose of the loan is to pay advance expenses for ________________ [specify purpose(s)] at the ______________________ [name of event] scheduled to be held ____________________ [dates]

 Host shall submit a final financial report in writing to the President and Treasurer of Society within sixty days of the event’s conclusion showing all receipts to, expenses of and net income of the event. Net income means the total of all payments or donations from attendees for registration, event meals, tours, plant and gift sales, raffles, auctions and other revenue producing activities of the event, including grants from third parties, less meals, hotel charges, bus rentals, plants and other expenses directly attributable to the event. The Treasurer’s copy of the report shall include repayment in full by Host to the Fund of the loan amount. No other disbursements from net income of the event, such as contributions to district or chapter accounts, the Society, or other charitable causes, may be made by Host until this step has been completed.

American Rhododendron Society

_______________________, Dated: ____________________ [Month, day and year]

____________________________, Dated:___________________ [Month, day and year]

__________________ [Host chapter(s) name(s)

____________________________, Dated: ______________ [Month, day and year]
Chair of event

____________________________, Dated: ____________ [Month, day and year]
Treasurer of event


All advertisement placed in the Journal ARS and on the ARS web site must be horticultural in nature, including but not limited to: nurseries, landscapers and landscape design services, horticultural/botanical trusts and organizations, garden equipment manufacturers and suppliers, travel services specializing in horticultural/botanical tourism and display gardens. The Editor of the Journal ARS and the Webmaster of the Society have the right to refuse placement of advertising which does not adhere to this policy statement.


The aim of the American Rhododendron Society (Society) Copyright Policy is both to encourage the dissemination of information on rhododendrons and azaleas to the public in the various media and also to give authors and photographers freedom to submit their work to media other than the Society media.

The dissemination of information is one of the purposes of the Society, and the Copyright Policy should reflect this.

A non-exclusive Copyright Policy, whereby authors and photographers retain copyright to their own work, allows them freedom to submit their work to other media. Because the Society pays no fee to authors or photographers, the policy should include this freedom to submit work elsewhere as a measure of fairness. If the author or photographer submits work to other media in a form edited by the Society for any of its publications, printed or electronic, credit should be given to the Society.

The Society will request of its authors and photographers written permission to publish their work in the quarterly Journal ARS; on any of the Society websites; as printed materials individually or in anthologies or similar collections of work published by the Society, including Society chapter newsletters; and on digital formats published by the Society.

Requests from other print or electronic media to reproduce article or photographs published by the Society should be handled on a case-by-case basis. Permission both from the Society and the author/photographer is required. Authors are required to submit the following signed agreement:  The authors warrant that they secured the right to reproduce any material that has already been published or copyrighted elsewhere and that they identify such objects with appropriate citations and copyright statement, if applicable, in captions or even within the object themselves (e.g., copyrights of images or maps).



District 1
Cowichan Valley
Fraser South
Mt. Arrowsmith
North Island

District 2
Whidbey Island

District 3
Juan de Fuca
Olympic Peninsula

District 4
Tualatin Valley

District 5
De Anza


District 6

District 7
New York

District 8
Greater Philadelphia
Lehigh Valley
Valley Forge

District 9
Middle Atlantic
Potomac Valley

District 10
Tennessee Valley

District 11

Ann Arbor
Great Lakes

District 12

Non-Chapter Members



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