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  Thnks!
From: ExoticRainforest <Steve at exoticrainforest.com> on 2009.08.21 at 20:51:50(19816)
Albert just informed some of usthere are upcoming improvements to the IAS website that will benefitall our members. I hope he'll be announcing that soon here as well.

For those of you that have indicated on Aroid l or in private mail tome you aren't a member we want you to know we want everyone that hasany interest in aroids to be a part of this forum. If you never chooseto join the International Aroid Society that is not as important thanknowing about all the people interested in aroids. Please postoften..............but just in case you decide to join, I can promiseyou will find the return on your investment to be substantial.

IAS is able to function due to great volunteers. Tricia, Ron andAlbert are at the top of the list but there are many others that nevermake their names heard. For those that don't know, Steve Marak hasvolunteered his service for many years to the group by setting up andmoderating Aroid l. He rarely opens his mouth on this forum but he isto be thanked over and over again. Most of you don't know but Steveand I are almost neighbors and live only 30 minutes apart in thenorthwest corner of Arkansas. We've learned there are other aroiderswithin a few hours of us and would very much like to establish an IASchapter for this part of the country. If you live near us in Oklahomaor SE Missouri please drop us a note. And if you will considervolunteering to help with all the things that need done at IAS pleaselet us know.

For those that responded to my request to tell us where you are I wouldencourage any of you that may have discovered there is an aroiderliving in your part of the country to consider getting together. Ifyou didn't, you can go to the IAS website and see a list of members. You may just find a new friend.

Once you find aroiders that live near you there may be an IAS chapterin your future. All of us that are supporters of the organizationwould like to see many chapters formed in the U.S., Europe, Asia,Australia, Central America, South America or anywhere else there is aninterest. For those inCalifornia you already have one, just drop a note to AlbertorChristopher Rogers for details. If you would be interested inspearheading achapter please send a note to Aroid l, Albert or myself. We will beglad to help you get the ball rolling.

Part of the reason I asked you to respond is I wanted to know youbetter as well as where you are. We can only work together to make IASgrow if we communicate. When I was in college I thought I wanted to bea psychologist (wrong) and studied that field for years. I changed mymind in favor of another career but the one thing that was crammed intomy head was we all need to communicate. So please don't make thatsingle post your last. Tell us what you grow, what you don'tunderstand, what you'd like to learn, and what the IAS can do to makegrowing these genera more enjoyable.

If you are a regular reader you already know there are some fantasticminds (not mine) on this forum and we are blessed with real aroidexperts and field botanists. They are here to help you so please takeadvantage of Aroid l and post your questions. There is no such thingas a question that should not be asked. Personally, even though I'vegrown aroids for 20 years I've only been a super serious aroider for 5years and can't tell you how much I've learned right here!

And lastly, I really want to thank my good friends Leland Miyano andJulius Boos for their posts today. Leland has been feeding ideas tosome of us for two years on what we need to do to make IAS a betterorganization that serves its members in ways we haven't even explored. Thanks Leland, your ideas are great.

And to Julius, I thrive on your posts since you have been both a friendand mentor for a long time. We are all supporting you in your currenthealth issues and every time you feel like writing please continue thework you've done for so many years. For those that haven't heard,Julius received some good news and his health may be much better thanthought. Personally, our family asks for divine help for Jules all thetime and I know of other IAS members that do the same.

I'm often told I get way too long winded on here so that's it! Thanksto all that have responded and if you haven't please hit the button tosend a response now. We really do what to know where you live, whatyou collect, and who you are. Please communicate with us through Aroidl or by direct mail on a regular basis!

Steve

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