MRHS President's Message

Fall, 2023

Greetings fellow hostaphiles. It was truly great seeing everyone in person at the summer convention in Rochester. Shades of Green did it again with a fabulous hosta convention.

A big shoutout to our Rochester convention co-chairs Joe Parisi and Kathy Rustad as well as their entire Shades of Green Hosta Society con-vention team. They patiently worked through the pandemic as the planned event was rescheduled from 2021 to 2023. Perseverance led to success. And a special congrads to Glenn Herold on receiving the Montgomery Award, the highest honor bestowed by the MRHS. Now we look forward to next summer’s convention in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin hosted by a couple of “cheeseheads” Pat Gwidt and Glenn Herold.

On behalf of the entire MRHS membership I want to extend a special note of thanks to our outgoing board members who have completed their terms – Pat Gwidt, David Dettmann and Kathy Rustad. These folks work largely behind the scenes to keep our society functioning. I am also pleased to welcome to the board Dave Collura (now he’s official), Mike Kraus and Phil Timm.

In my remarks at the annual members meeting at the convention, I mentioned that what the society really needs is not so much your annual membership dues, but your active participation in society events. Our trusty treasurer Mona Keehn reported that the MRHS has a strong finan-cial position. In fact, all who attended the summer convention were given a complimentary one-year extension on MRHS membership or given a com-plimentary new membership for 2023. Our challenge as a vibrant and thriving society is to support our two annual events – the summer conven-tion and the winter symposium. The lifeline of our society remains with these two in person events that stimulate new friendships and sustain longtime friendships. Coming out of the pandemic, the old saying never rings more true. “What first brought us together was a plant, but what keeps us coming back is the people.” Midwest Regional Hosta Society Newsletter, Fall 2023, Page 3

And that leads me to the upcoming 2024 Winter Symposium. Plan-ning is already well underway. The hotel contract has been signed. The speaker lineup is set. The registration fee remains unchanged. There is an article later in this newsletter regarding the specifics along with a registra-tion form. Of special note is our very special guest speaker this year – all the way from The Netherlands, Marco Fransen. Don’t miss the special Fri-day evening “Meet and Greet Marco” hostatality event. For many of us this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Europe’s leading hosta grower. My request of each of you is to please join us in Milwaukee. We have moved the event to later in February, safely after the Super Bowl, and hopefully bettering our odds of “good” winter weather. Consider bringing a friend with you. We need at least 115 of you to attend this event to cover all the fixed hotel costs, speaker honorariums and AV costs. The Winter Symposium is an event truly unique to the MRHS. I look forward to seeing you in Milwaukee on February 24th. Hosta'ly

Rob Mortko
MRHS President
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