The Orchid House



  1. Preside at all society meetings, keeping business to a minimum. Preside at all Board meetings, keeping them short, moving and to the point.
  2. Delegate authority. A prime responsibility of the President is the proper selection and appointment of committees, committee chairs and other society staff positions.
  3. Serve as ex-officio member of all committees (except the nominating committee) and attend as many committee meetings as possible.
  4. Communicate. Call for regular reports, either oral or written, from all officers and committee chairs.
  5. Think ahead. Make certain that planning and work on all society activities are initiated far enough in advance to ensure completion and success.
  6. Innovate. Examine the contemporary structure and activities of the society to determine if they are workable and desirable. Initiate new procedures and projects if warranted.
  7. Make certain that the AOS has the name, address and phone number of the current AOS Representative, as well as that of the President.


  1. Perform the duties of the President during his or her absence.
  2. Perform duties assigned by society bylaws. (Such duties must be carefully detailed.)
Many societies have more than one Vice-President, whose duties frequently include such important responsibilities as monthly programs and plant displays. Guidelines for these specific tasks should be completely outlined.


  1. Maintain information of record required for the benefit of the society and its governing body.
  2. Keep accurate minutes and attendance of all regular society and Board meetings.
  3. Prepare three (3) copies of minutes, keeping one copy on file and forwarding the other copies promptly to the President and Vice-President.
  4. Maintain a society calendar, including all society meetings and activities, dates and places of shows and activities of other regional societies and AOS regional judgings and semi-annual meetings. This information, kept readily available, will enable your society and its members to schedule their activities better.


  1. Handle all correspondence received by the society.
  2. Make copies of all correspondence for the President.
  3. Write letters of thanks to each speaker, chairs of special society events, members who provide special contributions of time and material, and to any others who perform outstanding services for the benefit of the society.
  4. Advise Board members of pertinent information in writing or by phone.
  5. Immediately after an election, notify newly-elected officers and directors (in writing) of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the officers and directors for the coming year.
  6. Notify the American Orchid Society of the name, address and phone number of the AOS Representative for the coming year (if there is a change), as well as for that of the President.
  7. Arrange for cards of sympathy or concern and memorials, if customary.
  8. Reserve date for AOS judging of society show with AOS regional chair at the time that the show location is reserved.
  9. Write to the AOS requesting judging, enclosing a copy of letter from AOS regional judging chair granting award judging. Indicate name of society, place and date(s) of show. Ask that the announcement be included in the AOS Bulletin in "Dates for your Calendar." This must be done promptly!
  10. Determine if banquet-, show- or other chairpersons need letters/ invitations written, e.g., to judges, photographer or speakers.


  1. Collect, record and deposit all funds of and/or due the society in the society's name in such bank or brokerage firm as determided by the Board. These funds may include monies resulting from dues, plant sales, auctions, refreshment donations, raffle tickets, banquet tickets, shows, donations or other sources.
  2. Determine deadlines in advance and make appropriate payments prior to due dates for:
    1. Meeting place rent
    2. Post office box rent
    3. Bulk mail permits
    4. Insurance renewals
    5. Other recurring expenses
  3. Disburse funds at the direction of the Board or a committee(s) empowered by the Board.
  4. File all necessary state and federal tax forms within allowable filing periods.
  5. Maintain all ledger accounts and other financial records, current and complete.
  6. Give a verbal report of the current finances at each Board meeting. Provide one written copy of this report to the Recording Secretary (to be filed with the minutes) and one copy (to be available at the regular society meeting) for the membership to read. It is suggested that the financial report contain monthly and year-to-date figures for current period and prior year period, for comparisons.
  7. Audit the membership records.
  8. Consult with the Show and/or Banquet chairmen to establish procedures for financial record keeping.
  9. Prepare an Annual Report for the fiscal year, which will be audited by an auditor or audit committee selected by the Board.
  10. Serve as a member of the Budget Committee.


  1. Perform duties assigned by society bylaws or President.
  2. Attend all Board and society meetings.
  3. As Board of Director/Trustee, assume ultimate responsibility for the proper operation of the society.


  1. Be a member in good standing of the American Orchid Society.
  2. Be willing to serve as AOS Representative on a long-term (two to five years or more) basis.
  3. Serve as the primary liaison between your society, its individual members and the AOS.
  4. Promptly notify the AOS office of your appointment as AOS Representative, providing the office with your name, address, phone number, plus the name of your Society, its mailing address and its meeting location.
  5. Share materials sent to you through the AOS Rep program with the appropriate officer or chairman in the society. Take the AOS Rep mailing with you to the next meeting. For instance, share:
    1. Speakers List and Slide Program List with Program Chair
    2. Culture information with leader of Newcomers Group and with membership
    3. Book list with Librarian and/or Budget Committee
  6. Respond to each request for information or assistance sent through AOS Rep channels. Especially important is the AOS Rep questionnaire.
  7. Bring the AOS Membership poster to each orchid function and take current literature or an AOS Bulletin to each meeting. Share interesting articles and information with members and prospective members. Act as the ambassador who promotes membership in AOS and your society.
  8. Arrange for an orderly turnover to your successor, including all materials and the lessons you've learned. Send the name of the new AOS Rep to the AOS Headquarters to be doubly sure the turnover is complete. Include full information (address, phone number, etc. ), please.
  9. Enjoy being the AOS Rep for your society. It is an important and rewarding task which can enhance your own enjoyment of orchids.



  1. Whenever possible, the banquet location should be booked one year in advance. This is possible by establishing an annual date, which might be dictated by the society's anniversary or show. If it is not feasible to have an annual date, then it is up to the Board or membership to set a date. It should be set at least three months ahead of time in order to assure that all the details are worked out. Once a date has been set, then the Banquet Chair should "shop" a few of the local establishments to see what is available for that date and report this information to the Board.
  2. Establish a firm date and time with person at selected hall.
  3. Obtain cost of dinner (including tax and tip) and choice of menus for presentation at the next Board meeting and for final approval by the membership.
  4. Coordinate with President and Program Chair to select program, guest speaker and master of ceremonies. When a speaker or master of ceremonies has been invited, be sure to extend gratis invitations for spouses.
  5. Work with Program Chair and Plant Sales Committee to obtain good plants for door prizes. Members should be encouraged to donate divisions of their best plants, but do check for pests and diseases.
  6. Work with the Plant Sales Committee on acquisition of plants for plant opportunity table and individual table favors, if this is planned.
  7. Get tickets from Program Chair for opportunity table and door prizes.
  8. Select a decoration committee which is responsible for preparing flower arrangements for head and individual tables, working with President and Program Chair to prepare and arrange place cards for head table, and distributing favors and door prizes.
  9. Arrange with the banquet hall to provide a head table with the correct number of places.
  10. Select a chairman to prepare a program booklet, if necessary. It should cover all events planned for the banquet. As much of the booklet as possible should be prepared well in advance, with the final last-minute changes.
  11. Consult with Newsletter Editor as early as possible to prepare a special issue concerning the banquet. It should cover all details such as reservation notice, cost of dinner, name of guest speaker and information on plant raffle and door prizes.
  12. Ask Corresponding Secretary to mail copy of the newsletter containing banquet information to neighboring societies, inviting them to attend.
  13. Notify the banquet hall manager of the total number of dinner reservations at least 24 hours, or at a stipulated time, prior to the dinner. It is usually advisable to request at least ten (10) extra places for the dinner.
  14. Banquet tickets should be the responsibility of the Treasurer, however:
    1. All tickets must be paid in advance.
    2. Reservations should be tabulated as they arrive and the tickets held in reserve for distribution at the door on the evening of the dinner.
    3. Waiters should make a true head count, but Banquet Chair should also take a final count as a check.
    4. Gratis tickets are to be distributed to the VIP's earlier.
    5. Treasurer or designate is to handle distribution of tickets.
  15. Make last-minute check with President regarding any additions to the head table or changes to the program. These should be verbally acknowledged from the head table at the beginning of the program.
  16. Make certain that the Treasurer has given the check to the banquet hall manager covering the dinner and any miscellaneous charges that may have occurred.
  17. Before leaving, make a final check of banquet hall to see that all society and personal property have been removed.
If a society is small in number and low on funds, don't let that discourage you from holding a banquet. A covered dish dinner held on the anniversary of the society's founding and held at the place of the regular meeting could be arranged, or it could be held at a member's home, with everyone helping. The point is to establish a reason for holding a banquet dinner and then make it an annual event, something to look forward to each year, and a time for fun!


  1. Appoint a committee of at least three persons and obtain approval of their appointments from the Board. (It is suggested that the Treasurer be a member of the committee. Also, several Directors with different term expiration dates should be included. In this manner, a continuity of the budget process from year-to-year will be assured.)
  2. Consult with the Treasurer and the chairs of all other standing committees to prepare a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget should include projection of revenues and expenditures.
  3. Coordinate plans to direct the efforts of the society in fund-raising activities.
  4. Work with Chairs of special events to hold expenses to the minimum essential to accomplish their goals.
  5. Review each monthly financial report prepared by the Treasurer to compare actual performance by line item with the projected budget and prior year performance data. Make appropriate recommendations to the Board.


There are three basic forms of greenhouse tours. Although this job description applies only to tours of society members' greenhouses, your society may also wish to consider tours held in conjunction with regional or national shows or a traveling tour of commercial greenhouses with several days devoted to the expedition.
  1. Although weather conditions vary from one part of the country to another, spring is usually the best time to conduct a tour.
  2. In order to encourage a pleasant social environment, and depending upon travel time between homes or greenhouses, only three visitations should probably be planned for one day.
  3. Include three different growth styles, with a short introduction at each home by the host or hostess. Categories might include species growers, growers using lights, greenhouse growers or those who specialize in a particular genera.
  4. Exchange of cultural ideas provides an informal service to beginners and intermediates and allows advanced growers to share some of their knowledge. A brief potting demonstration could be held at one of the advanced grower's homes.
  5. Plan this event months in advance. Detailed maps should be provided. The time of visitation at each home should allow a concentration of people and a much higher level of enthusiasm, as well as allowing the hosts and hostesses to participate in the rest of the tour!
  6. Although not necessary, the first stop could offer coffee and rolls; the second could offer soft drinks and snacks; the last visit could be large enough for a pot luck dinner. The key is to keep it quite simple, while making it a learning experience and a social event.


  1. Keep adequate records of all books and publications. Under policies and procedures approved by the Board, circulate the library holdings or make them available for reference.
  2. Assume responsibility for the maintenance and security of the library.
  3. Recommend purchases of new books to the Board and upon approval, make these purchases.
  4. Attend the monthly meeting of the Board.
  5. Confer and collaborate with other committees whenever it shall be in the best interest of the society.
  6. Submit an annual written report to the President prior to the annual meeting.


  1. Record the names, addresses and phone numbers of all members. Update files as necessitated by change of address, death, etc.
  2. Collect and record dues and transmit monies thus collected to the Treasurer.
  3. Publish and distribute a membership list at intervals determined necessary or desirable by the Board.
  4. Issue membership cards to new members and give their names to Newsletter Editor for publication. Issue name tags.
  5. Encourage those who attend shows as spectators and those who attend meetings as guests to join the society. Form and head committee to distribute membership applicationa and answer questions of anyone showing an interest in growing orchids. This committee could also be responsible for maintaining a guest book at each society meeting.
  6. Issue a letter of welcome, giving details of meeting place, date of next meeting, and directions on how to reach same to every new member.
  7. Introduce new members and guests at each meeting when requested by the President.


  1. Assemble all information for the newsletter. Attend all society, Board, and committee meetings, or have somebody assigned to report accurately on actions taken at said meetings.
  2. Keep members informed of activities of the organization and its members, remembering to include all pertinent information: who, what, where, when, why. A few diligent members acting as reporters can be helpful, but their efforts must be coordinated by the Editor.
  3. Assume responsibility for success of functions, including meetings, by informing members accurately and promptly of coming events, and by making such events seem interesting and inviting.
  4. Prepare copy that is printer-ready, whether by mimeograph, offset, or whatever. In this connection, the Editor must be familiar with both people and orchids, and therefore must:
    1. Have an accurate and current roster of members, with names spelled correctly.
    2. Own or have easy access to the Handbook on Nomenclature and Registration in order to provide the correct names for orchid plants, with correct spelling, symbols, and abbreviations.
    3. Own or have easy access to a complete set of Sander's Hybrid Lists, with current interim supplements, so that the names of hybrids are spelled correctly. Exhibitors cannot be counted on for accuracy!
    4. Own or have easy access to a complete set of the AOS Awards Quarterly and the AOS Awards Register and Supplement I-VI in order to list correctly previous awards to plants mentioned in the Newsletter.
  5. Meet deadlines, getting the newsletter into the mail in time to reach members prior to any meeting or event, allowing for the vagaries of the postal service and for members who live a lengthly distance from the meeting site. The mailing list, in whatever form, must be constantly coordinated with Membership and Publicity chairs.
  6. Must be a friendly and out-going person who knows the members, has their confidence, and keeps up with their activities to report in the newsletter. This includes trips, awards won, exhibits entered, judgings attended, and activities of the people concerned with the AOS. In this connection, the Editor should work with the AOS Rep of the society in order to report important AOS activities.
  7. Enlist members to prepare cultural articles, greenhouse activities, and other information that will help the members to grow orchids with success. A monthly message from the President helps to make the Newsletter more personal and attuned to the current administration.


  1. Arrange with other members of the committee to meet and select a slate of candidates for the next year, following the rules and time regulations set forth by the Constitution and Bylaws.
  2. Receive an oral or written confirmation from each candidate that he/she is willing to serve.
  3. Submit the proposed slate to the membership as specified by the Constitution and Bylaws.
  4. Preside at the annual election if the President is a nominee.


  1. Beginning in March, and in each succeeding month, encourage people through the newsletter to save plant divisions. If opportunity arises, collections can be purchased for resale, providing price is reasonable and the plants have been inspected for pests and diseases.
  2. In June, contact person in charge of sale location. Determine the size, location and security procedures of any storage space.
  3. In June, contact all suppliers of supporting items for sale (e.g., potting medium, fertilizer), perhaps on a percentage basis. Boxes and/or heavy weight sacks are also needed.
  4. Discuss with Board a possible 50/50 agreement with society members desiring to establish and maintain their own stalls.
  5. Contact knowledgeable persons for pricing and potting demonstrations, and persons for corsage-making.
  6. Work with Publicity chair, providing required information to meet deadlines for magazines, newspapers, etc.
  7. Starting at July meeting, recruit volunteer workers and supplies, and check equipment. Make arrangement for gathering equipment listed in #3.
  8. Put notice in September newsletter to bring donated plants and cut flowers on meeting night or to sale site early the morning of the sale.
  9. Obtain any necessary keys for sale site 3-4 days in advance.
  10. Pricing is more time consuming than expected. Arrange to have plants priced as far in advance as possible, placing prices where cashiers can see them easily.
  11. Transport everything possible to storage area the day preceding the sale.
  12. Obtain a supply of "small change" for cashiers.
  13. Plants received on meeting night should be taken to storage area after pricing.
  14. Working staff should arrive at 8 a.m. on sale day. Chair and assistant should be at site by 7 a.m. to unlock doors and plan layout. Sale hours customarily are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (But you will find customers start arriving as early as 8:30 a.m.)
  15. Appoint someone to set up coffee table and someone to take orders for and pick up lunch for people working all day.
  16. Sales area should be swept and tidied at end of each day.
  17. Storage area should be checked at close of sale to assure nothing is left behind.
  18. Keys should be returned promptly on the day following the sale.
  19. It is customary to send the contact person at the sale site a gift, such as a plant, the week after the sale.
  20. Equipment needed: tables for plants, working tables (minimum 8 card tables), 4 chairs, handtruck, 2 adding machines, 2 cash boxes, pads of paper, applications for membership (society and AOS), boxes, marking pencils and gummed labels for pricing, 2 Scotch tape dispensers, signs, stands and coffee-making supplies.


  1. Obtain speakers for society meetings and other special functions as needed. Depending on agreement with the speaker, arrange transportation, lodging and local hospitality. Arrange for Treasurer to prepare check to cover speaker's expenses and/or honorarium or donation. Some speakers may wish to bring plants or other related items to sell.
  2. Arrange for alternative programs (e.g., AOS movie or slide program, round table discussion utilizing local society experts, etc. ).
  3. Notify Publicity chair and Newsletter Editor of program details before their respective deadlines.
  4. See that all pertinent materials are ready for distribution well before the meeting.
  5. Arrange for audio-visual aids required for the program, assuring that all materials are properly returned and secured.
  6. Develop resource file for potential programs. (The AOS's Speakers List and Slide Program List are excellent sources. Both are free to Affiliated Societies. A regional "talent list" of speakers should also be compiled. )
  7. Arrange for discussion of plant table.
  8. Arrange for purchases of plants, cultural or other handbooks, or materials to be used for society programs.
  9. As applicable, make sure that adequate supplies of plant table nomination and display forms, plant raffle tickets, etc. are available for meetings.
  10. Send, or have Corresponding Secretary prepare, a thank-you note to the speaker.
  11. Prepare a program budget.
  12. Help arrange programs for special events as requested.
  13. Prepare a list of references pertinent to program topic for members.
The duties of the Program Chairman differ considerably from society to society. Outline these duties in detail, according to the routine and practices of the society using these guidelines.


  1. Upon accepting office, obtain from previous Chair a list of publications in which publicity is placed. Review this list for currency and correctness. The list should include publication name, day of week which is best used, deadline for publication, contact person (generally garden editor), and other relevant information. Media contact-people should be reached to reconfirm deadlines, press release length and other special circumstances. Media coverage should be periodically re-evaluated to ensure that all interested persons are being reached.
  2. Fund-raising and other special events require extra publicity, which should start far in advance of the given event.
  3. Pictures are an excellent method of stimulating extra interest for special events. Deadlines for accompanying photography are usually earlier. Black and white prints are usually required The clearer the print, the better the reproduction.
  4. It is essential that the Program Chair provide program information well in advance of the forthcoming meeting. This would include speaker's name and topic and other interesting facets of the meeting. Newsletter leadtime must be considered and newspaper publicity should be in the relevant 4-7 days prior to the meeting date.
  5. Properly written press releases are brief and concise, but contain all necessary information. Thoroughness is a more important asset to a Publicity Chair than writing talent.
  6. Since consistency is of utmost importance in publicity, make doubly sure that the correct number of copies of all press releases reach the proper contact-person in plenty of time to meet deadlines.
  7. For future reference, always keep a copy of all press releases.
  8. Because advance notice of all important events and meetings so vital, intra-society communication must be of the highest order. Liaison with the Program Chair is especially important.


This pertains to the social portion of each regular society meeting, providing an opportunity for members to become better acquainted. Special events, such as banquets and pot-luck dinners, are generally handled by separate committees.
  1. Obtain hosts/hostesses for each monthly meeting of the year. They are to provide light refreshments (e.g., cookies) and prepare coffee, tea or whatever is customarily served.
  2. Try to secure personnel for the entire year in advance, advising Newsletter Editor of each month's hosts and hostesses for publication.
  3. A reminder call to each host/hostess is also advisable.
  4. Maintain an adequate supply of all items necessary to serve refreshments and all basic supplies (e.g., coffee, sugar).
  5. See that an orderly and clean kitchen is left at the close of each meeting.
  6. Submit proposed annual cost to Budget committee; present itemized bills and receipts to Treasurer for reimbursement.


Like the President of an orchid society, the Show Chairman has a unique opportunity to coordinate the efforts of all society members and maximize the results in a rewarding success! The guidelines set forth here are an attempt to aid in this important task.
  1. Request records from previous Show Chair, and direction from society President and Board. Establish show date, hours, location, type of show, theme and alternate date in case of conflict.
  2. Establish budget based on society finances, history of previous shows, current membership activity and possible sponsor participation.
  3. Select and guide committee members of chairs for: Publicity, Staging, Judging, Entry, Clerking, Secretarial, Finance, Sales, Raffles, Membership/Information Desk, Artistic Division, Lectures/Demonstrations, Trophies/Ribbons/Awards, Hospitality, Transportation, Display Signs (unless exhibitors are asked to provide their own), and Cleanup.
  4. Arrange monthly meetings with total committee membership or chairs to coordinate all activities, seek input, monitor progress and give direction.
  5. Utilizing the list of AOS members in the area received by the AOS Rep, invite area AOS members to display at shows and attend.
  6. Adapt and arrange for printing of show schedule including related information such as educational program schedule, banquet, fees, etc. Send copies to all exhibitors and judges. Plant entry tags may be sent to exhibitors to speed plant entry.
  7. Invite area dignitaries such as honored guests, writers, TV personnel, garden clubs, retirement home residents, etc. to obtain maximum publicity and attendance.
  8. Provide accommodation information for out-of-town exhibitors, judges and guests.
  9. Invite exhibitors, judges and guests to any special activities. such as banquet and workshops where they can learn, participate or contribute.

These guidelines apply to any AOS-judged show:

  1. Six months prior to the show date, contact your AOS regional judging Chair requesting the show date for AOS judging.
  2. Invite five or more AOS judges to indicate their availability to serve as show judges. Choose a chair for AOS judging.
  3. Inform the AOS office, preferably six months prior to the show of the confirmed show date, place and sponsoring society for listing in the Bulletin's "Dates for Your Orchid Calendar."
  4. Request AOS judging kit and show trophy ($35 fee for trophy).
  5. If yours is a regional or national show, consult your regional show rules, or use the AOS standard show schedule. A large show may be promoted by means of Bulletin advertising, which should be arranged at least six months prior to the show date.
  6. Invite all area AOS judges to participate.
  7. Reserve a designated, properly lighted area for AOS judging. Schedule sufficient time for show and AOS judging, generally 3-6 hours.
  8. Arrange for awards photography and labeling of slides.
  9. Follow the rules, guidelines and suggestions given in the current (8th) edition of the AOS Handbook on Judging and Exhibition.
The success of any orchid show should be measured by the enjoyment it brings to the members who exhibit and to the public who attend, in either small or large numbers. Repeat shows at a public facility on the same date each year have proven to be highly successful.

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