Updated in May 2009






·     Run all society business and board meetings and discharge all duties as directed by the bylaws of the society. 

·     Sign checks when the Treasurer is absent or in an emergency.

·     Preside at all board meetings, keeping them short, moving and to the point.

·     Select a person to purchase the annual contest plants, unless the President wishes to handle this job.

·     Appoint a Financial Advisor as vice-chair to the Finance Committee.

·     Appoint a chair of the nominating committee to act in the event that the President is a nominee.

·     Call for regular reports, either oral or written, from all officers and committee chairs, making certain that planning and work on all society activities are initiated far enough in advance to ensure completion and success.

·     Initiate new procedures and projects if warranted.

·     Ensure that all incoming, and proposed, board and committee members receive a copy of the Job Description Handbook.

·     At the Annual Meeting, submit the proposed slate to the membership as specified by the Constitution and Bylaws.




·     Help and learn from the President how to perform the duties of the President during his or her absence.

·     Arrange for the purchase of the Annual Meeting gift plants.


In his capacity as Program Chair:

·     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.

·     When the speaker chooses not to provide study plants, obtain suitable plants for the study plant table.

·     Arrange for alternate programs in the event of a late cancellation.  Local experts or a round-table discussion are possibilities.  Slide programs can be obtained fairly quickly from both AOS and ODC.

·     Notify the Newsletter Editor of program details before their deadline.

·     See that all pertinent materials are ready for distribution well before the meeting.

·     Arrange for audio-visual aids required for the program, assuring that all materials are properly returned or secured.

·     Send thank you notes to speakers promptly after their program.

·     Develop resource file for potential programs.  Both the AOS and the ODC have programs for affiliated societies.  The AOS maintains a Speakers List which can be downloaded from their website.  A regional "talent list" of speakers should also be compiled.




·     Keep accurate minutes and attendance of all regular and special board meetings as well as minutes of the Annual Meeting. Arrange for someone to fill in when absent.

·     Prepare one hard copy of the minutes for the society archive.

·     Send a copy of the minutes to each board member, either electronically or by mail if the member does not have e-mail access.

·     Handle all correspondence received by the society.

·     Make copies of all correspondence for the President.

·     Write letters of thanks to chairs of special society events, members who provide special contributions of time and material and to any others who perform outstanding services to the society.

·     Advise Board members of pertinent information by e-mail, in writing or by telephone.

·     Immediately after an election, notify newly-elected officers and directors of the names, address and telephone numbers of the officers and directors for the coming year.

·     Arrange for cards of sympathy or concern and memorials, if customary.





·     Collect, record and deposit all funds due the society in the society's name in such bank or brokerage firm as determined by the Board.  These funds may include monies resulting from dues, plant sales, auctions, donations, raffle and banquet tickets, shows, or other sources.

·     Determine deadlines in advance and make appropriate payments prior to due dates for:

o    Meeting place rent

o    Membership subscriptions (e.g. AOS, ODC )

o    Storage locker rent

o    Monthly opportunity plants

o    Insurance renewals

o    Other recurring expenses

·     Disburse funds at the direction of the Board or at the direction of a committee(s) empowered by the Board.

·     File all necessary state and federal tax forms within allowable filing periods.

·     Maintain all ledger accounts and other financial records in a current and complete fashion.

·     Give a verbal report of the current financial records at each Board meeting.  Provide one written copy of this report to the Secretary (to be filed with the minutes) and one copy (to be available at the regular society meeting) for the membership to read.  For comparison purposes, it is suggested that the financial report contain year-to-date figures for current period.

·     Consult with the Show Chair to establish procedures of financial record keeping.

·     Be prepared to provide change in small bills to those volunteers who handle sales at any sales events.

·     Prepare an Annual Report for the fiscal year, which should be audited by the Finance Committee. This report must be prepared in the month following the end of each fiscal year.

·     Serve as Chair of the Finance Committee.

·     Prepare materials for the annual audit.

·     Consult with the Treasurer and the Chairs of all other standing committees to prepare a budget for the coming fiscal year.  The budget should include projection of revenues and expenditures.

·     Coordinate plans to direct the efforts of the society in fund-raising activities.

·     Work with Chairs of special events to hold expenses to the minimum essential to accomplish their goals.

·     Prepare a brief financial report for inclusion in the newsletter after both the Spring and Fall shows.

·     Perform an orderly transfer of society financial records to the next elected Treasurer. This will include bank signature cards and other financial instruments.




·     Perform duties assigned by society bylaws or President.

·     Attend as many Board and society meetings as possible. Two consecutive absences, or excessive absences from board meetings may require resignation from the board.

·     Under the authority of the President, assume responsibility for the proper operation of the society.








·     Be a member in good standing of the AOS.

·     Serve as AOS Representative on a long-term (two to five years or more) basis.

·     Serve as the primary liaison between the society, its individual members and the AOS.

·     Share materials sent through the AOS Rep program with the appropriate officer or chairman in the society. 

·     Take any AOS Rep mailings to society meetings. 

·     Share the Speakers List and Slide Program List with the Program Chair.

·     Share Culture information with leader of Newcomers Group and with membership.

·     Respond to each request for information or assistance sent through AOS Rep channels.

·     Take current literature or a copy of Orchids to each meeting. 

·     Share interesting articles and information with members and prospective members. 

·     Act as the ambassador who promotes membership in the AOS and your society.

·     Arrange for an orderly turnover to the next society member willing to serve, including all materials and the lessons you have learned. 

·     Send the name and all contact information of the new AOS Rep to AOS Headquarters.



The President may handle this or delegate to another person if so desired. Each year a group of between 20 and 30 seedlings is purchased and sold to the members.  The first person to bloom the plant receives $50, the second receives $35 and the third person receives $25.  The selling price of each plant should allow for this program to be self-supporting.



·     Promote conservation of our native orchids. 

·     Investigate any grant proposals that are submitted for consideration by the board and recommend their approval or rejection.

·     Act as a liaison between the society and other conservation organizations.



·     Inform board members of any changes at the Gardens which might affect the activities of the society.

·     Attend the annual plant society meeting as the society’s representative.




·     Price and sell plants donated to the society for sale.

·     If desired, keep a written record of monies collected.

·     Give money to the treasurer or their representative at the end of the evening.



Composed of the Treasurer as Chair and a Financial Advisor, appointed by the President as Vice-Chair, and others as appointed by the President, this committee assists the Treasurer with preparation of the annual budget, tax returns and any other financial documents.  The Financial Advisor reviews the financial records of the society prior to the completion of the financial statement presented at the Annual Meeting.



·     Maintain an archive of items of historical interest to members of the society. 



·     The Hospitality chair is responsible for the coordination of any events held by the society which require food or drink.  It is recommended that most tasks be delegated to separate individuals unless one person prefers to take on the entire task for a specific event.  The main society functions which require hospitality are the Spring and Fall Shows, the summer event and the Annual meeting and pot-luck. 


o    Show Meal Functions include:

§     Lunch and drinks for vendors (if any) all three days.

§     Lunch and drinks for volunteers on all three days.

§     Breakfast and lunch for show judges on Saturday.

o    The summer event may include:

§     Coordination of drinks and snacks at each venue

§     Coordination of the pot-luck meal at the final venue

o    The Annual Meeting:

§     Coordination of the pot-luck meal.

§     Planning for silverware and drinks.

§     Decorate tables

·     The chair should work within the budget set by the Board at the January budget meeting.



·     Attend monthly judging sessions regularly or arrange for a back-up.

·     Inform the Board of any matters that affect the functioning of the society. 

·     If it is anticipated that AOS judging will be requested at either the Spring or Fall shows, coordinate with the show chair and treasurer to ensure that paperwork and payment is submitted in a timely manner.

·     After each monthly judging session submit a report to the newsletter editor of any awards and other items of interest to society members.

·     Be prepared to field any judging-related questions from the membership.






·     Keep accurate records of all books and publications. 

·     Under policies and procedures approved by the Board, circulate the library holdings or make them available for reference.

·     Assume responsibility for the maintenance of the library.

·     Periodically review the library and arrange for the sale of duplicate items at society meetings.

·     Seek recommendations from the board and the membership for new additions to the library.

·     Staying within the annual budget, purchase new books at the best possible prices. 

·     Confer and collaborate with other committees whenever it shall be in the best interest of the society.

·     Submit an annual written report to the President prior to the annual meeting.



·     Record the names, addresses and phone numbers of all members. 

·     Update files as necessitated by change of address, death, etc.

·     Collect and record dues and transmit monies collected to the Treasurer.

·     Maintain member’s addresses in a database for use when mailing the newsletter.

·     Manage the purchase of name tags for new members once each year, usually in the springtime. 

·     Give the names of new members to the Newsletter Editor for publication.

·     Encourage those who attend shows as spectators and those who attend meetings as guests to join the society. 

·     Form and head a committee to distribute membership applications and answer questions of anyone showing an interest in growing orchids. 

·     Speak or otherwise communicate with each new member giving details of meeting place, date of next meeting, and directions on how to reach same.

·     Introduce new members and guests at each meeting when requested by the President.

·     Make certain that the American Orchid Society has the name, address and phone number of the current AOS Representative, as well as that of the President.

·     Send a copy of the newsletter to the AOS. 


Currently the membership chair is also handling the following tasks, but this work could be delegated to others.

·     Publish and distribute a membership list, or yearbook, each year.

·     Mailing and electronic distribution of the newsletter.



·     This committee arranges for meetings of new or less experienced members to learn specific items related to orchid culture.  These may include, but are not limited to, re-potting, mounting and growing under lights.



The newsletter editor plays a vital role in any society. Not all members can attend each society meeting and the newsletter becomes the major contact point for these people.

·     Assemble all information for the Newsletter.  People who would feed information to the editor might include the President, the Program Chair, the Judging Center Chair and Liaison, the Show Chair, The AOS and ODC representatives, the Secretary and the Treasurer.

·     Prepare information about the 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.

·     Prepare copy for digital printing.  Meeting deadlines is important since there will be times when the postal service takes longer than normal to deliver the newsletter.

·     Currently, mailing, both through the postal service and via e-mail, is handled by the Membership Chair.




·     Present any Orchid Digest Correspondence to the society members and the board.

·     Have membership applications available at society meetings and shows.

·     Encourage the show chair to request the ODC show trophy for all shows that qualify for the trophy. Make sure the chair knows the procedures for obtaining the trophy.

·     Let the program chair know of available educational programs.

·     Correspond with Orchid Digest on behalf of your society if requested.

·     Send ODC complete information on your replacement when you can no longer serve.





·     Oversee all aspects of advertising and public relations for the society.

·     Maintain a list of media resources which will accept advertising for society fund-raising events (shows, auctions etc.)

·     Distribute advertising material to media resources.

·     Forward complete files to succeeding chairs.



Like the President of an orchid society, the Show Chair has a unique opportunity to coordinate 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.

·     Request records from previous Show Chair, and direction from society President and Board.  Establish show date, hours, a location, type of show, theme and alternate date in case of conflict.

·     Request approval of proposed show dates from the AOS Center Judging Chair at least six months in advance, if AOS judging is desired.  At this time, download the Show packet, as a pdf file, from the AOS website.  Print out the relevant pages and complete the forms. If the names of the judges are not known, the center chair can complete that section. Send the completed form and a check made out to the AOS for the appropriate amount to the center chair.  The Chair will sign the form and forward it and the check to the American Orchid Society.  The chair will return a copy of the completed form to the show chair for their records.

·     Establish a budget based on society finances, history of previous shows, current membership activity and possible sponsor participation.

·     Coordinate with the chairs of Public Relations, Hospitality and the Treasurer to ensure that those aspects of the show are handled appropriately., Select and guide committee members for: the DOS Exhibit, Staging, Plant Entry, Clerking, Sales, Membership Desk, Lectures/Demonstrations, Trophies/Ribbons/Awards, Display Signs (unless exhibitors supply their own), and Cleanup. 

·     Invite the Center Chair of AOS judging to chair your show judging. If AOS judging is not requested then you may still want to invite local judges to handle ribbon judging.  Experienced society members may participate but having a disinterested party along reduces the possibility of conflict among members.

·     Arrange meetings as necessary with total committee membership or Chairs to coordinate all activities, seek input, monitor progress and give direction.

·     Adapt and arrange for printing of the show schedule, including therein related information such as educational program schedule, banquet, fee, etc.  Send copies to all exhibitors and judges.  Plant entry tags may be sent to exhibitors to speed plant entry. Send a pdf file of the show entry schedule to the webmaster.

·     Provide accommodation information for out-of-town exhibitors, judges and guests.

·     Invite exhibitors, judges and guests to any special activities such as banquet workshops where they can learn, participate or contribute.

·     Invite other societies in the region to participate.

·     Reserve a designated, properly lighted area for AOS judging.  Schedule sufficient time for show and AOS judging (generally 2-3 hours).

·     Check with the Judging Center Chair and if a judging seminar is planned, arrange for an appropriate space and set-up.

·     Arrange for awards photography, including photographer and location.  Check with the local center chair for the name of the photographer they use and invite him to take images of the awarded plants at the show.  He will arrange to forward the images to the center award secretary for processing.

·     Follow the rules, guidelines and suggestions given in the most current edition of the AOS’s Handbook on Judging and Exhibition.  This is available on AQ+.

·     Be sure the recommended books contained in the most current edition of the AOS’s Handbook on Judging and Exhibition are available during judging.  If the society does not own the books required then check with the center chair and ask if they can make the center copies available.

·     After the show follow up with the judging chair to make sure that the names of winners of cash awards are forwarded to the treasurer for payment.

·     Forward any bills and requests for reimbursement to the treasurer.

·     On a periodic basis, work with the center chair and the show entry registrar to update the show schedule.

·     After each show determine whether the supply of entry tags will be adequate for the next show. If not, order more so that they will be available in plenty of time.


The success of any orchid show should be measured by the enjoyment it brings to 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.




This person should be able to attend most of the society meetings and should have a back-up available to cover any absences.  The goal is to have plants available as educational tools for members to report on to the society.  If the plant blooms, flourishes or dies the member can tell the society under what conditions the plant was grown. Some speakers sell the society plants related to their topic for a reasonable price. Sometimes they donate a plant or two. When there is no speaker, or the person chooses not to bring study plants, the Program Chair arranges for the purchase of plants. This is not intended to be a money-making venture but it is hoped that the program does break even.  Currently, members purchase tickets and place one half of the stub in a pot next to the plant they would like to win. One free ticket is given to any member who brings in a plant for show-and-tell.  The winning ticket is drawn from each pot and announced. 




·     Often this job description applies only to tours of society members' greenhouses, but your society may also wish to consider other special events. In order to encourage a pleasant social environment and depending on travel time between homes or greenhouses, only three visitations should be planned for one day. 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 particular genera. Exchange of cultural ideas provides an informal service to beginners/intermediates and allows advanced growers to share some of their knowledge.  A brief potting demonstration could be held at one of the advanced growers' home.

·     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 host and hostess to participate in the tour!

·     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 potluck dinner.  The key is to keep it quite simple, while making it a learning experience and a social event.




Though a new position, this is an important one for the success of the society. Having a colorful, informative website is a must for the easy distribution of information to members as well as for attracting new members to the society. Material to be included on the website may include:

·     Information about the meeting place, date and time of regular meetings.

·     The schedule of board meetings.

·     Copies of the Constitution and the Bylaws.

·     The current show entry schedule.

·     Information about national and regional shows and events.

·     A Listing of the board members and committee chairs, especially important is the Membership Chair.


Since people rely on websites to have the most up-to-date information, the webmaster should be detail-oriented and willing to update material on a regular basis.



This task is currently handled by the Membership Chair but it could be delegated should the need arise.  Many members have opted to accept the electronic copy rather than have the society pay for a large printing order.  Approximately one half of the membership still requires a hard copy of the yearbook.