A Message from the AHG President
Here's wishing you the happiest of New Years and sending you good thoughts for a healthy and prosperous winter.
Now that 2011 has come to a close, our attention here at AHG turns to our ambitious plans for the coming year. On the heels of a popular symposium last fall in Florida, your governing council and officers are hard at work on the next year of the 5-year plan that was unveiled at the symposium.
Save the Date! Our 2012 professional conference, slated for October 18-21 in a beautiful setting in Pennsylvania, will be one of the most inclusive and educational professional meetings we have ever offered. AHG has constituted a new symposium committee. The committee members, AHG councilors and the crew of hard working volunteers working on the conference are putting together a gathering that I think will be the highlight of the year for herbalists. In practical terms, we have made improvements in the way we organize our symposium that will make it easier for you to plan and which will give us more solid resources to help AHG stay stable and grow rapidly, including locating symposium sites two to three years in advance and settling on permanent locations for coming years.
Please make your plans now to join us for an exceptional lineup of teachers, with an AHG first-ever keynote from our friend, internationally known herbalist and author Rosemary Gladstar.
AHG chapters are growing. We have added six chapters in the last year and are helping to organize new ones in several states and metro areas. Our goal is to have 20 chapters by the end of 2012. Please join your local chapter or consider starting one.
In last year's planning, we made a commitment to bring benefits worth more to members than the cost of membership. We are already at that point, and we have added several new services that we know you will appreciate.
Key member benefits:
- Unlimited on-line access to past issues of the Journal of the AHG on our website
- Unlimited on-line access to library of over 200 MP3 recordings from past AHG symposia and webinars
- Revamped and expanded mentorship program
- Webinar training series: high-quality presentations taught by AHG professional members -- 10 webinars in 2012
- Discount on member purchases at Frontier Natural Products Coop and Mountain Rose Herbs
Benefits in the works, planned to begin during 2012:
- An improved, simplified professional application process
- Discounts on several types of insurance, including professional liability coverage
- Discounted credit card processing
- Further discounts on herb purchases
- AHG Speakers Bureau
- Professional connections with other associations to merge support for natural healing
You will see increased AHG presence on the local and national scene, as we initiate our outreach plan for more booths at conferences, website and social media improvements, and enhanced media connections.
On the nuts and bolts side, our membership goal for 2012 is 1900 total members. Please encourage your colleagues to join us in your professional association. We are instituting plans to increase our income and financial reserves, so that we have the wherewithal to deliver the increased member benefits we have planned.
There is strength in numbers. The more of us who band together, the more we can accomplish for your profession. Please support your professional association. We have big plans, and we need your help. If this is your year to give back to your profession, we need volunteers in many areas. Please also consider a donation to the AHG to help sustain our mission of supporting herbalism.
So, you see big projects are afloat. Expect 2012 to be the best year in the history of the American Herbalists Guild. I hope to see you personally very soon out in the world of herbalism, and when we meet, please introduce yourself so we can get to know each other. Again, best wishes for a great 2012.