Dear Ikebana International Members,
Itfs early February as I write to you from my home in Kamakura, Japan and winter is still being felt here and around the world. I'm sure northern hemisphere residents are anticipating the arrival of spring and trees and flowers in blossom.
Since our last newsletter, the directors and I have been busy with administrative business here at headquarters.
I wrote in the last newsletter that headquarters will be implementing an Official Email System that will allow for better two-way communication. Some chapters have created and sent a test email to headquarters, but many chapters have not yet done so. Better two-way communication with headquarters was a major request from chapters at the World Convention. It is important that chapters show their support in this matter and send a test email as soon as possible. A single sentence (for example: gHere is XXX Chapter's test email.h) is sufficient.
As many members noted, email and the I.I. website can be an effective and efficient media for internal I.I. communication. A blog was suggested, but we do not have the capability to create this at this time. What headquarters is trying to do in the next few months, is bring our website in house so that we can update it more frequently, and be able to provide faster means of communication with chapters and members that are time sensitive. Also, we are looking to create a Ikebana International Headquarters Facebook page!
Since taking office as president five months ago, I have friended many chapters and members on Facebook. Facebook is a great way for all Ikebana International chapters and members to follow activities around the world. When chapters post their monthly activities, I send a message letting them know headquarters is aware of their hard work, and I encourage all chapters to submit articles and visual material (photos and illustrations) about events and activities for the Chapter Activities newsletter. The new format, with focus on photographs and content, has more energy, clarity, and appeal than the previous design. In the last issue of Sakura News, we clarified the criteria for submitting chapter activities reports, but we are receiving fewer and fewer articles to keep this publication going. Maybe the reason is that everyone is turning to Facebook and social media to share their events.
The Board and I are grateful to you our members for your dedication and support. If we could ask one favor, we would like to ask you to introduce one (or more) new friends to I.I. and encourage them to become a member this year. With your support, we are sure our motto, Friendship through Flowers, will continue into the future.
May the Power of Ikebana bring peace to everyone around the world!