It was 1998, the first year of Jean Ehlinger’s presidency, when the Executive Committee and Chairmen were called to Pittsburgh for a very important meeting.  It seemed WNF&GA needed to re-group:  Focus on our future…which at the moment looked unclear.

Peggy Campbell was a driving force.  The emphasis was to streamline; decide what was still important to the organization to the best of our ability and regroup.  It was a beginning.  The underlying mood was that whatever we came up with then was right for the time at hand.  Nothing was in concrete. It would reflect the current thinking of the organization.  It was a stop-gap, which could be revisited as needed.

What emerged that weekend was not a lot different from what the founding “mothers” of our organization had come up with many years prior:


Civic Service;

International Cooperation;

Floral Arts;

Horticultural Therapy;

Gardening; and

Environmental Concerns.

We added “Promotion and Growth” in light of our then current crisis of dwindling membership.

The actions of the weekend were refined over the next few years and added to our Standing Rules.

It was decided that each focus would have a coordinator who would:

  1. Oversee the organizational structure of the Focus, to protect its health and success; and to help facilitate its activities
  2.  Implement any changes necessary to keep the focus running smoothly and efficiently
  3. Accept the Awards Applications for the focus; make decisions, and present awards.
  4. Communicate the names of the award recipients to the National Awards Chairman.
  5. Communicate and meet with the Chairmen in her focus.  And finally, Inspire and enable her Chairmen to do their duties.

The focuses were to reflect who we are and our purposes for existing.  It was never thought that the organizational outline of the focuses was perfect, but rather, a “work in progress.”  There seemed to have been a loss of direction at the time.

The driving force was to never lose our direction.  It was believed that if we stayed focused on the primary aims of our organization, they would keep us from becoming mundane in our endeavors.  Let’s learn from our past and continue to protect our aims and purposes.