The 2021 Annual Reports from Board members have been combined into this single page for easier reading.
President’s Report 2021
In 2021, we made a lot of changes to HIPS business and data management. In our January meeting, we began using Zoom rather than conference calling. Likewise, in May we held our Annual Meeting via Zoom for the first time, rather than holding it at the AIS conference. This was a positive change that allowed more HIPS members to participate than only those in attendance at the AIS Conference. We will continue holding our Annual Meetings virtually.
HIPS has set up an Airtable account, which is an online database service. We now manage our data there, which involves our retail iris data, databank data, Guardian Gardens data, PBF data, and rhizome sale data.
In 2021, we chose Webfitters to overhaul our website, and they will manage our hosting and maintenance. Those serving on the Website committee were Laetitia Monroe, Cathy Egerer, Susan Flow, Tim Vanover, and myself.
We held our HIPS Sale once again, under a new format in which donors shipped collections directly to buyers. Cathy Egerer and I ran the sale, using Airtable to track inventory, allow our customers to place digital orders, and send invoices. There were a few glitches. but all-in-all, it was a success. Looking forward, HIPS will expand the sale in 2022 to include our Canadian members.
Southeast Regional Director Report 2021
I became involved with HIPS through the Guardian Garden program. I was expanding a historic iris collection and could care for endangered iris. After participating in a rare iris rescue, I was even more dedicated to preserving and displaying historic iris, adding Siberians to the extensive bearded iris collection. As Southeast Director during the pandemic, rescue opportunities were rare, and requests for support to outside organizations yielded little fruit. I expect the need to coordinate more rescues in the coming year.
North Central Director 2021 Report
I participated in HIPS board meetings after my appointment, in July. Previous to my appointment, I have been compiling data for the Guardian Gardens program for the last few years. I corresponded with members in my region who were interested in being added to our rescue volunteers. I will be helping in the HIPS Gallery, this year with loading new photos and updates to existing ones.
Also, I attended the Region 21 Fall meeting via Zoom, where the guest speaker was Bonnie Nichols. During her presentation, it was mentioned that she was looking for a historic novelty iris. After contacting a member growing one, we are hopeful to send it her way this summer.
South Central Regional Director 2021 Report
I joined HIPS in December of 2020. I was honored to be elected to fill out the remaining 1½ years of the South Central Regional Director’s position after Suzanne Butler was chosen as our new Vice-President in July of 2021.
I have participated in HIPS board meetings since my appointment. My article, “HIPS to the Rescue”, was published in the Fall 2021 edition of Roots. It was my attempt to encourage members who are interested in volunteering to participate in iris rescues to contact their Regional Director. In the coming year I hope to fulfill my duties in part by developing a list of volunteers for iris rescues and working to build a relationship with folks who manage botanical gardens in my region.
Northwest Regional Director Report for 2021
One request was taken care of; otherwise a very quiet year. (Note: Mike Unser has assumed the duties of Northwest Director as of January, 2022.)
HIPS Archives Report for 2021
The Archives team uploaded more catalogs during 2021. Several HIPS members contributed as their time allowed. Our first priority was the catalogs scanned by IMR Digital in 2020, as most of those were needed for the AIS master catalog collection. In other news, we received six large cartons of catalogs from Charlie Carver in 2021, from the Lankow collection. Those need to be checked against what we already have, but most are ones we don’t have yet. We also might receive a set of catalogs from Jody Nolin, which were part of the Mike and Ann Lowe collection.
Currently, there are four HIPS members working on uploading the catalog collection. This will likely take several more seasons to accomplish. As catalogs are scanned and uploaded, they are separated into sets for the AIS Library or future storage/dispersal. We have quite a few duplicate catalogs.
Cathy Egerer, Archives Team Chair
ROOTS Report as of 2022-01-20
In 2021 we published two editions of ROOTS, in spring and fall, on time. Both issues were well received.
As part of the HIPS effort to make sure there’s an assistant or at least a back-up for every key position, we asked for anyone interested in helping with ROOTS to step forward. Justin Fortanascio of Massachusetts immediately responded and we have begun working together already. Diane Lynch also volunteered to help with proofreading and perhaps looking for articles or doing research. Mike Unser offered to write more for us; his work is always welcome.
The Spring 2022 issue is already full or nearly so, depending on how long some of the articles turn out to be. In order to stay within a reasonable budget, since prices are going up for both printing and postage, our goal is to limit ROOTS to the standard 36 pages.
As always, thanks to everyone who helped in any way, and in particular to our wonderful printer, Sundance Press, and our representative there, Gene Mandish.
– Nancy McDonald, Editor
2021 ANNUAL REPORT: PUBLICATION SALES CHAIR
Orders received through the HIPS shop for 2021 showed activity in all categories. By far, the most orders were received for the Mahan. Other requests were sparser, but similar to the last several years. We have begun a conversion to digital files and sales as described below.
Summary of Major Publication Chair and Shop Activity 2021:
The Publication Chair served on the Website Redesign Committee
The Shop was rebuilt and upgraded for the new website. This included a recategorization of offerings and improved product descriptions and images
Digital products were added to our Shop inventory. We presently have 38 different offerings.
Any hard copy publication offerings that are nearing sell-out or have sold out are being converted to digital products. Eventually all ROOTS individual back issues will be converted as the hard copies sell out.
Because of the escalating cost for postage, I instituted a flat rate shipping charge of $5.95 that was initiated with the new storefront which began operation in September.
The HIPS Publication Spreadsheet was redesigned for 2022 to track this new HIPS fee for shipping. It will detail any expenses we incur this year above the flat rate charge as well as any funds that contribute to our bottom line.
The Publication Chair Book of Business was expanded and revised to include step by step detail for every facet of the HIPS Shop operation.
Sales Detail for 2021:
AIS Bulletins: 1
Bliss book: 6
Cornell Bulletin: 1
Dream Gardener book: 2
Flash Drives: 2
Iris Chronicles: Digitized
Mahan book: <90 left out of the 480 books purchased 2020
Note cards: 5
ROOTS back copies: 24
Tell’s Catalogue: 4 This product was also digitized
Wallace and Company Catalogue: 5 This product was also digitized
Review of Expenses: (Excel Spreadsheet available on request)
- Shipping: I requested a total of $ 50.00 from the Treasurer in 2021. This included purchase for shipping supplies.
- However, the majority of shipping labels this year where directly purchased via PayPal and Ship Station and did not require monetary reimbursement.
- Another factor about publication shipping costs for this year was we were shipping the Mahan book from two different locations. This separate location costs were not captured.
- Extrapolating the cost benefit from the Mahan book sale: we sold it for $30.00 but even with the increase in postal rates, it cost us less than $5.00 to ship it.
As of today, I have a reserve of $ 49.23.
- Exchanged rhizomes for the Guardian Gardener Share-out for 2021
- Exchanged rhizomes for two Breeder Collections
- Donated Irises for the HIPS Rhizome Sale
Respectfully submitted Jan 17, 2022
Susan A. Flow, Publication Sales Chair
Here are the statistics:
Guardian Gardeners on our roster: 239
GGers who have reported iris holdings for 2021: 33
GGers who are excused from reporting this winter: 35
GGers who still need to report by the end of January, 2022: 171
Iris cultivars in the GG program so far: 3,835
Jessica Kelley and I are working to determine which enrolled GGers wish to continue in the program. In our GG e-newsletters and on the GG forum, we have explained the need to stay in touch, even if reporting this year isn’t feasible. With so many areas having severe weather and related difficulties, we understand that
reporting can’t always take place. I am now reviewing the existing sections of the GG Handbook and making
minor edits. I’m also writing new sections.
We’re asking for a $500 budget this year for GG expenses for a couple of projects, with the understanding that we may need to request up to $1,000 more.
Submitted by Cathy Egerer
Our HIPS Outreach focused on communication and iris exchange in 2021. Our monthly e-
newsletter, published via MailChimp, has grown to 796 subscribers. We sent out 18 e-
newsletters, which included special notices about an iris rescue, our summer iris sale, our annual
meeting, and a member survey about a new website. Some of the 796 subscribers are likely not
HIPS members anymore, but with the launch of the new website they can easily be removed.
Ellen Rusten continues to stock print materials to send to members on request. There were few
requests in 2021 as many events and meetings were still cancelled because of COVID. When
things start to open up, hopefully this spring, we will restock any outdated items and promote
them in the e-newsletter.
Future plans include replacing the member brochure with a postcard containing our website
address and a QR code. Judy Keisling reports that she has never received a membership in the
mail with the brochure form, and we can save money by downsizing on paper and directing
people to the new website. A mail-in form is available online for those who do not want to use
Our other major outreach project was an iris share-out of cultivars that exist in North America
but can’t be found in Europe. We sent irises to Merian Gaerten, in Basel, Switzerland, and a
member in England who is establishing a National Collection of Ferdinand Cayeux irises. We
also sent irises to an existing National Collection of Sir Michael Foster’s irises. These totaled 82
cultivars, 201 rhizomes in all. We hope to continue this program in the future and we are
working toward bringing irises to North America from Europe.
HIPS Website Report, Year End 2021
Tim Vanover, Website Redevelopment Chair
All functions of the website are up and working as expected.
Averaging about 75 viewers per day
Avg time on site is 4m:55s
Bounce rate (%age of site visits that are single-page sessions)=~50%
Site visit statistics:
- Feedback received from a modest number of people regarding
- Usability of the forums
- Orange text in forums
- How to subscribe
- Expand historic iris gallery data elements
- Links to where the iris can be purchased
- Number of known growers of the iris
- Historic iris marketplace availability for non-HIPS members
- Access to HIPS member databank for non-HIPS members
- Usability of the forums
- Redesign team continues to work on the creation of a website administrators manual
- Target: Version 1, Draft 1 by end of Q1 2022.
- Gallery: 100+ new iris images added in the 4th quarter
- Shop: consideration being given to the possibility of adding an iris vase to the Available Shop Items
- Total 2021 sales: $1,293.82 (WordPress analytics)
- Vendors: iris availability data only submitted by two vendors for 2021/2022
- News & Events: website highlights
- California fires and Mary Hess
- Categorization of historic irises
- New irises additions to the gallery