President's Message

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Whew - what a whirl of activity we had down in Raleigh earlier this month!   

Once again, we had a tremendous local site committee committed to sharing the horticultural riches of their region, and boy did they serve up bountiful choices!
In just five days, attendees had the option of attending 12 different garden tours, hearing 21 fabulous speakers, attending a vibrant trade show, evening tours and dinners at three fabulous public gardens. Approximately 390 attendees partook in these activities, with the award for traveling the farthest going to Dr. Zhiguo Zhang, who traveled from Shanghai to join us. 
Eight lucky scholarship winners joined us and got their first taste the openness and generosity ingrained in our fabulous members. Since returning from Raleigh, I am hearing reactions like this one from Kayla Goldstein: “Oh boy, what an incomparably unique experience attending the PPA symposium was for me. Hands-down, one of the more formative opportunities I have had in my young adulthood. I cannot begin to thank you and PPA enough for the wonderful time, knowledge, and resources...I'm hooked! What a supportive, innovative, and enriching environment.”
I am always delighted to hear people so charged up by interactions with our group and hope we can keep that energy going throughout the year through regional programs, newsletters and social media. These students are the future leaders of our industry and thanks to generous donations of 79 items for the silent auction, an additional $1,800 was raised to support future student scholarships.
I can’t help but send out another massive thank you to our local site committee members, sponsors, tour sites and everyone else who worked so hard to make Raleigh 2018 such a success! These events would not happen without our tremendous volunteers.
Even as we are basking in the glow of Raleigh, another team of wonderful volunteers, led by Kyle Lambert, are hard at work preparing for your visit to Chicago next summer. Plus, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. has stepped forward to start looking into possibilities for 2020.
Please let them know if you would like to help!
All the best -
Janet Draper, PPA President
Smithsonian Institution
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