As many of you know, our past AHG president, Aviva Romm (shown at right), stepped down this past year. While there have been many wonderful past presidents and we have a great new president in KP Khalsa, I want to honor Aviva for the incredible work she has done in developing our herbal organization the last 10 years.
When Aviva became president, the AHG had moved through its infancy into childhood and was about 12 years old. She thus had the joyful/arduous task of bringing it through its adolescence into young adulthood. When she took over, the AHG had no regular home or administrator, but bounced around from person to person and location to location. You can easily imagine the difficulty this would bring to a budding organization. It had no journal and symposium attendance was irregular. Aviva changed all of that. Further, she stabilized, polished and expanded the organization into what it is today.
AHG membership is made up of many herbalists with diverse backgrounds and approaches. They look to the AHG for support, community, and educational standards. Aviva gave just this through her thousands of hours on such tasks as devolving the national certification program, national Herb Day, the Journal of the AHG (JAHG), the mentorship program, and the herbalists health trust. As well, she wrote, organized and/or edited policy statements for the general manufacturing practice standards (GMPS). She even did the calligraphy on every professional member certificate given out over the past 12 years!
Aviva's love of the AHG nurtured and fostered it through its many stages of development. She clearly understood not only the mission of the organization, but also its spirit. She honored its membership community, provided the important continuity needed and deftly dealt with the tricky situation of licensure (she and Roy Upton were especially instrumental in helping bring the Registered Herbalists (RH) into being instead).
Because the Council changes every two years and is a volunteer organization, Aviva's 10 year-long presidency brought important stability to the AHG. She put countless hours into community outreach and relationship building, developed fundraising and was a motivating force to Council.
Of course most of the above are normal duties of the AHG president, but Aviva went over and beyond what had been done before. And yes, it was al completed with much help so I also want to thank the incredible long-term AHG administrator, Tracy Romm, and VP Roy Upton (who stepped down last year after many years of service), our illustrious Council over these 10 years and the countless volunteers who have put in selfless and tireless hours. But all of this occurred with Aviva's vision, insight, diligent work, love and perseverance.
As those of you who attended any of the AHG conferences over the last 10 years know, Aviva and Tracy beautifully developed, organized, ran and hosted these symposiums. Our conferences grew in numbers and professionalism over the last 10 years to the wonderful educational gatherings they are today. As well, the AHG Journal is now a beautiful, solid and professional magazine proudly representing our herbal organization and community.
For all of this, I am most thankful to Aviva for what she has given to the AHG and all she has done for herbalism and our herbal community. Now as she soon steps into her new medical/herbal career, I wish her a fruitful and fulfilling life ahead!