When I agreed to be nominated for President of our society, I knew that a first priority had to be bringing our well-respected journal into the digital age. All this was new to me so I turned to our officers for advice and counsel and was overwhelmed at the support for this new endeavor. While seeking counsel, one person's name was repeatedly mentioned, that of Professor Robert K. Peet of the University of North Carolina. Bob has served as editor of Ecology and in a variety of other high profile journal positions. Much to my delight he readily accepted my request and then worked assiduously to accomplish our goal of making Castanea more attractive to authors with a digital presence, shorter submission to publication time, utilizing digital supplements, and overall editorial management through Allen Press.
Thanks to the staff at Allen Press for their patience with what must have appeared to be endless queries and concerns from the SABS Council. After hours of meetings, rivers of emails, and much negotiation I am pleased to inform you that we now have an official agreement with Allen Press for handling Castanea which will go into effect the beginning of 2012. Details will be presented elsewhere but I would encourage potential authors to try our new system by submitting their manuscripts. I have already submitted one to this new system.
We would not have arrived at this stage—a healthy society with stable membership and finances and a well respected journal without the unflagging support of our members and a Council that works so well together.
And Castanea would not be where it is without the dedicated, hard work of Audrey Mellichamp who retires at the end of this year as our Managing Editor. I have worked with Audrey as an author, as Editor in Chief of the journal, and as President of the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. Based on this solid data, I know first hand her organizational skills, keen eye, and most importantly—unflagging support and enthusiasm for Castanea and our society. I am sure all of us want to express our gratitude to Audrey for a job well done and wish her well in the years ahead.
I'm encouraged by the current status of our society and am honored to have served as president at the time of the 75th anniversary and epochal, forward looking changes to our journal. Our new President is Dr. Wendy Zomlefer of the University of Georgia. I look forward to working with her as we implement these unprecedented changes in SABS and hope I can be as helpful in the transition of officers as Conley McMullen was to me. Please give Wendy the same support and encouragement that I have been privileged to experience.