About ILS

ILS Mission and Purpose:

The following is taken directly from the by-laws of the International Lilac Society:

"The purposes for which the Corporation has been organized are as follows: It is intended that the membership in this not-for-profit Corporation will be comprised of people who share a particular appreciation and fondness of the lilac. By the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and facts gained by Members, it is proposed that the individual Members will increase their knowledge of the lilac and thereby help to promote a broadened public understanding and awareness of the genus Syringa L. The thrust is to be three-fold; through education, publication and research."

Welcome to the International Lilac Society (ILS)!

ILS was incorporated in the State of New York in 1971. Each year, we hold an annual convention at rotating sites at (we hope!) the time of lilac bloom.

  • ILS publishes a quarterly journal titled (what else?) Lilacs. Each member receives a copy of each journal.
  • ILS is made up of people from all over who appreciate and promote lilacs. We include nursery staff, educators, professional and amateur gardeners, landscape architects, scientists, staff of arboreta and display gardens, anybody who appreciate lilacs--and anybody who appreciates them!
  • ILS is administered by a Board of Directors that is elected by the membership. The 12-member Board elects Officers of our corporation. We have a President, Executive Vice-President, Membership Secretary, Treasurer, Editor, and Executive Vice-Presidents for Canada and Europe, with Regional Vice-Presidents distributed around the globe.
  • ILS also maintains committees for certain important activities, including research, publications, audits, preservation, and so on.
  • ILS is governed as a 501c(3) (non-profit) corporation under the laws of New York State and the United States of America.
Dr. Robert A Zavodny, President
Bob was elected as our new President in 2018. He resides in Akron, Ohio. He owns a historic lilac garden in Kent, Ohio, where he has a collection of more than 230 lilacs. He is an animal lover, as well.
E-mail him at: lilacgardenskent@gmail.com.

Claire Fouquet, Executive Vice-President
Claire was elected to a 5 year term in 2021. She lives south of Quebec city in the small town of St. Georges, home of the Lilac Museum and the largest cultivar collection of lilacs in the world.
Email her at: ExecVP@internationallilacsociety.org.

Mark DeBard, M.D., Membership Secretary and Registrar
Mark is a Board member and the Registrar for the International Register and Checklist of Cultivar Names for the Genus Syringa. He has over 230 cultivars in his lilac collection in Columbus, Ohio.
E-mail him at membership@internationallilacsociety.org.

Tom Gober, Editor
Tom is from Akron, Ohio and compiles and publishes our quarterly journal LILACS. To reach Tom or to submit something for the journal, e-mail Tom at LilacEditor@gmail.com or editor@internationallilacsociety.org

John Bentley, Treasurer
John was elected Treasurer in 2021. He is from New Hampshire where lilacs are the state flower, and is known for his charity The Katie Bentley Lilac Project.
E-mail him at treasurer@internationallilacsociety.org.