Present at tonight’s meeting were: Tana Hasart, John Strong, Patricia Bosh, Melody Westmoreland, Marcia Sands, Don Enstrom, Candice Gohn, and Kathy Brenberger

President Tana called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm.

BLOG TITLE: After a brief welcome, she noted that the survey taken at the last board meeting regarding a title for the Board blog on the new website showed the favorite title to be “Harvesting Our Talents”. Without objection all agreed to approve that title.

CONFERENCE HOTEL (MARRIOTT): Don was asked to give a brief summary of today’s tour of the conference hotel in Tacoma. He noted that there is plenty of room in all venue spots, including all five breakout rooms that accommodate at least 100 each. The A/V company that works regularly with the hotel, Encore, will be able to provide all services we need. A bid will be forthcoming from them soon. It is clear, though, that it will exceed our budget significantly. An available option, if needed, is high speed wi-fi in any of the meeting rooms for $10/day/room.

In the close vicinity of the hotel are several college branch campuses, the Glass Museum, and the Washington History Museum. The neighborhood is rife with good restaurants and coffee shops. Tana noted that the History Museum has agreed to make space available to us for display. She also has had conversations with King County representatives who indicate a sincere desire to connect with the State Foundation. It is likely we will have significant attendance from members of their group.

Candice said that we have struggled over the years to do a good job of sharing best practices with member chapters. With King County taking a more active role with us, she hopes we can move toward correcting this.

UFW: John expressed his excitement at the success of this project to date. As of yesterday (2.14.23) Pierce County’s sub-domain is now live. Yakima and Chelan-Douglas are both in development, and hope to go live by the first of May. King County has committed to a sub-domain and will begin that work in the coming weeks. There are several other counties that have expressed positive desires to come on board.

MGFWS, Pierce, Yakima, and King have agreed to provide funds (approximately $11,000) to kickstart the Open Labs program. These moneys will also allow for very reasonable entry costs for future counties.

A very important meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday, 2/21/2023, to provide details about the methods and costs for a chapter to become part of the new website. An invitation has been sent to all Presidents and Representatives.

GOALS: Tana presented the goals for 2023, as discussed at the February 1st board meeting.

Board Capacity – A discussion about the wording “in partnership with WSU Extension” ensued. Involvement of State MG Leadership is welcome, but there is a concern that progress may be impaired by waiting for University approvals. Wording of the goal was changed to indicate a desire to ensure allegiance to WSU priorities without requiring direct involvement by University departments.

Technology tools: – Tana said that Jennifer Marquis has hinted that there is a possibility to enlist help from Extension IT staff for knowledge and tools to assist in this area. She also pointed out that recent State government changes of WACs may render our bylaws or other corporate documents out of compliance. It should be looked into. We will ask if Mike Peronto and Craig Lawrence might be valuable members of this team.

Strengths Thought Partnerships – We would like to build on the new relationship with the NW Flower and Garden Festival. There may be opportunities for several member chapters to cooperate to seek grant funding for solar power for greenhouse activities. Don suggested asking Ruth Monahan (Asotin-Garfield) to help. Joe Jennings (King) was also mentioned as someone who may have positive contributions for this team.

Board Documents – See discussion above under Technology Tools.

Financial Stability – This topic brought extended discussion, particularly surrounding our need to ensure profitable AECs. Offering more frequent virtual conferences was a key part of the discussion, as was finding two to three quasi-permanent sites for in-person conferences, so that scheduling and site selection would be simplified.

Open positions – The position announcement format was reviewed, with the suggestion that the qualifications section be “softened” a bit, so as not to discourage folks from volunteering for fear that they don’t completely match the criteria.

Tana is sending a request to the local Presidents asking for support of the AEC, Board positions, and communication efforts. Don noted that some chapters consider their representatives to MGFWS simply messengers, to attend and report back. We hope to educate them that we are a working board, and are truly looking for leaders who can help us move forward with these goals and help us grow and become more meaningful to local areas.

FUTURE MEETINGS: Some confusion came to light about the scheduling of our Executive Board meetings for the remainder of the year. It turns out that your Secretary misunderstood the decision made by the whole board on February 1st, and posted the wrong dates to the online calendar at our website. (That has now been corrected.) The Executive Board meetings will be held on FIRST Wednesdays, as follows:  March 1, April 5, May 3, June 7, July 5, August 2, September 6, November 1, and December 6. October is omitted because of the conference.