Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
Executive Board Meeting
January 3, 2024

Held on Zoom


Present were: President Tana, Exec VP Cathi, Treasurer Gilbert, Secretary John, State Program Lead Jennifer, Past President Don, Erin, Debbie Benbow, Candice, Melody, and Patricia


President Tana opened the meeting at 4:00 pm. The calendar for 2024 MGFWS meetings will go out to all chapter presidents, to keep them in the loop. This calendar was agreed upon at our last full board meeting.

Tana asked if there were any comments on the 2024 Work Plan as distributed. There were none


Jennifer noted that after a busy 2023 celebrating our 50th year, her focus returns to the state program plan, including in particular:

  • Telling Our Story – both internally and externally
  • Developing Infrastructure
  • Curriculum development
  • Climate Change team
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Professional Development for Program Coordinators and Volunteers, particularly in the areas of
    • Conflict management
    • Advisory Teams
  • and Program – – Foundation Relations


Gilbert noted that the date is too early to have year-end reports for 2023. Look for them at the full board meeting on January 17th.

He presented the draft budget for 2024, which is primarily the AEC budget as created by Debbie and Cathi. The budget is available on the OneDrive. He pointed out a few items…

  • $4,500 in event sponsorships
  • $1,500 endowment revenue, which historically gone to AEC sponsorship
  • $3,000 collected from chapters for UFW

Expenses for the NW Flower and Garden Festival are expected to break even with contributions from chapters. A question arose about appearances if MGFWS does not also make a cash contribution. It was answered that the Foundation is covering the risk, if expenses exceed contributions, and we are also paying for the printed materials for distribution at the event.


Debbie reported that she is developing an events page on the website, with an associated form for local chapters to submit with details of educational events and plant sales around the state.


Training for the Festival is being scheduled for volunteers, as well as shift assignments.


Cathi reported that the committee met today. Many good ideas arose and a work plan was developed to gather data about needs and current methods. Details will be presented at the meeting on the 17th. The plan is to have a full plan ready in a few months.


Two of the three chapters have completed their certification paperwork, and the third one is close. We will work to align the renewal dates so that future renewals (3-year cycle) can be accomplished together. Don pointed out that past treasurer Margaret Morris deserves great appreciation for having dealt with this task so well over many years.

AEC 2024

Debbie Benbow and Cathi Lamoreux (2024 AEC Co-chairs) reported that the company “LiveOak” has been selected for technology services for our 2024 Virtual conference. The proposal came in under budget, and the company is willing to work to trim hours where possible to reduce cost even more.

The keynote speaker has been selected, and an agreement with her is in process. She is Rebecca McMackin, and we are pleased to have such a notable speaker in this role.

The conference theme is “Gardening in a Changing Climate.” There will be 35 recorded sessions.

Since Jennifer will be otherwise occupied with her daughter’s wedding that same weekend, Tim Kohlhoff will be taking her place representing the state program.


Historical Records – Tana will help transfer records and materials from CJ to Kitty, as Kitty begins organizing our history.

Talking points will be sent out to chapter representatives after all meetings, to help them keep local MGs aware of MGFWS business and activity.


  • Our mission statement appears differently in three places. Jennifer thinks the one in the fund raising brochure tells the story the best. Don noted that we must pay attention to the mission as stated in our IRS non-profit application, as that affects both internal and external notes.
  • Our statement of purpose seems to be an incomplete reflection of what we do.
  • Patricia thinks the Board Responsibilities language is too formal and may be misunderstood by potential board members. (It is from the IRS.) It is important we include this, but recommend softer language.
  • Org. Chart – Gilbert likes the way King County Foundation displays their chart, and suggests we use a similar style.
  • The handbook should refer to and cite our bylaws and policy manuals.
  • Tana and Cathi are reviewing our bylaws for needed revisions.
  • Discussion of standing committees should be included by referencing the bylaws.
  • Should we review the size of our board, for possible reduction??


The meeting was adjourned before 6:00 p.m.