Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
–DRAFT MINUTES– Executive Board Meeting
February 7, 2024

Held on Zoom


Present were: President Tana, Exec VP Cathi, Treasurer Gilbert, Secretary John, State Program Lead Jennifer, Past President Don, Erin Hoover, Debbie Benbow, Candice Gohn, Melody Westmoreland, Kitty Lundeen-Ness, Patricia Bosh, MaryLou Krautscheid, and Kathy Brenberger


President Tana opened the meeting at 4:00 pm and called on Cathi to report on a nominating group meeting with Steve Spitzer (Whatcom County), who has applied to become Communications Director.

**** Cathi praised Steve, discussed the conversation with him, and recommended we forward his nomination to the general board at the next meeting. Candice moved and Kathy B seconded a motion to do just that. It passed without opposition.


Gilbert presented the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. He noted that the financial advisory group accepted his recommendation to move $20,000 from our Money Market account to a 7-month CD paying over 5%.

He has completed scanning all financial documents from 2023 which are going to a new SharePoint site he has set up. This site will enable the Financial Review committee to easily access last year’s records when they meet for our annual review. Erin has access to the site, and will need a few volunteers to conduct the review with her.

Gilbert has moved our accounting to the online version of QuickBooks. This will facilitate others on the board who have a need to access these records, and provide an easy transition in the event Gilbert can no longer fulfill his treasurer duties.

Tana asked Gilbert to describe our new relationship with the Extension Master Gardener National Committee (EMGNC). This group, founded at Ohio State University, is made up of Program Leads and Coordinators from around the country. Jennifer has been elected as its chair. As they complete their application for IRS Non-Profit status, they need an organization to act as their fiscal agent. Working with Jennifer and Tana, Gilbert has agreed that MGFWS will fill that role. It is expected to require very little time and effort, and will likely only last for a matter of months. EMGNC will make a donation of $500 to MGFWS in appreciation of this help.


Jennifer described some of the detail of one of her emphases with local Program Coordinators… that of developing Advisory Committees within their programs to provide input, information, and assistance with local challenges.

She announced that she, too, will be forming an Advisory Committee to counsel and assist her. Members of this team will be selected from each of the five regions of the state that she has defined. There will be one to three representatives from each, and one from MGFWS. Their purpose will be to offer CANDID input and help develop projects, review project proposals, work on educational outreach, evaluate educational programs, and facilitate communication.

A description of the needs is in development, and volunteers will be asked to submit letters of interest to become members of this committee. The end of March is the target for completing the team.

COUGS GIVE – Jennifer noted that Master Gardeners will participate in this special fund-raising day in April, for the third consecutive year. She has formed a team including Tana, Cathi, Debbie, and Deborah Smeltzer to help design a campaign to achieve this year’s goal of $24K. Challenge gifts are among the plans to encourage giving.

Tana announced her challenge proposal, asking members of this executive committee to contribute a total $25 to $50 each, for a total of $500, challenging other groups.

AEC 2024

Debbie Benbow noted that RFPs for speaker/instructors have gone out via MailChimp. More are being sent by Cathi and Jennifer. Cathi noted that several good speakers have already committed to participate. There will be a mix of live and recorded sessions.

Registration will open on June 1st. A sponsor packet is in development, and will be made available on the website. Sponsor contributions will also possible on the website, using Square.

A Public Relations team needs to be recruited to start work on E-blasts, flyers, ads, etc.


Bylaw review – Tana, Jennifer, and Cathi will meet next week to look at the bylaws and begin the updating process.

Job Descriptions – Tana shared one of our existing Job Descriptions, and compared it to a preliminary draft of a new format she is proposing. Several comments were offered and the group was positive about the direction of this change.

Work continues on a Board Handbook and Organizational Chart.

Communication Planning Group – Cathi said that the group has created a survey to be sent this week to local Program Coordinators, Presidents and Representatives to learn how local areas currently are communicating. Results will be shared at our next meeting, and will offer Steve Spitzer a good platform to begin in his role.

Program <> Foundation Confusion – Candice suggested that our state foundation should work to help all volunteers across the state to gain a better understanding of the role of local and state foundations – – particularly as it pertains to the raising and expending of funds. She pointed out that some in her chapter do not have a grasp of this, and that for a few it leads to mistrust and/or confusion.

Extensive discussion ensued. This misunderstanding is common, and it certainly provides us an opportunity to help clear the air around this topic. Perhaps we can develop training and materials to provide to local chapters, and build more emphasis on this topic into AEC and other venues.


The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:40 p.m.