Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
–DRAFT MINUTES– Executive Board Meeting
April 3, 2024

Held on Zoom


Present were: President Tana Hasart, Exec VP Cathi Lamoreux, Treasurer Gilbert Plascencia, Secretary John Strong, State Program Lead Jennifer Marquis, Past President Don Enstrom, Patricia Bosh, Erin Hoover, Debbie Benbow, Melody Westmoreland, and Steve Spitzer.


President Tana opened the meeting at 4:00 pm.


Gilbert presented the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. Very little activity in the past month.

In regard to NWFGF, Tana opened a conversation about how local chapters might contribute to our participation in this event. Gilbert noted that he would be happy to invoice chapters if he knows the amount they wish to send, and he can take credit, debit, or check. There is consensus that chapters might best be asked what their contributions will be after plant sales are complete. The same is true for AEC donations.

Several chapters are deciding to simply plan for a single annual donation to the MGFWS to cover the Flower Festival, AEC, and any other requests or needs we have.


Jennifer reviewed her progress in forming a Program Advisory Committee. To date she has received six letters of interest, representing the NW, NE, and SW regions of the state. None so far from Central or SE. She will seek out interested volunteers from those two areas.

She discussed a group that has been working for the past year or so on a possible implementation of Microsoft 365 software and cloud. Security issues and difficulties of state and local technologies working compatibly since at least the Covid-19 era have spawned the need for CAHNRS to explore this option.

Jennifer shared several screen shots and discussed some of the possibilities that may result. It is a large and powerful system with complications and many opportunities. Work is ongoing. Several of the members of this workgroup are past or current Microsoft employees, who have considerable knowledge and skills that benefit this effort. This may allow us to have more unified systems, such as Plant Clinic emails and software, and better collaboration among counties, regions and state program efforts.

Gilbert noted that there may be complications — legal and otherwise — regarding the possible role MGFWS might play in hosting, coordinating or otherwise supporting particularly small and dependent chapters in this effort.

There is much to be done before we know just how the MS365 program might work.

Jennifer reviewed progress on the MG Program fund-raising effort in conjunction with the WSU Cougs Give day of giving (April 17). Ambassadors for the campaign are needed, and resources / training are available to all who are interested. Tana noted that 100% of our Executive Committee have donated, and with the rest of our board, a total of $5,600 is available as a match challenge.


Kitty is unable to attend today. Tana noted that the assembly and storage of records has been suggested, with John responsible for secretarial and corporate records, and Gilbert for financial ones. Kitty and Tana will arrange to gather boxes of other records that are now in the hands of John, Don, and CJ Nielsen.

AEC 2024

Debbie noted that a recent meeting with Live Oak (our A/V host) got the process underway. Their talent and equipment promise a high-quality experience for all attendees.

Debbie noted that we might consider using Zoom as a registration platform. Their fees are apparently less that other options. John will investigate further.

Cathi reported that only 4 of the 35 total sessions remain unfilled. Most of our nine program priorities are well covered in the topics. More will be sought out, particularly for Water Conservation and Quality, and Pollinators.

The AEC team will send out a survey soon asking for input on 2025 AEC format ideas.

Noted: a Keynote speaker for 2025 has already been secured. He is Larry Weaner, and he will also participate this year as one of our instructors. That will give AEC 2025 leaders a nice head-start. Volunteer(s) for that 2025 leadership is critically important soon!

Tana asked for recommendations for topics in the Foundation Training class(es) to be offered at this year’s AEC. Several ideas were mentioned:

  • Board officer recruitment
  • Clear understanding of Program/Foundation relationship
  • Non-profit law
  • Meeting management (Robert’s Rules)
  • What resources are available to local chapters from the state foundation

Tana notes that she and Cathi will be hosting regional listening sessions next month.


Cathi – Work progresses on this initiative. There is lots of minutiae and cross-checking between corporate documents. Considerations are being discussed about what committees might fall under Executive Board positions, and how they would be included.

The timeline for completion of the Board Structure and Document review is generously targeted at end-of-year. The committee meets again next week, and a written report is planned for the next full board meeting.


This meeting is tentatively scheduled for 9:00 am Friday of the AEC. It will include the presentation of state awards, and will be open to anyone. AEC registration not required.


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