Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
–DRAFT MINUTES– Executive Board Meeting
May 1, 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, and Steve Spitzer.


President Tana opened the meeting at 4:00 pm.

AEC 2024

Debbie reported that all speakers are now on the website; A meeting with LiveOak is scheduled for Monday; Sponsorships is a major focus at this time. A letter template to foundations is on the OneDrive to review for sending out as an appeal for sponsors.

Cathi reported that the program is filled, and we also have some backup speakers arranged. The program committee will administer the session monitors.

Steve asked how we will get work out to all master gardeners, and to the general public nationwide. Word goes out to Washington MGs via their program coordinators and local email lists and newsletters. Nationally, we can promote the event through the national program coordinators group, of which Jennifer is the president.


Gilbert presented the Balance Sheet and Income Statement. Very little activity in the past month. Of note were some donations toward the NWFGF, and the $3K AEC sponsorship from MGFWS.

Erin presented the internal financial review report. That committee found no errors, and thanked Gilbert for his complete, accurate work in the past year.

In response to a question, Gilbert noted that he hasn’t done work toward developing a job description for a bookkeeper position to assist him. He also noted that since he has resigned his position as Treasurer for the Yakima Foundation, his non-profit work load is significantly lighter, so there is not the need at this time for an assistant.


Cougs Give was a big success for the Endowed Chair campaign.Challenges totaling $10,700 helps to yield a total of $26,000 in donations on Cougs Give day. Thanks to all who contributed and helped get the word out.

Jennifer has been working with the PCs on an evaluation process for program activities. They have developed new eval. tools which will help volunteers buy-in. Results will help our programs stay data driven, and will encourage funding increases from government and private sources.

Jennifer reviewed her progress of her Program Advisory Committee. Members chosen include:

  • NW – Patty Proctor
  • SW – Clay Newburn
  • West – Kendra Wagonner
  • Central – Tom Ernsberger
  • East – Cathi Lamoreux
  • State Foundation – Steve Spitzer
  • Search continues for a representative from the SE region.

Microsoft 365 work is underway. A few counties are already working with it, and a team of very capable volunteers is helping to develop ‘recipes’ and checklists to help other counties avail themselves. Many of the resources this system will provide will be available without login, so all MGs will have access to them without the complexity of a password wall. Important to note is that WSU CAHNRS IT department will support it for all.

Tana, Steve, and Jennifer will work to make a concise statement to our board and all local counties about the MS365 system. It is important that any county wishing to take part must have complete buy-in, and some tech-savvy volunteers to help implement and administer it.


Patricia noted there is a nomination reminder in the current Seeds For Thought, and it will also be online. The awards team will meet on May 20. Deadline for nominations is July 30th, or up to two weeks later if necessary.


A lot of work has been done by this committee, all of it necessary before taking on the orientation handbook. Job descriptions and terms of office are current; they must reconcile the mission and purpose statements between Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws.


John presented a rough draft of a records retention policy and a style guide for written documents. Both topics were discussed, and no decisions made. Gilbert suggested as simple a records retention policy as possible, and volunteered to be part of the group working on this. Don warned against using our web fonts and design as a style guide, since these change with some regularity online.


Ideas on how and when we should pursue this vacancy were debated.

  • Explore contracting with a professional fund-raiser?
  • Focus only on major conference sponsors?
  • Ask CAHNRS Development office for counsel?
  • Note that we essentially have four areas of concern: Endowed Chair, AEC, our own endowment, and grant writing

Discussion about the Endowed Chair campaign included reticence from potential donors because of an understanding that, if the $1.5 M is not achieved in five years, the funds go to the Dean for general purposes. Jennifer said that her understanding is that that is NOT the case. However, more investigation is needed.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.