Minutes of the MGFWS Board Meeting of February 1, 2023

Held on Zoom

President Tana Hasart called the meeting to order at 10:00am. In attendance were 41 participants, including Officers President Tana Hasart, Exec. VP Cathi Lamoreux, Secretary John Strong, and Treasurer Gilbert Plascencia. Statewide Program Leader Jennifer Marquis. Eighteen chapters were represented, so a quorum was established.

There being no additions or corrections to the minutes of the November Board Meeting, they were approved.

Tana welcomed the group and expressed her pleasure to be starting our new year and working with the assembled group.

Jennifer was called upon to present the Program Update.

After thanking the State Foundation Board members for the progress made toward a cohesive statewide program and toward a foundation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. She went on to let us know about communication tools, specifically a YouTube channel and Mission Driven series of Zoom meetings. The team of full time local county Program Coordinators is nearly complete. Further discussion and announcements included the 50th Anniversary Celebration events, the Endowed Chair Campaign, and the upcoming NW Flower and Garden Festival in Seattle.

Gilbert presented the final 2022 financial reports (Balance Sheet, Budget to Actual), pointing out that we finished the year in the black, and a change in one of our CDs to a new one with better interest rate. The Treasurer’s Report was accepted unanimously.

Tana displayed and explained two proposals for meetings in the upcoming year. One additional meeting of the full board is planned to accommodate a reduced need for special meetings while still responding to the demands of our 50th Anniversary Celebration, the AEC and other items of business. A concerted effort will be made to keep meetings to two hours in length. Both proposals will schedule meetings on the third Wednesday of the month on these dates: March 15, May 17, July 19, September 20 (at AEC) and November 15.

Proposal #1 would have these meetings at 10:00 am. Proposal #2 would schedule meetings at 6:00 pm. The option of an evening meeting schedule may encourage individuals with daytime commitments to serve on the board. In discussion a third option was suggested: that meetings alternate between daytime and evening time slots. A poll was held and Proposal #2 was the most popular. (NOTE: A correction is necessary to the AEC Board Meeting date as shown in the agenda attachment… it will be on Thursday evening, September 28, not on the 29th.)

*** Karen Russo moved, and Patricia Bosh seconded a motion to accept Proposal #2 (evening meetings). The motion passed with a tally of 30 – 2.

Secretary John was introduced, and he immediately called upon Mike Peronto (project leader) to explain the progress to date on the new State Foundation website, and the effort to bring local chapters on board as sub-domains. Currently, three chapters are in various stages of developing their sub-domains (Pierce County, Chelan-Douglas, and Yakima.) Mike previewed the nearly-complete Pierce site. The group was impressed with how much had been accomplished in only four weeks, with four volunteers learning WordPress and creating the site using the supplied template.

He also introduced the plan for a series of regular “Open Labs”… online meetings with interested local web teams led by Debra Benbow and Craig Lawrence, our professional web developers. During these sessions questions will be answered and techniques demonstrated in WordPress skills and the use of our template. The Open Labs will be recorded, edited, and cataloged on our state website to be available at all times for local web teams’ use.

This plan is designed to encourage many local chapters to bring their web presence into this unified statewide website. As part of the State Foundation’s effort to provide services and value to local chapters, UFW will bring professional design, consistent appearance across the state, and cost savings. Jennifer remarked that, “this UFW project helps to align the Foundations with each other and with the Program, it aggregates audiences, and is just another step toward building a cohesive statewide program and a foundation where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

John reported that the work to complete the state website is nearly complete, and is projected to come in about $2,000 under the “Not-to-exceed” budget of $12,500. He also said Pierce and Yakima sites are also likely to be completed under their budgeted amounts, and that they indicate a willingness to contribute those savings to an account held by MGFWS to fund and support Open Labs.

*** After discussion and question answering by Mike and John, John Strong moved and Karen Russo seconded the following motion: The State Foundation will contribute $2,000 to fund Open Labs. The motion passed unanimously.

An in-depth presentation of the new state foundation website, and Pierce County’s sub-site is scheduled for February 22nd. At that time details about the costs and process of joining your chapter’s web presence with the state site will be available.

Tana noted that the new website has a blog wherein Foundation Officers may post their thoughts. We need a name for this blog. The Executive Board developed a list of nine potential names recently, and the assembled members were polled to indicate their favorite three from this list. All names received some votes, but the top three were: “Harvesting Our Talents”, “Together We Grow”, and “Fruitful Conversations”. The Executive Board will select a name from these favorites.

AEC 2023
Debra Benbow, AEC Chairperson, brought us up to date on the progress and plans for this year’s conference. There were a number of details reported. For clarity and completeness, please see Debra’s report and the Program Team’s report here.

2023 GOALS

Tana presented the list of goals for the Board for this year, as developed by the Executive Board at their recent retreat. They fall into five general categories: “Board Capacity and Performance”, “Adopting and Deploying Technology Tools”, “Leveraging Strengths through Partnerships”, “Examine and Improve Board Agreements and Operating Documents”, and “Work to Stabilize the Financial and Fundraising Operations of the Board.”
The complete list, with sub-goals, can be found at this link.

*** Cathi Lamoreux moved and Karen Nelson seconded a motion to approve theses goals for 2023. Motion passed 28 – 1, with several abstentions.

Tana asks for five teams of volunteers to work on these goals. After some positive discussion, several people stepped up to work on these teams:
Board Capacity: Erin Landon (Pacific-Grays Harbor), Gilbert Plascencia (Yakima), Don Enstrom (Lewis)
Technology: Gilbert, John Strong, Carol Matthews (suggests there may be members who can offer help from Island County),
Partnerships: Karen Nelson (Skagit), Kim Olafson (Snohomish)
Agreements and Documents: Cathi Lamoreux (Spokane), Erin, Don
Financial Stability: Gilbert, Cathi
Of course, more volunteers are welcome and encouraged to work with these folks!!

Tana notes that we have two important positions open: Communications Committee Chair, Development Director. An appeal is going out to all chapter presidents, along with job descriptions, to aid in their efforts to recruit candidates for these positions.

Announced: Marcia Sands (Spokane) has offered to take the position of Historian. Kitty Linden-Ness (Mason) offers to assist her with those duties.

*** Darcey Byrne (Spokane) moved and Carole Matthews (Island) seconded to approve the appointment of Marcia and Kitty to the Historian position. Passed unanimously.

With kudos from the group for an on-time completion, President Tana adjourned the meeting at 12:00 pm.