Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
Board Meeting
January 17, 2024

Held on Zoom


At the meeting opening, 30 were in attendance representing 18 chapters. A quorum was met!


  • Grays Harbor/Pacific received a $5K grant,
  • Spokane’s redesigned website is live,
  • Cowlitz has a new hoop house,
  • Jefferson conducted a middle school fruit tree class and both
  • Island and Spokane Chapters have upcoming events with registration on their websites.


President Tana called the meeting to order and reminded the assembled members about the online Directory of Board Members, Chapter Presidents, MGFWS Officers and Standing Committee Chairs. Secretary John shared the Directory and pointed out how and where to find it on the website (link in the footer of each page), and how to use an online form there to update information. (For details and password to access the directory, contact John directly.)


Jennifer shared information about the activities at the Extension Master Gardener leadership and local Program Coordinators, including:

  • 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

She also announced the return of “Staying Mission Driven” meetings – now monthly. The next one will be Thursday, January 25 at 9:00 am. All MGs are invited to register and attend these meetings. Please use the link within GivePulse, which can be obtained from you local Program Coordinator to register you intent to attend.


Gilbert presented the December / YTD 2023 financial statements, and pointed out several details. He also displayed the budget proposal for 2024, developed by the AEC2024 leaders, UFW team, and Erin, for the podcast, in addition to normal foundation expenses.

*** Karen Russo moved and Kitty Lundeen-Ness seconded a motion to approve the Treasurer’s report. Passed without dissent.

Gilbert reminded that an annual internal financial review is due, and hoped that Erin will return as leader. Kitty would like to join that review committee, in part to learn the process for her local chapter, particularly the use of digital record-keeping.

AEC 2024

Debbie Benbow and Cathi Lamoreux (2024 AEC Co-chairs) reported that Live Oak has been selected to manage technology services for our 2024 Virtual conference.

Debbie pointed out that budgeted income for AEC is very conservative. We are counting on higher attendance (>400) and sponsorship, but we are basing expenses on smaller numbers.

The AEC team needs help with sponsors and with publicity. Please contact Debbie or Cathi with your eagerness to help!

Cathi announced the keynote speaker is Rebecca McMackin. Also, Debbie has set up a speaker RFP in Qualtrics. The program team meets in the coming days to flesh out the search for speakers.


Fifteen chapters have contributed to the cost of our booth at the festival. This year’s booth will be larger (10’x30′) and joins our booth with King County’s. Cecilia (Spokane) is organizing the training and scheduling of volunteers. Supplies have been ordered or obtained, and guidelines for volunteers sent out. The festival program will indicate which sessions qualify for CE.

Tana expressed thanks to all the chapters who are supporting our participation. She also announced that Molbak’s Nursery is supporting our booth with mention in their newsletter, and a donation of $2 for each festival ticket they sell.

UFW (Unifying Foundation Websites)

John reported that Spokane has joined the group of active websites in the UFW project. There is still some interest on the part of a couple more chapters to move their websites into The Open Labs continue to be popular, meeting twice monthly for sharing and technical support. A new benefit of our website for all chapters is the educational event and plant sale listing page created by Debbie. This page offers an opportunity for all chapters, whether part of UFW or not, to promote their events. An online form is available to submit your information:


Cathi has a group of five volunteers working on this plan. She estimates 3 or 4 more meetings will produce a draft plan to present at our March board meeting.


Jennifer reports that the 2024 goal is $500,000. Dean Powers (CAHNRS) is working through local government, business leaders to promote donations. This endowment campaign will again be featured as part of Cougs Give. We are looking for another challenge / match to promote more giving.

The campaign is working with product and industry / trade groups, particularly research-related ones.

A thermometer to show progress toward the goal will be placed on the Program website.

Tana reminds us that we have two opportunities to donate… this endowed chair as well as our MGFWS endowment to support AEC. The Endowed chair campaign is time sensitive… it must be funded within five years. Don added that for anyone interested in donating to MGFWS, but not through the WSU Development office, may send contributions to our fund at Yakima Valley Community Foundation.


Tana presented a draft table of contents for our Board member handbook. The intent is to provide each board member with one, as well as potential new members.

A time/day for new member orientation needs to be scheduled. Ideas included various times of day and days of week. Suggestions are to record it, hold it in small groups, and offer in person in regional sessions.

Many in attendance today offered to help in developing and reviewing the results. It is important that we take MGFWS to the local chapters’ members to get the word out.


Tana displayed the work plan for all to see. No comments were made.


Gilbert described for all of us that there are three chapters (Kittitas, Asotin-Garfield, Pend O’Reille) whose programs are small, and annual incomes below $10,000, who wish to use the MGFWS non-profit status in their fund-raising. Their funds are reported part of our 990 form to the IRS. These arrangements are governed by a charter which is renewed every three years. The three chapters’ charters were all recently renewed.

*** Honey Nieman moved and Karen Nelson seconded a motion to approve those charters. Passed Unanimously.


Talking points from today’s meeting will be coming out within the week, to help representatives carry news of MGFWS to their local boards and members.


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