Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
July 19, 2023
Held on Zoom
President Tana Hasart opened the meeting at 6:01 pm. Secretary John Strong noted that a quorum has been achieved, with at least 15 chapters represented. Officers present were Pres. Tana, Exec. VP Cathi Lamoreux, Secretary John Strong, and Treasurer Gilbert Plascencia.
Pre-meeting conversations were filled with activities around the state, including a Garden Tour in Pacific-Grays Harbor, a large grant received by Spokane chapter to educate on composting as part of an effort to keep Spokane’s water cleaner, and tales of the great 50th Anniversary regional event in Skagit county.
Tana noted a big agenda for tonight, and moved ahead with business.
WSU EXTENSION MG PROGRAM UPDATE
In Jennifer’s absence, Tana urged all chapters to get involved in the Sharing Success area at the upcoming conference. These displays offer a great opportunity for local programs to showcase their work, and for gardeners to get ideas and resources for their own programs.
Gary Schneider of King County was introduced to discuss the 2024 Northwest Flower and Garden Festival. Last year our shared booth generated over 3,100 contacts with the public, in addition to about 500 at the King county booth. Next year we have decided to merge the two booths in an even better location, on a corner along the way to the lecture area. The booth will be larger, and will allow ample room for plant clinic activity.
Cost of this year’s booth and materials will be in the $7,000 range. We have $858 carryover from 2023. All chapters will be given the opportunity to contribute. Volunteers from donating chapters will be able to work a shift at the booth. Details will be coming.
This festival is a premier opportunity to showcase the Master Gardener program, network and collaborate with volunteers from around the state, and provide science-based information about our program priorities.
Gilbert presented the Balance Sheet and Budget vs Actual reports noting a substantial increase in our checking account balance due largely to registration fees coming in for the September conference. At the end of June we are at approximately $123,000. Net assets with restriction is also up. That represents contributions from King and Grays Harbor-Pacific chapters to Open Labs to assist chapters in their web development as part of the Unifying Foundation Websites (UFW) program.
Patricia Bosh reported that, to date, six nominations have been received for Master Gardener of the Year, 5 for the Media Award, and 4 for the Ed LaCrosse award. That is gratifying! It shows significant improvement over last year. The Awards Committee meets at the end of July to begin the task of reviewing and scoring the nominations.
Candice Gohn reminded us that each chapter is asked to donate five items for the raffle.
Erin Landon thanked the donors for the funding to get the podcast program underway. After polling the members, the name “Evergreen Thumb” won out as the title of our podcasts. Erin displayed a logo and noted that she has completed the basics of a website. The hope is to go live with the first episodes by September 1st. Each podcast will be about 20-30 minutes in length, and some will be eligible for CE.
She would like to find volunteers to help with social media, administrative tasks, posting programming to the website, and more.
Debbie Benbow tells us that there are about 250 registrations. An E-blast is coming soon. It will be a little different style than the last few.
Sponsorships are up nicely. Don Enstrom noted we have about $8,000 with another $3,750 or so expected. Ten sponsors have the right to use a booth. Only a couple have opted to do so. It is important for us to reconcile the list of donors with their logos on the website.
Last year, the MGFWS donated the use of their booth to Jennifer to use in promotion of the Endowed Chair.
*** Don moves we offer our booth to WSU EMG Program to benefit the Endowed Chair. Seconded by Honey Nieman. Motion passed.
UFW (Unifying Foundation Websites)
John reported that we now have ten sites either up and running, in development, or on the calendar to go live by end of year.
COMMUNICATIONS PLAN WORKSHOP
As recently distributed by email, this workshop will happen on July 27th. Any and all MGs are encouraged to attend.
Tana shared a letter in this meeting’s announcement wherein she prompted for consideration of our board’s future. This spawned discussion:
- Honey thought the letter was well-written and presented challenges that not only our state board, but also many local chapter boards encounter. She suggests we plan discussions in smaller groups to dive more deeply than can be done in our large group.
- Tana notes that a survey will go out to all, the results of which will be recapped and discussed at the Executive retreat. An emphasis will be on ideas from local chapters.
- Discussion included a need to get the word out about the value of MGFWS. There has long been a disconnect with many local folks as to who we are and what we do. While that message has improved greatly in recent years, there is still work to do.
- Many comments arose surrounding the Advanced Education Conference. The model as we know it today, of meeting in person at a conference hotel or convention center, is becoming far too expensive to maintain. Other models include virtual, hybrid, locating on college campuses, removing food from the event, one-day regional events, and more.
- MGFWS should further develop itself as THE resource for foundation and non-profit board administration legalities, best practices, and more.
- State representative training and onboarding is needed.
- Should the state foundation collaborate and/or assist locals in grant applications?
Quorum – It is proposed that Article III, Board of Directors Section 4, paragraph b. be amended as underlined below:
- b. Quorum. At least one representative from a majority of the member-chartered chapters and affiliates, with at least one officer present, shall constitute a quorum. For the transaction of business, a majority of the votes of such a quorum shall be sufficient to decide any measure coming before the Board, except for removal of Officers and Board Members. A quorum, once attained at a meeting, shall be deemed to continue until adjournment notwithstanding a voluntary withdrawal of enough Directors to leave less than a quorum.
Electronic Voting – It is proposed that Article III, Board of Directors Section 4, paragraph c. be amended to remove the phrase “E-mail voting” as shown as stricken below.
- c. Required Presence. Votes may be cast only by members present at a meeting, either in person or participating by conference telephone or other electronic means as defined herein.
E-mail voting,Absentee voting and proxies are not permitted.
Executive Committee Responsibility – It is proposed that Article V, Executive Committee, Section 2. Responsibilities, paragraph a. be rewritten as follows:
- a. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Foundation. This includes having the authority to make financial decisions and disbursements of an amount up to $1,000 in the intervals between meetings of the full board of directors.
*** A motion was made by Tina Batey, and seconded by Karen Russo, to adopt the three bylaws revisions as shown above. Motion passed.
The Executive Board will work to update the policies and procedures needed to implement the above changes.
The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.