Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
Board Meeting
March 20, 2024

Held on Zoom


At the meeting opening, 38 were in attendance representing 18 chapters. All Executive Committee members were present. A quorum was met!


President Tana called the meeting to order at 4:00 pm and introduced Jennifer Marquis, State Program Lead.


Having just learned that a dear friend and colleague, with whom she worked to plan last year’s International Master Gardener Conference, recently passed away, Jennifer was spurred to reflect on what is really important in our lives and endeavors. Her heartfelt comments discussing people in Program and Foundation who have contributed so much to make our lives and collective efforts so full brought a moment of reflection to us all.

With the advent soon of her Advisory Committee, she looks forward to broadening the circle of important contributors. She shared the link available for anyone who wishes to apply to join that Advisory Committee.

Jennifer has shared with us in the past a list of her priorities to accomplish in the coming year. Tonight she said one of those can come off the list, since it has already come to fruition. That is the one of developing a productive Program <—> Foundation relationship.


Jennifer continued, discussing the upcoming Cougs Give event (April 17.) This is the third year that the Extension Master Gardener Endowed Chair campaign is participating. The event is a one-day opportunity for WSU supporters to come together to give, celebrate, share, and rejoice in our combined efforts.

Everyone is invited to become an “Ambassador” whereby we may share what our relationship to the University means to us, and to provide encouragement to others to take part in meeting this year’s $16,000 donation goal for the Endowed Chair campaign. If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador, training and material will be provided.

The five members of senior Master Gardener state leadership team have combined to offer a $5,000 challenge gift. Tana added that our State Foundation Executive Committee of nine members has pledged another $1,000 challenge. All members of the MGFWS board are encouraged to add to that. Tana and Jennifer pointed out the importance of being able to report that 100% of our board is supporting the endowment with our gifts.

Tana noted that two members have agreed to donate on behalf of any members who find it not within their current ability to do so. A confidential note to Tana will trigger that donation.


Tana introduced Steve Spitzer, from Whatcom County, who has offered to accept the position of Communication Director. His resume and letter of interest were included among this meeting’s advance documents.

*** Melody Westmoreland moved, and Patricia Bosh seconded that Steve’s appointment to this position be approved. The motion was successful. Welcome Steve!!


Gilbert presented the financial statements for the periods ending February 29th, and pointed out several details, including:

  • Accounts Receivables for UFW chapters’ annual fees, and the funds coming from the Ohio State Univ. Extension Master Gardener National Committee (EMGNC), which we will manage for them on a temporary basis until they receive official IRS non-profit designation.
  • Accounts Payables for LiveOak, and funds to be distributed to WSU Extension Master Gardener Program for the magazines and posters we have sold on their behalf.
  • A summary of our future commitments
  • The $1,512 remaining from the funds we collected for this year’s NW Flower and Garden Festival (NWFGF).

Tana described the Executive Board’s recommendation for us to consider participation in the NWFGF an annual, regular event, and budget for it accordingly. She suggests that all local foundation boards consider the same proposal, thus enabling us to plan in advance for financial support from those local boards who agree.

Joan Baldwin, of King County, expressed how thrilled the King County Master Gardeners were to work with MGs from across the state and look forward to our return annually.

Several members were hesitant to agree without approval from their boards. After some discussion, it was decided to postpone any decision on this until our May meeting, so that local boards can consider and act on this. A letter will be sent to all participating chapters on the results of this year’s event.

Gilbert noted that our MGFWS endowment fund has a spendable balance of a little over $3,000. This represents the unspent balance of annual spendable earnings of the endowment to date. Since it is no longer in the invested portion of our account, it does not earn any interest or dividend. He suggests we use that to buy a sponsorship for the 2024 AEC.

*** Kim Olafson moved and Kathy Brenberger seconded a motion to purchase a Platinum ($3,000) sponsorship. Motion carried.

Erin announced that Marcia Sands has volunteered to help with the annual internal financial review. That will begin on Friday (March 22.)

AEC 2024

Cathi Lamoreux (2024 AEC Co-chair) reported that program proposals have been dribbling in, and review of them will begin in the coming week. We will still need about half of our class sessions filled. The RFP and instructions are available on the AEC website ( Please share with any potential speakers/instructors.

Debbie Benbow (2024 AEC Co-chair) says they will meet with LiveOak the first week of April. They will begin doing some of the recording soon.

Registration will open June 1st. Debbie points out that with the Earlybird registration of only $109, conferees can get classes for about $3 each! (There are 35 classes, and all sessions will be available, both live and recorded, for a month after the conference.)

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

UFW (Unifying Foundation Websites)

John shared three new pages/sections of the website. An addition was made to the page linking all county foundations. The new section highlights those chapters who have joined the UFW project and now have their own websites live.

Another page describes the UFW project with complete details about the benefits, the costs, and the process of working with us to build your website.

Lastly, he shared the Climate Change pages, which display the work being done by the group developing presentation materials for chapters’ use in educating their members and public about this important current topic.


Cathi pointed out that a summary of our recent Communication Survey was distributed as part of the meeting documents. Page four of that summary has many good ideas that will all be studied by the communication team.



Tana noted that the Handbook is in the works, but there is a need to get a few changes completed in our corporate documents before completing it. That team meets tomorrow (March 21) to look at tweaks that may be needed in our bylaws, mission statement, membership, definitions, and standing committees.


Tans is looking for recommendation on the time and place for our annual meeting this year. Some have asked that we consider it to be held in person. Bylaws say that it must be held in conjunction with the AEC. Do we want it in person or virtual? If not during the conference, we will need to edit the bylaws. A survey will be sent out to help with the decision.


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