Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
Board Meeting
May 15, 2024

Held on Zoom


At the meeting opening, President Tana Hasart reported that 15 chapters were represented in attendance. A quorum was met! She thanked all for making the effort to attend during this busy time of the year for us.


Treasurer Gilbert Plascencia presented the financial statements for April and YTD and explained several details.

Erin Hoover, leader of the in-house Financial Review Committee, met in April with Marcia Sands. They reviewed all financial records and supporting documents for 2023, and prepared their report, which stated that all were in good order and accurate.

*** Karen Russo moved, and Kendra Waggoner seconded a motion to accept the financial review. Motion carried.


Jennifer Marquis reported that the Program Evaluation project and tools that have been in development during all her tenure are now coming to fruition. This will demonstrate the impact that our program has on volunteers and on the public.

The evaluation process relies heavily on volunteers buying in to it by encouraging the completion of surveys by all attendees at MG outreach and other activities.

Jennifer and her team of program coordinators have developed tools to make this process as simple as possible. Those tools and other details are being shared out with chapters and volunteers currently, and will be coming to all soon.

The better we get at telling our impactful and compelling story, the better we can be at serving volunteers and our communities. This will result in data-driven decisions and ultimately will increase our program’s funding.

The surveys will be easy for all to access, using QR codes, printed questionnaires, and URLs.

An initial goal for 2024 is for each county program to conduct at least one food outreach activity and obtain survey results from it.

The Program Advisory Committee met for the first time last week, to begin their role helping Jennifer. They will meet monthly. Members 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 – Program coordinators have been talking with their members about their desire and ability to begin using this online system to enhance communication and organization. Already underway are San Juan, Snohomish, Skagit, King, and Chelan-Douglas counties.

Cougs Give – In spite of cautions by the CAHNRS fund raising gurus against setting expectations too high, Master Gardeners “hit it out of the park!,” far exceeding expectations in raising funds for the Endowed Chair campaign during that one-day event. Many thanks to all who helped and who contributed!


Steve Spitzer, Communication Director, reported that he wishes to speak personally by telephone with all representatives. The call will be brief… perhaps only 5-10 minutes. Following the alphabet, he has achieved success in reaching reps from counties whose names begin with A through P. He’s looking forward to completing the rest soon, and asks that any reps who have not spoken with him contact him with their phone number.

Steve has been working with Cathi and Debbie to learn more about the ins and outs of the AEC. And he is learning from them about using Qualtrics and other ways to get good data.

AEC 2024

Debbie Benbow (2024 AEC Co-chair) reviewed details of the upcoming conference, and pointed out that all information is on the website for your detailed review, including an excellent video about our keynote speaker.

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.) Regular registration fee is $139, and begins July 1st.

Sharing Success recruitment will be forthcoming soon. All chapters are encouraged to take part and boast about their successes.

The AEC team needs help with sponsors. Please contact Debbie or Cathi with your eagerness to help! A letter has gone out to chapters asking for sponsorship consideration. Tana and Gilbert will be happy to meet with any local board on the topic of AEC sponsorship.

Tana called for all in the meeting to “turn in their homework.” That homework is to submit into the Chat their name as a 2025 AEC volunteer, or the name of someone in their chapter to do the same. If the dog ate your homework, please recover it and submit to Tana within the week!

Tana will send out descriptions of all the teams that work to put on the AEC.

2025 site selection must happen quickly. And the format of 2025 AEC must be developed. There are exciting new formats for us to consider, including a regional/state-based hybrid event. WSU Extension is in the midst of developing regional learning centers capable of hosting a variety of in-person and remote learning. These will be/are available for MGs to use, and may be great tools for us in the quest to make advanced education more widely available at far less cost.



Several chapters’ boards have voted to contribute to next year’s NWFGF. Thank you! If yours has not, please bring it up at the next meeting. For our image and sponsorship recruiting, it is vital to have statewide participation.


Cathi loves working on these topics, complicated though they might be. And she has a wonderful team of dedicated thinkers to help. She estimates that they are about half-way through the project of revising these documents. Their goal is to have finished work to present at the July board meeting.


Tana noted that having a quorum for our annual meeting is critical, since there will be elections and other important matters to take up. The risk of not obtaining a quorum makes it impossible to plan an in-person annual meeting.

Therefore, the proposal is to hold the meeting virtually, as a precursor to the AEC. The conference will open with a welcome from 9:00 to 9:15 on Friday. Following that will be the MGFWS Annual meeting and Award Ceremony, scheduled to continue until 10:45.

The welcome, the meeting, and the awards ceremony will be open to all regardless of conference registration. Following that, registered conferees will log in to a separate Zoom link to the conference.

*** Deborah Smeltzer moved and Patricia Bosh seconded a motion to schedule the annual meeting and awards ceremony as described above on September 27, 2024. Motion passed.


With wishes for a pleasant evening, Tana adjourned the meeting at 6:00 p.m.