Master Gardener Foundation of Washington State
Board Meeting
November 15, 2023

Held on Zoom


At the meeting opening, 31 were in attendance representing 17 chapters. A quorum was met!


President Tana called for sharing of success from any chapters represented today. Grays Harbor – Pacific had a successful seed saving workshop in Elma recently. Yakima shared their “We Grew Lunch” event where a group of members made and served lunch to all members cooked exclusively with ingredients grown by master gardeners. Whatcom enjoyed a pumpkin exchange where 8th graders shared home-grown pumpkins with kindergarteners.

Tana reported that State Leader Jennifer Marquis has been named national head of state leaders, where she proudly shares the successes of all master gardeners in Washington state.


Gilbert described the budgeting process used in the Yakima chapter and then presented the state foundation’s Balance Sheet and Budget vs Actual reports. There was little activity during October. He highlighted a few items and showed that after accounting for a few outstanding expenses, we still show a cash balance of about $50,000.

Tana asked Gilbert to discuss the proposal, made at the Executive Board meeting a couple of weeks ago, to open a new position of Bookkeeper. This person would handle day-to-day banking duties, check writing, deposits, etc. This would free up the Treasurer to focus on responsibilities such as budgeting, forecasting, planning, tax filing and more.

The estimated time requirement for a Bookkeeper would be two to three hours monthly during most of the year. For about three months leading up to the Advanced Education Conference, there is more work and would probably occupy 5 to 10 hours per month. This person would need to become familiar with QuickBooks Online.

Tana said the Executive Committee would take up this topic at their next meeting.

AEC 2024

Debbie Benbow and Cathi Lamoreux (2024 AEC Co-chairs) reported that an RFP for technology services for our 2024 Virtual conference has yielded one proposal so far. Deadline for proposals is mid December. Debbie commented that this first proposal was lower than she expected.

The AEC planning team will begin work in earnest in a few weeks.

Suggestions for a Keynote speaker were called for, and several were put forward. We are encouraged to spread the word and get more suggestions.

Tana noted that kudos are deserved to Debbie, Cathi and the rest of the team for conducting a very successful conference this year.


Erin Landon reported that she has great volunteer to take on social media duties for the podcast. He is Randy McNiven, a new master gardener in Benton-Franklin chapter, and has experience, talents and eagerness to take on this position.

Episode #8 has just gone live this week. Analytics show that the first 7 podcasts have averaged about 100 listens each. A respectable showing for the beginning of this effort. All chapters are asked to promote the podcasts among members and the public.


Plans are going forward for our participation in the Northwest Flower and Garden Festival in 2024. We have three tables in a prime location, on a corner in the aisle to the seminar area.

Together with the King County Chapter, we will staff a plant clinic and master gardener outreach. There will be five volunteers on each shift: 2 in the clinic, 2 in outreach, and one floater.

Chapters who cannot contribute to the cost of this booth may be able to donate supplies and materials. Contact Tana for details.

UFW (Unifying Foundation Websites)

John Strong reported that there are now seven local chapters whose new websites have gone live as part of UFW: Pierce, Yakima, Chelan/Douglas, King, Island, Clark, and Grays Harbor/Pacific. Also, Spokane and Mason have said they wish to come on board soon after the first of next year.

In addition to the local chapters, websites have been built for the State Foundation, the AEC and the Podcast (Evergreen Thumb).

Katie Daniels (Pierce) reported that they are working on an internal-facing plant sale tool on their website that can help with shift scheduling, document storage and more. Details will come when they have finished.


Information from this workgroup will be forthcoming from Tana. Soon after the first of the year look for a Board Handbook and guidance for new representatives. There are opportunities for more master gardener volunteers to take part!

The group will brainstorm new ideas for the 2025 AEC. Ideas include looking at other states’ conferences, how our local chapters conduct education events, and further WSU facilities and technologies.

It is hoped that these teams will get started betweeen early December and January.


Look for an appeal in your email tomorrow to spread the word about the Endowed Chair, to distribute in your chapter and community. Our goal for the Endowed Chair campaign for 2024 is $500,000.

A few people expressed frustration with the WSU Development Office because they have been inundated with appeals for other WSU department donations after making a donation to the Master Gardener Endowed Chair. Tana is aware and will pass along our concerns.


The Executive Board proposed a calendar of meetings for next year. They will meet monthly on the first Wednesday at 4:00 pm. The proposed schedule for the full board is alternate months (beginning in January) on the third Wednesdays, also at 4:00 pm. Discussion led the group to accept that schedule with a minor change: the May and July meetings will be held at 6:00 pm, since the days are so much longer. The website has the new meeting schedule under “Who We Are – – Board – – Meetings.”


Erin asked that local chapters with social media pages refer folks to the podcast.

John noted that the Board Directory is now on the website from a link in the page footer. It is password protected. Contact him for the password.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.