Minutes of the MGFWS Board Meeting of November 16, 2022

Held on Zoom

Attending this meeting were representatives of 15 chapters, including Executive Committee members: President Don Enstrom, Exec. VP Paul McKenna, Secretary John Strong, Treasurer Gilbert Plascencia, AEC 2022 Director Melody Westmoreland, AEC 2023 Director Debra Benbow. A quorum was attained.

OPENING: The meeting was called to order by President Don Enstrom at 10:00 a.m. Minutes of the last meeting, and today’s agenda were accepted without changes.

WELCOME: President Don welcomed the group and expressed his thanks to the entire board for supporting his leadership for the past four years. He noted the unique format of our board, and his pleasure in seeing it come to fruition. There are still openings to fill, specifically in the 2023 AEC for program, and sponsorship chairs.

WSU EXTENSION MG PROGRAM UPDATE: In Jennifer’s absence, Don summarized her written remarks which are attached to these minutes. Debbie Benbow noted that a link at the footer of the state Program website (“For Master Gardeners”) leads to many new marketing materials for the 50th Anniversary celebration next year. She encourages all chapters to utilize them in promoting the events.

TREASURER: Gilbert presented the financial reports as of 10/31/22, which are also attached to these minutes.

OPEN EXECUTIVE POSITIONS: Communications, Development, Historian, 2024 AEC Director

AEC 2022 RECAP: Melody reviewed her final report on the conference, and included it to be attached to these minutes.

AEC 2023 UPDATE: Debbie Benbow discussed several positions that are needed to complete the AEC23 leadership team: Facilities, Sponsorships, Registration Assistant, On-Site Registration Lead.

She has split the sponsorship emphasis into two foci: MG Chapter Donations; Private and Corporate Donors. Gilbert Plascencia has accepted responsibility for the MG Chapter Donations.

The Silent Auction will return. Candice noted that it will likely be smaller than in the past, using only the most attractive of the contributed Raffle items.

Cathi Lamoreux is the Program Chair and requests volunteers to work with her to find quality instructors.

AEC 2023 BUDGET: Gilbert presented the preliminary budget while noting that it is very tight. Increased costs associated with the economy, rises in food costs, and the expense of a downtown hotel venue combine to challenge our goal of at least a $15,000 profit. There was much discussion, and a number of suggestions for improving the financial picture. Gilbert and Debbie gladly accepted the ideas, and are happy to hear more as we go forward.

*** Paul McKenna moved and Darcy Byrne seconded a motion to accept the preliminary budget. The motion passed with a vote of 27 yeas and 1 nay.

ENDOWED CHAIR DONATION: Gilbert reviewed the formula passed in a prior meeting of this board to contribute to the WSU Master Gardener Endowed Chair fund: $5,000 this year, and in years going forward 25% of conference profits above $15,000. He will make the initial $5,000 donation soon.

NW FLOWER AND GARDEN FESTIVAL: Don reviewed the decision made by the board to sponsor a booth and speaker at this festival in February 2023 in Seattle. There has been overwhelming support from local MG chapters to fund this effort. Thanks to all! Details about the booth and local participation will be forthcoming.

: A set of new logos for our Foundation, designed by Debra Benbow, were presented for approval.

*** Melody moved and Bob Taylor seconded a motion to approve them. Passed unanimously.


*** Melody moved and Sandy Papineau seconded a motion to purchase a Gold Sponsorship for next fall’s conference, with the stipulation that the normal benefits (such as meals and registrations) that come with such a sponsorship which cost the conference money NOT be accepted. Motion passed unanimously.

2023 OPERATING BUDGET: Gilbert presented the proposed budget for next year. There were no questions.
*** Motion by Sandy Papineau, seconded by Bob Taylor to accept the budget. Passed unanimously.

2023 MEETING SCHEDULE: President-elect Tana Hasart commented on her looking forward to working with all of the board. Among some of her goals is to develop a handbook and job description for board members (who are representatives of their local chapters.) The hope is to have them complete by March so as to be used as soon as possible in the recruitment of new and board members.

Our having much to do, Tana suggests meeting more frequently than quarterly. Her initial suggestion is to meet in March, May, July, September and November. She also suggests starting earlier – – 9:00 am? Discussion was mostly in favor of more frequent meetings, and a desire to have at least two each year be in-person or hybrid, if possible. The earlier start might be a hinderance for in-person meetings, given travel distances. It was agreed to hold the next full board meeting on February 1, 2023 via Zoom at 10:00 am. Details of later meetings will be worked out.

Meeting Adjourned.

Respectfully submitted.

John Strong, Sec.