October 24, 2017 Board Meeting

Attending: Corinne Thomas-Kersting, Christine Semeniuk, Jennifer Simpson, Nancy Fine, Heidi Nichols, Marcia McIntyre, Cathy Gibson, Tom Ralley, Pete Jacobsen, Jack Lazareck, Stevan Cohen, Rich Becker, Lorna Schilling, Carolyn Dixon, Adele Thompson

Minutes of September meeting were accepted.

President: *Corinne reorganized today's agenda to group the various communication-related items together.
*Corinne has sent us a copy of officer job descriptions, last revised in 2010. (Action, Board members to review document for possible future discussion.)
*Archiving records--Corinne's goal is to preserve and store (archive) chapter records so they are easily or routinely shared and conveniently retrieved. (Action, Officers, especially secretary to work with communication committee for solutions.)
*Possible meeting guest--Weston Miller suggested we invite Patrick Proden, OSU Extension Regional Outreach and Engagement Coordinator for Washington and Multnomah Counties, to one of our meetings. (Action, Corinne to invite him, probably to the February meeting.
*Corinne said the Board (by e-mail vote) approved buying gift certificates and donating some of our merchandise for the door prize table at Recertification day October 28.
*Meeting location--Corinne asked if we want to continue meeting at this location (Firehouse at NE 86th and Sandy.) No objections voiced except Rich thought we should have a distance device for those unable to get to a meeting because of bad weather. No specific method was planned.

Officer nominations: These people have agreed to run  for Chapter offices for 2018:
  President--Corinne Thomas-Kersting
  Vice-president--Jack Lazareck
  Secretary--Jo Ann Klooz
  Treasurer--Stevan Cohen
  OMGA rep--Lorna Schilling (currently the alternate)

No one has agreed to run for OMGA alternate yet.

Budget: Christine circulated copies of a proposed 2018 budget (filed with paper copy of minutes) Income was projected somewhat lower this year and expenses are higher; this is a $25,000 deficit budget but we have over $70,000 in the bank. The largest projected expenses are related to establishing the Demo garden Annex with smaller increases in several other areas, especially education/outreach and OSU program support.

Some individual items and comments heard follow:

Without Pay Pal, individual contributions have dropped.
The IE sale plans to "maintain, not expand."
Fewer people are signed up for the Fred Meyer Community Rewards program.
(Action, remind members they have to re-enroll periodically.)Maybe eliminate the donation cup at meetings and make the coffee/tea a gift to the group.   
Consider raising the dues to $25
Continue dues at the $20 level.

Reach out to other businesses, maybe arborists, for directory ads. Should we keep the ad rates the same as last year?

Christine removed the $2000 line item for site rental, as this has not been charged to us recently.

Annex--apply for grants; look for donations; signs acknowledging donors are planned; we need plants to be specified to get cost estimates.

Merchandise sold well at the convention last summer. It is assumed sales will be lower this year (without a convention.)

Scholarships are organized according to Weston's plan this year.

Summer speakers are being planned this year.

Consider renting the Pittock Mansion to host the OMGA quarterly meeting. Previously it has been "on-site" at the Church and "off-site" at the Leach Garden.

Change the term "cultivator" to "members" events.

Communications reports: E-news--Marcia offered to collect information for the next issue until a new editor is found as Claudia has resigned from the post. (Action, publicize this job, consider other configurations, such as sharing the job;the editor will coordinate the production of the eNews with the Communication Committee.)

Demo garden:  (Nancy and Pete) Members have been winterizing the beds, cleaning the greenhouse. Work progresses on the Annex; paths are taking shape. (Action, publicize any winter work days to the general membership.)

Financial review: (ad hoc committee) Tom proposed a sampling method to review our finances. The goal is to see that expenditures are proper and that accurate records are being kept. Copy of proposal is attached to paper minutes. (Actions, continue discussion and refine if needed, vote to proceed, conduct review, report findings and recommendations to the Board; based on this process consider changing bylaws to reflect financial review versus audit requirement)

Membership/Directory: Heidi wants to resign from the job of compiling the Directory. In preparation, she has written up the tasks involved. Directory information has to be ready for press by mid-February. Should we consider contracting out a portion of the job? (Action, Pete, Kate Davenport, Corinne, Heidi, and David Owen will meet to plan how to proceed. The goal is to make the job easier!)

Metro: Jack said Weston is trying to make the advisory group more inclusive. Jack has suggested Tom join the committee. There are two new instructors for 2018 training. Jen Gorsky will teach plant ID and Jane Collier, berries.Because of the spread of Japanese beetles throughout the Metro area, Chapters cannot hold plant swaps any longer. Weston is investigating safe alternatives with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Adele Thompson, secretary
November 29, 2017


September 26,2017 Board Meeting

Attending: Christine Semeniuk, Stevan Cohen, Rich Becker, John Jordan, Tom Ralley, Claudia Groth, Lorna Schilling, Jack Lazareck, David Owen, Eddie Rosen, Nancy Fine, Carolyn Dixon, Adele Thompson

Eddie chaired in Corinne Thomas-Kersting's absence.

Minutes of the June Board meeting were accepted with the addition of Eddie to the list of those attending.

Policy review: Pete Jacobsen, Corinne, Eddie, and Adele met this summer to set a framework for the policy and procedure committee. Eddie has been reviewing the Chapter's historic documents, in an attempt to find what policies were previously established. He presented a proposal for establishing new policy, based on work earlier done by Pete. (text attached to printed copy of minutes) Members modified the wording slightly, adding "is approved by majority vote," "significant" objections, and "needed modifications." It was agreed that we need a place or method to store decisions. Vigorous discussion followed: Claudia suggested the general membership should be included in this process to prevent the appearance or reality of non-democratic developments. Tom said in the absence of previous problems it makes sense for the Board to handle these questions. David said the communications committee has ideas about circulating and storing policy decisions. Actions--Eddie will rewrite and circulate his proposal. Discussion to continue. Research to continue.

Summer workshop report: 22 interns and 4 vets along with Corinne and Weston Miller attended a late summer vegetable growing workshop at Eddie's large urban garden. Eddie saved statements the interns wrote about becoming Master Gardener educators, their favorite "gives" and "gets." John read these to the group with appropriate emotion.

Nominations: Eddie said he will not continue as vice-president but would like to remain Chapter historian. No one has offered to run for the vacant offices yet but Tom has been suggesting candidates to Corinne. He said it is helpful for continuity if some current Board members move into other positions on the Board. He also suggested looking for talent within committees. Action-- Eddie and others of us to continue search for possible candidates.

Treasurer: Christine said we should plan on getting the budget done soon. She will write a draft based on recent past budgets and past spending. She will circulate this draft and suggests we begin discussing it in October. Tom said we should try to get the proposed budget to a wider audience (beyond the Board.)  Action--Christine to present proposed budget at October Board meeting.

OMGA: Long-time OMGA treasurer, Katherine Johnson, was named State Master Gardener of the Year. Audits done by the state organization were discussed in view of the Multnomah County Board's interest in doing a financial review of some sort.  Lorna said Katherine Johnson has done informal OMGA audits with Wes Bevans, a past president of the Columbia County Master Gardeners.

Awards: John said two award winners have not received their awards yet. He will present these at the next Chapter meeting. Lorna brought certificates from OMGA for our Chapter awardees. Also, 20- and 30-year members will get special OMGA recognition. Action--Present the remaining awards at October Chapter meeting.

Metro: scholarships and training: Jack circulated and explained changes Weston proposed in terminology and amount of available financial aid for the next training course. The process will be more centralized, though they will give us the names of people whose applications were not successful at the Metro level. Last year 22 scholarships and fellowships were given in our 3-county region, most to Multnomah applicants. Ten of these came from the chapters, the rest from other sources. Jack and Rich distributed copies of the written budget requests. Rich recommends the expenses for parking be handled as previously done, afterwards. Action--Chapter contribution to Metro to be included in next budget.

Metro: new Web site: Stevan explained some of the scope of the statewide website under development, "SolvePestProblems.org." It will begin with 660 common problems, be simpler to use than the current PNW's, and include a Spanish version. He said many other organizations and corporations are involved and have pledged money. He anticipates there will be ongoing costs. Action--Chapter contribution to website to be included in next budget.

Community cultivator: This position is still vacant. The work continues with groups of members volunteering to chair events. Harvest Fest went well despite a smoky afternoon due to forest fires. Plant Swap will be October 7. Action--Continue to look for a person who is willing to chair this committee, as the Chapter seems to enjoy these activities.

Demo garden: Nancy reported on plans for the garden and shared an update Pete wrote on the Annex. Two design committees are meeting later this week. There is a class this Saturday to build raised beds to winter-over plants we may acquire this fall.

Training: Some planned changes in the curriculum include more hands-on work, plant ID practice, additional time for berries, and role-playing. The vertebrate pest unit will be on-line. Vets are being encouraged to attend classes for their own educational benefit and to begin meeting the interns. State coordinator Gail Langellotto-Rhodaback is adding and revising on-line modules. These have to be publicized to Master Gardeners. Tom reported having technical problems with the modules, cause unclear. Action--Provide information on class schedules and modules in newsletters, etc. Report module problems to Jordis.

Plant sales: Washington County is adding vegetables to their sale inventory. They are interested in our experience planning the nursery orders and we (Rich and others of the IE team) plan to help them. In turn we can learn from their experience with tallying and holding methods. Action--Continue communication between the sales chairpersons.

Communications committee: David Owen said a general invitation was sent and this committee began to meet August 22. He continues to recruit additional members. There is another meeting next week. They plan to talk about how we communicate among ourselves and with the public; how we engage interns; how we organize and document information. A second focus of the committee will be our technological infrastructure. He said we might consider using "Google Suite," which should be free for us as a 501-c3 nonprofit. Action--Committee to continue updating Board on plans.

Communications-newsletter: Claudia said she is resigning from her position editing the e-newsletter. She outlined general expectations for this position: writing skill, attending some meetings, generally staying in touch with the Chapter, tracking down photos and captions. She estimates she has spent parts of ten days each month on this. David Owen will continue doing the layout. Action--Recruit some more.

Other: The chapter received a $325 Educator grant from the Extension Service. Corinne will announce this at the next meeting.

OMGA is scheduling their 2018 meetings. Do we want to host in March or November? Action--Ask Marcia to check these dates with the church.

Mention was made of Weston's idea of inviting Patrick Proden, the OSU Extension regional outreach and engagement coordinator for Washington and Multnomah Counties, to one of our meetings. Action--Remind Corinne of this plan and schedule him if the Board expresses interest.

Adele Thompson, secretary: 
October 9, 2017