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Board Blurb: January 2024

Updated: Jan 11


Summary for the January RCMG Board of Directors Meeting

The RCMG Board Meeting was held on January 09, 2024 on Zoom. The next Board Meeting is scheduled for February 13, 2024. Board meetings are open to all volunteers.

Happy New Year from your RCMG Board of Directors! Enthusiasm is in the air as we start fresh with two new members, Tiffa Foster and Gene Ranieri. The Board is energized and ready to get to work on a number of initiatives.


Committee Updates

Finance Committee Update

Karen Randall has organized a group of six volunteers who met in December to discuss a process and structure for a Finance Committee. This committee would be charged with assisting the Board with decisions regarding how we allocate and account for our resources. She plans to have a draft charter ready to present to the Board in February.

Plant Sale Committee Update

(See Old Business below)

Education Committee Update

Simba reported that the Education Committee met on November 26th and created an outline for the 2024 meeting schedule. Monthly meeting presenters are confirmed for January through May, with topics and some presenters set for the remainder of the year. Their next committee meeting will be held on January 14th.

New Member Committee Update

We have 60 new interns for 2024, all of whom have been paired with mentors. Karen reported that the January 4th Intern/Mentor gathering at the Roseville Library was a huge success. Approximately 80 individuals participated in the “snack potluck” event. After several years of minimal one-on-one contact the participants enjoyed meeting their mentors and interacting in person.

Next up: planning for “RCMG Volunteer Project and Activities Fair” to be held on Tuesday, March 26th at the Oval.

Communications Committee Update

Stacy reported that MarCom is working on the posters and publicity for the Plant Sale. The theme is based on old-fashioned seed packets.

She would like to remind members to wear their name tags and U of M Extension apparel (or at least maroon-colored shirts) at our volunteer events. The committee plans to take more photos of volunteers this year and share them on social media, and it is important that we identify ourselves as part of RCMG.


Leadership Updates

Secretary Update

The November Board Minutes were approved.

Treasurer Update

Kathy presented the November and December Treasurer’s Reports (Transaction Report, Bank Statement and Fidelity account), both of which were approved.

Kathy also shared a her drafts of the 2024 Budget, which the Board approved. Included in the budget is input she received from a number of Project Leads. Some of the line items, particularly involving the Plant Sale, are estimates.

Discussion ensued around intern Core Course financial assistance, which our the nonprofit is expected to cover. Our 2023 budget included $1500 for this cause, with any addition monies coming from the University of Minnesota Foundation/Ramsey County MG Fund (currently around $3400) which is managed by the Extension Master Gardener Program. The 2024 intern class requested assistance in the amount of $1,937, which was due and paid in December, even though it is essentially a 2024 expense. Kathy will include a second line item for the 2025 intern class financial assistance, as it will be paid in 2024. Confusing?! The budget will be presented to membership at next week’s (January) member meeting and Kathy will answer questions at that time.

The Finance Committee, yet to be formed but in the works, will be tasked with further defining this expenditure, as well as others, including a potential scholarship for a University of Minnesota undergrad in an area of study which aligns with our program goals.

Program Coordinator Update

A RCMG Awards and Recognition Program will be held at the Bell Museum on the St. Paul Campus on Tuesday, March 5th (approximate time is 5:30-8:30pm). Watch for a SUG invitation with more information. This looks to be a truly special event honoring our members and the recipients of several RCMG awards.

Chair and Vice-Chair Report

Vice-Chair Report

Kay reported that the annual audit of RCMG finances will be held on Saturday, January 27th from 9:00 am to noon. Members Frank Dolejsi, Martha Lantz, Diana Rankin and Chris Singer have volunteered to perform the audit, with our treasurer Kathy standing by to assist.

Chair Report

Julie ran a great meeting which ended four minutes early!


Old Business

Plant Sale

Nanette and Kathy will be tasked with securing liability Insurance for the sale, as required by Aldrich Arena. A member pre-sale of bedding plants is in progress. Plants must be ordered by January 26th and picked up at Aldrich Area on May 16th. Information has been sent to all volunteers.

New Business

Capitol Region Watershed District Stewardship Award

Darren announced that our Ramsey County Master Gardener Volunteer Program has been awarded the 2023 Watershed Partner Award - Capitol Region Watershed District Stewardship Award. Congratulations to the project leaders, Katherine Tane and Carol Mollner, and their team of volunteers for their work on this initiative! Carol and Darren will attend the Awards Program on February 1st.


2024 Board Leadership: Julie Bechtold (Chair), Kay Wimer (Vice-Chair), Gretchen Hesli (Secretary), Kathy Passe, (Treasurer), Simba Blood (Education Chair), Gene Ranieri (Education Co-Chair), Karen Randall (Membership Chair), Tiffa Foster (Membership Co-Chair), Nanette Boudreau (Communication Chair), Stacy Sola (Communication Co-Chair), Darren Lochner (Program Coordinator).


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