Jan 13, 2019 Annual Meeting Minutes

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President John Hager opened the 2019 meeting.  Thirteen members were present, including all officers except the treasurer.

Candy Anderson spoke about her attendance summary she compiled covering the past five years she was Secretary.  She said the business meetings and our November party attendance is down from the past.  In 2014, 28 people attended the party and the last two years, only 13.  In 2015, 21 people attended the business meeting and the last two years only 12.  Garden tours continue to vary each year with turnout ranging from 15 to 39.  Attendance for meetings with speakers also varied every year over the five years.


President John Hager was not up for election and will finish his second term this year.

Vice President is still open – has been for the past three years.

The Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Membership Secretary are all finishing their final Interim terms, and new officers are required per the By-Laws. 

Ede Strand said she is willing to continue as Treasurer; thus see Changes to By-Laws below.

Ann Roeder volunteered to replace Darwin Anderson as Membership Secretary. 

Current Recording Secretary said the position basically involved taking minutes at the annual business meeting.  John suggested that the secretary position changes to someone simply volunteering or being appointed to taking minutes during the January Business meeting; see Changes to By-Laws below.

Members-at-Large: Lori Kempen will continue in Interim capacity, Jan Harvey will continue her 2nd year of her first term, and Diane Belanger wished to step down.  Nancy Spak volunteered to fill in her last year of 2nd term.

Jerry Belanger will continue as Newsletter Editor.

John presented the group with his Future of the Northern Wisconsin Hosta Society handout.  He thought of many possibilities that we could try to keep the group going.  One was to consider eliminating membership dues, but the consensus was that we need to continue to require membership dues.  Another idea to attract new members was to invite CVTC students to our events, since we have a scholarship for CVTC students.  Nancy Spak said that her garden club has done that for two years and only two students have shown up.

More changes to the By-Laws were discussed, one for number of meetings, and another for day and location of meetings; see Changes to By-Laws below.  After much discussion, for 2019 we plan to hold the January Business meeting, have two meetings with speakers in April and October, the May garden park clean-up, the June plant sale, the three summer garden tours, and the party in November, which ended up as no change from 2018.   However, we wanted more flexibility with meetings in the By-Laws. Also, we plan to have a garden tour in early spring at the Belangers, which could count as a replacement for the August tour if we do not find a garden for August.

It was suggested that our November party be changed to having it at a restaurant to be more festive.  This dinner could be paid for instead of buying the $500.00 in prizes for the party.  We decided to change the holiday party due to low attendance with only a few members benefitting.  However, members still like the camaraderie of getting together and didn’t want to eliminate the meeting.

The newsletter was discussed and decided that it will continue to be published at least four times per year.

The web page has not been updated. Jan’s friend is doing it for free, although we pay hosting charges.  It was discussed to pay someone to do it, or have a link posted on the web page that directs people to our Facebook page that Ann is working on.  People did not realize that you can search for our group and the search engine will direct to Facebook pages.  Members do not have to have a personal Facebook account to visit our Facebook page (our page does not come up at the top of the search, however, maybe because it is still has lower numbers of followers).  It was noted that Darwin had volunteered to help with the web page a couple years ago, and he said he would help with it now.  Jan will get him the password so that he can post.  He recommended removing people’s e-mail addresses from the web because web crawlers are using them to send unwanted spam e-mails.  He will keep our vendor’s email on the web page if they wish to remain.

Jan Harvey, who does almost all the maintenance throughout the year on our Memorial Garden in Wilson Park, reported that the garden is mounding up quite a bit with all the mulch that has been spread. Members said that is okay.  She said that we have some very big hostas, that some are the more common varieties, and there are duplicates.  Jan had to dig out many day lilies because of the quack grass that she could not get rid of, so we have a large bare spot.  She said we should budget to buy some “zingy” hostas and day lilies.  John thought $300 would be good.  The mayor sends Jan a letter every year saying how much he appreciates our work.  Two new benches were installed.  Jan reported that someone used a shovel to dig up half of Risky Business at the Red Cedar Trail garden!

John asked for suggestions for 2019 AHS Wall of Honor candidates.  John Hager and Ron and Penny Tietz were nominated and agreed upon.

Members will attend Master Gardener seminars in EC Feb 2, Chippewa Valley Feb 16, probably St. Croix, and Barron County in April to promote NWHS and sell gloves and plant markers.

John is doing a Hosta presentation at the Eau Claire Garden Club on February 11 at 6:30 at CVTC – NWHS members are welcome to attend.

The 2019 calendar specifics were discussed:

April speaker – Ron Livingston is probably not able to speak at our April meeting because of health issues, but Mike Shadrack is a possibility.

April or May – Garden tour, dependent on the weather, the Belanger garden with over 50,000 daffodils and a variety of conifers

May – Memorial Garden clean-up

June 9 – Plant sale

June 12-15 – Joint AHS National/MRHS Regional Convention in Green Bay

June 23 – Plover Bus trip to the “Hosta Stop,” a new hosta retailer. Nancy suggested other gardens that we could tour in the area.

June 29 – Stepping Stones Garden tour

July 13 – Eau Claire in Bloom tour

July 20 – Garden tour/auction at Nancy Spak’s.  This is on Saturday, will also be our catered lunch and auction and will start at 11:00 a.m. because past auctions have gone late.  Members do not need to bring as many plants as last year.

Early August? – Possible garden tour at Judy Robison’s, Nancy will ask her

October – speaker, unknown as yet, usually partnered with the MN Hosta Society

November – Annual Party

John asked our thoughts on ordering hostas for the plant sale.  We said yes, order some, but 80 like last year was probably a little too many.  He will make some of the hostas available for the Society to purchase before the sale and plans to pot them up.

John brought up that he was told we need to give away a free plant to meeting attendees if we want to attract younger members.  That information along with the change to the way we do the November party (no longer collecting raffle tickets for each meeting members attend) led to discussion of changing how we give out prizes for meeting attendees.  We decided to try giving out Hosta Bucks to meeting attendees, with the initial amount set at $5 per attendee. Hopefully, members will spend their Hosta Bucks on membership, at the plant sale, or auction, but could expand to member vendors in the future.  The Hosta Bucks will have an expiration date of two years, and cannot be exchanged for cash to include any change that might result from a transaction.  Tom Kempen will hand out Hosta Bucks in place of the old tickets at each meeting.  Since this is a new experience, the dollar amount of the Bucks could be changed later as necessary or eliminated.  The thought is this will replace the two $25.00 Hosta certificates raffled at each meeting.

Old Business: As approved last year, John is still planning to donate $500 to the Red Cedar Medical Center for allowing us to hold meetings at no charge all these years.

We did not have a Treasurer’s Report due to the treasurer having had recent surgery. 

Three $25 gift certificate door prizes went to Darwin, Lori, and Diane.  The new Hosta Buck system will go into effect at our next meeting in April.  The meeting was adjourned.

There was no Executive Meeting following the Annual.

Proposed Changes to the By-Laws


Section 1.         The term of all officers who constitute the Executive Committee is two years.  Two terms constitute maximum tenure excluding appointments for vacancies occurring to fill unexpired terms.  Due to the difficulties in transferring bank accounts, the Treasurer may serve more than two terms.  In the event that maximum tenure has been served by an officer/member of the Executive Committee, and no nominee has been secured to stand for election for said office, the current officer may continue to serve in an interim capacity for a period not to exceed one year.


Section 1.         The officers/Executive Committee of the Society shall consist of a president, vice president, recording secretary, membership secretary, treasurer, immediate past president, three members-at-large, and the editor of the Society newsletter. 

Section 2.         The President shall:

  1. Preside at all meetings of the Society and Executive Committee.
  2. Appoint all necessary committee chairpersons with the exception of the nominating committee.  Nominating Committee members must be approved by the Executive Committee  
  3. Appoint members to vacancies, occurring between elections.
  4. Serve as ex-officio member of all committees except the nominating committee.
  5. Ask for a volunteer or appoint a member to record the minutes of the January business meeting, and any other meetings deemed necessary.
  6.  Maintain the By-Laws and preserve all records of value in a permanent file for the Society.

Section 4.         The Recording Secretary shall:

  1. Record the minutes of the Executive Committee and all Society meetings.
  2. Handle all correspondence on behalf of the Society.

C.   Preserve all records and letters of value in a permanent file for the Society.

(Sections 5-8 will now become Sections 4-7 with the removal of Secretary.)


      Section 1.         The Society shall hold three summer garden events and at least four other six regular meetings per year.

Section 2.         Meetings Meeting day, time, and place will be flexible.  are held the second Sunday of the month at Red Cedar Medical Center in Menomonie, Wisconsin.  Time and place are subject to change depending on circumstance.  Changes are to be agreed upon by Society members.