State Board Meeting Minutes

September 29, 2018

 Approved Minutes

Summary of the Board of Directors Meeting, September 29, 2018 

The meeting was held at the Eddy Discovery Center in the Waterloo Recreation Area. Fifteen board members were present. President Garrett Crow presided. 

Announcements: Carolyn Miller was welcomed as a new director-at-large from the Great Lakes Chapter. 

Financial Status: The Board reviewed and discussed an analysis of the Club’s accounts prepared by Treasurer Bob Kelly. A pattern has emerged of expenses exceeding income. On the expense side, steps to reduce the cost of publishing the Arisaema newsletter have been undertaken by Sheila Bourgoin. On the revenue side, potential donations, now that the Club has obtained 501(c)(3) status, have not materialized and are not, in any case, predictable. To shore up the financial health of the Michigan Botanical Club a motion was passed by majority vote to increase the dues remitted by the chapters to the State by $5 per member effective in 2020. The $12/member (per-volume) fee for The Great Lakes Botanist remains unchanged. 

Big Tree Program: At the request of Program Coordinator Ted Reuschel $300 was allocated to purchase business cards for the 14 volunteer certifiers to better legitimize their interactions with the public. 

Constitution and Bylaws: Committee Chair Michael Huft presented the Board with six issues on which his committee desired Board input. The Board agreed to: 

1. Leave the number of at-large-directors on the Board at 3 per chapter. 

2. Reduce the quorum for a Board meeting from 50% of board members to 40%. 

3. Establish the Executive Committee as consisting of the five elected officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Corresponding Secretary. This group plus the chapter presidents are empowered to approve the board meeting minutes. 

4. Include an indemnification provision in the bylaws but give the Board discretion as to whether or not to employ it. 

5. Affirm the current practice of maintaining a membership roster, which is that chapter membership managers are responsible for updating a Google Drive spreadsheet with membership data. Permission to access and update the spreadsheet is granted by an administrator. 

6. Clarify the situation in which a member joins a second chapter by stating that dues will be assessed only to the primary chapter and that only one issue of The Great Lakes Botanist will be sent – based on the member’s primary chapter. 

Next Foray: The annual Spring Foray will be held in summer, 2019. It was reported that housing and catering reservations have been secured at Northern Michigan University in Marquette for July 12-15. 

Jim Hewitt, Recording Secretary 


May 26, 2018

Minutes of Meeting on 05/26/18

Summary of the Board of Directors Meeting, May 26, 2018

The meeting was held at the Shanty Creek Resort in Antrim County during the Spring Foray.  Nineteen board members were present and one guest.  President Garrett Crow presided.

Bob Kelly’s announcement that he will continue as treasurer of the club was received with great pleasure by the Board.

Financial (Bob Kelly):  The Club has a ledger balance of approximately $73,000 but 65% of that is designated for publications and awards. To address a recent trend of annual operating shortfalls the idea of requesting additional chapter contributions is up for debate – pending further financial analysis.

Arisaema (Sheila Bourgoin):  The April, 2018 issue was 24 pages.  Sheila will edit down the next issue to a smaller size for cost savings as well as employ a different folding method for the print edition.

Nominating Committee:  Garrett Crow, reporting for Tyler Bassett, said the slate of candidates for the term beginning January 1, 2019 is settled with the exception of recording secretary.  A motion was approved to extend the confirmation of the slate to July 15.

The Great Lakes Botanist: Reporting for Michel Huft, Garrett Crow said the next issue (Vol. 57, Nos. 1-2) is in final review.  The double issue will contain 48 pages.

Special Awards:  Garrett Crow said he would present the Dickinson Award on Sunday evening to Emily Mydlowski for submitting the best student-authored paper to the Great Lakes Botanist for the year 2017.  Her study of herbivory on a watershield, Brasenia schreberi, appeared in Vol. 56, Nos. 1-2.

Forays:  Huron Valley will host the Fall, 2018 foray, a multiple activity event to be held on one day, September 29 at the Eddy Discovery Center in the Waterloo Recreation Area (per Irene Eiseman).  The 2019 Spring Foray will be organized by the State Board.

Website (Sheila Bourgoin):  The Big Tree Program tab now has search capability as well as a form to nominate big trees.

Board Meeting Minutes:  Garrett Crow, citing previous Board action, said minutes can be approved by just the Executive Committee. A motion to expand the Committee to include the chapter presidents was approved.

Liability Insurance:  Bob Kelly will renew the current policy which covers all Michigan Botanical Club members at all events.

Michigan Environmental Council:  MBC is a contributing member of the Council which works with state lawmakers to promote environmentally friendly policies.  A motion to increase the annual contribution by $25 (to $125) was approved.

Jim Hewitt, Recording Secretary


January 27, 2018

Minutes of Meeting January 27, 2018

 Summary of the Board of Directors Meeting, January 27, 2018 

The meeting was held at Albion College and was attended by 17 board members and two guests. President Garrett Crow presided. 

It was announced that the new President of the Huron Valley Chapter is Neil Billetdeaux. New Directors-at-large for 2018-2020 are Larry Noodén for Huron Valley Chapter and David Hazelswart for White Pine Chapter. 

Financial (Bob Kelly): 70% of annual expenditures are for publication costs of Arisaema and The Great Lakes Botanist. Over the last two years these costs exceeded income from membership dues, the primary source of revenue. 

Over half of the Club’s finances are reserved in the Helen V. Smith Fund and are earmarked for botanical publications, such as Winter Wildflowers, the booklet she wrote in 1973. Updating this booklet or writing a southern Michigan field guide are projects that could be undertaken to use some of these funds. 

The Club will update the new insurance policy to cover all participants at the Spring Foray. After the Foray the renewal of the policy will be discussed along with allocating its cost among the Chapters. 

Arisaema (Sheila Bourgoin): Cost control measures to produce and mail the Club’s newsletter were discussed, beyond the $100 Sheila saved by doing the graphic design herself. Bulk mailing, promotion of digital delivery, and content reduction were suggested. 

The Great Lakes Botanist (Michael Huft): An agreement was signed with the Biodiversity Heritage Library to scan all issues of The Great Lakes Botanist and its predecessor, The Michigan Botanist and make them available on their website. 

Manuscripts will be sought from a wide geographic area to keep the pipeline full. 

TGLB has a separate bank account and the end-of-year balance was $2,625 higher than the starting balance. 

The cover and table of contents for each issue will be placed on the Chapter Facebook page. 

2018 Forays: Dorothy Sibley and Jelanie Bush from White Pine Chapter reported on the venue (Shanty Creek Resort in Antrim County) and the field trips they are planning for May 25 – 28. Lynn Kirkpatrick of Huron Valley Chapter said the mini-foray concept is being considered in mid-autumn in SE Michigan. 

Website (Sheila Bourgoin): A “Donate button” will be added to the website to accept donations to the Club with processing through a third party (Stipe). 

The Big Tree project has the most hits on the website. 

Big Trees Project (Garrett Crow): On motion, Ted Reuschel was approved as chair of the Michigan Big Tree Committee. Ted is retired from a career as a forester with the DNR. His immediate goals are to work with Sheila to improve interaction with big tree data on the website, recruit a state-wide group of measuring volunteers, and increase the number of big trees in the database. 

Board Meeting Minutes: A motion was approved to post the approved minutes of the meetings on the MBC website and to direct the recording secretary to additionally prepare a summary of the minutes for publication in Arisaema. 

Sale of State Game Areas (Dave Wendling): Dave said MDNR is considering sale of some SGA’s to private interests. Actions the Michigan Botanical Club and its members could take to prevent this were discussed. 

Jim Hewitt, Recording Secretary 

October 7, 2017

Minutes of the Board Meeting on October 07, 2017

Summary of the Board of Directors Meeting, October 7, 2017 

The meeting was held at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Barry County and was attended by 16 board members and two guests, one of whom was Neil Billetdeaux who will be taking over as President of the Huron Valley Chapter. President Garrett Crow presided. 

Financial (Bob Kelly): $2,000 will be transferred from the checking account to The Great Lakes Botanist account since it was Hanes Fund money and earmarked for hosting The Great Lakes Botanist on a U. of M. website. Seven dollars of the membership dues collected by the chapters are retained by the state organization and Bob Kelly was asked to determine how much, if any, of the $7 could pay the cost of liability insurance. 

Arisaema (Sheila Bourgoin): The print version of the last Arisaema was missing some pages because of a miscommunication. The electronic version was complete. 75% of members receive both formats. Members were encouraged to submit articles on activities, recognitions, etc. 

The Great Lakes Botanist (Michael Huft): The traditional four quarterly issues will be combined into two semi-annual issues in order to keep publishing costs in line with current income. An offer to digitize the entire run of the ‘Botanist’ was received from the Biodiversity Heritage Library who will make it available in a free searchable database on their website. Michael will pursue and review the license agreement. 

Nominating Committee (Sarah Noodén): Sarah steps down at the end of the year and was thanked by the Board for her years of service as committee chair. Tyler Bassett volunteered to chair the committee whose immediate task is to find a replacement for Treasurer Bob Kelly. 

Dickinson Award Committee (Irene Eiseman): Irene’s suggestion to pre-approve $500 annually for the award in order to streamline the process was approved by the Board. The actual amount of any award would be at the discretion of the committee. Going forward, the vice-president will serve as chair of the Committee in keeping with that officer’s role in the administration of other awards. 

Website (Sheila Bourgoin): The number of trees in the Big Trees database on the website has been expanded to over 800. 53% of website inquiries come from desktop computers, 39% from phones, and 8% from tablets. 

The Big Tree project has the most hits on the website. 

MBC Brochure: Emily Nietering will take over the task (from Sarah Noodén) of keeping the club informational brochure updated. 

Big Trees Project (Garrett Crow): Andy Sawyer has resigned as coordinator of the Big Trees Project and Garrett is in the process of finding a replacement. 

Mini Foray (Dave Wendling): Costs for the ongoing event were expected to approach $900. Suggestions for covering the costs included a grant request to Michigan Botanical Foundation and asking for donations at the evening program. There was no registration fee to attend the mini-foray. 

Board Meeting Minutes: Garrett Crow suggested that a summary of board meeting minutes be published in the Arisaema and the full approved minutes be posted in an online folder. 

Jim Hewitt, Recording Secretary