PLANT WNY ANNUAL MEETING MINUTES
Thursday, February 4, 2021
The meeting was called to order at 7:07 by Kristy Schmitt, vice president. Meeting took place via Zoom.
The financial reports for the Association and for the Foundation were included in agenda packet sent via email. Steve Sypniewski, treasurer, reviewed the financial reports and noted a few things. He indicated that a $5,000 CD was cashed and will be used to fund the operations of PLANT WNY. The Foundation has donated $11,850 to PLANT WNY from their non-endowment account to fund operations of the Assocation. This is a partial payment. Without Plantasia and dues reimbursement not in yet, there is no income for PLANT WNY. Plantasia had approximately $11,000 in their checking account to start the 2022 show. Prior to the meeting Matt Dore sent questions to the Foundation Trustees and PLANT WNY Executive Board. He indicated that the financials are not a clear representation of what we do.
Discussion took place as to why the Foundation is operating the way it currently is. Kim Schichtel recalled that the Foundation could lose 501[c]3 status if it does not have more public support from contributions. Matt Dore indicated that we have to change the way we do business as it doesn’t include the membership. The Foundation should follow the same procedures as PLANT WNY.
Audit Committee – The Audit Committee meets once a year and looks at the profit and loss statements, invoices, insurance and more. They make recommendations and report back to the Executive Board. Questions from the membership can be submitted to the committee as well.
Botanical Gardens – The Gardens are open for evenings and have been selling out on their timed tickets. WNED is working on a three-part series in which they look at the history of the gardens. David Clark has been growing his online glasses and has people from across the country now attending online. Kristy thanked the membership for their continues support of the gardens.
CNLP/Awareness & Promotion – Due to the pandemic there will not be a CNLP exam for 2021. Instead, the focus has been revamping the CNLP manual with a big push to market the CNLP program in 2022. The CNLP state committee has been meeting once a month. Kim Schichtel asked for the membership to suggest tour sites for this summer.
PLANT WNY and CNLP clothing can now be purchased online at crossbarathletics.com. This will alleviate the stock that Kim has had to store and carry around. Clothing can be picked up at their shop or mailed after purchase. Please note, CNLP logo purchases must be approved by Kim to verify CNLP status.
Ed Day/Trade Show – Ed Day would like to be back to Salvatore’s Italian Gardens for 2022. The NYSNLA has put together a terrific Virtual Educational Symposium. Each region will be hosting a Wednesday. Region 6 date is Wednesday, March 3 with David Culp. DEC, ISA and CNLP credits are available. There are several sponsors of the event. This could be a great income generator for NYSNLA and the regions.
Foundation – The Foundation meet in early January to discuss funding requests, award spring scholarships and elected Mike Frank as president.
Golf Outing – There are no details at this time but most likely to go back to Chestnut Hill Golf Club in Darien.
Historian – Matt Dore and Bonnie Guckin sorted through a new box of historical records. The detail of the administrative work by committee chairs was impressive with the detail of their activities. Matt has about 16 years of profit and loss statements on file now for the Assocation and several years of the Foundation. He said he has a life goal of tracking down a financial report for every year of the Foundation as well.
Landscape Awards – The program will take place again this summer. Keep that in mind as you begin your season in the spring. The committee is looking for ways to promote the recipients since Plantasia is not taking place this year.
Leaf a Legacy – Ed Dore thought of a great idea that could be used for historical as well as for promotional purposes. He would like to see a video created of the Leaf a Legacy projects that took place several years ago as well as other historical items.
NCCC – Carolyn Stanko thanked the Foundation for their support of their students with scholarships and funding for students to take part in the Virtual Educational Symposium. She shared the good news that the horticulture program has the second largest in growth at the college and enrollment is almost at 50 students for the horticulture program.
Nominating Committee – It is never to early to think about joining our Executive Board. If interested, contact Teresa Buchanan, Sue Frank or Phil Tripi for more information.
Plantasia 2022 – Plantasia is planning to be back for 2022.
Policies & Procedures – The committee has not met in a while. When they do, they need to look at the new way the Foundation is being run.
Professional Development Committee – a new committee has formed as a result of the brainstorming meeting held in January. Members attended in person and via Zoom. There is a need for non-horticultural and small business assistance. Some ideas included engine repair, what should our accountants do for us, using social media. Ideally this would consist of small group conversations. The committee would like to see involvement from new member professionals – that is members that are not already on another committee. Member firm employees are welcome to work on committees as well.
Media/Marketing – Joan Mariea reported that PLANT WNY has close to 1,000 followers. Please “like” PLANT WNY’s Facebook page.
State Reps – The NYSNLA officers will remain the same for 2021. NYSNLA has launched their new website – www.nysnla.com. Please update your membership information if needed. The membership experienced the valuable advocacy of NYSNLA during the pandemic and their constant updates to us.
Hey, It’s Tax Season – Lou Sardo, Financial Professional with member firm Equitable Advisors presented on options you have to lower your tax bill now for 2020 through investments.
PPP Membership Success Stories – Sue Frank, Kim Schichtel, Roger Restorff and Matt Dore have all had success with the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and would be willing to share their knowledge with members. Please contact them directly.
New Business – Dan Robillard thanked the Foundation for their donation to McKinley High School’s horticulture program for their purchase of the Triple Family Garden for the students.
Kim Schichtel motioned to accept the minutes of October 8, 2020. Steve Sypniewski seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Dave McIntyre motioned to adjourn the meeting. Teresa Buchanan seconded the motion. Meeting adjourned at 8:51 pm.