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The President of the Board appoints members of the committees. Committee terms are two years, coinciding with the Society’s fiscal year of October to September. Overseers are encouraged to join one or more committees that interest them. Except for the Executive Committee, all committee meetings are open to all Trustees and Overseers.

Mass Hort Committee Structure

Board Committees

Committees that report directly to the Board of Trustees, per Mass Hort’s Bylaws, Section 1 of Article VII: Committees of the Board. Unless otherwise specified, the Chair of each committee shall be a Trustee.

Standing Committees of the Board shall include:

Audit and Finance Committee and Investment

Chair: Robert Smith
Members: Dan Daly, Wayne Mezitt, Kathy Macdonald, Penni Jenkins, David Weden, Susan Mooney, and Controller
Investment Chair: Susan Mooney

Executive Compensation and Evaluation Committee

Dan Daly, Chair
Wayne Mezitt

Governance Committee, including Nominating

Lisa Haddad, Chair
Wayne Mezitt
Julia O’Brien
Dan Daly
Susan Mooney

Operating Committees

Operating Committees report to and make recommendations to the Executive Director/President. These Committees include, but are not limited to:

Development Committee

Purpose: Reviews overall fundraising strategies for Mass Hort’s operating needs and capital projects; works with the Board of Trustees and staff to identify, cultivate and solicit prospects.


  • Review annual fundraising plan offering input based on fundraising and market knowledge
  • Participate in the cultivation and solicitation of major donors
  • Monitor fundraising performance-to-plan during the financial year
  • Review fundraising policies
  • Identify opportunities for special fundraising programs
  • Review grant proposals and make recommendations to the Board
  • Propose the annual board fundraising goal
  • Participate in planning, organizing, hosting and/or sponsoring fundraising activities
  • Participate in long-term planning for the development of donor potential and funding from other sources

Chair: FY17 Committee Chair: Richard Hohmann

Members: Kathy Macdonald, Wayne Mezitt, Elaine Lawrence, John Cronin, Jeanne Leszczynski

Garden Party Committee – sub of Development Committee

Purpose: Plan and deliver annual garden party to raise operating revenue and to introduce new friends to Mass Hort and The Gardens at Elm Bank.


  • Develop party theme, date, and logistics
  • Press and promotional outreach for the event
  • Manage the event budget
  • Make catering and beverage arrangements
  • Develop sponsorship opportunities
  • Manage the executions of the event
  • Propose fundraising goal
  • Participate in planning, organizing, hosting and/or sponsoring the activities
  • Participate in planning for the development contact strategy of donor potential

Chair: FY18 Committee Chair: TBA

Members: Suzanne McCance, Elaine Lawrence, Kathy Macdonald, Lisa Gieger, Annette Lee, Stephanie Chlan

Festival of Trees Committee

Festival of Trees is Mass Hort’s major fundraiser. A community event, Festival of Trees and Snow Village features trains winding through holiday villages, Santa visits, decorated holiday trees that are raffled off a the end of the event, horse-drawn wagon rides, and music weekends, and much more.

Chair: FY18 Committee Co- Chairs: Penni Jenkins, Holly Perry, and Gretel Anspach

Members: Diane Bullock, Kathy Macdonald, Dan Brooks, David Fiske, Hannah Traggis, Katie Folts, Kayleigh Tosches

Meetings: Summer-Fall

Sponsorships: Trees, the event itself, Santa Visits, Horse drawn wagon rides

Volunteers: many volunteers needed to run the event

Education Committee

Purpose: The Education Committee furthers the mission of Mass Hort through planning educational horticultural programs and outreach for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.


  • Participate in the planning of the annual calendar of educational programs
  • Generate new program concepts for further development
  • Review individual programs to ensure meet needs of target market
  • Identify key factors to ensure the quality of Mass Hort programs to provide direction for individual program planning
  • Establish metrics which will be used to evaluate individual program quality consistent with the Mass Hort mission and market served
  • Make recommendations with respect to changes to improve individual programs and performance relative to the Mass Hort educational mission
  • Reaches consensus and make recommendations

Chair: FY17 Committee Co-Chair: Mark Ahronian and Lynne Bower

Members: Katie Folts, Hannah Traggis, Kathy Macdonald, Gretel Anspach, Annette Lee, Wayne Mezitt, Debbie Hogan, Jane Hirschi, Wes Autio, Helen Glotzer

Program Committees

Appointed by the Executive Director/President to promote the objectives of the Society and further its purposes and mission.

Library Committee

Purpose: To preserve this important Massachusetts Horticultural Society asset and bring it into the twenty first century.

Background: As the first horticultural library in the United States, the library at Mass Hort supported this mission from its founding in 1829. Its horticultural holdings provide invaluable resources to our members, scholars, historians and general public. Our assets include rare and historic books, periodicals, catalogs and illustrations (botanical prints) in various formats as well as other materials. Historically, the Committee played a predominant role in shaping the library.


  • Leadership: today one consultant supported by volunteers, manages our library
  • Review systemic and programmatic change that cannot be accomplished without support from interested members and the community
  • Create a new vision and guidance for preserving and sharing our valuable assets will expand our reach to the community and further our mission
  • Investigate guidance for the critical decisions including acquisition, deaccession, preservation of assets, as well as updating our systems
  • Increase the visibility of the library, which will help encourage financial support through grants and interested donors

Chair: FY17 Committee Chair: Heidi Kost-Gross

Members: Maureen O’Brien, Kathy Macdonald, Maureen Horn

Honorary Medals Committee

Purpose: As one of the oldest committees of the Society, this committee each year selects a group of individuals or organizations to be recognized for their contributions to the field of horticulture. The Society may award the following prestigious medals:

  • The George Robert White Medal of Honor
  • The Jackson Dawson Memorial Medal
  • The Thomas Roland Medal
  • The Gold Medal
  • The Silver Medal

The George Robert White Medal winner is invited to give a keynote address to the guests at the Honorary Medals Dinner.

Responsibilities: Researches, conducts outreach, and nominated candidates for the above awards to the Board of Trustees.

Chair: FY18 Committee Chair: TBA

Members: John Cronin, Carrie Waterman, Gary Kohler, Kathy Macdonald, Wayne Mezitt

Meetings: 2 x year plus the event; Board voted in 2017 to run this event every other year, starting 2018   

Mass Hort at the Flower Show

Purpose: To manage and run the amateur competitions at the Boston Flower & Garden Show, to engage the broadest public in horticulture.

Responsibilities: Committee is responsible for organizing Mass Hort’s participation in the Boston Flower and Garden Show. It includes 5 subcommittees: Division I Floral Design, Division II Floral Design, Photography, Amateur Horticulture, and the Mass Hort Exhibit.

Committee Chair: Katherine Macdonald

Vice Chair: Hannah Traggis

Members: Ikebana, GCFM Floral Design: GCFM-Lisa Pattinson, Mass Hort Open Floral Design- Mass Hort- Nancy Costa, Show Logistics- Dan Brooks, Photography- Chris Woods and Christina Paxhia, Amateur Hort- Hannah Traggis, Libby Moore

Meetings: 6, plus availability 7 days of flower show set up and show

Elm Bank Committee

Purpose: To guide the sustainable development of Elm Bank in order to achieve the Society's goals for horticulture, education, cultural resource management and diverse public use and enjoyment.  Guidance will be provided through the preparation of short and long range plans and strategies.  


  • Review and update the Master Plan for Elm Bank
  • Establish project priorities
  • Provide annual and 10-year Capital budget proposals
  • Review and approve plans for individual projects
  • Assist in the development project budgets
  • Monitor project performance relative to plan
  • Reach consensus and make recommendations
  • Respond to special requests from the Executive Director/President

Chair: FY18 Committee Chair: Julia O’Brien

Members: Paul Steen, John Trexler, David Fiske, Dan Brooks, Wayne Mezitt, Kathy Macdonald, Holly Perry, Scott Birney, Betsy Ridge Madsen, John Cronin

Meetings: 1 x per month, every other month focus on Master Plan

Current Schedule: Last Tuesday of the month, 1-3pm

Master Plan Advisory Committee

Purpose: To work with the consulting firm that is awarded the contract for developing the RFP. MassHort seeks to create a select committee to provide a broad range of advice and comment to the Consultant Team and Elm Bank staff at key intervals throughout the Master Planning process.

The Advisory Committee is a sounding board for the Master Plan consultants. They represent a wider constituency, bringing expertise to the process. They are a creative source of advice and consensus. They make recommendations to the Executive Director.

Reports to: Executive Director

Members: major donors, trustees (who want to be on), representative of important constituencies: donors, members, overseers, master gardeners, garden keeper, neighbors, thought leaders

Length of engagement: 1 year

Members: 25


  • Orientation of the Consultant Team to Mass Hort and Elm Bank
  • Fact-finding sessions, by the Team
  • Presentations by the Team of their existing conditions analyses; and
  • Presentation(s) of alternative recommendations for the Elm Bank Master Plan; and
  • Presentation(s) of final recommendations for the Elm Bank Master Plan

Chair: Katherine Macdonald




About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Mass Hort logo newFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2018 Calendar & Courses

2018 Masshort Courses

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