Florida Gourd Society, Inc.

Spring Membership Meeting

Note the meeting was held in the covered privillon at the Florida State Gourd Show in Melbourne.

Meeting was called to order by President Selma Carrow at 11:35am.

Attendees at the meeting were:

Brevard Gourd Patch – 4                               Gourdaious Gourders – 0

ManaSota Gourd Patch – 8                           Northeast Florida -2

River City Gourd Patch -3                            Seminole Gourd Patch – 3

West Volusia Gourd Patch – 0                      Brooksville/ Tallahassee -2

No Patch – 8

Introductions: The president opened the meeting with introductions of the new Board members, Ann Reich- Vice President, Veda Krust – Director, Jean Clark – Director, Therese Zamoiski –Director.  Connie Worrell and Kathy Smith were retired as Directors.

Thank You: Selma then gave a big Thank You to Therese Zamoiski for her work as president for the past two years and presented her with a Thank You gift.

Treasurer Report: The president next called for the Treasurer’s report.  Sandy Jordan, treasurer thanked Marsha White for computer programming help she provided for the registration this gourd show.  It worked great and saved much time on both ends.  It was easier for members to register and send just one check and for Sandy Jordan and Therese Ferguson to get students into correct classes.  Gail Gowdy and Greer Peters were thanked for signing up volunteers.

There is money in the bank, but none of the expenses for this Show have been paid when that is completed the amount will be much lower.  The treasurer will have the show costs at the Break Out Meeting.

The treasurer explained the need for the books to be audited annually and asked for a volunteer.  Gail Goudy volunteered, but there were some questions when she learned they would have to be shipped to her and the risk of loss or damages was discussed.  The treasurer offered to take them to a CPA she used to work with and he might do them for free.  Discussion followed and Kathy Smith suggested that we take Sandy up on her offer, having the financial books audited for free, and she would transport the books to the auditor’s office, so no need for shipping.  The group agreed.

Approval of Minutes: from last meeting.  It was discovered that the president had not received the minutes.  Secretary said she would send them again, they are completed.

Membership Report:  Therese Zamoiski reported there are currently 133 members.  She asked for everyone to check the membership list and update their email and mailing addresses.  Without the correct email addresses members will be unable to get their newsletter the “Gourdvine”.

Moving the Show for 2014   The president explained that the show committee said they were running out of space to house the show and that the show has lost money the first 2 years it has been housed in Melbourne.  The treasurer said she did not have all expenses in yet for this year so could not give a report as to how the show had done for 2014.  The president explained she had talked to the Board members and they voted to move the show for next year, 2015, back to Putman County.  She explained it was done with the Board members, since she had to book it to save the dates we needed for next year.

Selma further explained that the fairgrounds were doing renovation this summer and would have 3 buildings finished by the 3rd weekend in February 2015.  There would be concrete floors and air conditioning and they would rent the space for the same price the Gourd Society paid three years ago, $1500. 

A long discussion followed, the highlights are as follows:

1      Can the board do that?  Vote to move the show.  Yes, it is in the By-Laws.

2      Can we change the By-Laws? Yes, the procedure to do so is in the By-Laws, but is long and involved.

3      Vendor, Bob Briscoe gave the example that the first year in Melbourne he made triple what he made his last year in Putman Fair Grounds.  He did not want to move and would most likely not do our show next year if it moved.

4       Members continued to give comments about the show moving  It appeared most venders were happy at Melbourne.  Members seemed to like it too because there was more community traffic walking through, but did not want us to continue to lose money each year. 

5      Suggestions were made to look around Melbourne for a larger venue.  Dickie Martin, vendor and President of South Carolina Gourd Society, suggested that our Society needs to consider the needs of all involved; students, teachers, suppliers and growers. A site should be the best that can meet all needs, and make some money.

A motion was made to have the Show committee and the Board members meet with-in 30 days to discuss a venue for the 2015 show.  The motion passed and the president gave the elements to be considered as people looked for a new venue:

1      Must not be more expensive.  We currently pay $4000 for the site and $200 for the dinner hall across the street.

2      Must be available for our dates in 2015, 3 weekend in February.

3      Must have parking and outside space for growers.

Terry Noxel will provide a spread sheet that they use to you compare “apples to apples.”

Website: The current program is not working with Windows 8.  It will be replaced by Selma Carrow who is our webmaster and the site will be down for a few days while this happens.

Retreat: Selma reported that Bonnie Gibson will be unable to be the featured artist this fall.  Selma has replaced her with Reggie Eakin and Marla Helton still coming.  More information will follow and you can still apply to be an instructor.  We need evening classes.  A motion was made by Connie Worrell and seconded by Kathy Smith that the Society continues to pay the cleaning fee for the Fall Retreat.  The motion passed.

Nominating Committee:  A Nominating Committee will be obtained from members not wanting to run for the office of Secretary and Treasurer.  Our By-Laws require elections every two (2) years.  Volunteers were asked to call Selma.

Gourdvine:  Greer Peters the newsletter editor reported that she had only 3 vendors who were going to advertise for this year, 2014.  Most blamed the economy, one the show move and several just said they never do.  This raised the question of what is the cost of the newsletter.  Therese Zamoiski will be consulted on cost of postage, printing the letters that get mailed ou, postaget and any email costs. The information will be presented at the next membership meeting by Greer.

Gourd Education Day: The president handed out a Draft of the guidelines for GED.  She asked for comments and edits to be returned to her.

Golf Cart: is in the storage shed at Larane Short's and does not run.  No one knew if it was just the battery or something more serious.  Questions were raised about selling it.  It was not used at the Spring Show.  President will follow up to determine with is wrong and get estimate to repair.  Barbara Youn of Fernsink Gourds in Florida offered to take it and store if needed.

The President shared her "Hopes and Dreams" with the membership of what she would like to do during her two years in the office.  She promised that she would visit each patch during that time frame and only wanted the best for Florida Gourders.  She was hoping that the Society can once again start to grow again with some younger members who can take over from the older members and keep the group healthy.

Gail Gowdy said she would like to review the By-Laws and see how they can be changed to allow electronic voting via email for the chapter officers so more of the members could vote.  She pointed out that not all go to the Fall Retreat, only about 50%.  The president appointed a committee of Connie Worrell and Gail Gowdy to review By-Laws and make a proposal that will be sent out in email to vote on.

Kathy Smith made a motion to adjourn and Gail Gowdy seconded.  The meeting was adjourned at 12:32pm.

Respectfully submitted by;

H. Greer Peters, Secretary

ManaSota Patch