Role of the Board of Trustees
The Massachusetts Horticultural Society Board of Trustees currently has 18 members. The Board actively seeks to maintain a good mix of professional backgrounds and experiences, and a healthy balance of gender and age. Trustees are elected for terms of 3 years, up to a maximum of 3 terms (except when serving as President of the Board). Trustees and Overseers are elected at the Annual Meeting in October.
- To act collectively to support and govern the organization
- To ensure that the mission is fulfilled
- To select, support and review the Executive Director
- To insure that there are guiding policies and principles
- To insure effective organizational planning
- To insure that there are adequate resources to support board approved plans
- To support, individually and collectively, all board decisions and keep confidential the internal discussions
- To manage resources effectively
- To determine and monitor programs and services to ensure that they reflect the mission and the strategic priorities
- To serve as a court of appeal
- To assess its own performance
- To be a member of MHS and support MHS financially to the best of member’s ability
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Fiscal Year 2015
Wayne Mezitt , Chairman - elected 2015, current term ends 2018
Katherine K. Macdonald, President & Executive Director- current term ends 2014
Lisa Abeles - elected 2015, current term ends 2018
Mark Ahronian - elected 2013, current term ends 2016
Gretel Anspach - elected 2008, current term ends 2014
Alicia Cleary - elected 2011, current term ends 2014
Daniel Daly - elected 2010, current term ends 2016
David Epstein, elected 2013 - current term ends 2016
Helen Glotzer - elected 2015, current term ends 2018
Keith Greenfield - elected 2013, current term ends 2016
Lisa Haddad - elected 2011, current term ends 2014
Caroline Nijenberg - elected 2015, term ends 2018
Julia O’Brien - elected 2010, current term end 2018
Hollis Perry - elected 2007, current term ends 2016
Betty Sanders - elected 2013, current term ends 2014
Robert Smith - elected 2013 - term ends 2016
Leslie Will - elected 2012, current term ends 2015
Mark Ahronian founded Ahronian Landscaping and Design, Inc. in 1987. Since the beginning, he has been very prominent in every aspect of the business, the industry, and the community. His passionate approach to each project, being personally involved from design through completion, has helped propel the company forward with great success. With his expertise in plant material, property layout and over 40 years in the industry, he has perfected his ability for accomplishment in landscape design. His commitment to serving the customers with candor and excellence sets a standard for others to follow. Mark, a Mass. Certified Horticulturist since 1985, has served as president of the Mass. Nursery and Landscape Association, as well as president for the MNLA's scholarship program, which he helped build — The Foundation for Educational Excellence. Mark is the Tree Warden for the Town of Holliston, serves on the Economic Development Committee and the is also a board member for the senior center for the town of Holliston. Mark has recently been awarded the Holliston 'Citizen of the Year' in 2011 and this past spring he also helped to propel the town towards several national awards with the "America in Bloom" competition. Mark is a past President of the Holliston Lions Club as well as a recipient of the International Lions prestigious, 'Melvin Jones' fellowship award for showing exemplary service and dedication to his club, his community, and to Lions overall. Mark is a proud graduate from the Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole Ma. as well as the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMASS Amherst.
Lisa Abeles holds a BA degree from Brown University in Architectural Art History and earned a Master of Architecture from Princeton University with a Merit Fellowship. With 30 years of professional experience, she is the president of Abeles & Associates Architects, a firm specializing in high end residential architecture and interior design. The firm is located in South Natick and does projects in New England and beyond. Abeles & Associates has won Best of Boston awards from Best of Boston Home in 2014 and 2015 and is published in New England Home, Home, Boston Home, and Conran’s Organized Living. Lisa lives in the historic district of Wellesley, MA and is a Commissioner on the Wellesley Historic District Commission. She is a member of Trustees of the Reservation, the Powisett Farm CSA, the New England Wild Flower Society, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Wellesley Gardeners’ Guild. Her hobbies include reading, travel, hiking, biking, cooking and tending vegetable and perennial gardens. Lisa has a special interest in seeing greater utilization of Elm Bank’s Manor House and expansion of Mass Hort’s farm to table program.
Gretel Anspach has been very involved with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society as a Master Gardener. She is active in the New England Wildflower Society and has lead tours for the Garden in the Woods. She studied Math at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the NCS Northeast Engineering Raytheon 6 Sigma Lead Expert at Raytheon. This is her first position on a Board.
Daniel Daly is currently the President of Daniel Roberts, one of Boston’s most established recruiting and staffing firms and has been with the company for the last 18 years. He has served as President of the Business Associates Club and has been involved in fundraising and alumni relations for St. Sebastian’s School since 1988. Dan is a graduate of Villanova University, and lives in Medfield with his wife, Liz, and their sons.
David Epstein is owner of Bloomscapes Inc. a boutique landscape design company and Growing Wisdom which produces educational and marketing videos primarily for the green industry. David authors a blog about weather and gardening for both Boston.com and the Press Herald.com. He is also teaches a course in meteorology at Framingham State College and Jan Plan at Colby College. He instructs courses to help educators bring horticulture to their classroom. Epstein authored Garden's of New England and was published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. Dave is an on-air meteorologist and spent 16 years at WCVB-TV in Boston and currently freelances for WGME-TV in Maine. He was a Vice President for First Call, a division of Thomson-Reuters, and director of corporate development at The New England Aquarium. He holds a degree in Biology from Colby College and an MS and MBA from Boston College. He and his partner live in South Natick, MA and have a summer home in Harpswell, ME.
Keith Greenfield is President & Founder of the Dover Group. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in Finance from Boston University. As a member of the Million Dollar Round Table’s prestigious Top of the Table, Keith is consistently recognized as a national leader in the field of estate planning and insurance design. Over the years, Keith has also been involved in helping successfully launch several technology companies. In addition to his professional accolades, Keith, his wife Tina and their children Kadie, Stephanie, Jordana and Jordan founded a children's theater group called Open Fields. Open Fields ”where young talent grows” has been offering incredible opportunities for personal growth both on and off the stage for the past ten years. Open Fields members have gone on to star on Broadway as well as getting into top notch colleges and universities nationwide as theater majors. Keith, Tina and their children live in Dover, MA.
Lisa Haddad is a partner in Goodwin Procter's Business Law Department. Ms. Haddad has extensive experience in representing buyers and sellers in merger and acquisition transactions involving both public and private companies. In this area, she has a special focus on public company mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Haddad also advises public companies on a wide variety of corporate and securities matters, including offerings of equity and debt securities. Her corporate finance experience includes IPOs, public “shelf” offerings and private placements of securities. Ms. Haddad also represents public companies as general corporate and securities law counsel, providing advice in all aspects of corporate governance and securities law compliance.
Wayne Mezitt has led a prestigious career in horticulture. He serves as Board Chairman and Treasurer of Weston Nurseries, playing a key role in nurturing the growth of the business since 1966. Located in Hopkinton and Chelmsford, Weston Nurseries is a world-class 4th generation family nursery that has evolved to meet the needs of both the retail and professional markets over the course of its 91-year history.
Mezitt has been involved with the green industry throughout his career, serving on numerous boards and committees, holding the highest office on some. These include the American Nursery and Landscape Association (now AmericanHort), Tower Hill Botanic Garden/Worcester County Horticultural Society and its Cary Award Program, Hopkinton Community Endowment, American Rhododendron Society, Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA), New England Nursery Association (NENA), Leadership MetroWest, The Horticultural Club of Boston, Massachusetts Agricultural Club, Landscape Plant Development Center and the Horticultural Research Institute.
He was recognized as a Fellow of the International Plant Propagators Society in 2000, and earned a Bronze Medal from the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) in 1992. Wayne has been a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist (MCH) since the program began in 1978. He is currently also a principal of Hort-Sense, a horticultural advisory business drawing upon his knowledge and experience.
Since 1997, Wayne has been a member of the Garden Writer’s Association. His columns have been featured in Yankee Magazine “Real Solutions/Our Backyard” from 2005 to 2009, and more recently in the “Address” section of the Boston Sunday Globe. His television appearances include This Old House, Victory Garden and People, Places and Plants TV, and he currently writes a monthly horticultural column for his local newspaper, the MetroWest Daily News. Mezitt earned his BA and MBA from Cornell University in 1964 and 1966, and married Elizabeth Pickering Mezitt in 1965. They currently live in Hopkinton and are the proud parents of four children who, with their respective spouses, have “propagated” nine grandchildren.
Julia B. O'Brien grew up in a family that raised orchids and cranberries. She holds an AB in biology from Brown University and a MCP from MIT. Her planning career focussed on regional planning and environmental issues with particular attention to park and open space opportunities. She was Director of Planning at the Metropolitan District Commission from 1970 until its merger and subsequently Chief Planner at the Department of Conservation and Recreation until her retirement in 2010. She has served on the boards of the Conservation Law Foundation, The Trustees of Reservations and the Winsor School. MHS honored her with a Gold Medal and the American Society of Landscape Architects LaGasse Medal recognized her contributions to landscape architecture.
Holly Perry has been an incredibly active member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society since her retirement from teaching. During the last ten years of her teaching career she chaired Westwood High School’s Foreign Language Department. She studied Education at Northwestern University and received her Masters in Spanish from Middlebury. Since completing her certification as a Master Gardener, Holly has facilitated many training classes. She is also a board member of the Dedham Exchange.
Robert Smith is a Director in the Tax Group of CBIZ Tofias and has over 20 years of public and private accounting experience. He joined CBIZ Tofias from the Boston office of Marcum LLP where he was a Tax Director, and prior to that served as a Senior Tax Manager in two “Big Four” firms. Bob regularly consults on a variety of international, federal, state and local planning matters. Bob primarily focuses on providing services to middle-market businesses in the high-technology, life sciences, manufacturing, and professional services industries and has worked extensively with companies providing services to the U.S. Government’s Department of Defense. He has experience addressing an array of tax issues involving federal tax restructuring, large multi-state corporations, consolidated groups, international and foreign tax reporting issues, net operating loss utilization, IRC 382 ownership analysis, ASC 740 (formerly FAS 109) tax provisions and ASC 740-10 (formerly FIN 48) analyses.
Leslie R. Will holds a B.A. from Oberlin College in Communications and Environmental Studies and previously worked for the Department of Environmental Management (as the Metropolitan District Commission), in Water Conservation, Wastewater Management and Parks Management roles. After earning a MBA from Simmons College she worked as a Risk Management Officer in commercial lending and custody banking with State Street Bank. She has been a member of the Milton Garden Club since 1989, where she has been President, as well as Treasurer and Flower Arranging Chairman. She is currently Vice Chairman of the Boston Committee of the Garden Club of America.