May 31st Conference Call

Attending: Gail, Lucy, Ellen, Casey, Shannon, Margaret, Suzi

  1. Gary Bachman (Extension Research Professor, Mississippi State) ~ report on Coalition of American Plant Societies (CAPS) ~ not on call today, but on a previous call, said his report to CAPS went well, and that they would be interested in engaging with NICH.
    • Ellen had questions about who is on the NICH list, to make sure we aren’t missing people who should be engaged.
    • Action Item: Lucy will send listserv information to NICH group. Steering committee will look at list, and identify folks who should be engaged with NICH, and added to NICH. If you see folks, send that person and Lucy a note asking if they can be added to the listserv.
    • Action Item: Ellen will check with Gary, to see if he is coming to the meeting, and / or see if he can send out a document with bullet points summarizing CAPS presentation.
  2. Denver Meeting Specifics
    • Registration Numbers – Ellen
      1. Update on Numbers (5 people registered, thus far: Tom Underwood, David Grapple, Casey Sclar, Katie Dubow, Lucy Bradley). Suzi said that she has registered. Ellen and Gail will be registering via direct payment from their Universities.
      2. Action Item: Ellen will send out another registration reminder to the NICH list, with the option to register or RSVP regrets. Ellen will double check on Suzi’s registration. Ellen and Suzi will follow up to see if phone recruitment is possible.
      3. Question: if we only have a few folks registered, will we still be hosting the meeting? We will make the call on whether or not to host the meeting, by the next phone call (June 13th).
      4. Question: it possible to have people register as an RSVP, so that we can see who is not coming?
    • Budget – Casey/Lucy
      1. Contract Updates and Cost expenditures
      2. Expenditures: funds for NICH to be channeled through previous NICH account grant. Funds for registration going to Georgia.
      3. Action Item: Lucy, Casey and Ellen will follow up with an offline conversation about how to handle finances / expenditures.
    • Transportation – Shannon
      1. Transportation: Hotel suggested that we use a car service (large SUV) for minor trips to and from hotel. $50 per SUV per way ~ about $400, total for our meeting (does not count folks who may choose to walk to the Denver Botanical Garden). Each large SUV holds ~ 7 people. Shannon and Rusty are also willing to drive. We do not need to commit to car service until up to a week before the event.
    • Catering – Casey
      1. Catering: DBG has exclusive contract with Catering by Design.
      2. Action Items: Casey and Suzi will work together to get menus from Catering by Design, and will work on putting menus, together. Casey will cc Shannon on emails to Catering by Design, in case something more local needs to happen.
    • Agenda – All
      1. Shift Suzi and Katie McCoy on schedule to Thursday? Will it work for the local folks who are part of the panel? Is there anyone from the mission/vision/goals committee on the agenda?
      2. Action Items: ask Rusty to make change to Suzi and Katie’s placement on the agenda, and then send final agenda to Shannon (so that she can coordinate with local folks) ~ and to steering committee, in general. Ask Rusty to check out the agenda on the conference website ( and note any changes that need to be made ~ specific to the agenda (or to the meeting, in general).
    • Other Meeting Items
      1. Shannon will work on informal dinner plans, as we get final ## on registrants.
      2. Transportation to meeting from airport: link on how to get to hotel from airport is now on website as an FAQ (
      3. Action Items: Shannon will check out the FAQ link on the website. Shannon reviewed this, while we were on the conference call, and mentioned that the train FAQ is good. Add in that the cost is $9. Shannon mentioned that there are other options for travel to the Botanic Garden that could be added to the website: B-cycle, Denver’s public bike-sharing program or a 30-minute walk.
  3. Organizational Structure – Casey
    • Is organizational structure ready to share, pre-meeting? Tom said ‘yes.’
    • Ellen posted the organizational structure on the Collaborate site, during our call.
    • Action Items: Ellen will provide feedback on organizational structure, to simplify, prior to putting the organizational structure on the website.
  4. Pre-Meeting Package to Attendees – All
    • Action Items: Ask Rusty his thoughts on sending out the following to all attendees prior to meeting: agenda, transportation information, copy of mission/vision/goals, copy of organization structure, copy of NICH objectives.
    • Note that most/all of this has been posted on website. But, Rusty expressed interest in sending this out as a pre-meeting packet.
  5. New Business – All
    • Ellen’s presentation about her recent industry meeting. See Appendix for Ellen’s notes.
    • Question ~ edits to the goals, based upon industry feedback? Do these need to go back to the writing committee?
    • Action Item: Ellen to coordinate with Suzi, to finalize edits on the goals, based upon industry feedback. Ellen will distribute to all. Margaret will take these to reps from the nursery industry, to get their feedback.