Board of Directors

President: Cindy Edwards
Lifetime Master Gardener

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Cindy gardens in Westford where she lives with her husband, Mark, and their four Siamese cats in a cold spot in zone 5. Her older son, Stephen, lives and works nearby, and her younger son, Peter, is in grad school in Vancouver where Cindy has discovered incredibly beautiful trees in sizes we’ve never seen in Massachusetts. Cindy’s “day job”, which gets in the way of all the good stuff/gardening, is in compensation. Always tearing out grass to make room for more plants, Cindy continually tries to find room for one more really cool plant, especially if it’s a peony or hosta.

Past President: Sonja Johanson
Lifetime Master Gardener

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Sonja Johanson, Lifetime Master Gardener – Sonja is a graduate of the 2007 Master Gardener class, and has a background in ecology.  She served six years as the Master Gardener Training Class Coordinator, as MMGA Education Coordinator, and as MMGA Volunteer Coordinator. Sonja runs an outdoor classroom/organic garden at the Ralph Wheelock School in Medfield, and is an inveterate seed saver, with bottles of vegetable seeds tucked away in every corner, nook, and cranny of her house.

Vice President: Chris Gatti
Senior Principal Master Gardener

Chris has spent her career working in education, training and development roles with a strong love of learning. Now semi-retired, she continues to offer these services to clients on a part-time basis. Growing up next to her grandfather’s tomato farm, Chris has always had a passion for gardening and horticulture. She is a 2014 participant of the Home Horticultural Series, and a 2016 graduate of the Master Gardener Program. She lives in Ashland with her husband David, and their very smart and curious Maine Coon cat, Mia.

Treasurer: Robert Halterman
Principal Master Gardener

Bob, is a recently retired restaurant industry executive whom has reinvented himself in the field of horticulture, which has been a life-long passion of his. After becoming a Certified Master Gardener in 2014, Bob spends much of his time honing his horticulture skills through MMGA volunteer gardening and working at a well-known garden center as a Plant Help Desk Specialist and Tree & Shrub Salesperson. Last year, Bob became a Massachusetts Certified Horticulturist (M.C.H.). Bob has been married for 39 years, has two adult children and two wonderful grandchildren. When he is not spending time with them, or planting more trees, shrubs and perennials of his own; he enjoys fishing on his bass boat and taking to the slopes skiing – all while appreciating the beauty of those wonderful natural landscapes.

Clerk:  Tracy Firth
Certified Master Gardener

Certification Coordinator:  Erica Bond
Certified Master Gardener

After Erica and her husband Frank decided to sell their comprehensive financial planning boutique after twenty years, she was finally able to spend more time in the outdoors and in her garden. A native plant enthusiast with a passion for ecological gardening, Erica graduated in 2017 from the MMGA program and is nearly finished earning her certificate in Native Plant Horticulture and Design from New England Wildflower Society. These days Erica calls herself a “professional volunteer”, serving on the board of several organizations and volunteering at as many more. She has two college aged children and an eighth grader. She currently lives in Needham, but grew up in Wellesley, having spent hundreds of hours as a youth playing soccer on the fields at Elm Bank when it was part of “Stigmatine Fathers”.

Communication Coordinator:  Ann Hopps Morgan
Lifetime Master Gardener

After four decades in marketing, Ann has chosen a retirement path that is something of a “busman’s holiday.” A 2014 graduate of Master Gardener Training, she skyrocketed to Lifetime status thanks largely to involvement with marketing the Symposium and other association public offerings. She is also a local garden club officer and a former member of the Garden Club Federation of MA board. Ann learned to garden as a toddler, at the soil-stained knees of her great-aunt, a prize-winning rose grower and tomato whisperer.  She lives in Boston with her husband of 40 years, one Bichon puppy and two kittehs.  As time permits, the Morgans like to get off the grid at their vacation home (a geodesic dome!) in rural Pennsylvania, on 33 acres that were originally part of her late in-laws’ farm.

Education Coordinator:  Kathie Skinner
Certified Master Gardener

Kathie Skinner, class of 1970, Director of the Center for Education Policy & Practice, Massachusetts Teachers Association, 20 Ashburton Place, Boston.

Kathie, is a recently retired education policy researcher and writer, but continues this work in her own small consulting business.  She became a Certified Master Gardener in 2015 and gardens on Martha’s Vineyard focusing on trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials that deer don’t particularly find appealing! Kathie is a tour guide at the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury. She has been married for 30 years and has five fabulous grandkids. She and her husband Phil are avid travelers who love visiting gardens and natural landscapes in other parts of the country and the world.

External Programming Coordinator:  Ann McCartan
Principal Master Gardener

Gardening Coordinator:  Libby Baylies
Principal Master Gardener

I am a lifelong “nurturer”, gardening around the world for 27 years before becoming a MMG in 2015. My background is in Art History, Architectural History and Historic Preservation. A long time ago I worked for the National Park Service under the Historic American Buildings Survey. I have lived in France, Mauritania, Egypt, Israel, Greece and Belgium. I love to cook (vegetarian), hike and explore new places with my husband Nick. I am the proud mother to three amazing daughters, a fabulous son-in-law, and two marvelous grandchildren. Life is good!

IT Coordinator:  Yola Cabrillana
Principal Master Gardener

Yola is a graduate of the Master Gardener Training program in the Spring of 2011. Born and raised in the City of Boston; she developed a love of outdoor gardening at a young age while working nights at the City and having days free to play in her garden. Yola developed such an interest in plant texture, placement and design, she attended many classes at The Landscape Institute to feed her need for horticultural knowledge.  Yola’s newest endeavor is creating a woodland garden at her vacation home in Northern New Hampshire. Yola has served on the board as the Outreach Coordinator, the Communication Coordinator and currently manages the organization’s IT infrastructure.

Membership Coordinator: Linda Austin
Principal Master Gardener

Outreach Coordinator: Bill Steinroeder
Senior Principal Master Gardener

Bill is a 2017 graduate of the Master Gardener Class. He resides in Holliston with his wife, Bonnie. Three adult children live in New Hampshire, California, and Massachusetts (with a grandson). After nearly thirty as a software developer, he has been coaching tennis at local clubs and high schools for the last fifteen years.  His garden has been a bit neglected over the last two years, but he is hoping for a resurgence of vegetables, flowers, and herbs this year, while also limiting the spread of invasive vines in the back woods.

Regions Coordinator: Julie Collinge
Lifetime Master Gardener

After many years as a Project Manager (aka Cat Herder) in the Finance world Julie took advantage of a down-sizing  driven layoff to take the Master Gardener class in 2011.  “Sadly” she found another paying gig, which curtailed playing in the dirt but afforded time for tracking MMGA hours for the next 5 years!  She is now completely retired from the corporate world, which means she has time to work (aka play in the garden) for private clients and for a landscaper during the gardening season.  Her “specialty” is weeding which means she will never again be out of a job!  In her spare time Julie enjoys being involved in any type of Performance Arts that will have her!

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