About Our Chapter

The Tennessee Valley Chapter was chartered as a Wild Ones chapter in June 2012.  The group had existed previously as a special interest group of the Master Gardeners of Hamilton County but needed a more permanent organization home and found the Wild Ones organization with its national infrastructure and superbly complementary mission.

2018 Board of Directors

Lisa Lemza, President (2018)

Kristina Shaneyfelt, (2018)

Nora Bernhardt, Secretary (2018-2019)

Bill Moll, Treasurer (2017-2018)

Marti Owensby, Past President (2016)

John Miller, Member at Large (2018-2019)

Doug Newton, Member at Large (2018)

Marinell Morgan, Member at Large (2018-2019)

Lucy Scanlon, Co-Chair, Public Information Committee

Ann Brown, Co-Chair, Public Information Committee

Nora Bernhardt, Co-Chair, Membership & Communications Committee

Marcia Stevens, Co-Chair, Membership & Communications Committee

The current organizational structure is described below.
For more information about the Chapter’s organization, please refer to the TVWO-Bylaws.

Standing Committees

Standing Committees are defined in the Bylaws and serve important Chapter functions.  Each committee has a chair or co-chairs appointed by the Board.

Program Committee:  Co-Chairs:  Lyn Rutherford & Bill Moll

The Program Committee shall:
  • plan a schedule of Chapter programs and activities with guidance from the Board and subject to regulations by the national Wild Ones
  • determine, schedule, and coordinate details for speakers and other activities including field trips, plant rescues and exchanges, hikes, and group events (e.g., garden visits)
  • coordinate programs with the other standing committees and provide the Public Information and Education Committee chair(s) with appropriate information and lead-time for each event
  • and perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Board.

Public Information Committee: Co-Chairs Lucy Scanlon and Louise Gilley

The Public Information and Education Committee shall:
  • coordinate publicity for all activities and projects as guided by the Board
  • determine, schedule, and coordinate information tables including hands-on events and distribution of informational materials at community events such as the Chattanooga Market and the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center Plant Sale
  • determine, schedule, and coordinate training and providing Chapter members to serve as speakers for garden club meetings, Master Gardener classes, and other community events
  • work with other committees and local media to publicize projects, activities, and programs in a timely fashion
  • work with the secretary to see that the website(s) and other communications are kept up-to-date
  • and perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Board.

Membership and Communications Committee:  Co-Chairs: Nora Bernhardt and Marcia Stevens
The Membership and Communications Committee shall:
  • manage Chapter website(s), newsletter(s), and e-mail communications as to Chapter and related activities and events
  • plan and implement programs to recruit and retain members with Board guidance coordinating with other standing committees
  • be the custodian of all records and papers pertaining to the Chapter at large including membership roster and e-mail notification lists
  • maintain a history and photo documentation of the Chapter
  • and assist the secretary and perform other duties as deemed necessary by the Executive Board.

In addition to Standing Committees, the Board may create “Appointed Committees” for specific projects as needed.  Currently, there are two Appointed Committees.

2019 Nominating Committee:  Chair: Lisa Lemza

The immediate past president and two current or past Board members not running for office comprise this committee.  The purpose of the nominating committee is to determine a slate for elections to present to the Board for approval.  The Board’s nominations are submitted to the members at the Annual meeting for vote.  Nominations may also be submitted by members directly for vote.


Ad Hoc Committees

Symposium Committee.
 Chair: Connie Giles 2017

A native plant symposium shall be a featured activity of the Chapter and this committee assumes all aspects of planning, scheduling and implementing the symposium with Board guidance.

  • select, coordinate and schedule speakers
  • select, schedule and set up venue
  • manage the finances, including set up and collection registration and other revenue
  • recruit members to assist in these tasks
  • work with other Chapter committees to publicize the event and coordinate in other symposium related activities
  • and perform such other duties deemed necessary by the Board.


Save the Pollinators Committee.  Chair: Ann Brown

To provide information to the public about best practices for support of native pollinators, the Committee shall create, schedule and implement community presentations, display materials and printed materials.


Certificate in Native Plants Planning Committee.  Beverly Inman-Ebel and Sally Wencel, Co-Chairs

In partnership with other local and regional organizations, the Committee shall:

  • determine the requirements, curriculum and course offerings for the Certificate in Native Plants program
  • select, coordinate and schedule speakers
  • select, schedule and set up venues
  • manage the finances, including set up and collection of registration fees and other revenue
  • track program attendance and completion of Certificate requirements for participants
  • publicize the Certificate program and manage communications regarding the programs
  • recruit and coordinate individuals to assist in these tasks