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Master Gardener Interns awarded certification

June 16 marked the graduation of Master Gardener trainees of the Class of 2019. Joining the Advisory Board and Cindy Reeves, Maui County administrator via Zoom from the University of Florida was Cynthia Nazario-Leary, a professor of the previous four classes of interns.

Ceremonies were without lei, handing out of certificates and guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Master Gardener Interns from the Class of 2019 were awarded certification. These include Steve Budnick, Jenny Twelvetrees, Hugo Geng, Donna Campanella, Patti Welton, Terri Greene, Anna Geng, Michael Selman, Patricia Podach, Andie Heim, Linda Higgins, Lisa Selman, Patricia Schultz. Maya Bendotoff, Linda Del Frate, Linda Love and Kathy Powers.

Certified Master Gardeners from the 2016-18 Classes who were re-certified are: Joe Simmons, Gail Gnazzo, Jorrie Ciotti, Havilah Mills, Shawn Wallace, Debi Gordon, Sallie Ono, Linda Zacharias, Darren Corrao, Ron Thomas, Jan Glashoff, Diana Prianto, Teri Fitzgerald, Peter Sullivan, Loretta Slyh, Martin Rist, Uma Chaluvadi, Mina Magallon, Julie Walthers, Donna Ginoza, Lanie Demmon, Lizzi Moule, Judy Locke and Ann Fielding.

Joe Simmons was recognized as the Master Gardener of 2020. He is a member of the advisory board and its new vice president. He wrote and implemented new procedures for the Help Desk. He is the Volunteer Management System manager and liaison for UH statewide committee, researching other potential programs for the entire UH program. Some of his other contributions include re-establishing the mentoring program for 2019 interns by Certified Master Gardeners as well as collaborating on the website and Facebook page.

Steve Budnick was named Rookie of the Year for his outstanding volunteerism as a member of the Class of 2019 and service on the Advisory Board.

The Advisory Board for the upcoming year includes President Susie Saunders, Vice President Joe Simmons, Secretary Chris Wooding, Treasurer Darren Corrao and members Linda Zacarius, Karen Bretharte, Steve Budnick, Eric Demaria, Debi Gordon, Gail Gnazzo, Carol Hogard, Pete Sullivan and newest board member Shawn Wallace.

The mission of the Master Gardener Program is to produce a corps of community volunteers educated in research and science based best practices in order to share expertise with Maui’s gardeners and work cooperatively with other organizations to support and sustain the environment.

For more information on the program or for answers to plant problems, call 244-3242 or visit www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/UHMG/Maui.

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