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GBTS Officers

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President – Alva Hutchison

Alva has been a member since 2015 and served as our Secretary for 4 years before becoming President in 2020. As of April 2023, she is the 1st Vice President of Delaware Federation of Garden Clubs! Among many of the hats Alva has worn include Design Chair for our 2017 Flower Show, coordinating volunteers for the South Coastal Library’s Beach to Bay Cottage Tour, making ornaments for Hospice Christmas trees and the Evans Park tree project. Alva first joined Island Garden Club on Kent Island, MD over forty years ago, where she learned to apply the principles of design to flower arranging.

Besides gardening, Alva is in a great book club, rings handbells at Mariner’s Bethel, enjoys travel, entertaining and spoiling her Shih Tzu named Paris.


Vice President – Anne McKinney

Anne has had a house in Bethany Beach for 23 years. She retired and moved here five years ago after living in the Northern VA area. One day, while looking for things to do in this area, she saw an article in the Coastal Point event section about "Gardeners By The Sea" and showed up one Friday in 2019. The rest, as they say, is history!

Amusingly, Anne loves to tell the story how her mother had Anne and her two sisters out working in the yard at a very young age. They were barely old enough to dig a hole, much less use clippers or push a lawnmower! They all hated it back in the 60’s, but surprisingly, now all three love to work in the yard.

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Treasurer – Mary Williford​

Mary comes to us from Plantation Lakes Garden Club (PLGC) where she was a founding member and the first Treasurer -- her first experience as a garden club member. At that time, she was recruited by Director Regina Brown to become the Treasurer for the then-newly formed Central Atlantic Region of State Garden Clubs (CAR-SGC). She continues to serve in that capacity. Mary finds gardening therapeutic and has enjoyed learning about flower arranging, horticulture and the many other informative activities that GBTS has provided. Mary is currently a bookkeeper at The Kite Loft in Ocean City and has several other private clients for whom she provides bookkeeping services from her home. Prior to semi-retirement, Mary held many administerial positions with prominent law firms and other companies in the Washington, D.C. area.


Secretary - Laura Martin

Laura works tirelessly as our club Secretary, handling both Corresponding and Recording duties. She has been retired and living in Millville since 2013.  Laura serves as President of her Homeowners’ Association and has been a volunteer coordinator for the Bethany Beach Cottage Tour for several years.  In addition to being an active member of the Gardeners By The Sea, she enjoys book club, her two rescue dogs, travel, cooking and entertaining.  She and her partner, Steve (also a member of GBTS!), spend many hours planting and maintaining their small front and back yard gardens, deck and yard container plants.


Parliamentarian – Bea Nelson

Bea transferred in 2018 from the Ye Accawmacke Garden Club in Onancock, Va.  She served in many positions in the Virginia garden club. Bea was also the three-time president of the Women’s Club of Accomack County as well as the Chair of the Town and Country Garden Group twice.  She retired from the Verizon Business Office.  Bea loves horticulture, gardening, flower arranging and traveling.  In her Delaware community, container gardening allows her to continue her passion for gardening.  In our garden club, she has been on the Hospice Tree Committee, making Christmas tree ornaments and also on the Beach and Bay Cottage Tour Committee, in support of the Bethany Beach Library. These are both great community projects.

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