GBTS Officers

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President – Alva Hutchison

Alva has been a member of Gardeners by the Sea since 2015 and served as our Secretary for 4 years before becoming President. She was the Design Chair for our 2017 Flower Show, coordinated volunteers for the Cottage Tour and enjoyed making ornaments for our Christmas tree for Delaware Hospice.  She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Textiles and Design from the U of MD.  She worked as a buyer of designer clothing and was an executive with The American Cancer Society.  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. Alva has tireless served her Garden Club, having held many offices at both the club and state level. She will be serving as First Vice President of DFGC in 2023, which will ultimately lead to her appointment for a 2-year term as DFGC President in 2025.

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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.

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Recording Secretary – Ellen Dowling

Ellen has always had a love of nature and plants, especially flowering ones.  Being from Montana and now living in Delaware gives Ellen more year- round opportunities for gardens.  She received her Floral Certificate from Longwood gardens before moving to the beach.  Ellen volunteered there for seven years in the Children’s garden, making Christmas ornaments out of garden materials for Christmas displays at Longwood and  in the vegetable gardens there.  Ellen loves being part of the garden club and the like mindedness of the members.

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Corresponding Secretary - Laura Martin

Laura has been retired and living in Millville since 2013.  She 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 garden club, she enjoys book club, her two rescue dogs, travel, cooking and entertaining.  She and her partner, Steve, spend many hours planting and maintaining small front and back yard gardens, deck and yard container plants.

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Parliamentarian – Bea Nelson

Bea transferred in 2018 from the Ye Accawmacke Garden Club in Onancock, Va, serving in many positions including the Environmental Chair, recruiting junior and senior high school students to send to summer camp at Virginia Tech for a week.  The club paid the campers’ fees.  Bea was also the three-time president of the Women’s Club of Accomack County as well as the Chair of the Town & 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.