Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society

Click here if you are a Woman's Board member.

Woman's Board Events

Founded in 1951, the Woman’s Board and its members have been ambassadors for the Garden; all are dedicated to horticulture, conservation, and education.

An early mission of the Chicago Horticultural Society was to find and develop a permanent headquarters and garden center to serve the Chicago area. The Woman’s Board was established to help build membership for the society, and it further pledged to sponsor new programs, activities, and fundraising projects.

The Woman’s Board developed the Fragrant Garden for the Blind, which opened in 1957 at the Chicago Lighthouse. In 1966, the first plant sale was held—six years before the Chicago Botanic Garden opened to the public in 1972. The Board also introduced the Zimmerman lecture series, a successful and long-running project. Today, Woman’s Board events such as A Rare Affair, the All Aboard! gala, and the Fall Bulb Festival continue to draw people to the Garden, raising funds to support a myriad of programs. 

The Garden Shop and the Lenhardt Library also have their roots in work done by the Woman’s Board. In the 1970s the Board established the Garden Shop; its proceeds still provide needed funds. When the Chicago Horticultural Society moved into the early Garden buildings, the Woman’s Board had the first collection of library books installed there.

In 2015, the Woman’s Board completed its final year of “Growing the Future,” a $1 million pledge to the Chicago Botanic Garden. Proceeds from “Growing the Future” have supported the Garden’s Windy City Harvest Youth Farm and Windy City Harvest community gardening programs, enabled renovation of the English Walled Garden as well as restoration of areas damaged by the emerald ash borer, and supported fellowships for the plant biology and conservation graduate program, a collaboration between the Garden and Northwestern University. The last program to be underwritten is the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Regenstein Learning Campus, which provides programs such as Science First to Chicago Public Schools students.

In January of 2016, the Woman’s Board renewed their pledge with “Growing the Future II,”  which supports the mission of the Chicago Botanic Garden: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life.


Sandy Campbell

First Vice President
Barbara Kehoe

Second Vice President
Priscilla McIntosh

Third Vice President
Toni Harkness

Jennifer Martay

Val Wheeler

Active Members

Dora Aalbregtse
Beth Anaclerio
Ann Balusek
Janice Beck
Marianne Bestler
Calvine Bowen
Sandy Campbell
Melissa Corley
Sue Cozzens
Jill Danaher
Jill Delaney
Mary Dolan
Laura Duggan
Valerie Foradas
Rita Gardner
Alice Goltra
Susan Green
Jane Hampson
Toni Harkness
Anne Healy
Mary Hill
Stacy Hunt
Marcy Johnson
Betsy Holleb Karp
Carolyn Katz
Barbara Kehoe
Barbara Kelner
Liz Kendall
Kitty Kirby
Laura Koh
Liz Kohler
Nancy Kurz
Liz Lavezzorio
Joani Lowry
Mary Anne Martin
Michelle McCarthy
Priscilla McIntosh
Mary Alice Miller
Kate Morris
Karin Palasz
Kathy Paleczny
Nicole Peterson
Juli Priebe
Elizabeth Pruett
June Reimer
Pam Russell
Carole Sandner
Lisa Schilling
Gail Seidel-O’Gorman
Melissa Shennan
Laura Simpson
Susan Spears
Angela Stensrud
Rene Svach
Jennifer Tippet
Susan Tupper
Sophie Twichell
Amy Van Gorp
Jeanie Van Nice
Kim Visokey
Valerie Wheeler
Linda Yonke

Honorary Members

Liz Crowe

Associate Members

Mary Boyer
Chris Chandler
Catherine Denckla
Lynn Foster
Marilyn Heath
Madeleine McMullan
Ginny Noyes
Patti Ross
Beth Schroeder
Lois Steans
Margie Strauch
Louise Tausché

Nonresident Members

Liz Bacon
Bean Carroll
Barbara Hansen
Lorill Haynes
Judy Herb
Penny Horne
Gina Jannotta
Roberta Lynch
Gwen McConnaughy
Betty McLean
Barbara Metzler
Brooks Morgan
Carole Read
Heather Scott