Woman’s Board of the Chicago Horticultural Society

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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.


Dora Aalbregtse 

First Vice President 
Barbara Kehoe

Second Vice President 
Melissa Corley

Third Vice President 
Jennifer Tippet

Gail Seidel-O’Gorman

Karin Palasz

Active Members

Beth Anaclerio 
Ann Balusek 
Janice A. Beck 
Anne Berkeley 
Marianne Bestler 
Calvine B. Bowen 
Sandy Campbell 
Kimberly S. Carrow 
Melissa Corley 
Sue Cozzens 
Jill Danaher 
Jill M. Delaney 
Mary M. Dolan 
Linda Falotico 
Valerie Foradas 
Anne Frank 
Donna P. Frett 
Rita Gardner 
Ginger Glantz 
Alice C. Goltra 
Jane Hampson 
Barbara P. Hansen 
Toni Harkness 
Anne W. Healy 
Mary J. Hill 
Stacy J. Hunt 
Betsy Holeb Karp 
Carolyn Katz 
Barbara B. Kehoe 
Elizabeth M. Kendall 
Catherine Kirby 
Laura Koh 
Lizabeth K. Kohler 
Judith H. Konen 
Nancy H. Kurz 
Liz Lavezzorio 
Celine M. Lillie 
Joani L.C. Lowry 
Jennifer Martay 
Mary Anne Martin 
Anne McIntosh 
Priscilla McIntosh 
Mary Alice Miller 
Katherine H. Morris 
Virginia M. Noyes 
Kathy P. Paleczny 
Cinda S. Pittman 
Juliet K. Priebe 
Elizabeth R. Pruett 
Hana Rivkin 
Pamela Russell 
Angela M. Sandner 
Carole Sandner 
Liz Barretta Sandner 
Elisa A. Schilling 
Virginia Selzer 
Melissa A. Shennan 
Laura Simpson 
Elizabeth Philips Sorich 
Susan H. Spears 
René Svach 
Jennifer Tippet 
Susan M. Tupper 
Sophie Twichell 
Valerie A. Wheeler

Honorary Members

Elizabeth R. Crowe 
Virginia M. Noyes

Associate Members

Mary Boyer 
Catherine H. Denkla 
Lynn B. Foster 
Marilyn Heath 
Michelle McCarthy 
Patti Ross 
Elizabeth I. Schroeder 
Lois Steans

Nonresident Members

Elizabeth E. Horne  
Geraldine L. Jannotta 
Roberta D. Lynch 
Barbara J. Metzler 
Brooks M. Morgan 
Carole Read 
Heather S. Scott 
Jeanette H. Van Nice