CMGA Lifetime Members

In 2011, in anticipation of its 25th anniversary in 2012, CMGA decided to begin honoring certain members who have given countless hours and expended tireless effort to help make CMGA successful. In 2011, two individuals received "Lifetime Member" awards, granting all the benefits of full membership while waiving all future dues. Lifetime members may also attend the Symposium and Summer Garden Safari for free. A Board Committee was established to nominate members for this honor. The 2012 awards were announced at the Annual Meeting.

Please contact us if you have a member you wish to be considered for a Lifetime Member award. Deadline for nominations is August 1st of each year. Any CMGA member may nominate someone. Criteria considered is any or all of the following:

Certified Master Gardeners
Significant service to CMGA
Long range community service which has exemplified the mission of CMGA
Active symposium volunteers


2011 Lifetime Awards

John Neft.jpg

John Neff

John Neff (left) received the first award at the first annual Board/MG Coordinator Potluck Luncheon in spring 2011. John was active on the CMGA Board for many years, filling many critical roles, including creating our membership database.


Margaret Campbell


Marie Dube

Marie Dube received the second award at the Annual Meeting held in Haddam (Middlesex Extension Center) on Nov 5, 2011. The organizational meeting for CMGA was held 24 years earlier in the same room where Marie received her award!

Marie was a member of the first MG Class, which graduated in 1978. She was instrumental in both the formation of CMGA and in the MG program, working for UConn. Marie was the "CMGA Historian" for many years, and the boxes of records she retained and has now passed on to the 25th Anniversary Committee will be a valuable resource in helping us create a trip down Memory Lane for 2012 celebration.


2012 Lifetime Awards

Ellen, Enid, Bob Sherman.jpg

Ellen Morse, Enid Sherman & Bob Sherman

Ellen Morse, Enid Sherman and Bob Sherman received Lifetime Awards at the Nov 3, 2012 Annual Meeting. Bob recalled the first meeting of CMGA held in Haddam 25 years ago. Bob was one of the CMGA founding members, a past President and a speaker at the Regional MG Conference. Bob also received a letter from Kathy Dame, Assistant Director of the Connecticut College Arboretum lauding Bob on his efforts as an Arboretum docent and the efforts of Master Gardener volunteers at the Arboretum. Bob and Enid both mentioned, in their order of importance, that which makes CMGA what it has become: Education, Service, Sharing, Social.

Ellen was a longtime board member who was the speaker chair for the 1998 regional and who has had various roles within the CMGA as head of the bylaws committee and member of the grants committee. She has served the CMGA in a number of ways.

We are sad to report that Bob Sherman passed away Oct 6, 2014 at age 90.


2013 Lifetime Award


Paul Grimmeisen

Paul Grimmeisen received the award in 2013 at the ninth annual Summer Safari (which he created and has chaired since inception). He served on the Board for many years and has been active volunteering in the MG Program. He has chaired many committees as well as serving as an Officer.


2014 Lifetime Award


John Carlson

John Carlson received the award at the 2014 Annual Meeting. He served on the Board for many years and has been active volunteering in the MG Program. He has chaired many committees as well as serving as an Officer.


2015 Lifetime Awards


bill baxter

Billy Baxter received the award at the 2015 Symposium. He served on the Board for many years and has been active volunteering in the MG Program and chaired many committees as well as serving as an Officer.


Marge Bingham

A special moment at the 2015 Annual meeting was awarding Lifetime Membership to Marge Bingham. Marge has secured speakers for the Symposium for over decade, tirelessly traveling countless miles to do so, and we expect her to keep going for countless miles more.

2016 Lifetime Award


Maureen Gillis

A lifetime membership awarded to Maureen Gillis who has been a tireless and dedicated volunteer for CMGA for many years serving in a variety of key areas, including CMGA President, Vice-President and Treasurer. Her many contributions to CMGA include making the organization technologically relevant, which in turn helped us be more organized, reduced our costs and helped us provide more services to our members. Almost every member of CMGA at some point has spoken to, heard from and/or worked with Maureen. CMGA piloted several new fundraising initiatives – Spearhead Spade, CMGA Nursery Day, CMGA Commemorative Daylily Sale with daylilies hybridized in Wallingford CT and registered with the American Hemerocallis Society.


2018 Lifetime Awards



Tracy served on the CMGA Board of Directors from 2010-2017 and has held many positions on the Executive Committee. She was President from 2014-2017 and Symposium Chair in 2016 and 2017. She attained her Ruby AMG award in 2013.


Jamie Burgess

Jamie has been an active Master Gardener in Middlesex county for many years and supervises the Demonstration Garden at the Middlesex County Extension office. She has served as the Symposium Food Chairman since 2012, and manages the food service at other CMGA events as well.


Chantal Foster

Chantal has been an active Master Gardener in Middlesex County for many years. She has served on the Symposium Food Committee since 2012 and provides food service at other CMGA events as well. She attained her Advanced Master Gardener Bronze level in 2013.


2019 Lifetime Awards


Kimberly Kelly

Kim became a Master Gardener in 1998, and was the Windham County MG Coordinator from 1999-2011. During this time, she started the Junior Master Gardener program and helped initiate the Advanced Master Gardener program. She joined the CMGA Board of Directors in 2012, and has been a symposium organizer since 2013.