Board and Committee Members
Executive Board 2018 - 2019
President: Gary Oswell
My name is Gary Oswell, and I am the newly elected president of the Master Gardeners of Western Wayne County. My experience as a gardener goes back to working in my backyard with my grandfather. Suffice it say that was a few years ago. My favorite gardening experiences have always been working with children. I wanted to pass on what I learned to future generations. Since my career choice was teaching, I was very fortunate to have several opportunities to garden with kids. This is my favorite thing to do. I joined the Master program to learn more about the world’s best hobby. I was not disappointed. There is always something new and exciting to learn from my fellow master gardeners. My strongest gardening talent is composting. I know that composting is the only way to maintain fertile soil for gardens while at the same time eliminating the use of fertilizer. Fertilizer kills microorganisms in the ground water and causes pollution in the soil. And it is expensive too. COMPOST IS FREE!!!!
I wish to thank you all for your votes of confidence. The very talented Executive Board and I will see to it that the MGWWC is a superior Gardening club.
Vice President: Terry Kamensky
Treasurer: Julie Wellman
Julie attended the Master Gardener class of 2013 with her husband Don. Since then she has volunteered at the Canton Farmers Market, Make a Senior Smile Day, Children's Garden & became a Peony Ambassador at the Nichols Arboretum. She wrote the Thank You letters for the 2015 MG Banquet and became an Advanced Master Gardener in 2015. Currently employed at Victory Automotive Group as an Administrative Analyst. She loves craft shows, reading, kayaking & to collect old license plates.
Secretary: Nancy Smith
Master Gardener Coordinator
Master Gardener Coordinator: Deirdre Hope
Deirdre and her husband, Dennis Standiford, took the Master Gardener class in 2011 and became an Advanced Master Gardener in 2013. Among many other things, she has been involved with Suburban Shoots, coordinated the Master Gardener Information Booth at Canton Farmers Market, growing food for First Step, helped install a Butterfly Garden near the Canton Civic Center and updated an historic garden at the Canton's Preservation Park.
Education: Terry Kaminski
Help needed! Terry is now the Vice President and would like someone to volunteer to take this position. Contact Terry if you would like to learn more about this position.
Hospitality: Gary McMillin
Membership: Greg Nowak
Before retiring in 2016, Greg worked for decades as a Human Resources Manager and Corporate Manager in manufacturing and technical center facilities of tier one automotive suppliers. His lifelong love of gardening began as a boy with planting lessons learned on his grandmother’s farm. Greg took the Master Gardener class in 2017, became an Advanced Master Gardener three months later, joined the MGWWC Board right after that, and passed 500 volunteer hours a year later. His volunteer hours have included the Canton Farmer’s Market, Brenda’s Butterfly Habitat, Canton Hoop House Gardens, Matthaei Botanical Gardens Docent, Facebook Gardening Group Administrator and more. As a longtime fan of University of Michigan athletics and football season ticket holder, it’s never a surprise to see him wearing something maize and blue.
Merchandise & Fundraising: Charisse D. Nilles
Charisse is currently working at Eastern Michigan University in the Department of Africology and African American Studies. She took the Master Gardener class in the Fall of 2015 and earned most of her volunteer hours with the Junior Master Gardener program at Matthaei Botanical Gardens with the Master Gardeners of Washtenaw County. Charisse earned her Advanced Master Gardener in 2018 and is currently taking a class to become a Master Rain Gardener.
Scholarships: Angela Lowry
Angela currently teaches American Sign Language (ASL) at the high school level. Since 2000 she also works part time at Greenfield Village as a historical
presenter with heirloom ways of gardening and farming methods. Angela took the Master Gardner class in the Fall of 2013, and volunteered hours with the Children's garden. Angela has also helped out the Board with Scholarships and a grant writing
class in 2015. On her downtime,she enjoys curling up with a book and a cup of tea or puttering around in her garden, hiking, camping and baking. Angela has very fond memories of helping her grandparents in their garden so her love of growing her own
food started young.
VMS Coordinator: Pat Johnson
Master Gardener Class 2013-F, Offered assistance with computer issues while still in class. Was drafted into VMS Ambassador and have been doing it continuously since June of 2014. He was a past member of SEMBA, MGAWC and MGWWC. Pat volunteers with the Canton Farmers Market in the summer and enjoys his self-watering container tomatoes.
Webmaster: Charisse D Nilles
Charisse enjoys technology and has been the webmaster for other organizations including: Canton Newcomers, Bulldog Aquatic Club, and College of Health & Human Services (Eastern Michigan University.) She also had a travel blog for a trip to the 2008 Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Nebraska.