Tracy Botsford is a native of Seattle and attended WSU. After working for over 25 years in the tech industry, Tracy retired from Microsoft and completed the Environmental Horticulture program at Lake Washington Technical College. This spawned a second career as garden coach and landscape designer. Tracy joined the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society as a docent in 2017 and has lead the docent community the past two years. When not in the garden, you’ll find Tracy traveling with her husband, Chuck, and son, Charlie, spending time with family and friends, cooking, reading, walking, playing sports, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.
Nita-Jo Rountree is a speaker, educator, author, and landscape designer. She is a lifetime Georgia Master Gardener and former owner of LeGrand Gardens, a landscape design and installation company in Atlanta, Georgia. Nita-Jo is a member of the Heronswood Garden Steering Committee and serves on the advisory board of the Northwest Horticultural Society, of which she is a former president. She is a frequent speaker at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show as well as numerous horticultural organizations. She was often a guest and substitute host on the radio show, Gardening with Ciscoe. Her book, Growing Roses in the Pacific Northwest, was published by Sasquatch Books in 2017.
Sara Hutton was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, but decided to head out west to go to school. She got her B.B.A. in Accounting and M.S. in Taxation from Gonzaga University, and then went on to get her CPA license. She currently works at Moss Adams as a tax senior. She moved to Western Washington during the pandemic, and frequented the Garden a lot during her free time when everything else was closed.
Genevieve Macdonald is an avid houseplant parent with a love for jungle plants. Originally from the Midwest, Genevieve has been living in the Seattle area for over a decade. An accounting graduate from UW, Genevieve is currently working as a CPA at a local Bellevue firm preparing tax returns. She joined the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society in 2021 and is happy to be helping the gardens.
Amy Doughty was raised in Bellingham and later moved to Seattle, where she graduated with a B.A. from UW, majoring in economics. Amy’s career spanned more than 35 years in an industry that provided retirement plans for employers and their employees. She became the managing partner of the Seattle firm, EB Management Co., which provides administration services for large 401(k) plans sponsored by union organizations. After 20+ years with the firm, she and her partners sold the company and she retired in 2016. Since that time, Amy enjoys spending more time in her garden, and with her husband, pets, friends and family. She enjoys traveling, getting out on the NW waters, and visiting with her two young grandchildren.
Charles Freedenberg has a marketing degree from the University of Illinois and a J.D. degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. For more than six years, he was an attorney in the IRS estate tax division, and went on to an 18-year career in commercial real estate. Charles retired in 1996 and taught himself how to program interactive financial calculators for the web. In 2006, Charles was recruited by Microsoft to write the algorithms for their financial calculators. In addition to his board work, Charles serves on the finance committee. In his free time, he enjoys reading, photography, and playing jazz guitar.
Robin Root James
Robin Root James is as local as it gets. She was born at Overlake Hospital, was schooled through the Bellevue School District, and graduated cum laude from Seattle University. She has worked full-time selling real estate here successfully since 1989. She has served the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society since 1995, first volunteering as a docent and later becoming one of our Co-Presidents, serving numerous terms. Robin also volunteers for the Village Theater where she has been an usher since 1996. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, the arts, water and snow skiing and flying with her husband Larry.
A Seattle native, Jane graduated from WSU and her first job was as a merchandising trainee at Frederick and Nelson. Her later career path was as a secretary at many organizations – lastly as Corporate Secretary to the president and board of directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle. After retiring, Jane began volunteering at the Trillium Store, which led to becoming a docent and now a member of the BBGS Board.
Kathleen Searcy was raised in the Yakima Valley, where her family operated a fruit production and brokerage business. She earned a BA in Political Science, an MA in Administration, and various Washington state credentials to become both an elementary and secondary school principal in Seattle. Kathleen served as director of human resources for the Renton School District where she was responsible for employment and employee issues, collective bargaining, and grievance management. Later, she became the vice president of Renton Technical College, a position she held until retiring. As an enthusiastic world traveler, Kathleen continued an interest in antiques and collectibles, opening a Bellevue store offering inventory collected locally and abroad.
Doris is a lifelong Seattleite and graduate of the University of Washington. She was in the fund development field for more than 25 years and served as Development Director for a number of organizations, including Literacy Bridge, Powerful Schools, and Cancer Lifeline. Prior to that, she served as the Assistant Development Director at Seattle Central Community College Foundation, as well as in all areas of development at KCTS TV. She has also served on a number of boards including on the Board of Directors for the Seattle/King County YWCA where she was Board Secretary and Third Vice President and Community Relations Chair. She is currently serving on the Women’s University Club’s Board of Trustees as the Personal & Professional Development Trustee as well as the Chair of the Women in Transition Scholarship Committee. She is on the Executive Committee of Jade Guild and the organization’s Recording Secretary and Educational Committee Chair.
Carolyn Yuen is a finance professional, with a background in the arts, investment banking, and retail. She studied Economics and Art History at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and received an MBA in Corporate Finance and Sustainable Enterprise from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in Chapel Hill, NC. Her current role at Amazon brought her to Bellevue after living and working in New York City for over 15 years, while her interests in the outdoors, floral design and sustainability led her to join the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society as a board member. She enjoys trying new recipes, reading, and traveling to art fairs around the world.