ASLA-MN's objective is to operate a grass-roots, volunteer-based organization.  However, with work, school, and other personal and professional demands, the society provides support to help with administrative tasks.  In this way, ASLA-MN leaders and volunteers are free to utilize their expertise in the field of landscape architcture to develop policy and programs that better serve the membership and the profession.

In May 2009, ASLA-MN contracted with Kathryn Aro to provide a variety of services to the organization.  Fees are $15,000 for 10 hours per week (520 hours per year) plus expenses (including mileage reimbursement) in exchange for services.  The scope of services has varied. The information below represents current responsibilities.  Time allocations noted are estimates and include all aspects related to completing the stated tasks including time spent corresponding with relevant parties, driving as needed, running copies at print shops, purchasing supplies, etc.). 

Kathy often shops for items on behalf of the organization.  While she frequently uses her own funds and submits expenses for reimbursement, Kathy is not a financial institution, and ASLA-MN provides her the use of the society's credit card accordingly.  Kathy uses the credit card with the treasurer's approval.  In 2009, Kathy was authorized to make purchases up to $100 without board approval given the frequent need to purchase small items.  Typical items she has purchased include e.g. golf tshirts, event sign holders, food and beverage for miscellaneous events, printing, plastic tubs for storage, etc.

Kathy submits monthly invoices for a) base monthly wage of $1250.00; b) time spent over and above 10 hours per week (billable at $30 an hour); and c) expense reimbursement form(s) for telephone and other expenses incurred during the month paid that she pays for herself. Payment is due on receipt of the invoices.


Every year since her arrival, the society has earned more than $18,000 per year more than what it had earned annually prior to her arrival. This is the direct result of removing administrative burdens from ExCom leaders, controlling costs, target marketing education events, enhancing marketing messaging for other ASLA-MN events, the development of a database which compounds records, the development of a quality electronic newsletter and distribution list, and growing sponsor support which is the direct result of these other initiatives.


  Skills required Programs/Platform knowledge required  
database management
graphic design
target marketing
verbal and written communication skills
Adobe InDesign
Adobe Photoshop
Avectra Database
Joomla Content Management System
Microsoft Access and standard MS programs (Word, Excel, Outlook)
Various online platforms: Issue, Wufoo, Social media, Hightail, Dropbox, Flickr


  Database / List Management  
    * monthly updates to ensure records match nationals in order to provide member discounted pricing on event registrations and to send new member packets   45  
    * annual update to update records with licensure information to assist with awards Call for Entries, and membership promotion by national   5  
    * billing, accounts receivable, bank deposits(unpaid event registrants, sponsors) - awards, education, bowling, golf, wila-mn (3x), annual and quarterly sponsorships   80  
    * awards call for entries mailing list (1x per year)   5  
    * _scape mailing list (2x per year)   5  
    * _scape member updates for directory issue   20  
    * _scape firm listings for directory issue   20  
    * _scape secure artwork from vendors   10  
      Total   165  
  E-newsletter / Website  
    * 2x per month; est. 15 hours each issue; includes adding information to website   350  
    * general website updates not related to e-newsletter   50  
      Total   400  
  Event Assistance  
    * e-announcements and web updates approx 24 qty per year: 2-3 per event for awards, education, golf, bowling, lobby day, wila-mn (3x), solo practitioners, lare panel, 1-2 ad hoc events per year   45   
    * e-announcements and web updates approx 24 qty per year: 2-3 per event for awards, education, golf, bowling, lobby day, wila-mn (3x), solo practitioners, lare panel, 1-2 ad hoc events per year   45   
    * registration (forms, billing, questions) and name badge preparation 1 set per event for awards, education, golf, bowling, lobby day, wila-mn (3x), 1-2 ad hoc events per year   80  
    * attend various events for registration and logistics purposes; shop for supplies, etc.   50  
    * onsite documents printing for education, golf, bowling (sponsor signs and handouts, name badge printing, miscellaneous signs, etc.)   25  
    * coordinate vendor displays at education session and awards program   25  
      Total   270  
    * route e-mails and phone calls to appropriate ExCom leader as appropriate   20  
    * process and mail welcome letters to new member packets, thank you for renewing letters, join letters to newly licensed non-member LA's   25  
    * develop annual flyer promoting ASLA-MN programs and another for volunteer opportunities    5  
    * assist student chapter liaison with membership material for annual picnic and membership drive   10  
      Total   60  
    * maintain relationship with allied organizations (mnla, aia, mpf)   10  
    * send form and often copies of _scape to prospective sponsors; misc mailings   5  
    * attend ExCom meetings to remain aware of chapter initiatives in order to plan   45  
      Total   60  
      TOTAL   955  

Average hourly rate: $15.70 per hour vs. contracted rate of $29.00.  Additional labor and mileage have been provided gratis by Kathyrn Aro to ASLA-MN through fiscal year end 2014 only.