Board of Directors & Chairpersons

2019 MBS Board of Directors

President: Dave Weiss
Vice President: Michael Richardson, Programs (Open for 2020)
2nd Vice President: Tim McCarthy, Workshops
Treasurer: Eric Lampland
Secretary: Scott Vanderlinde (Open for 2020)
Director: Dale Krueger, Fundamentals Workshop
Director: John Falenschek, Events/Mother’s Day Show (Open for 2020)
Director: Bill Maher, Events/State Fair (Jumi Kassim for 2020)
Director: Jumi Kassim (Open for 2020)
Director: Mark Youngdale (Open for 2020)


Bonsai Basics: Van Jensen
Bonsai Concepts: Dale Krueger (Saturday Workshop) & Van Jensen (Thursday class)
Beginner Workshops: Tim McCarthy
Auctions: Cheryl Sykora
Fundamentals Program: Dale & Sue Krueger
Outreach Program: Dave Weiss
Librarian: Jumi Kassim (Open for 2020)
Member Tour & Picnic: Mark Youngdale (Open for 2020)
Membership: Celina Blandford
Publications (Website, Newsletter, brochures): Celina Blandford

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*Please email if you are interested in volunteering for any position

2019 MBS Board of Directors Bios

President – Dave Weiss

Dave first became interested in bonsai in the late 1980’s. It was 1990 when he purchased his very first. Though it didn’t live long, Dave has plenty to care for now. Dave became an MBS member in November of 2016 and has been to almost every general meeting and Tuesday evening basic class since. During the day, Dave is a special education teacher at Henry Sibley HIgh School in Mendota Heights. If you have an ear, Dave will talk it off about his passion for bonsai. He will also take every bit of advice and mentorship he can acquire from those around him with any level of passion for the hobby. Since a little kid visiting the Como Park Conservatory, Dave has loved the beautiful gardens, fascinating Koi, that used to be in the sunken garden, and now the breathtaking bonsai display and Japanese garden. Dave is very excited about MBS and hopes to serve well as it’s newest president.

2nd Vice President – Tim McCarthy

After taking the Novice Workshop in September 2011, Tim became a member of MBS. He’s quite happy that his first tree is still alive and well. He’s also jumped right in by volunteering and many events and is serving for a second year on the board. A software engineer manager by trade, Tim’s other interests include reading, hiking, camping and anything else that gets him outdoor. In the future, he would like to help novice enthusiasts to keep their trees alive so they stay active in bonsai.

Treasurer – Eric Lampland, Treasurer

Owner of Lookout Point Communications, Eric became a member of MBS in In Zen practice there is a mediation practice called “art practice.” Two of the areas that were of particular interest to him were bonsai and calligraphy. In the late 1990’s he facilitated a meditation practice class around bonsai. Although he had no knowledge of the art, much less the meditative practice, he came to find that he was taken with bonsai. After experiencing the initial frustration of ignorance, he found quiet and lately, he has seen beauty emerge from his experiences. He has many other interests which include technology, Japanese gardening, philosophy, physics and the behaviors of people in politics and life. He finds that the society is oriented around bonsai display, or the external aspects of bonsai. His focus is more internal. It is the connection with nature and the quiet, meditative state of mind that attends working with the trees. He’s not sure how MBS could bring that to others, but is sure that each of us has had that meditative experience.

Secretary – Scott Vanderlinde

Scott Vanderlinde has been working in the engineering field for 25 years. In 2011 he joined the Minnesota Bonsai Society because he likes to plant trees and watch them grow. Having held multiple leadership positions in the Boys Scouts of America, he plans to encourage more members to get involved by volunteering. His interests include Z scale model trains, reading, hiking and backpacking.

Director – Dale Krueger, Chair Fundamentals Class

Interested in bonsai for many years, Dale took every opportunity he could to learn more. After becoming a MBS member is 2000 he served on the board for 8 years as Mother’s Day Show, Winter Banquet, Members’ Tour and Picnic Chairs and 1st Vice President. He also served on the 30th Anniversary committee. Currently in his third year of study at Bonsai Mirai, he’s excited to share what he’s learned. When he isn’t working on trees, Dale also enjoys house improvement projects, camping, kayaking, collecting trees and stones in South Dakota and Northern Minnesota, a good single malt scotch and is in the process of renewing his interest in ceramics.

Director – John Falenschek, Events/Mother’s Day Show

John has been interested in the Japanese culture, architecture, and architectural landscaping since his 20’s. Having had just a couple of Bonsai over the course of some time, with poor results, he eventually took a beginners course that enriched his knowledge and experience. Just becoming a member in 2016 he is looking forward to serving on the board. He is excited to continue with Bonsai as a way to enrich his and others everyday lives.

Director – Bill Maher, Events/State Fair

Bill first experienced bonsai after attending an adult education course on the Art of Bonsai. As part of the course you were able to create your own bonsai and take it home. I was hooked. Joined MBS in 2002 to continue learning and developing the skills needed to create quality bonsai trees. Retired from Scherer Brothers Lumber, working in management. Enjoy golf, fishing, hiking, most all outdoor activities, reading, bonsai and spending time with my grandchildren. Look forward to serving on the board.

Director – Jumi Kassim, Library/Events

Jumi dipped her toes in the bonsai waters at a Beginner Workshop in 2017 and ended up jumping in with both feet. She gets her bonsai inspiration from the collection at Como Conservatory and MBS’s extensive library. A wise teacher once told her to “Kill your first 100 trees as fast as you can.” Or was that lose your first 100 games of Go? She’s on track either way!