Maryann Chatfield

Term: 2017 to 2018

Photo by Jeannette Michelson

Past president, Maryann Chatfield, has used her past ties and educational leadership to direct and successfully lead the Garden Club of Long Beach Island during her tenure as President. Maryann‘s work speaks much as to a president who led with efficiency, integrity and grace.

Maryann was born in Bayonne, New Jersey and growing up, Maryann and her family would spend summers at Lake Hopatcong. Living in the same neighborhood in Bayonne as Maryann was her future husband, Charles. Maryann attended a state teachers’ college, Jersey City State, which is now New Jersey City University, while Charles attended Saint Peter’s. Like many other young people at that time, she graduated in June and got married right after in November. Once married, Maryann and her husband raised two daughters, and a son in Cranford, New Jersey, where they lived for 40 years.

While raising her family, Maryann worked as a secondary education teacher at St. Mary’s, a private school in Rahway, before going back for her masters degree at Kean University, and moving into the principalship of the school. During those years, Maryann and her family started vacationing on LBI and so in 2003, once retired, she moved to the Island full-time.

Like so many new transplants to the island, Maryann began looking into how she could meet people and at the same time volunteer her time to worthwhile endeavors. She found this in our club. In the early 2000s, there was a waiting list to get into the club, and Maryann shared that she had to wait two years before being officially accepted. During this waiting period, Maryann volunteered and worked on behalf of the club as she continues to do so today. Maryann has worked on flower shows, decorated houses for the House Tour, has been chair and co-chaired of houses along with being house coordinator. When she became president in 2017, Maryann continued her work on the bylaws and policy book committees. During Maryann‘s tenure, she put into practice one of her beliefs that a value of leading the club is being exposed to a lot of ideas. With this in mind, Maryann gave members a platform to share ideas and make changes. It is from this, “Birds and Wildlife” gave rise to the monarch butterfly projects and it  was during this time, the club moved to catering lunch for the House Tour. Maryann also indicated that as president she found it interesting and insightful working on the board where so much happens.

Besides still being an integral part of the club, Maryann keeps so busy with her eight grandchildren who live in New Jersey, playing mahjong, reading, and meeting with friends. A special piece of information is that Maryann was invited to participate in the graduation ceremonies of the New Jersey City University, donning a cap and gown on May 16th in honor of her 50th anniversary of graduation from that school. In closing, President Maryann Chatfield, like so many of our presidents before her, dedicated her time and effort in making our garden club the value club that it is today.