After being postponed due to the pandemic, the 2021 elections will be held during the September 13 meeting which will be held digitally. The candidates running for President, Vice President, and several director positions are described below.
President – Cory Davis. I am very excited to be the next FAS President after serving as VP the last two years. However, it will be very difficult to meet the high standard set by Gael Bissell and Kay Mitchell before me. Birds have been a passion of mine since I first started birding as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara. I went on to study birds for several years throughout the West including Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, and even Belize. I have lived in Whitefish since 2003 and have been a FAS board member since 2014. I worked at Glacier National Park for several years as a Biologist and currently work for the University of Montana’s Franke College of Forestry and Conservation as a Science Communication Specialist for the Northern Rockies Fire Science Network. I love the work that FAS does to educate people about birds and conserve Important bird habitat and look forward to help keeping that going!
Vice President – Darcy Thomas. Born in Seattle, our family moved to Kalispell in 1970 where I graduated from Flathead High School. After community college at FVCC I moved to Missoula to finish my degree in Psychology. Although I planned to return to the Flathead, I got sidetracked by a tall handsome rock climber whom I married and raised four children with. We lived in Florence in the Bitterroot Valley. Early in my marriage I got my BSN in nursing from Montana State University and enjoyed a career as a nurse evolving from Oncology to Public Health and School Nursing and ending in Infection Control. During all this time I loved birds, teaching my children about them and enjoying them wherever I happened to be. One of my great birding joys early on was participating in a two-week field study with Dick Hutto while collecting data on the Long-billed Curlew. It took 40 years, with an interlude returning to Seattle, before I finally returned to the Flathead Valley to retire with my second husband. We are happily ensconced in our dream home in Kalispell. My retirement goal is to be active in Audubon, make myself useful to my community, and advocate for birds.
Kay Mitchell. With the new elections this September, I will be handing over the title of Past President to Gael Bissell. I have agreed to run for a regular board position because I believe I can offer a good combination of historical knowledge and understanding of current FAS activities and programs. I served for many years as newsletter editor, have been active from the beginning of Flathead Audubon’s management of the Owen Sowerwine Natural Area, and currently serve as grant writer for the Great Fish Community Challenge and as financial reviewer. I am a firm supporter of Flathead Audubon’s programs and an advocate for land and habitat protection. My husband Brent and I operate a tree farm west of Kalispell.
Dan Casey. I am a long-time Flathead Valley resident and a co-author of “Birds of Montana”. I recently retired as the Northern Great Plains Joint Venture Coordinator with Ducks Unlimited, working on grassland bird conservation from Billings. Formerly I worked from Kalispell as the Northern Rockies Conservation Officer for American Bird Conservancy (2000-2014), and as a biologist for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (1983-1999). I have served Flathead Audubon in the past as a Board member, field trip leader and Christmas Bird Count compiler (Bigfork and Kalispell). I conceived and still coordinate the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch. Susannah and I are happy to once again be living in our house in Somers.
Jake Bramante. Growing up in a log home in northwestern Montana, I frequently ran around with my brother in the Forest Service land adjacent to our property. Armed with the blue, Golden Guide to Birds of North America, I helped an area wildlife biologist with his section of the Libby area Christmas Bird Count with my fondest memory being a Northern Pygmy Owl that flew right over and landed on a scrappy bush next to me. After a few years away at college in the desert, I came back with a renewed commitment to enjoy the woods that I missed so much which culminated in a summer where I hiked all of Glacier’s trails. I now create day hiking maps for national parks and sneak out to bird as often as I can when I’m not on the trail.
Derrick Rathe. Currently serving on the board and running for reelection
Jan Metzmaker. Currently serving on the board and running for reelection.