by Bob Lee
Each spring, FAS elects officers and Directors for their dedication and leadership. This year is no different. The past couple of years have been difficult for any and every organization; Flathead Audubon is no exception. But we have an amazing list of candidates for consideration. FAS elects officers for a two-year term, alternating with president and vice-president one year, and secretary and treasurer the next. This is the year for secretary and treasurer. Both incumbents have agreed to continue in their respective capacities. In addition, all three Directors whose terms are expiring have stepped up to run for re-election. On top of that, there are three other more amazingly talented candidates also running for Directorships for the first time. There is no limit on the number of Directors that can be on the Board.
Please give these nominees due consideration. Then attend the FAS annual meeting in May to vote as well as enjoy a great potluck.
SECRETARY – Pam Willison: Pam is running for re-election, having served for several terms as Secretary. She is a Montana native who grew up in the Jocko Valley, and graduated from U of M with a Business degree. Birding is #1 on her to-do list. Through FAS field trips and presentations, State Festivals, and Audubon friendships and resources, she has graduated from being a beginner, and always feel a great sense of accomplishment from making a correct identification while birding, hiking, or working in the yard and garden. Pam has volunteered for Hawk Watch and the long-billed curlew survey, is a co-chair for OSNA, serve on the Executive, Education and Finance committees, and currently is the Secretary for the Board of Directors.
TREASURER – Rod Wallette: Rod is running for re-election as Treasurer, having served several terms where he worked on several committees and was involved with projects including work activities at Owen Sowerwine Natural Area. He is actively involved with the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch and Montana Audubon’s curlew surveys at Camas Prairie. Rod completed a Bachelors’ degree in accounting in 1990 and went on to complete a Masters’ degree in Vocational Counseling in 1994. He worked as a Vocational Counselor in the Flathead Valley and Hawaii for 22 years.
Margaret Parodi: Margaret is running for re-election as a Director having served since 2019. She has a Master’s degree in Geology from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Binghamton and worked as a professional geologist in the oil and minerals industries for 7 years. She then ran her own geological and geophysical consulting firm in North Idaho for 15 plus years. She is now employed part time for an artist in Bigfork doing framing, shipping, and sales work. Margaret is currently organizing field trips for FAS.
Will Beyer: Will is running for re-election as a Director having served since 2019. Will is a semi-retired overseas maintenance, mechanic contractor and licensed Montana water well contractor. He moved to Montana in 1975 and to Kalispell, Montana, in 1982. He has worked in far-away places such as the South Pole, the glacial summit of Greenland and points in between. He loves the outdoors, hiking, cc skiing, fishing, hunting, bird watching, floating rivers and forest management. Will has been involved in Audubon since the 1990s and does a lot of work at Owen Sowerwine
Dave Manuwal: Dave is running for re-election as a Director having served since 2019. He has studied birds in the western US for over 60 years, receiving his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and Master’s at the University of Montana and a PhD studying marine birds at UCLA. He taught and conducted bird research for 41 years at the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, retiring in 2013 as Emeritus Professor of Wildlife Science. He now resides in Kalispell with my wife Naomi and does conservation work and schedules programs for FAS.
Shannon Donaldson: Shannon is running for an FAS Director position for the first time. She has been involved with FAS for about 5 years with her son, Bridger (who is also a Director candidate). She has broad interests in Board topics.
Bridger Donaldson: Bridger is running for an FAS Director position for the first time. At only 14, Bridger is already an accomplished birder and is ready to step forward into a leadership role for FAS. Bridger has been involved with FAS for about 5 years with his mother (who is also a Director candidate).
Jason Garver: Jason is running for an FAS Director position for the first time. For as long as he can remember, Jason has been fascinated with nature, observing, absorbing, and immersing himself in the beauty and wonderment. As a youngster he spent much more time outdoors than in and his mother would often wonder where he was when it was time for dinner or getting dark outside … enjoying nature, of course! Catching frogs, tadpoles, and snakes in the swamp, turning over logs looking for salamanders, life was never boring, and time was only dictated by daylight. This love for nature led Jason into a passion for science and a career educating others about its complexity and diversity. He has taught high school science in Montana for the past 14 years, the past 6 years at Linderman Education Center in Kalispell. An important element in his teaching practices is to convey passion and everlasting curiosity for science and nature to his students. Jason’s Master’s thesis was focused on how bringing students outdoors affects their science learning process. He looks forward to becoming involved with FAS and hopes to be a worthy contributor to its goals and foundations.