7At the May meeting, FAS will elect the Treasurer, Secretary, and several Director positions. Nominees (with biographies) for these positions are:

TreasurerJoe Batts : I have served as the appointed treasurer of Flathead Audubon Society (FAS). I have enjoyed that role and I look forward to remaining the Treasurer. I have been very fortunate to receive the support of the Board. The message that I have received – and fully support – is that the membership and the board love their organization and want their organization to be both financially sound and responsive.

In my wife’s and my businesses, I currently handle five small accounting systems using QuickBooks and Quicken. As a result, I know that every organization has different financial needs.  Being treasurer of FAS is more than knowing where to correctly put the credits and debits; FAS is unique, especially in the areas of grants and donations. In this regard, the Board has been very diligent in the pursuit of grants and contracts and the members have been very generous with their donations. Some members have been extremely generous in their wills to fund endowment investments for allocation to conservation and education. And accordingly, the Board has been respectful, responsible and conservative in the use of those resources. Correspondingly, our financial system does–and should continue to remain–transparent to all.

My wife and I have been birders for 30 years. We were introduced to birding by friends and found it an activity that we could do together. In 2013, we moved permanently to the Flathead Valley after having lived here part-time since 2006. I am a graduate of Flathead High School and we both are graduates of the University of Montana. Since returning to the Valley, we have become very involved with Flathead Audubon Society activities. The responsibilities of the Treasurer have been an extension of that involvement.

Therefore, I ask for your support for my election as Treasurer of Flathead Audubon Society.

Marylane Pannell – Secretary: She will be entering her fourth full term as Board Secretary. The Board depends on Marylane to record and promptly publish minutes of our board meetings each year. She has been our “rock” during sometimes tumultuous board meetings. We are very pleased that Marylane has accepted the nomination for Board Secretary for another two-year term.


Jake Bramante—Growing up in a log home in northwestern Montana, Jake frequently ran around with his brother in the Forest Service land adjacent to their property. Armed with the blue, Golden Guide to Birds of North America, he helped an area wildlife biologist with his section of the Libby area Christmas Bird Count. After a few years away at college, he came back with a renewed commitment to enjoy the woods that he missed so much which culminated in a summer where he hiked all of Glacier’s trails. He now creates day hiking maps for national parks and sneaks out to bird as often as he can when he’s not on the trail.

Diane Boyd—Diane began her wolf career with Dave Mech in Minnesota in 1977. She moved to Montana in 1979 to study wolf recovery in the Rocky Mountains, and followed the population growth from 1 wolf to 2000 wolves at present in MT/ID/WY. Diane has collaborated on wolf research in MN, MT, MI, AZ, NM, BC, AB, Italy, Romania, and Ellesmere Island.  Diane currently works for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Kalispell, Montana, as the Wolf/Carnivore Specialist.

Jan Metzmaker—I have enjoyed my first term on the Audubon Board and currently serve as the Publicity Chair. I retired as the Director of the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Bureau and was the founding director of The Glacier Fund (now the Glacier Fund) and have the time to contribute to the organization. Flathead Audubon does great work through its education program, bird counts, Hawk Watch, Owen Sowerwine Natural Area and more. I hope to be able to continue on the board for another term.

Pam Willison—Retired HS Family & Consumer Sciences (Home Economics) teacher. Born and raised in Arlee MT. Business management degree from UM. Worked in business in Missoula for 10 years. Returned to school at MSU to get teaching certificate. Taught High School and Middle School 23 years, including 17 at Bigfork. Memberships: Flathead Audubon, Swan View Coalition, Rails to Trails, Sierra Club, Adventure Cycling. Interests: hiking, biking, xc skiing, backpacking, camping, birding, cooking, gardening.

Rod Wallette—Having lived in the valley for most of my life, I have seen a tremendous amount of change along with the impacts of those changes. To be able to work with the officers/board members of FAS with the goals of preserving our resources along with educating others of the value of those resources would be a great opportunity I would embrace. Besides being a member of FAS, I am also a member of and support Swan View Coalition as well as Headwaters Montana. As a member of FAS, I have assisted with the old bird seed sales, participated in the Bigfork and Kalispell Christmas bird counts, assisted with the Jewel Basin Hawk Watch for the past couple of years and am currently participating with the Curlew survey in Mission Valley. Following a work-related injury in the mid-eighties, I was told to find less physical work so I returned to school at FVCC and went on to complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at MSU. A year later I returned to school to obtain a Master’s Degree in Vocational Counseling from EMC. I worked in that field for 20 years, the last five of which I operated my own business. I spent the last 2 ½ years, prior to retiring in 2015, working as a Case Manager where I assisted and advocated for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. After retiring, I became a volunteer for the NW Montana Veterans Food Pantry for nine months and then went on to become a volunteer for the Museum at Central School where I continue to volunteer twice a week.