It’s difficult to believe that we have, once again, reached the time to elect a new slate of Officers and Board members. The current Board and Officers have accomplished a lot over the last year and my hat’s off to them for their undying dedication and support to WOS and the WOS membership. However, as we look toward the future, we need to elect new members whose vision and guidance will take us through the next year. Nominees: Cindy McCormack has stepped up to take on the reigns of being President and Eric Dudley will be next year’s Vice-President. I greatly appreciate their volunteer spirit and willingness to take on these integral roles. Our three-term Treasurer, Barbara Webster, is stepping aside and Kathy Slettebak will be our new Treasurer. Tom Bancroft will officially take on the role of Secretary. One of our current Board members, Ed Swan, would like to “sign up” for a second two year term joining two other Board members (Elaine Chuang and Faye McAdams-Hands) who are starting the second year of their two year terms. Kevin Black from Clark County is a new nominee for a Board position and we’re excited about what he can bring to the organization. We currently have one open Board position if anybody is interested.
Since these proposed new WOS Officers and Board Members are elected by you, the membership, I hope you will take the time to read their bios (below) and give them your encouragement. Online voting will open during the second half of September and will be posted on the WOS website in mid-September. An announcement will be made via the WOS list serve giving you information on how to vote and the voting time frame. Thanks in advance for casting your votes for these highly qualified individuals.
Cindy McCormack – President
WOS Vice President Cindy McCormack was elected as a director in 2015, but was later appointed to the vacant Vice President position. Cindy previously served two terms on the WOS board (2005-2008) and has assisted in WOS conference registration (2006-2013). Cindy is originally from Spokane, but currently lives in both Vancouver and has spent some time living in Pullman and Yakima. Birding started seriously for Cindy in college, and she ended up spending several years after graduating working for different agencies/contracts doing wildlife research, specializing in bird surveys. Although her career is in veterinary hospital management, she has continued to volunteer and work on wildlife projects. She currently holds a federal bird banding permit and is a licensed veterinary technician (LVT). She has also volunteered for Spokane Audubon as board member, secretary, newsletter editor, and field trip leader.
Eric Dudley – Vice President
Eric Dudley joined the WOS board in the fall of 2015. He was raised in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, where his interest in nature and birds developed. He went to college in Ohio (Oberlin), majoring in Biology, attended veterinary school at Washington State (D.V.M., 1983), practiced for seven years in Oregon, and then moved with his family to Washington in 1991. He’s practiced small animal medicine and surgery in the North End of Tacoma since then. Now that he’s spending a bit less time at his practice, his interest in birding is expanding: he’s enjoyed Ken W. Brown’s Advanced Birding classes, often goes on the Wednesday morning Nisqually NWR bird walk with Phil Kelley, Shep Thorp and the group, participates in Audubon programs when possible, and is looking forward to contributing in various ways to WOS. He lives in Gig Harbor with his partner, Mary Kay.
Kathy Slettebak – Treasurer
I was living in a Cook County Forest Preserve farmhouse in Illinois when a Sparrow Hawk landed in the tree outside my kitchen window. It visited nearly every day that summer. Seeing its bright colors and patterns up close, and watching the intensity of its hunt lured me into the world of birds. After moving to Seattle in 1972 and “discovering” Discovery Park, my birding skills developed thanks to Seattle Parks-sponsored Saturday morning bird walks, field trips and classes through Seattle Audubon, WOS conferences and the Master Birder program.
Birding is always a part if not the sole purpose of travel. My local patch, though, is Discovery Park where I have been doing he monthly bird count for the south meadow since 2003, raised funds for the park’s native plants with donations from eight annual Big Sits and participated in many CBCs. I enjoy introducing new and veteran birders to my favorite park by leading Seattle Parks and Seattle Audubon bird walks with my husband Arn.
My experience ground-truthing the South Sound Prairies chapter in the WOS A Birder’s Guide to Washington introduced me to an area rich with birds that was new to me. I hope to continue to explore new areas and learn more about the birds of Washington.
Tom Bancroft – Secretary
Tom Bancroft is excited to become the Secretary of WOS and becoming more involved with birding in Washington. He is on the board of Washington Audubon Society and previously served as Vice President of the Florida Ornithological Society. In Florida, he helped host one of their semi-annual meetings. Tom has also been a board member of the Wilson Ornithological Society and the Ornithological Council. Seattle is now his home where he is working on writing and photography. He is a member of Seattle Audubon and Washington Environmental Council, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and active in conservation issues.
For more than a decade, Tom worked on Everglades restoration issues for National Audubon Society and Archbold Biological Station before moving to Washington, DC. In DC, he led the Research Department of The Wilderness Society for a decade and helped build conservation programs across the west and in Alaska. He then served as Chief Scientist for National Audubon Society for three years, helping them expand their conservation work across the Americas. During that time, Tom was appointed to a panel providing recommendations to the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the placement of wind turbines relative to birds and bats. He has a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida with an emphasis on ornithology.
Tom hopes to build his bird list in Washington so that it catches up with his sightings from Florida and Pennsylvania. His daughter lives in Australia, and he has birded extensively there and now has seen more birds in Queensland than in any other state in the world. He hopes to have his Washington list surpass his Queensland number soon.
Kevin Black – Incoming Board Member
Kevin’s passion for birds began in 2008 when he was introduced to recording bird species for a community college biology class assignment. After graduating from Walla Walla University with his Master Degree in Social Work, Kevin moved to the Tri-Cities. Kevin became more active and aware of bird conservation when he joined the Lower Columbia Audubon Society (LCBAS). In 2014, Kevin became more involved in LCBAS by becoming Special Committee Membership Chair. While living in the Tri-Cities, Kevin also helped Christi Norman (Washington Audubon Program Director) engineer the structure of the first pilot Sagebrush Songbird Survey. Kevin created the curriculum and instructed Ebird and Bird Identification Classes for the Sagebrush Songbird Survey. Kevin has also led field trips for WOS conferences. He enjoys the challenges of bird identification and county listing.
Kevin currently works at the Portland Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center as a drug and alcohol counselor. Kevin grew up in Cowlitz County and currently resides in Vancouver, WA with his Wife. Kevin is also an active worship leader for his church. Along with his passion for birds, his hobbies include playing guitar, learning to play drums and gardening.
Ed Swan is a year into his first term on the board. Ed is a nature writer and avid birder recently moved to West Seattle. Ed is author of The Birds of Vashon Island: A Natural History of Habitat Transformation, now in its second edition. He is a Master Birder who has led field trips for Audubon Society chapters for over 20 years and is a former president for the Vashon-Maury Island Audubon Society. Ed currently guides private birding tours on Vashon Island and other destinations throughout the Puget Sound.