Don Nelson, President, Photo Society
Don has been involved with the Friends since 2006, with focus on activities in the Photo Society. Don contributed to organizing the the Focus on Nature weekends held by the Photo Society that raised over $5000 for the Friends in those two years. He lead the effort to bring in Photography workshops by leading Photographers Paul Bannick (noted Owl book author and bird photographer), Art Morris (Bird photographer), and Stephen Johnson (Landscape photographer, Canon Explorers of Light), as well as two talks by noted Flower/Bird Photographer Denise Ippilito. Don has organized three juried shows in the Riparian Room, showcasing excellent photography of members of the Friends. He has also participated in teaching the photography segments of the Friends Youth Summer Camp. He began his interest in nature in when he earned all 20 nature merit badges on the road to Eagle Scout. Don has been a bird watcher since seventh grade. He is recently retired from Intel Corporation, where his work involved determining how to do design for processes that won’t be seen outside of Intel for several years. Don photographs with film (using a giant view camera for 12 inch by 20 inch negatives) as well as digital.
Tom Hartz, Past President, Education Committee Chair
Tom Hartz, PhD, is a retired scientist with 6 years university teaching experience and over 35 years in medical device and diagnostics research, development and product support. He has served for over 10 years on the boards of non-profits devoted to education and child development. He joined the Friends Board in 2014. Tom is a Volunteer Naturalist, the 2015 Youth Camp Committee Chair, and is a member of the Governance Committee, the Education Committee and the Photography Society. The Refuge fuels Tom's passions for sharing the wonders of nature with others, particularly with kids, and continuing to learn about wildlife and habitats with the Friends and FWS.
Willem has been working with non-profit organizations for over 25 years starting with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, followed by naturalist with Bay Net in Monterey, volunteer at the visitor center and naturalist at the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, skipper for Sea Scouts of America and since January last year volunteer at our visitor center. He also spent 7 years on boards of different non-profit organizations. Recently Willem joined the Friends board as treasurer and immediately dived into the secrets of 503(c) (3) accounting, especially the fascinating reading of FASB #116.
Linda Kilgore, Secretary, Technology
Linda has been volunteering with the Friends since 2012, primarily focused on the technology that supports the Friends’ mission. She has a Master’s Degree in Education and spent the first 10 years of her career as an educator in public schools and colleges and has worked with age’s kindergarten through adult. She has evolved into a self-professed geek over the years. She also serves on the membership committee.
She is a life-long Oregonian whose love of the outdoors and wildlife came early. She grew up in Central Oregon where her Dad created a mini-wetland on the family farm primarily to attract birds and other wildlife for the family’s enjoyment.
Bonnie Anderson, Bird Festival Chair, Administrative Assistant
Bonnie has been a Friends Board member since 2008 and the Chair of the Annual Tualatin River Bird Festival and Native Plant Sale since 2010. The Festival draws between 900-1200 visitors to the Refuge on a single day and is a free, family-friendly event. Bonnie's favorite part about being a Friends member is enjoying volunteering at the Refuge with her family and encouraging her children to find their role in nature conservation. Bonnie can be found most days on the Refuge, working on behalf of the Friends organization.
Dawn Carovano, Membership Coordinator
Alan is a retired wildlife biologist who has worked for Federal, State and non-profit conservation organizations for over 40 years. His work took him to most western States, several Canadian provinces, Far Eastern Russia, and Lebanon. He received his BS and MS degrees in wildlife science from Oregon State University, served in the US Navy, and then resided and worked predominantly in Montana, Idaho and Oregon, where he is retired and residing in Portland. He was lucky to work with big game, bears, forest raptors, neotropical songbirds and their habitat. He and his wife Judy enjoy hiking, gardening, floating rivers and camping.
Gary enjoys his role at the refuge as a Friends volunteer naturalist. One of his goals as a lifelong camp director was to introduce children, young people, and families to the beauty, wonder, and fun of spending time in the outdoors. Programs such as Puddle Stompers and school outdoor education provide opportunities to continue fulfilling this goal in his retirement. Wildlife and flowers at the refuge are ready subjects for his hobby of photography. Gary also serves on the Friends of the Refuge board by helping give direction to the Environmental Education committee.
Cheryl Hart, Store Chair, President Emeritus
Cheryl has been working with nonprofit organizations for over 30 years serving in both staff and Board positions with various groups. She joined Friends when she moved to Portland in 2005 and has served on the Board since 2006. She is Chair of the Store Committee and serves on several other Friends Committees. She served as President of the Board from 2011- 2015.
Keith Mays, President Emeritus
Sharon Miller, Store Business Manager
Growing up in Montana, Mark developed a passion for the outdoors, that passion has been a driving factor in his life. He has worked a variety of jobs in New Mexico, Montana, Alaska, and Oregon. He has worked with incarcerated youth and adults, people with substance abuse problems, special education students, as well as psychiatric patients. Many of these in an experiential education outdoor learning setting. He has been a rock climbing, canyoneering, mountaineering, hunting and fishing, and white water rafting guide. He owned his own business teaching people how to run a dog team in the Alaska wilderness and ran dogsledding expeditions into Denali National Park as well as on the Iditarod trail. He feels like he has been incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunities he was given and now wishes to share outdoor experiences with others.
Ed Squiers, Restoration Committee Chair