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Elections at May Meeting

The election of Tampa Audubon officers and board members will be at the May 2 membership meeting. Members can vote in person or on Zoom. Please plan to attend and vote! 


The Nominating Committee is pleased to announce our slate of candidates for the following positions:

 

President:  Ann Paul. Ann started on the Board of Directors in 1990 as our Secretary. She later served as Chapter President and was again elected as Chapter President in June 2021. Dubbed “wading birds’ best (human) friend”, Ann won the 2018 Theodore Roosevelt Hillsborough Forever Conservation Award and also served as the Regional Coordinator for Audubon Florida's Coastal Island Sanctuaries for 29 years, contributing to the knowledge and protection of aquatic bird species that rely on the Sanctuaries.


For that work, Audubon Florida presented her with the “Guy Bradley Award” in recognition of her lifetime work in avian conservation. She is also President of the Florida Ornithological Society and the Florida Birding and Nature Festival. Born and raised in Gainesville, Ann now lives in south Hillsborough County. Ann has a passion for protecting birds and their habitats, which results in important benefits for people, too: clean air and water, and beautiful recreation areas.

 

Vice President: Jessica Parrish. Jessica joined the Board of Directors in June 2021 and became Vice President in 2023. Currently serving as Chair of our Membership & Tabling Committees, coordinating speakers outside of TAS, temporary Volunteer Coordinator at Lettuce Lake Park for the Joel Jackson Nature Center, and as a docent.


Before getting involved with TAS, Jessica was part of the bird steward program for Audubon Florida, volunteered with Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk county, and was a Volunteer Naturalist at Blandford Nature Center in Michigan. Jessica obtained a B.S. in Biology at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, MI. She has worked on conservation programs with piping plovers in Cape Cod, MA and golden‐cheeked warblers in Texas. 

 

Secretary:  Sandy Townsend. Sandy joined TAS in 2005 and has been on the Board of Directors since May 2019. She has served as Secretary since June 2020.  She also serves as our Newsletter editor. Sandy became interested in birds when she started hanging feeders outside her window to brighten her view, and soon discovered a love of bird photography.


She has a degree in Journalism from Western Kentucky University. She wrote for several newspapers, worked for a PR/Advertising agency and was a freelance writer/editor for several corporations in the Tampa area for 20+ years. She is now happily retired and edits the Tampa Audubon newsletter.

 

Treasurer:  Michelle Hoffman Wrobel. Michelle has been our Treasurer since 2017 and Webmaster since 2018. A Hillsborough County native, she is the Operations Manager for her husband's thriving CPA practice in Brandon. Prior to that, she was an environmental scientist and wetland biologist for many years, and holds graduate degrees from the University of Guam, where she studied island karst, and the University of South Florida, where she studied waterbird diversity in urban freshwater ponds. She enjoys watching birds using the feeders outside her office window in Brandon as she works.

 

Board: Sherry Keller. Sherry served as Secretary for the Board of Directors from 2010 to 2020. A Florida native, she grew up in Hillsborough County, and graduated from USF as a Geography major. For the last several years, her main focus with Tampa Audubon has been helping to monitor and maintain the Bluebird Trail at Flatwoods Park. She also helps with tabling events. bird counts, and leads the occasional field trip.


 
 

Board: Lucy Polak. Lucy joined TAS in 2016 and the Board of Directors in July 2018. She also owns and manages Wild Birds Unlimited in Tampa. She began feeding backyard birds with her parents as a child



 

Board: Logan Lane. Logan has been a member of Tampa Audubon since 2015.  He was born and raised in Tampa, where he currently resides. He attended Furman University and Stetson University College of Law.  Logan works as in-house counsel for a financial services firm. Logan has served on the TAS Board since May 2023. In addition to watching the birds in his backyard, he enjoys exploring the region’s nature preserves.


 

Board: Will Laurie. Will was appointed to the Board in January, 2024, to fill a vacant position.   Will became interested in birds in 2022 after getting into wildlife photography while focusing on alligators. Since learning what the common birds in their area were, they wanted to become as involved as they could with helping birds. They began with simple birding, moving to helping with Christmas Bird Counts, Eagle Watch, and Colony Watch volunteering.




 

Board: Neal Patel. Neal is a new candidate for the Board, recommended by Nominating Committee to fill a vacant position. Raised in the Tampa area, Neal's lifelong passion for wildlife was sparked by African wildlife documentaries shared by his uncle and early Nature Classroom experiences. This passion persisted alongside a successful career path. After earning a Construction Management degree from the University of Florida and achieving LEED GA certification, he embarked on global wildlife photography, learning about international conservation practices firsthand.


He furthered his commitment with an MBA in Marketing and Strategy, with a sustainability minor. Neal's career shift to tech startups focuses on integrating sustainability principles into product marketing/strategy. He enjoys spending time in nature doing outdoor activities, wildlife photography, spending time with his wife, and fur parenting their dog Lucky. 

 

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