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Board Biographies

Officers

Patrick Slabe, Board President

Prior to retiring in October 2016, Patrick was employed at its inception by New Season's Market.  As Operations Director he has had decades of experience in retail business management, and he has incorporated programs that helped meet that company's sustainability and safety goals.  A long- time supporter of conservation, he is an avid birder.  Patrick joined the board in October 2014, and he currently chairs the Sanctuaries Committee. 

"There is much more to be done, to protect and to improve our natural environment. I am impressed with Portland Audubon's accomplishments over the past one hundred years, and I wish to devote more of my service to that cause."

Sandy Mico, Vice President

Sandy’s professional background is in wealth management. She retired as the President of West Coast Trust where she was responsible for investment management, trust, estate planning, and brokerage services. Sandy and her husband are avid birders who joined Portland Audubon several years ago and have participated in many of its guided tours and classes. She has served on boards of public and nonprofit organizations for many years and has consulted with boards on investment policies and strategic growth initiatives. Sandy serves on Portland Audubon's Education, Investment and Executive Committees. 

“I am passionate about birds and believe that a strong Portland Audubon is critical to their long-term welfare.”

Anne Sammis, Secretary

A geriatrician and internist with Legacy Health System, Anne has been a bird and animal watcher for over 30 years. She and her husband, Eric, have traveled extensively with Portland Audubon and enjoyed many of their education classes. Anne joined the Board because she was impressed with the organization’s work with education, conservation, and animal care at the Wildlife Care Center. 

“I have long admired Portland Audubon, its staff, and its volunteers. I am eager to do some work and give back to the organization.”

Bob Sternberg, Treasurer

Robert “Bob” Sternberg is a veteran corporate executive with more than 40 years of senior management experience in the telecommunications, software and healthcare industries. He has served as Chairman, CEO, COO, and CFO in various companies throughout his career, during which he has led finance, accounting, human resources, and administrative activities. In addition, Bob has over 20 years of board and advisory service to nonprofit organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest that work in social service, health care and entrepreneurship. Bob is currently an interim member of the ASoP board and also serves on ASoP’s Finance Committee and Investment Committee. 

“I have great respect for Portland Audubon’s conservation and education efforts and would like to assist in furthering ASoP’s endeavors in these areas.”

Members

Robb Cowie

Robb is a lifelong birder and supporter of biodiversity and habitat protection. He has more than 15 years of experience leading communications in large public and private organizations, as well as nonprofits. At the Biodiversity Project, he organized a national poll on Americans' attitudes toward biodiversity and helped environmental groups across the United States develop messages to expand support for habitat conservation. Recently, Robb has served in senior communications roles at Portland Public Schools, Cambia Health Solutions, and Multnomah County. He is currently the communications director for the Oregon Health Authority. 

“Our forests, waters, and species are facing unprecedented threats. At the same time, our communities are changing and becoming more diverse. I’m excited to help Audubon speak to the hopes and values of a broad range of Oregonians and expand our reach and impact.”

Kimm Fox-Middleton

Kimm Fox-Middleton’s background has been in public service, specifically managing Visitor Services, interpretation, environmental education, and youth programs as well as volunteer and event management within the National Park Service. After 18 years with the National Park Service as well as years as Outreach Manager for Portland Public Schools, she has taken her passion of volunteer engagement to her current role as Volunteer and Intern Program Manager for the Oregon Zoo. 

“I believe we need to make an investment in our youth in environmental stewardship, which begins with volunteering at an early age. By the time students are in high school, it is second nature to them to preserve and protect values that align with Audubon.”

Mark Greenfield

A former Board President, Mark returned to the Board after 24 years bringing historical perspective and his skills as a retired land use lawyer. Creator and co-leader of the Lagerhead Shrikes Birdathon team, Mark has volunteered for the Birdathon and Wild Arts Festival almost annually for about 30 years. He is Chair of the Development Committee and has hosted the Legacy Circle gathering at his home for the last several years. Mark served on the Search Committee that resulted in the hiring of Nick Hardigg as Audubon’s new Executive Director, and he was a co-leader on Audubon’s birding trip to North Carolina in 2016. 

“The Portland Audubon community is like family to me. I truly enjoy the company of people who care so much about native birds and other wildlife and their habitats.” 

Merril Keane

Merril is a business attorney with the law firm of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, whose practice covers general business transactions, international business and trade, and compensation matters. As a lawyer, Merril frequently works with nonprofit organizations and is well acquainted with their unique issues. Merril enjoys birding (especially in her backyard) and Portland’s natural areas. A Portland native, she has benefited from Portland Audubon’s work since childhood. 

“Portland Audubon helped shape my appreciation for our birds and wildlife, and I am committed to doing my best to further the organization’s mission and impact within the community.” 

Ruth Morton

Ruth came to appreciate birds after listening to bird song recordings in her 3rd grade classroom. Now an enthusiastic birder, she appreciates the value and importance of Audubon programs that bring people together with nature. 

Ruth holds a Ph.D. in Community and Human Resources and recently retired from a career in organizational development and adult learning. During her career she served on several nonprofit and professional boards, and was president of two Portland area boards. In addition to currently serving on the Portland Audubon board, Ruth volunteers as a trip leader for the Sierra Club national outings program. She and her husband, Hal Busch, have participated in numerous Audubon field trips, classes and ecotours, raised funds through Birdathon, and are members of the Portland Audubon Legacy Circle.

"I am committed to support Portland Audubon in engaging people from all walks to enjoy and protect the natural world."

Mary Rose Navarro

Mary Rose Navarro joined Metro, the regional government, in 2007 to establish the Nature in Neighborhood Capital Grants program after voters approved the Natural Areas bond measure that protects natural areas and safeguards water quality. As the program coordinator, Mary Rose combines her creative thinking and collaborative problem-solving skills with a sincere interest in working with diverse communities to support nature projects that are truly responsive to local needs. Before joining Metro, Mary Rose organized grassroots tree plantings for Friends of Trees and coordinated citizen engagement for Portland Parks & Recreation.  Mary Rose holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and a BS in Landscape Architecture from Purdue University.

Mary Rose and her husband Ron have been active Audubon supporters and volunteers for nearly three decades, participating in the Wild Turkey Birdathon team, Wild Arts Festivals, urban conservation programs and the Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Together with their two children, the family actively explores Oregon’s natural beauty through hiking, biking, surfing, and of course, birding.

Lizzy Potter 

Lizzy is a staff attorney with Advocates for the West in Portland. She focuses on representing conservation organizations in federal litigation over public lands, wildlife, and natural resource conflicts throughout the America West.  Prior to this position, she worked on water pollution, complex land use, endangered species, and open government litigation as an associate attorney for a private law firm in Seattle. Lizzy has served on the board of directors for a local conservation organization for several years and has experience working and volunteering with young students in the outdoors through camps and a non-profit gardening program. 

"Audubon's leadership on conservation issues and its efforts to educate the next generation of conservationists are impressive. I would be honored to help the organization serve natural and human communities across Oregon."    

Judith Ramaley

Dr. Judith A. Ramaley is President Emerita and Distinguished Professor of Public Service at Portland State University in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and President Emerita of Winona State University. From 2005-2012, she served as President of Winona State University (WSU) in Minnesota and Professor of Biology. From 2001-2004, she was Assistant Director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) at The National Science Foundation (NSF). During her NSF service, she held a presidential professorship in biomedical sciences at the University of Maine and was a Fellow of the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy. She served as a Visiting Senior Scientist at the National Academy of Sciences in 2005. Dr. Ramaley was President of The University of Vermont (UVM) and Professor of Biology from 1997 to 2001. She was President and Professor of Biology at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon for seven years from 1990-1997.

Dr. Ramaley holds an appointment as a Senior Scholar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities and a consultant for the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AASCU). She is also a member of the Board of Second Nature, an organization committed to creating a healthy, just, and sustainable society through the transformation of higher education and a member of the Board of Campus Compact of Oregon and Portland Audubon Society. She has worked with preK-12/higher education collaborations for many years and has a special interest in civic and community engagement. She serves as an advisor to several projects that focus on improvements in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and a quality education for all students.

Dan Rohlf

Dan is on the environmental law faculty at Lewis and Clark Law School, where he teaches Wildlife Law and other classes. He also works on wildlife conservation cases as an attorney with the law school’s domestic environmental law clinic, and has represented Portland Audubon in several matters. Dan has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2010 and was a Portland Audubon supporter and volunteer before that date. One of his favorite pastimes is watching birds that visit his home and office feeders. 

“I spend as much time in the Oregon outdoors as possible,” Dan said, “and I think Portland Audubon is one of the state’s most effective conservation organizations.” 

Karen Shawcross

Karen has been a member of the Audubon Society in Massachusetts and Oregon for decades. She recently retired as Executive Director of Bienestar, a nonprofit affordable housing provider for farmworkers and the working poor in Washington County. In this role, she worked in partnership with Audubon’s staff for nine years to bring programs like Explorador Camp, Family Outings, and Habitat Restoration to Bienestar residents. Karen, who enjoys birding, has served on national boards of directors and also has fundraising experience. 

“I am particularly interested in continuing the equity and diversity work under way at Audubon; supporting the development of a new wildlife care center; the expansion of art in programs; and outreach to underserved populations.”

Tammy Spencer

Tammy Spencer serves as the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette. She previously held the position of Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at PSU Foundation and Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Pacific University. Tammy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the areas of marketing and communications, brand management and digital strategies. A long-time supporter who is passionate about the Audubon Society of Portland mission, she is an enthusiastic birder and has a strong interest in protecting our natural habitat. As a board member Tammy continues the legacy of her father, Ron L Spencer, who was an active, engaged and instrumental member of the board and volunteer for many, many years. 

Jay Withgott

An author of three leading college and high-school environmental science textbooks, member of the Oregon Bird Records Committee, and a former director of Western Field Ornithologists, Jay also helps to lead the Wild Turkeys Birdathon Team and has co-led one Portland Audubon ecotour. A lifelong birder, Jay brings writing skills, communications and media experience, and field trip leading abilities. 

“I strongly believe in the organization’s mission, values, and activities. Portland Audubon is, quite simply, an organization in which I feel at home. Moreover, it’s one that is vitally important, fulfilling many essential roles in our community.” 

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