Thank You, Eric, Julia, and Lino!

This month we extend a heartfelt thanks and farewell to three members of our Board of Directors. We also take this opportunity to welcome three outstanding new members to the board.  Travis Audubon could not function without the selfless contributions of time, experience and knowledge that our volunteer board members give to this organization.

Eric Stager (pictured above with Nicole Netherton, Executive Director) has served on the board for five years—three years as Vice-President and the past two years as President. Eric also chairs the Hornsby Bend Committee and is one of Travis Audubon’s most popular class instructors and field trip leaders. He and his wife, Debbie, have also been our de facto IT department, always available whenever tech issues arise.

Julia Marsden has served on the board for nine years. Her work on the Finance, Blair Woods and IDEA Committees has been invaluable, but it has been Julia’s passion for our conservation mission that has been so amazing. Her longtime love and support of Chaetura Canyon and Blair Woods has helped to assure that these sanctuaries have strong futures. Julia has always been quick with a compliment or to share a kindness, and her positive and cheerful attitude will be missed on the board.

Julia (right) with Nicole Netherton, Executive Director.

Lino Mendiola joined the board in 2019. He served on Travis Audubon’s Field Trip Committee and chaired the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Committee, taking the lead in creating our first IDEA statement. Lino brought a keen, legal mind to the board and his insights and ideas will be missed.

Lino with his parting gift from Travis Audubon – an original piece of art from local artist Emily Galusha.

Thank you, Eric, Julia and Lino for jobs well done! You’ll be missed, and although we are sorry to see you leave the board, we look forward to you continuing to play important roles with Travis Audubon through your committee work, teaching and field trip activities.

We are excited to welcome our three new incoming board members. Nitakuwa Barrett Orsak is a Program Manager in the Department of Population at the Dell Medical School. With her background in public health, we’re looking forward to conversations with Nitakuwa about the role Travis Audubon can play in addressing health challenges and needs in our community through birding.

Chris Garza is an ecologist with Siglo Group providing environmental assessments and natural area management for clients. Chris brings to our board experience working on environmental issues with various government agencies on the local, state and federal levels. Some of you might have met Chris this past fall when he led a mushroom and insect walk at Blair Woods.

John Bloomfield has been very active in Travis Audubon, including chairing our Advocacy Committee and leading bird walks. John is a communications specialist who brings to the board a passion for conservation advocacy. Many of you may be familiar with John from the excellent articles he’s authored for Travis Audubon’s website.

We are truly fortunate to have Nitakuwa, Chris and John joining our board. You can learn more about them here.  Please welcome them when you get a chance.

Chris Gunter
President, Travis Audubon Society