National Audubon Society – spring update for the Central Flyway – South Region


Report to Chapter Leaders in the Central Flyway-South Region

This communication is provided as a periodic update for chapter leaders on recent activities on the National Audubon Society Board of Directors in my role as the Central Flyway-South — Regional Director.

Dear Chapters in the Central Flyway-South Region,

I’m now well into my fifth year on the national board of directors for Audubon representing chapters in the Central Flyway-South. That means my term ends at the end of next year, and a new Regional Director will need to be elected to begin serving in January 2017. I hope one of you reading this report will consider running for that position. I can honestly say it has been an honor and a great pleasure to serve on the Audubon Board of Directors as a Regional Director. If any of you have an interest in serving in that position, or if you know anyone who might be interested, I’d be happy to talk with you about the election process and the requirements of the position.

Many encouraging things have come to pass during my time on the NAS board a new strategic plan that takes Audubon’s focus back to bird conservation, an Audubon Chapter Convention for the first time in 14 years, efforts to work more together on conservation projects of mutual concern to Audubon at all levels, and a large array of resources made available to chapters through the website and Audubon Works. These are all changes that I feel good about and hope you do, too.

National Audubon board members, Audubon staff, and chapter leaders were treated to a bird walk lead by Julie Wraithmell, Audubon Florida’s Director of Wildlife Conservation. Photos by Hugh Simmons.
I also feel very positive about Audubon board meetings. The three meetings a year are held at different locations across the country with planned opportunities for Audubon board and staff to get to know local supporters and chapters. Chapter leaders are invited to attend the Chapters Forum and Chapters Committee meetings as well as the board meeting and other open committee meetings. Field trips, usually led by local chapters, get Audubon board members and staff out into the countryside together to learn about local conservation efforts. The most recent board meeting was held earlier this year on Amelia Island off the coast of Florida. An early morning boat trip through the salt marshes of the South Amelia River was cold but beautiful, and the bird walk along the beach provided extraordinary views of wintering shorebirds and an appreciation for the work being done by local chapters to protect them.

If you haven’t logged onto Audubon Works, I encourage you to do so. It’s an important network building tool that provides a library of resources for chapters, access to training through WebEx support, and a forum for individual chapter leaders to request ideas or offer ideas to others in the network. Group Forums on the site are set up for Chapters, Advocacy, Bird Friendly Communities, and Climate. You can access Audubon Works and sign up at works.audubon.org.

Also, be sure to check out the beautifully re-done and much easier-to-use Audubon website (www.audubon.org) if you haven’t done so yet. I think you’ll be pleased.

Another relatively new resource available to chapters are the monthly conference calls scheduled by the Audubon Policy Office. The calls provide chapter leaders a regular opportunity to talk with Audubon policy staff about issues of concern to chapters and to learn about national policy priorities. They’re generally scheduled at 1 or 2 PM Eastern time and are always recorded if you can’t make the time and date. A draft agenda is sent to chapter presidents, conservation chairs and executive directors in advance of the calls. If you have someone in your chapter other than your president or conservation chair that would be interested in participating in future calls, please send that person’s name and email address to Connie Mahan at cmahan@audubon.org.

Finally, it’s Audubon Convention time again! Coming up on July 10, 11, 12, and 13, 2015, it’s happening at the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Virginia. Members of the National Audubon Board have made personal contributions to underwrite a scholarship program for the convention. Details on scholarships, registration and the workshops are forthcoming. You can find the Convention web site here.

Photos of the Convention Site provided by Lansdowne Resort.
I hope to see you at the Convention and, in the meantime, to hear from any of you who might be interested in being a candidate for the Central Flyway-South Regional Director position. Please continue to let me know, too, about the latest news from your chapters. I do so much appreciate and enjoy your newsletters and other communications that keep me informed about all the good work chapters are doing in our region.

Sincerely,

Joy Hester
Regional Director, NAS Board of Directors
Central Flyway-South
jhester@audubon.org
jhhester0809@att.net

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