Cultivating and Leading A Community That Values and Protects Birds and the Natural Environment Since 1916

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Board of Directors

Seattle Audubon is supported by a dedicated Board of Directors. They help to accomplish the mission to lead a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats, through a set of shared values that underline our vision of a healthy environment in balance, where people enjoy, respect and care for our urban community.

Our Board of Directors play a vital role in ensuring Seattle Audubon has the strategic direction and necessary resources to create a sustainable community. In addition to their role as at large board members, several serve on Committees. We are grateful for their expertise and focus ranging from policy/legal, marketing, management, planning, communications, and community engagement to ensuring financial stability of the organization.

Officers    
Rod Brown, President Diane de Ryss, Vice President  
Jill Ericsson, Secretary Susan Marks, Treasurer  
     
Board At Large    
Bryony Angell Stephen Geissler Jen McKeirnan
Ashley Black Mark Greenfield Bob Sieh
Kathryn Donough Peter Gurney Peggy Stromme
     

 

2016-2017 Seattle Audubon Officer Biographies

Rod Brown, President:  Rod practices environmental law at the Cascadia Law Group PLLC. In the late 1980s he helped lead the environmental community’s successful campaign for Initiative 97, which created our state’s Superfund cleanup law. In the 1990s he served as the environmental representative on the Growth Strategies Commission, which led to the creation of the Growth Management Act. He has also served as the environmental representative on the Regulatory Reform Task Force, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation, and the Climate Action Team. Most recently, he co-chaired Governor Inslee’s Carbon Emissions Reduction Task Force. He is an enthusiastic birder, traveling around the US and the world to look at birds and their habitats. (His current favorite bird is the African Pygmy Kingfisher, which he saw in Uganda this year.) He volunteers for the Puget Sound Seabird Survey, and tries to become a better birder by taking Seattle Audubon classes.

Diane de Ryss, Vice President: Diane has extensive experience in management and strategic planning from a career spanning for-profit start-ups and non-profit management.  She has worked for the past 11 years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and is currently the Director of Grants & Contracts Services. Diane discovered birding 20 years ago when two dear friends invited her husband and her to go for a bird walk. It took that one experience—and a sighting of a yellow-headed blackbird at the Union Bay Natural Area—to get them hooked. Diane is a member of the Nature Conservancy, the National Audubon Society and SAS, including recent work on our strategic planning committee. She has a JD from USC and two BAs from the UW, including a year of intensive study at Universit√© Lavel in Quebec. She is an avid gardener and pretty darn good photographer.

Susan Marks, Treasurer: Susan is a CPA and an Audit Principal with McDonald Jacobs, P.C., with over thirty years of experience as an auditor and practicing accountant, specializing in the nonprofit industry.  She splits her time between Portland, for work, and Kirkland, where her husband and cat reside (with a biweekly commute between Portland and Seattle by train). Susan also serves as Treasurer for Bicycle Transportation Alliance (Portland). Susan received a BS degree in business administration/accounting from Oregon State University. 

Jill Ericsson, Secretary: Jill credits her interest in birds to watching her mother keep local, seasonal bird lists for more than five decades. Jill is a trained architect and runs her own business, which provides computer services to the design community. While engaged in a broad range of projects, she particularly enjoys working on habitat restoration.  A Nature Shop volunteer for the past seven years, Jill finds the wide variety of interests, questions, and sightings that she encounters at the shop a rewarding and educational experience.

Bryony Angell: Bryony is a lifelong resident of Seattle and was born into birding; her parents introduced her to annual trips to the Skagit to see eagles when she was a toddler. Birds and the outdoors have been a part of her life ever since. She's birded in Honduras, England and Italy's Po River Delta, but the Northwest is still her favorite place to spend time in nature. Bryony is a professional writer covering health care and parenting topics, and in her free time blogging about being an urban girl birder. She loves social media and wants to make birding as mainstream to her peers as brunch on Sundays. She lives with her husband James and son Vireo (yes that is his name!) in North Seattle.

Ashley Black: Ashley is a member of the Seattle Audubon executive committee and the chair of the messaging and branding committee. She has spent her career in communications, marketing, and branding in the high tech, biotech, and health care industries. She is also a writer of novels, short stories, and screenplays. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in philosophy and classical studies and an MFA in screenwriting from UCLA Film School. She explains how she became involved with Seattle Audubon: “I had just moved to Seattle and was missing my home in San Francisco when a crow dropped a stone on my head and cawed raucously at me. Then I knew what I had to do.”

Kathryn Donough: Kathryn is a Human Resources professional with over 18 years of experience.  She is currently Director of Human Resources at the Institute for Systems Biology and was the Director of HR at EMP Museum for several years prior.  She has worked in HR for both profit and non-profit organizations and has been a vice president for the Seattle Chapter of the SHRM board. Her skills include strategic planning & implementation, business metric application and budget management. She currently lives in Magnolia with her husband, two cats and her dog and is an avid skier, hiker, traveler and tennis fan.

Steve Geissler: Steve is an attorney with over fifteen years of experience specializing in intellectual property litigation and commercial transactions. He has served as outside counsel and in leadership roles as in-house counsel providing advice and representation to multi-national corporations, and delivering pragmatic and articulate solutions to complex business transactions.  When his wife isn’t giving him projects to do in her garden, Steve enjoys working in the rest of the yard with his family.

Mark Greenfield: Mark is currently the CFO at Mills Brothers International/Global Harvest Foods, one of the largest manufacturers of bird and small animal feed. Mark is a seasoned senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in financial and general management. He brings to the board a collaborative management style and extensive experience in financial statements, strategic planning, forecasting, and risk assessment. 

Jen McKeirnan: Jen is a master birder and leads field trips with Seattle Audubon. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a BS in engineering. In college she was an active participant in the UW Science Outreach Program and after college she tutored high school math students for 5 years. She has worked at Boeing for 14 years and has been a flight controls test director and a Lead engineer during that time. In her free time, she volunteers for various activities with the Seattle Audubon. She also enjoys taking bird videos and photos, traveling and biking.

Bob Sieh: Bob is a past president of Seattle Audubon (1992-94), current chair of the Martin Miller Special Habitat Selection Committee, and was for many years a board member of EarthShare Washington. Bob grew up in Illinois, and moved to Seattle with his wife, Ellen, in 1975. Since then, Bob has practiced law in various areas, including real estate, corporate, and general practice.

Peggy Stromme: Peggy joined the SAS Board in the Summer of 2013.  She is a licensed CPA, and has worked exclusively in the insurance industry, holding a variety of positions including client service, operations and finance. Currently, she is employed by MCM, a large retail insurance brokerage firm in downtown Seattle. She has an accounting degree and a business degree, both from Central Washington University. She and her family all enjoy hiking, fishing and skiing.  In the past, she served on boards associated with youth service organizations. Her interest in SAS is largely due to their work to preserve habitat in the Northwest through education and awareness. She has lived in the greater Seattle area her entire life and believes that the Puget Sound and the mountains that surround it make it a treasure that deserves our careful stewardship.

 

Committee Opportunities

Seattle Audubon has several program committees that support our organization’s mission to cultivate and lead a community that values and protects birds and the natural environment. Committee members provide their insight and experience in the areas of Environmental Education, Conservation, and Science. In addition, Seattle Audubon has several organizational  governance committees, including Development, Nominating, and Personnel Committees. The committees meet monthly or quarterly and are made up of both board and non-board members.

If you are interested in learning more about the Seattle Audubon Board positions or Committee roles, please send a message to volunteerc@seattleaudubon.org.

 

Seattle Audubon is nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Copyright 2016 Seattle Audubon.