Our board provides both fundraising support and governance for the Center at Seward Park and the state office of Audubon Washington.
Ph.D. Ecology, Photographer
Todd Burley, Chair
Communications Director, Office of Housing, City of Seattle
Todd Burley grew up at the edge of the shrub steppe and mountains in Spokane, chasing grasshoppers in nearby natural areas and backpacking in the ponderosa forests of the Inland Northwest. He went on to work for five years as a park ranger in North Cascades National Park, exploring warmer habitats in the off-season. After receiving his Masters in Environmental Studies he moved to Seattle and directed the communications of three nonprofit organizations, including Seattle Parks Foundation where he helped with the successful passage of the 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy. He lives near the Seward Park Audubon Center, where he and his wife often bring his three toddler boys and dog to romp and explore the old growth forest.
Cathie is originally from the east coast with two generations of Audubon members in her family tree. After graduating from the University of Vermont, she worked in environmental education and as a biology teacher before returning for a master’s degree in Botany from the University of Washington. Cathie worked for twenty-five years as an ecologist and environmental consultant in Seattle, specializing in bird surveys, wetlands science, and endangered species work. Cathie and her husband are avid birders, and have participated in the Puget Sound Seabird Survey and other citizen science projects for many years. She is on the advisory board for the UW Wetlands Science and Management Certificate Program, and is currently on the organizing committee for Seattle Expanding Your Horizons, which fosters middle school girls' interest in STEM fields. Cathie hikes, birds, and gardens in her spare time.
Originally from the East Coast where her grandparents were Audubon members and avid birders, Laura has called Seattle home for the last 25 years. After a stint of commercial fishing in Alaska, she earned an MPA at the University of Washington, focusing on environmental policy and renewable resource management. She worked for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Intl on the global fisheries campaign that developed the Marine Stewardship Council, an internationally recognized eco-label for sustainably caught fish. She also worked as the Alaska representative for WWF Intl Arctic Program’s Linking Tourism and Conservation Project, where she was introduced to the migratory bird flyway concept as an environmental imperative. Most recently she co-authored the Fishes and Dishes Seafood Cookbook, now in its fifth printing. Laura is a former board member of Allied Arts, a current board member of Ballard Historical Society and a backyard birder in Ballard and on Whidbey Island.
Director of Timberlands Strategic Planning, Weyerhaeuser Company
Retired, National Audubon Society, Southwest Chapter Representative
Retired United States Forest Service, NW I Regional Chapter Representative
Allen works as a communications consultant. He is retired from the USDA Forest Service public and legislative affairs staff where he worked at all levels of the agency for over 40 years in the PNW and Washington, DC. He also worked as a college teacher, instructing political science, and PNW American and East Asian history.
Attorney, Law Offices of Alex J. Higgins
Alex lives in the Seward Park neighborhood with his family. He grew up in Seattle, attending Garfield High School and the University of Washington – both for his undergraduate studies and law school. He currently owns and operates a solo law practice. In other lives, Alex has worked as a U.S. Park Ranger in Montana and a high school history teacher in Mexico. He is an avid birder and often stalks birds in and around Seward Park.
Environmental compliance engineer, Amazon Web Services
In recent years Desiree has served in a leadership capacity on the MassRecycle Legislative Committee and Clark University Graduate Student Board. Desiree has formerly worked as an event planner, fundraiser, and grants professional for several non-profit groups, including Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Friends of the International Children’s Park, Coalition for Refugees from Burma, and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians. Desiree holds an MA in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management from the University of New South Wales. Desiree lives with her husband, Andrew Fawcett, a Tech Program Manager and owner of Canon, in the Central District where they are working to renovate their older property to an urban, organic homestead.
Retired Washington State Wine Commission, King County Chapters Representative
Cathy traces her interest in birds and conservation to undergraduate research comparing the Mourning Dove to the Common Pigeon and to a college summer spent as a Park Ranger on Mt. Rainier. After that summer she returned to Southern California to finish her degree in Biology at Occidental College where her senior thesis was on the Balona Creek Wetlands in Southern California. After graduating, Cathy completed an MBA at Pepperdine University and began her career in Business and Finance. While working for large companies such as Disney, Pepsi and Starbucks as well as small companies like Panda Express, Executive Conversation, Cathy avidly pursued weekend pleasures of birding, hiking, camping and kayaking throughout the West with her husband, Jake. She has most recently retired from the Washington State Wine Commission as Director, Finance & HR. She now devotes much of her time to birding, hiking, camping and has recently co –authored a book Seattle Stairway Walks with her husband Jake.
Consultant, Owner of Cascade Interpretive Consulting LLC
Chuck Lennox is self-employed with his own consulting business - Cascade Interpretive Consulting LLC - which specializes in environmental and sustainability education, cultural and natural history interpretation and ecotourism. He is also chair of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Wildlife Diversity Advisory Council and serves as a regional director and board member of the National Association for Interpretation.
Attorney, Environmental Focus, Cascadia Law Group
Josh and his wife Laura moved to the Seward Park neighborhood in 1997. He grew up near Boston, Massachusetts but fell in love with the outdoors and hiking at the age of eight when his family spent a year in Seattle. Since then he has enjoyed regular backpacking trips with his brother and father, and more recently with Laura and their two daughters. Josh joined the Stewardship Board for the Seward Park Environmental Audubon Center in 2003, inspired by the Center's focus on connecting diverse communities to nature. He served as Board chair from 2006-2012. Josh is an environmental lawyer with a practice focusing on hazardous substance cleanups and the redevelopment of contaminated propteries. He is also an avid mountain biker.
Planner, Washington State Parks Commission, Regional Chapter Representative, Eastern Washington
Chris has worked for Washington State for almost 20 years as a planner, Fish & Wildlife program manager and currently as a program manager for Washington State Parks in the Grants and Sustainability program. She is a long-time environmentalist, who began her activist career as a member of the board of the Radiation Education Council where she helped mobilize uranium tailings cleanup funding for the community and worked on an initiative that banned uranium mining in Oregon. She has worked as a lobbyist for the Sierra Club (Cascade Chapter) in the 1980s and volunteered with Black Hills Audubon in the 1990s, where she served as Conservation Chair and was honored with receiving the Jack Davis Conservationist of the Year Award. She currently serves as Conservation Chair for North Central WA Audubon Society.
Owner, Home Realty & Real Estate Consultant
Mike Ryan, Vice-Chair
Attorney, K&L Gates LLP
Mike Ryan is a partner at K&L Gates, a litigator who focuses on appellate and constitutional litigation. Mr. Ryan has significant experience representing numerous clients in the area of product liability and toxic tort defense and represents clients on complex commercial matters, governmental and regulatory investigations and in disputes against the Internal Revenue Service. Mike joined the board of the Seward Park Audubon Center in 2010 and served as a member of the governance committee that forged the visionary guidance documents when the state board merged with the Seward board. He participated in an ad hoc marketing committee and is a member of the Board Development Committee. Mike is married to Dawn Hopkins, is father of two young children, and lives near Seward Park.
Board Chair, Seattle Girls School; Trustee, Singh Family Foundation
Along with her husband Steve, Heather directs the Singh Family Foundation, which focuses on making an impact in the areas of education, entrepreneurship and conservation. She serves as chair of the Seattle Girls’ School Board of Trustees. Her professional experience includes journalism, public relations, marketing, and product management. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s degree in education from Antioch University. She became interested in the migratory bird flyways after reading Moonbird by Phillip Hoose, which tracks the migration of red knot along the Atlantic coast. Here on the West coast, she remains thrilled by regular sightings of bald eagles and enjoys birding while traveling with her family.
Marina Skumanich, Regional Director, National Audubon Society
Environmental Policy Consultant, Former president of Seattle Audubon
Environmental Attorney, Joyce Ziker Parkinson
Carly Summers is an environmental attorney with the law firm Joyce Ziker Parkinson PLLC, where she focuses her practice on cleanup and cost recovery actions under state and federal Superfund laws. Carly and her partner Todd are native Washingtonians, and share a commitment to preserving the beauty, diversity, and environment of their home.
Retired Insurance Professional
Leslie Wahl is no stranger to the Audubon family having served on the Audubon Washington Board as a chapter representative from 2006 to 2008. A long time member of Yakima Valley Audubon Society, she has served in several board positions including president, education chair and preserve manager. Leslie is a native of Everett, WA, and has lived in Central Washington for the past 33 years. She brings expertise and familiarity with the challenges facing sagebrush shrub-steppe conservation and environmental education to underserved communities. A graduate of Central Washington University and retired insurance professional, she currently serves as chair of the board of the Yakima Area Arboretum, is a member of the Education Committee of Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, commissioner on the City of Yakima Historic Preservation Commission, and a director and historic preservation committee chair for the Barge Chestnut Neighborhood Association. Leslie is married to Robert Wahl, a retired architect and lives in Yakima, Washington.
Research Specialist, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Paul is Chair of Friends of Seward Park and has worked for many years to ensure that Seward Park is healthy and accessible to all.
Retired Social Worker, Regional Chapter Representative, NW 2
A retired social worker, Judy has been an active member of Kitsap Audubon for more than 15 years. She has served on the Kitsap Audubon board since 2006, including two years as President. She played an instrumental role in planning and implementing the very successful October 2012 ACOW meeting in Poulsbo. Judy was part of a team, composed of Kitsap Audubon members and representatives from the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, which conducted twice monthly year-long surveys of birds on Port Gamble Bay (2011-2012). She currently represents Kitsap Audubon’s interests in the Kitsap Forest and Bay Coalition, an effort by community groups and businesses to conserve almost 7,000 acres and 1.8 miles of shoreline in North Kitsap County. She lives on Bainbridge Island with her husband Don who is involved in planning and completing links in a cross-Kitsap shared used path, the Sound to Olympics trail. They have a daughter who is a new attorney working in Seattle.