Located at the Adriana Hess Audubon Center  
 2917 Morrison Rd W, University Place, WA 98466 | 253-565-9278
Registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit; TaxID# 23-7450873  
  Meet Our 2017 Board of Directors

Current Officers:

Jerry Broadus, President

Conservation Committee; Executive Committee; Board Governance Committee

Jerry is a retired business owner, attorney, and land surveyor, as well as being a prolific bird surveyor and volunteer at numerous sites across the Northwest and beyond.

He has a long history with Tahoma Audubon, including land surveying and helping with the banding of breeding birds at Morse Wildlife Preserve for the past 19 years. Jerry and his wife, Clarice Clark, volunteered at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for five years. They also now volunteer at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

Closer to home, they help with bird surveys at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and at Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. They will be going to Ecuador in 2016 to help band cloud forest birds, and they help with the winter Pacific Shorebird Survey. Also in 2016, Jerry will help plant trees on Haleakala on Maui, to aid in the reintroduction of endangered Maui Parrotbills. Jerry took Dennis Paulson’s Master Birding Class in 1995. He is also a member of the recently formed Advanced Birding Club (ABC club).

Marsha Williams, Vice President

Executive Committee; Education Committee Chair; Board Governance Committee

I have been a citizen of Pierce County for all but 5 years when I lived on Budd Inlet near Olympia as a child.  I grew up on Spanaway Loop Road, attended Bethel High School and graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in Ed. I married my high school sweetheart and we lived first in Parkland.   In 1976, we moved to a 10-acre property in Eatonville, so our daughters could have horses and enjoy a country childhood.  In 2012 we sold the “farm” and moved to Spanaway Loop Road on property where I grew up.  

Education is my passion. I taught at Bethel High School for 30 years and found great joy in that career.  I encouraged my students to become life-long learners. I tried to nurture their natural curiosity and help them find their passion to follow in life.  Those amazing students enriched my life with their wide-ranging interests, their eager questions, and their many talents and skills.

When I retired in 2000, I pursued my interest in birding.  As a member of TAS, I took birding classes, did some field trips, and attended bird festivals.  When my husband and I traveled, I always found a bird guide to take with us.  The TAS Nature Book Club, which started in 2014, has been a wonderful experience for me. The books have been challenging; the discussions interesting; the people inspiring.  I tell friends it is a college class without the tests!

Because of my participation in the Nature Book Club, I was encouraged to accept a nomination to the Tahoma Audubon Society Board. Serving on the board will be another way to learn about this organization, birding, and the people who make a difference in Pierce County.  I know I have much to learn, and I appreciate the opportunity.  

Bob Furman, Secretary

Executive Committee, Finance Committee

Bob was born into an Audubon family where his father was President of the Oklahoma Audubon Society and Audubon Screen Tour presenters stayed in his home. Bob is a retired social worker where he supported people with developmental disabilities. 

He is married to Mary Hart and they are parents to two grown daughters. Bob has 30+ years of involvement with nonprofit organizations.

Joel Chang, Treasurer

Executive Committee, Finance Committee Chair

Originally hailing from Palo Alto, California. Joel arrived in Tacoma to attend the University of Puget Sound. Joel arrived in Washington with a love for the outdoors and graduated with an emphasis in sociology and environmental studies. Joel formally adopted Tacoma as his home after experiencing the benefits of Washington's beautiful summers.

Joel has committed to working within government in an effort to increase citizen engagement and government transparency. Starting at Metro Parks Tacoma, Joel worked in the recreation department facilitating community engagement events. Following this Joel has spent time working for agencies in both the executive and judicial branch, currently as an analyst for DSHS. While working in Olympia Joel received his Masters in Public Administration at The Evergreen State College.

Joel is proud to be a community member and homeowner in the Lincoln District in Tacoma and volunteers as a Tacoma Art Commissioner to continue to serve his community. Joel enjoys spending as much time with his wife, Jenne and their lazy black lab, Haddie. Joel and Jenne are happy to be expecting their first child early 2016, their dog is withholding judgement until the baby arrives.

Art Wang, Past President

Past President; Executive Committee; Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force

Art Wang is no stranger to Tahoma Audubon. He has played many roles with Tahoma Audubon but has not yet been on the board. 

Art is also no stranger to conservation issues, government and politics. Art has held leadership positions in all three branches of state government as state agency director, appellate judge, and legislator. This includes representing the 27th Legislative District in the State House of Representatives from 1981 to 1994, serving on the Washington State Court of Appeals, and Director of the state Office of Administrative Hearings managing 170+ persons and a $30 million biennial budget. Art has also been in private practice as an attorney and served on many regional and statewide boards, including being the current president of the Legal Foundation of Washington. A self-described political junkie, Art is a wonderful community advocate and has distinguished legacy of service to Pierce County and the State. 

What brings Art to Audubon is his love of birding, something he has done since he was 12 years old. He has been involved in birding and Audubon for 50 years. Art has been a long time leader of birding trips and events, including the Christmas Bird Count and Birdathon. For the Great Backyard bird Count he cooks up a mean brunch that is legendary. Art wants to get more involved in local issues here at home and has never served on the Board of Tahoma Audubon and thought now was a good time to give it a go.

Current Members at Large

Ione Clagett

Member at Large, Morse Force, Education Committee

Ione Clagett is passionate about doing her part to save the environment around us. She has served as project director for Citizens for a Healthy Bay and has been part of a community team effort to maintain wildlife habitat along Clover Creek. Ione is currently active as a Forterra Community Trustee, Morse Force, and a member and vice-chair of the Chambers-Clover Watershed Council.

Javier Figueroa

Member at Large

Javier Figueroa was born in Monterrey, Mexico and raised in Bay City, Texas. Figueroa a Vietnam Veteran, served 12 years in the U.S. Army.

Currently, Javier is the Mayor for the City of University Place. In 2009, Javier was elected as a council member to the City of University Place and became the first naturalized citizen from Mexico to be elected in Washington State. He is a Vietnam Veteran that served 12 years in the U.S. Army.

Javier is currently serving his 21st year as a certified arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau of Washington. He also serves as a Board Director for the Tahoma Audubon Society and is a gubernatorial appointee to the State Council on Aging.

Javier worked abroad as a lecturer/consultant for the Province of British Columbia and the British Columbia Asset & Land Corporation. He served as a technical expert for an international “Sustainable Cities” project in Monterrey, Mexico funded by the United States Agency for International Development. In 1994, he served as a U.S. Delegate to the Environmental Conference in Moscow, Russia. His tenure includes work with The White House of Environmental Policy as the Secretariat for Action #8 of the 1993 U.S. Climate Change Action Plan. He also was the technical lead and co-author of the “Washington State Home Energy Rating System Business Plan”.

Michael Garrity

Member at Large, Conservation Committee

Michael is currently the Columbia Basin Mitigation Manager/Water Policy Lead for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Prior to this role, Michael worked for 16 years as the Director, Rivers of Puget Sound & the Columbia Basin with American Rivers.

Michael joined American Rivers in 2000, working out of their Washington, D.C. headquarters. He moved back home to the Puget Sound area in 2003. Michael serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for the Save Our Wild Salmon Coalition and is on the executive committees for the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan and the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Office of the Columbia River. Prior to joining American Rivers, Michael was a law clerk for the Washington State Court of Appeals and a legal intern for the Sierra Club.

Michael earned a B.A. in History from the University of Washington, and J.D. and Environmental Law Specialization Certificate from Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall) He lives in Tacoma.

Gary Geddes

Member at Large, Morse Force

After working at a wildlife park in central Illinois for 8-years, Gary Geddes and his young family moved to this area in 1981 as he became Director of Northwest Trek Wildlife Park for Metro Parks Tacoma.  He considers himself fortunate to meet Bob Ramsey at The Nature Center and Thelma Gilmur close to his arrival and began a long relationship with Tahoma Audubon shortly thereafter, 35 years ago.   Gary served on the TAS Board over 20 years ago and, in 1996, as part of the Seattle University Masters in Non-Profit Leadership program’s culminating project, researched TAS’s operating structure and provided recommendations for long-term sustainability.  In 1995 he assisted Thelma and several other veteran members in working with Lloyd and Maxine Morse on their donation of property in Graham to establish the Morse Wildlife Preserve.  He has continued to serve on the Preserve’s Morse Force management committee since that time. In 1999 he served as Interim Executive Director for Metro Parks Tacoma before being named the Department Director for the Zoo, NW Trek and the Tacoma Nature Center for which he served until his retirement January 9th, 2017.  Gary looks forward to continuing to serve on the Morse Force as well as exploring with the Board and staff ways to insure long-term sustainability of Audubon programs in our region.

Maria Jost

Member at Large

Maria Jost is a science educator and science illustrator in Tacoma. She first moved here in 2001 to attend the University of Puget Sound, where she completed a BS in Biology with a studio art minor. The subjects of art and science have always been dual interests: she is drawn to study nature by the intricacy and elegance of the patterns found in ecosystems and organisms, and her artwork is inspired in turn by an understanding of the biological processes of the natural world.  Following college, Maria moved to Costa Rica to work for a Tropical Ecology and Conservation study abroad program. Already enamored with the beauty of the diverse flora found across the globe, it was in the highland cloud forests of Monteverde that first inspired her to try, and subsequently fall in love with, bird watching. 

After returning to the Pacific Northwest, she continued to learn and teach about local organisms and explore their forms and stories in her artwork. She earned a MA in Science Education from the University of Washington, Tacoma and began to teach secondary science.  Currently, she is a part time instructor at the Science and Math Institute, located in Point Defiance Park, where she teaches classes such as Neuroscience and Environmental Field Biology. She is constantly inspired by the creativity, energy, and passion of young people. Maria also works as an illustrator, exploring the complexity of the surrounding natural world using watercolor, ink and collage as her media of choice. 

Robert E. Mack

Member at Large, Conservation Committee

Robert Mack is Deputy Director for Public Affairs for Tacoma Public Utilities (TPU). His duties include working with TPU’s Public Affairs group, Community & Media Services, and Customer Solutions. Before coming to TPU in 2007, he practiced government affairs and environmental and land use law at the Tacoma law firm of Smith Alling Lane. Mack holds a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College and a law degree from Harvard Law School. Before entering private practice, he served in legal positions with the State Attorney General’s Office, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, the Washington Governor’s Office and the Washington Senate. He has served on boards of the Washington Environmental Council, 1000 Friends of Washington (Futurewise), Point Defiance Zoological Society, City Club of Tacoma (President) and the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation. He has previously served on a variety of legal, legislative and community committees and boards.

Margie Shea

Membership Committee Chair; Executive Committee; Board Governance Committee

Margie has a background in medical research, science education, youth programming and training with the Girl Scouts, and environmental education. She has retired from her job as education program specialist and volunteer coordinator at Tacoma Nature Center, yet remains involved with environmental education as an active volunteer for the nature center and Tahoma Audubon.  Margie has served on three nonprofit boards, joining Tahoma Audubon’s after moving from Wisconsin a decade ago.  She and her husband, Bill Richards, love to go hiking anywhere in the northwest and took up kayaking once they arrived at the Salish Sea.

Nathanael Swecker

Member at Large

Nathanael Swecker began birding in January 2013 when he downloaded the Audubon Bird Guide App on his iPhone. From there he found his passion in life: Birds. He quickly found a local group of birders at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to mentor him in the skills and culture of birding where he regularly attended the weekly Wednesday walks for the next four years. Nathanael began volunteering by leading interpretive walks at Nisqually and assisting in monthly bird surveys associated with the salt-marsh estuary restoration. From there Nathanael began exploring Washington State seeing over 300 bird species in 2014. By 2015 Nathanael decided to explore Joint Base Lewis-McChord and dedicated his entire year to finding and recording bird life across the training areas of the military base. He was awarded a scholarship by Tahoma Audubon in the summer of 2015 to train as a bird bander for Morse Preserve and volunteered as a bander at Glacial Heritage that same summer.

Nathanael continues to explore the world of birding as a mentor to other birders by co-leading the monthly walks at Fort Steilacoom Park, leading the Christmas Bird Count for Tacoma’s Area 5, banding at Morse Preserve, and developing a class curriculum for birding by ear. He hopes to contribute to his community by being a champion of local wildlife conservation and foster an appreciation of our last remaining natural lands here in Pierce County.

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