Stuart brings a wealth of experience working with animals and conservation to this role and most recently served as CEO of the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County for the last 4.5 years. While CEO, records were broken in adopting out more animals in a single month than in the previous 21 years. Born and raised in the UK, he also led the Scottish SPCA for ten years where he was responsible for creating an award winning educational program which became one of the largest in Europe and created the Scottish National Wildlife Center, a 60 acre preserve that also cared for and rehabilitated injured wildlife in extensive hospital facilities.
Stuart has also led an aquarium based visitor attraction, Deep Sea Leisure; and for nine years served as CEO of Whipsnade Zoo, the UK’s largest wildlife park (650 acres).
He has a great track record in helping increase fundraising, developing and creating new programs.
"We are fortunate in having a wonderful board, staff and volunteers who have fought tirelessly to help preserve our wild places and to help show people the wonders of our wildlife. I’m delighted to be joining them to help with this critically important mission.”
Contact: email@example.com • 253-565-9278
Zephyra (Zeph) Burt
Zephyra is a graduate of Evergreen State College, where she studied environmental science with a focus on watershed health and Pacific Northwest ecology. Born in Tacoma and a lifelong resident of Washington, Dash Point State Park first inspired her interest in nature.
While pursuing her degree, Zeph volunteered with the Center for Natural Lands Management doing prairie restoration, and later worked as a seasonal forestry ecologist and GIS mapper for the Green Seattle Partnership, making plant and tree species surveys and mapping restoration efforts in Seattle area parks and greenbelts.
Zephyra believes that equitable access to sustainably maintained parks and natural areas is a vital part of public health and increases engagement with local and global environmental issues. Zeph is excited to work with an organization that recognizes the importance of conservation and nature education both in and out of cities.
In her free time Zeph enjoys hiking, backpacking, cooking, making art, and gardening at Franklin Park Community Garden.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org • 253-565-9278
Development & Community Engagement Manager
Suzanne Harkness brings her passion for birds and birding to TAS as our Development & Community Engagement Manager. She has been an active member of Tahoma Audubon since 2020, leading Bird-a-thon walks, volunteering at events, and contributing her skills in photography and graphic design.
"I have always loved nature and animals, and earned a Bachelor of Science in marine biology from The Evergreen State College, while working part of that time as a bio-technician at The Seattle Aquarium. After college I began working for NOAA at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in Seattle, working on humpback whale photo-identification research. Five years and two kids later, I decided to change careers to stay closer to home, and used my love of art to become a graphic designer. I have worked in design and marketing for the last 20+ years."
Her spark for birds was reignited in 2019 and has become a wildfire. She loves to bird in our local parks and green spaces and enjoys photographing birds as well. She is excited to share the vision and mission of the organization with the community and engage others as they discover their own spark for nature and wildlife.
Contact: email@example.com • 253-565-9278
James ‘Jamie’ Krolikowski-Pecarovich
James is a mother, wife, and educator originally from Puyallup. She attended The Evergreen State College and later earned her Washington State Teaching Certificate at the University of Washington.
During college she began working at Mount Rainier National Park’s revegetation program. It was here that she knew she wanted to work with nature - with ecology and restoration being two of her focuses--but it was at the Armand Bayou Nature Center in Houston, Texas, working as an educator and volunteer coordinator, where she fell in love with education.
James went on to lead educational programs for 6 years at the Lyon Arboretum in Hawaii before returning to the Pacific Northwest, where she has for the past 10 years worked (and still works) as a teacher at Tacoma Nature Center’s Nurture in Nature Preschool. Starting in 2022, she created and began teaching the Little Towhees educational program for Tahoma Audubon.
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 have met Bob Ramsey at Tacoma Nature Center and Thelma Gilmur soon after his arrival and began a long relationship with Tahoma Audubon shortly thereafter. 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.
Dennis is a long time member of Tahoma Audubon. He worked in telecommunications as a technician and operations manager, and has served on many state and local boards for labor and education. He and his wife Dona have been active with our Education and Conservation Committees for many years.
A Colorado native, Lalenia (Lanes) is a military retiree who fell in love with the Pacific Northwest while serving in the Army at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Inspired to contribute to the health of the park where she walks her dogs and enjoys birds and the natural environment, Lalenia regularly volunteers in Fort Steilacoom Park as a habitat steward. This resolve led her to join the Tahoma Audubon Society as a volunteer with the Membership Committee as the Speaker Series Chair. She recently earned her Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree through Saint Martin’s University and is committed to using her skills and experience to contribute to sustaining the value and benefits of a crucial organization such as Tahoma Audubon and a prospering community.
Jenny is working on her degree in Chemical Engineering. Born in Sweden, she spent summers on the Stockholm outskirts sailing, swimming, and playing in the forest, experiences that fostered her deep connection with nature. She is passionate about conservation and preservation, and both she and her husband, David Meyer, have volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium educating the public about water conservation.
Member at Large
Membership Committee Chair
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.
Member at Large
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.
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 lifelong learners. I tried to nurture their natural curiosity and help them find their passion to follow in life.
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. 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.
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 is another way to learn about this organization, birding, and the people who make a difference in Pierce County.
Member at Large
Education Committee Chair
Ione 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.
Member at Large
Sally is a long-standing member of Tahoma Audubon since 1996. She serves on the Board of Directors and the Thelma Gilmur Education Committee. Sally’s strong interest and advocacy for healthy native plant habitats led her to form the habitat stewardship group at Thelma Gilmur Park in Fircrest, named the “Gilmur Grubbers.” She also offers an online TAS class, Native Trees and Shrubs: The food they provide to birds, which identifies and discusses key native species to plant and keep in your yard in order to attract birds and pollinators.
Sally says of her Tahoma Audubon experience, “TAS has given me many opportunities to learn, to have fun, to meet new people, and to really make a difference in the quest to help to preserve the natural environment.”
Member at Large
Originally from the Texas Hill Country, I fell in love with wildlife and nature through camping, observing snakes in my backyard and trekking through the desert. My passion for birds and conservation took fruit while obtaining my B.S. in Biology. I worked as an Aquatic Environmental Scientist for the City of Austin and as Manager for the National Domestic Violence Hotline before being drawn by the allure of Washington's forests and mountains. I completed my Masters of Environmental Studies at The Evergreen State college where my research focused on habitat preferences of the Oregon Vesper Sparrow in highly fragmented grassland landscapes. My personal and professional aspirations are to foster inclusive communities where people of all backgrounds can access the benefits of nature while ensuring conservation and sustainability of those habitats and wildlife.
Member at Large
Scott Markowitz is an avid birder, researcher, educator, and scientist who has developed a strong passion for all things feathered. From studying the process of molt in Passerines to looking at large scale conservation and habitat restoration, Scott is a true bird nerd.
Falling into birding accidentally over 25 years ago, Scott started perusing field guides and chasing new birds and rarities over hill and dale. On his first tropical trip, after four days of riding buses to reach Guatemala, Scott spent half an hour waiting to get eyes on a little bird chipping in a bush… only to find that it was a House Sparrow. Since then, he has birded all over North, Central, and South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa (and has learned the chip note of a House Sparrow).
Member at Large
Curtis recently moved to Washington from Helena, MT to be closer to his family and two grandchildren. He holds a Masters in Public Administration and taught at Montana State University. Curtis has served on the boards of Montana Audubon, Prickly Pear Land Trust, and Helena Habitat for Humanity. He and his wife Mary became avid birders after retiring.
Member at Large
David has a degree in computer engineering and grew up on a farm in the Midwest surrounded by nature. He spent time trekking in the forest, canoeing, and visiting national parks with his family. He moved to the PNW for the fantastic juxtaposition of urban and natural environments.
Member at Large
Eric is chair of our Conservation Committee and has served
as co-chair since October 2022. He recently received the Distinguished Service Award from the board in 2023.
He has significant media and communications expertise and is currently a Producer with the Woodstock Media Group, producing commercials and introducing new innovations to streamline the organization. He has also served as a Social Media Manager, Webcast Manager, TV Director, and Video Editor. Eric also operates his own production company which offers a variety of services including audio and sound engineering and media production.