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Common Nighthawk

Houston Audubon Board Nominees 2019

The Nominating Committee of the Houston Audubon Board of Directors recommends the following slate for election to the Board of Directors. Elections will be conducted at the membership meeting on Thursday, May 9, 2019. Also, according to the By-Laws, nominations will be accepted from the floor.

Sam Smith, President. Sam is a professional engineer working at Wood Group Mustang. He became a birder because when he would go on hikes with his wife, Becky would stop to look at the birds, so why not join the party and is now frustrated with identification of little brown things like most everyone else. He has been a former city council member for the city of Spring Valley, and a Texas Native Plant society member. As a member of Houston Audubon Society, he has been seen working at High Island during post-Hurricane clean-ups as well as he and Becky working either the Kiosk at Boy Scout Woods or Smith Oaks during spring migration. He has served on several different community committees and supports the Texas Land Conservancy. Sam is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Timothy White, Past-President.  He has over 30 years of experience in the environmental field with extensive experience in environmental regulatory requirements, processes, and policies at the federal, state and local levels. Tim is the President of Environeering, Inc. and a Registered Environmental Manager with the National Association of Environmental Professionals. He has been involved in environmental assessment and restoration projects involving wetlands, grasslands, and riparian woodlands. Tim is an ardent birder, golfer and outdoorsman. Tim is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Stanley (Skip) Almoney, President-Elect. Skip’s professional career was as a geophysicist working in international petroleum exploration. Skip is an active volunteer at High Island, participating both in work days and in staffing the kiosk. His wife Jonni is an enthusiastic member of the native plant gardening group at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary. Skip is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Andy Lopez, Treasurer. Andy is retired from a position at a corporate law firm. He is a CPA with extensive experience in accounting, tax, audit, and other financial areas. He was a founding board member of the Greater Park Place Community Development Corporation. Andy was involved in the acquisition and establishment of the Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center and maintains close ties by being a regular participant in its Trail Crew. In his free time he enjoys birding and fishing. Andy is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Janeen Judah, Secretary. Janeen is the 2017 international President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. She has spent 35 years in the oil and gas industry and the last 15 years managing global or international regional teams. At Chevron, she has managed global organizations for environmental decommissioning and remediation and petroleum engineering technology and regional teams for Latin America engineering and geoscience and Angola/Congo projects and subsurface. She started her career with ARCO in Midland. She serves Texas A&M on both the Petroleum Engineering and College of Engineering Advisory Councils and is a 2015 outstanding graduate. She has B.S. and M.S. degrees in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M, plus an MBA from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and a JD from the University of Houston Law Center. Janeen is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Lucy Barrow, Director. Lucy is an active member of the Houston Garden Club, a certified paralegal and a fourth generation Houstonian. She has served on numerous boards and committees throughout Houston, notably serving as Wildscapes Representative for PTO Board, Co-Chairman of Perennial Booth for the Garden Club of Houston, and Horticulture Chairman of Garden Club of Houston. She attended the Kinkaid School, Vanderbilt University, and University of Texas at Austin, and is presently the Mineral Manager for the family’s Minerals LLC. She grew up loving wildlife in Houston. Lucy and her husband, David, have 3 children and are active in St Martin’s Episcopal Church. She enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening and bird watching. 

Mary Carter, Director. Mary is a retired partner from the law firm of Blackburn & Carter, where she practiced environmental law. She is active in several environmental organizations and has co-authored a publication on Galveston Bay comprehensive environmental impacts. Mary is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Rebecque Demark, Director. Rebecque is a 3rd generation real estate broker practicing in Houston since 1993. Having grown up practically across the street from the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary, she loved exploring there while growing up. Rebecque became a volunteer in 2010 to help instill in the next generations, the wonders of the outdoors and the winged and other creatures that share our city. The birding bug bit gently after a trip to the South Pacific and much more strongly after having Peter Harrison as a bird guide on a recent trip to South America. Organic gardening is another of her passions. Rebecque is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.

Diane Schenke, Director. Diane is an accomplished nonprofit executive veteran and community advocate with expertise in community visioning and planning processes. She recently served as the interim CEO for SER, a nonprofit community organization that educates and equips people in the Texas Gulf Coast Region who come from low-income backgrounds or who have significant barriers to employment. Prior to that, she was President of the Greater East End Management District where she served for 8 years. She is also the former President and Executive Director of The Park People, the Gulf Coast Program Manager for The Nature Conservancy and the Executive Director of The Grand Parkway Association. Before working for governmental and nonprofit entities, Diane worked as an environmental lawyer for law firms and corporations. She is active in St Paul’s United Methodist Church, serves as Vice President of the Idylwood Garden Club, and is a mentor at McGregor Elementary School. She holds a Master Gardener certification from Galveston County.

James Vavasour, Director. James is a husband and father first and an oil and gas professional second. He has two children, a 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. Since his daughter's birth, Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary and the Houston Audubon Society have held a very special place in his heart. In July of 2010 his daughter was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer. Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary truly became our sanctuary from both city life and his daughter's illness. Every day, James and his daughter would hike the preserve. Climbing down the banks of the bayou, bird watch, bunny watch, snake watch, and occasionally armadillo watch. A personal favorite was playing pooh sticks off the bridge without a thought about his daughter's remission. Today, his daughter is eight-years-old and still cancer free. Professionally, James joined MatthewsDaniel in 2003, and is now President of MatthewsDaniel Americas and Group Marine Director, responsible for all of MatthewsDaniel business units in the Americas, while managing Marine Warranty Surveying services world-wide. A graduate Naval Architect and a Texas licensed adjuster, James has presented papers at major international conferences and has been published in the technical press. James is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors. 

Robert Westerdarp, Director. Prior to his retirement in 2014 upon the sale of the company, Robert served on The Board of Directors and as CEO Americas for the Griffin Global Group, a company he co-founded in 1996 that had grown to be the largest global provider of transportation services for crew in the offshore oil & gas and the shipping industries.. Other business experience before Griffin included practicing as a CPA in the State of Texas through his own regional CPA firm for 13 years, forming and managing an NSDA broker-dealer, co-founding a land development company, acting as managing general partner for numerous syndicated transactions including a parking garage in downtown Houston, a Hilton hotel in Florida and various other properties. In the not-for-profit arena, Robert has been a member of the Board of Children at Risk for 8 years and served as Chairman from 2012-2014. Robert graduated from Rice University in 1971 with a BA in Economics and Accounting. Robert is currently serving on the Houston Audubon Board of Directors.