Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship with wildlife.
As a child, I LOVED wildlife. I would find toads, salamanders, snakes, bumble bees and hold them all! I was fascinated by their behaviors and could watch them for hours. When I was about 7 years old, I would visit two swans across the street – my home was in an area with a large marsh and wooded area. I would whistle for them and the pair would fly in with a big swoosh. They even allowed me near their nesting area and would approach me as I sat on the seawall and playfully nip at my sneaker tips. I never touched them, I simply watched them for hours. When I was about 8 years old, I brought a snake home and convinced my mother that I needed her/him for my science project. She allowed me to keep the snake for several weeks until the project was completed. The snake would sit in my hand and wrap around my fingers. Unfortunately, my Uncle came by and identified her/him as a baby Copperhead. I begged him for a 10-minute head start before telling my mother, so I could run out to the marsh and woods to release her/him, safely! The snake never attempted to bite me.
I wanted to be a veterinarian from the time I learned to say the word!
How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?
I became a member of the IWRC after seeing them at my first NWRA Symposium. I Purchased the Book Wildlife Rehabilitation: A Comprehensive Approach, and found it to be easier reading than the NWRA manual. I have served on the CWRA Board of Directors for a number of years. I have considered submitting an application to the NWRA or IWRC but was on the fence about which one. I will most likely relocate out of state at some point and I was looking for a responsible organization to continue to serve. I believe the IWRC is emerging as a viable (and valuable) resource for wildlife rehabilitators. The IWRC won out over the NWRA, although I appreciate both organizations, immensely!
Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC’s mission.
Increasing the demographic of the IWRC and the continuation of the dissemination of accurate information, as we learn more about wildlife and that information changes.
Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)
My communications training has been a huge asset. Client service skills were developed during my time in retail management. I was fortunate to have been a communications and benefits manager for Time Warner. This allowed me to hone my skills as an educator, coach and presenter. These skills enable me to assist other rehabilitators and the community with regard to wildlife (Put the rabbit back!).
Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.
I can learn anything. That is why my professional experience covers an array of industries. The most significant accomplishment would have to be my transition from retail into corporate. I had all of the skills for retail and almost none of the technical skills required for Corporate. I was sent on a “practice” interview and met with a VP of Human Resources. After the interview, I was to report back to the temp agency and they would compare notes with the VP. The VP requested me as her new temp employee and argued with the temp agency who had the client’s interest in mind and wanted a good match. The VP won and I began working for her. Two weeks later, Time Warner purchased the company. I completed my temp assignment and was contacted by Time Inc.’s VP of HR who requested that I take on another temp assignment implementing a new call center during open enrollment that year. Once completed they refused to let me go and I was promoted several times during the next 10 years. It was a great place to work during those years!
If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?
I appreciate all of the Board members, but I know I asked whether Dani would be available. I was delighted when she agreed to be my mentor!
If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?
Wildlife or Forensic Biologist.
If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?
What is the thing for which you have waited in line the longest?
Concert tickets – Bruce Springsteen
What excites you so much that it keeps you awake the night before?
Knowing that I will be travelling to see my family!
Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.
I have a 10 lb rabbit named Ollie. He is nine years old and a big love. He loves to simply hang out and take in whatever is going on around him.
I share a couple of rabbits with friends because mine was boarded and bonded with their pets. It did not seem fair to pull them when so happy!
I have a rescue Chihuahua who was left abandoned in an apartment in CA with her sister, for two weeks before Animal Control found them. She was emaciated and near death and brought to a kill shelter for humane euthanasia. She was pulled at the last minute by a rescue organization (She was not even a year old!) and flown to CT.