DDWS Board Elects Two New Members

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

At a recent meeting of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) Board of Directors, members voted to elect two island residents to its fold: Robin L. Cook and William W. Millar. They will serve three-year terms on the board, supporting the conservation mission of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.

Robin L. Cook

Cook has lived in Lee County for the past 39 years. She met her husband Doug 38 years ago, when they were both working on Sanibel, and in 2010, they moved to the island. In 2022, Cook joined Suncoast Equity Management (SEM) on Sanibel following a long career in the financial services arena, specializing in comprehensive wealth management services for high-net-worth individuals, families, foundations, and nonprofits. Prior to joining SEM, she served eight years as Executive Vice President of Wealth Services at The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company.

Cook stays involved in the community as a member of various island organizations and has served on boards for the Captiva Historical Society, Gulf Care Inc., and The Cape Coral Community Foundation. The American Business Women’s Association recognized her as Sanibel Captiva American Business Woman of The Year in 2013.

Cook completed the American Bankers Association Graduate School of Banking program at the University of Florida in 1999, Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS®) certification in 2013, and Certified Trust Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA®) in 2021. She earned her Series 65 Investment Advisor Representative license in 2022 and is a graduate of the “Leadership Cape Coral” program.

Bill Millar

Millar gained an early appreciation for clean water and the wildlife dependent upon it while growing up on the Lake Erie shore in Ohio. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Iowa in urban and regional planning, specializing in urban transportation policy analysis. His 40-year career in the transportation field included developing and managing public transportation programs and systems.

In 2011, Millar retired after serving 15 years as the president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association in Washington, D.C. – the principal trade organization for the public transit systems and private sector companies in the field.

Millar, his wife Barbara, and their family first visited Sanibel and Captiva islands in 1997, where they immediately discovered “Ding” Darling. The refuge, with its wide variety of birds and natural beauty, played an important role in choosing Sanibel as their retirement home. After several years renting a home, the Millars purchased one in 2017. They reside there most of the year, spending summers in Sewickley, Penn.

The Millars are actively involved in several southwest Florida conservation-minded organizations and strongly support the refuge by participating in DDWS events and fundraisers.

“We are gaining such a wealth of knowledge and experience as we welcome Robin and Bill to the board,” said board president Wendy Kindig. “We feel confident they will strengthen our organization and mission during these trying post-hurricane times.”

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits. To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller Gresham at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

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