DDWS Elects New Board Members, Officers

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Nancy Felker and Stuart Sergeant join the board of directors for “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.

At its recent annual meeting at The Community House on Sanibel Island, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) Board of Directors welcomed two Sanibel Island residents as new members: Nancy Felker and Stuart R. Sergeant.

It also reelected members Sarah Ashton, Barb Bluedorn, David Jeffrey, and Dick Levinson. The board later elected officers president Sarah Ashton, vice president Wendy Kindig, secretary Robin Kirk, and treasurer Bill Valerian.

Felker, a practicing pharmacist for 34 years for family pharmacies in Illinois and later in Arkansas, retired in 2017. She has been visiting Sanibel Island since age 4, when she developed an early love for birds and nature. With her husband, Dave, she has owned property on Sanibel since 2014, and still lives part-time in Northwest Arkansas.

Felker began volunteering at the Refuge Nature Store pre-COVID and was then training to become a rover of Wildlife Drive.

New DDWS board officers include president Sarah Ashton, vice president Wendy Kindig, secretary Robin Kirk, and treasurer Bill Valerian (not pictured).

“I will soon be volunteering again at the nature store,” she said. “I enjoy talking to the visitors about what they saw in the refuge and where they have traveled from. I believe the motto ‘The more you know, the more you love, the more you want to protect., The wildlife society does such an excellent job of encouraging education.”

Sergeant works as a litigation attorney for Swanson, Martin & Bell in Chicago, Illinois, and owns the On Island boutique on Sanibel with his wife, Kate. He volunteers for the Sanibel and Captiva Kiwanis Club and formerly as an Island Youth sports coach.

“I love the outdoors and spending free time fishing, hunting, and mountain biking with my family,” said Sergeant. “I am excited to be a part of an organization that plays a key role in keeping Sanibel as we all know it: the perfect place to live and visit.”

“We welcome Nancy and Stuart into the fold, confident that they will bring their passion for nature and energy for volunteering to help move the board into a new year of continued admirable support for the refuge,” said Ashton.

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 at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org

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