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Atlanta Audubon Society adds four board members in effort to expand outreach

Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Atlanta Audubon At the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, in North Buckhead, the Atlanta Audubon Society will continue its efforts to foster a place where birds and humans can thrive. Credit: facebook.com

By David Pendered

The Atlanta Audubon Society has added four board members as part of its ongoing effort to expand its outreach and restore habitats so they are pleasant places for birds and people to spend time.

The new members bring experience in communications, master birding, biology and analytics.

“These four individuals bring a wealth of talents and experiences to the Atlanta Audubon Board that will help the organization fulfill its mission of building places where birds and people thrive,” Linda DiSantis, board chair, said in a statement.

Here are the biographical statements the organization provided:

Craig Bell

Craig Bell

“Craig Bell is part of Georgia Power’s corporate communication team serving as a media and issues management specialist. Before joining Georgia Power, Craig was an external affairs specialist at the Federal Emergency Management’s (FEMA) Region IV office. Prior to working with FEMA, Craig served 20 years as a reporter, photojournalist and producer in several media markets, including Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, and Memphis. As a journalist, Craig is no stranger to crisis communications and has covered numerous national events such as 9/11, the BP gulf oil spill, the Times Square bombing attempt, Nashville floods, and others.

“Gina Charles is a long-time member of Atlanta Audubon. She and her family are avid travelers, and Gina has birded in many different parts of the world. She became a Master Birder in the fall of 2011 and stays involved through workshops and volunteering at the office and events. She shares her enthusiasm for birding with kindergarteners to senior citizens, hosting these groups in her back yard. Gina is also a member of National Audubon Society, ASPCA (American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Gina Charles

Gina Charles

“Roarke Donnelly is a professor of biology at Oglethorpe University and a master bird bander with special interests in ecology, behavioral ecology, urban ecology, bird conservation, and STEM education. He regularly teaches 10 courses in biology and statistics, including ornithology at a wilderness field station in northern Minnesota, and maintains an active research program. Both the teaching and research have generated open-access teaching modules, manuscripts in several scientific journals, an edited book, and an audio guide to bird identification.

“Shannon Fair is the director of international analytics within the Innovative Solutions Group at TransUnion. She is responsible for providing analytics solutions and credit scoring services to banks, credit reporting agencies, and other financial institutions across the globe, as well as establishing model governance standards and new hire training programs for all of TransUnion’s international analytics teams. Shannon has been an active member of Atlanta Audubon since 2012 and also serves as the membership chair for the Georgia Ornithological Society. She is one of the top eBirders in metro Atlanta and birds frequently in her spare time around Georgia, the U.S., or just about any place in the world that her work takes her.”

Current board members Charles Loeb, Rusty Pritchard, and Esther Stokes were re-elected for their second term in balloting on Dec. 10.

The other board members include DiSantis, Ellen Miller, Joy Carter, Angelou Ezeilo, Jairo Garcia, Robert Johnson, Melinda Langston, Tom Painter, David Schaefer, Michael Wall, and Amanda Woomer.


Roarke Donnelly

Roarke Donnelly

Shannon Fair

Shannon Fair


Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Atlanta Audubon

At the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, in North Buckhead, the Atlanta Audubon Society will continue its efforts to foster a place where birds and humans can thrive. Credit: facebook.com

David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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