From the SWS Board ….
Please welcome two new Board members, Sue Salveson (class of 2012) and Rich Yukubousky (class of 2016), Sue and Rich were appointed to replace Jay Adams and Lois Farrington, both Whidbey representatives, who resigned earlier this year. Thank you Jay and Lois for your Board service. Both Sue and Rich will be on the fall ballot for possible election to fulfill the rest of the terms that were vacated by Jay and Lois.
- Sue has been active as Program Lead for Sound Waters University and as a member of the Whidbey Steering Committee. She grew up in and around Whidbey and has also participated in bio-monitoring and litter clean-up. She brings 30 years experience as a NOAA Fisheries Biologist based in Alaska, conducting research, helping manage fisheries and supervising staff.
- Rich is a new SWS member and Whidbey resident. He brings experience in urban planning (for Seattle) and 21 years experience as Executive Director of a non-profit that provides technical assistance to local Washington State governments. Rich is active on the Volunteer Education and Training Committee on Whidbey, and participates in the Pigeon Guillemot Study and Forage Fish Surveys.
Read more about all the board members on our SWS Board page.
We are happy to announce that the search for an Executive Director (part-time to start) has begun. The Board, with input by the membership, will soon hire the person to lead the organization into our future in collaboration with the Board, staff, and members. Please help identify candidates and watch for the open interview sessions (early June).
To see the full Executive Director position description click for [more]
Our agreements with Washington State Parks and with Lighthouse Environmental Programs has led to a new, exciting collaboration. Central Whidbey Parks has greatly increased the numbers of school children visiting the parks this season. They crafted a grant proposal for LEP and a funding request to the Lighthouse Docents to fund our Whidbey Coordinator, Kelly Zupich, for an additional 15 hours/week for the rest of this year to help provide interpretive education to our school children and adults. This is a win-win-win for all three groups! Best of all, hundreds of children are receiving experiences at the beach and in the parks to learn about our environment. Thus far, the new arrangement is working well! Thank you Jon Crimmins and WA State Parks, LEP and Lighthouse Docents!!
Stable funding is essential for SWS to thrive going forward. Part of this mix must include grants, and our new ED will have grant writing skills. But, thanks to our Development Committee and Board, we have already received two grants with another out for review. LEP is our very special collaborator and has funded us significantly for the current year. Every Lighthouse License Plate generates $28 of revenue that goes to LEP. In turn, this money is granted to local Lighthouses for maintenance, SWS, and other groups with environmental purposes. Please buy or renew your Lighthouse License Plate! You are helping fund SWS by doing so. [more]
Puget Sound Energy, Whidbey’s electric utility, also has a new grant program. This year, the PSE focus is on environmntal stewardship. Invited to apply, SWS received $5000 in this first round of funding. In exchange you will see PSE tables at Sound Waters University and other events as we partner with PSE to spread information about energy conservation and electric safety. We also invite our Whidbey members to please consider a Free home energy assessment to help you save money by discovering ways to make your own home more energy efficient. Please call: 855-973-1575 to schedule your assessment — and be sure to tell them you were referred by SWS! Thank you Walt Blackford, and PSE.
Thanks to your contributions, to our Sound Waters University income, to another successful Whale Cruise, and grant income, we are in a sound financial position. We need increased staff time, and that will take additional funds. If you shop online at Amazon, please consider enrolling in Amazon Smile and designating SWS as your charity of choice, which returns a small portion of sales to us. Want to help with fundraising? The Development Committee needs you!
Finally, the Board is looking for volunteers to help with some specific technical efforts: 1) We need someone with some technical skills to learn and use an open source software survey package to evaluate programs and events and to help conduct a membership survey this summer. 2) We need someone who can help evaluate newsletter program software options as we may need to shift to a different environment to better inform you more easily. Of course, anyone willing to assist with our quarterly newsletter would be most appreciated!
Save August 13 for our Annual Summer Picnic. This year, it will be on Camano at Camano Island State Park. Details will follow, but it will be a great opportunity for Whidbey folks to visit Camano and see the other part of our county. The Annual Meeting November 14 will likely be held on North Whidbey. We hope all SWS members will take advantage of these opportunities to interact with SWS members on the “other” island. We are one organization with two distinct groups.
Thank you all for all you do to make our island homes better places to live, not just for us, but for future generations too! Together, we are making a difference. Thank you for your part!
Linda Ade Ridder
SWS Board President