Michael Sullivan, President

Mike works part time as a consultant with a DC-based environmental engineering firm. He and his wife, Susan Hirsch, live outside Shepherdstown in the Steamboat Run Community. As a hydrologist and water resources specialist, Mike has worked extensively on watershed and water quality projects in the mid-Atlantic area including the Potomac River. During his career he held positions with EPA, the National Weather Service, and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. Mike has also held leadership positions on the boards of DC Greenworks and the Federal Water Quality Association. His interest in birding and conservation date back to his twenties when he joined the environmental movement following Earth Day.

Suzanne Offutt, Vice President

Suzanne Offutt worked as an educator in Jefferson County for 25 years and recently retired after a 17 year stint as Principal of Shepherdstown Elementary School. Suzanne was one of the founding members of PVAS. She went on to serve as the Education Chair, then President, followed by service as President of the WV Audubon Council. In those roles she ardently worked for environmental initiatives including recycling, clean water, forest preservation, and the establishment of the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Davis, WV. She had the great honor of sitting with the late Senator Robert C. Byrd at the dedication of the refuge in 1994. Through her professional career, she has been able to establish opportunities for environmental stewardship for children in the school. Suzanne lives with her husband, Mike Zagarella who also served on the PVAS board, in Shepherdstown and near their adult children and grandson. She maintains her long interest in birding, botany, and other conservation activities. She holds degrees in Speech Pathology and Audiology, Deaf Education, and an Ed D in education leadership.

Diana Gaviria, Secretary

Diana Gaviria is a public health physician with board certification in Family Medicine. She is the Deputy Health Officer/Medical Director at the Washington County, Maryland Health Department and is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the WVU School of Medicine.  She attended Brown University undergraduate, obtained her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. She received a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina. Her interests in the field of public health include prevention of chronic disease, healthcare-associated infections and environmental health. Outside of work she enjoys volunteer work with the Potomac Valley Audubon Society, running, skiing, travel and spending time with her husband Jon Pike, and their two sons Sean and Daniel.

Dan Cogswell, Treasurer

Dan has been a software developer for over 30 years and recently joined the SkyTruth team in Shepherdstown. He has a B.S. degree from Shepherd College and a Data Analytics Certificate from Johns Hopkins through Coursera. He and his wife Margaret moved to Shepherdstown in 1986 and soon after joined PVAS. Dan previously filled many positions on the PVAS board including one term as president, and has held leadership roles with several youth soccer organizations. He also enjoys hiking, traveling, old movies and an embarrassing number of comic strips.

Jane Vanderhook, Past President

Jane is retired from a career as a Computer Systems Software Designer. She has previously served on the PVAS Board as Treasurer, Vice-President and At-Large Board member, and has served on the Events Committee, Youth Program Committee, and the Board Development Committee.  She is an active community volunteer and has served on the boards of Jefferson County Youth Soccer League, Country Day School and her homeowners' association. A thirty -year volunteer and referee with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), she was the first woman appointed to the National referee Commission. She holds a degree in Experimental Psychology, and minored in Mathematics and Physics. She enjoys living in Shepherdstown and spending time with her husband, children and granddaughters.

Patty Bain Bachner, At-large Board Members

Patty recently moved to Shepherdstown from the Washington, DC area. She has been active in non-profit organizations since 1990. This includes positions as Executive Director of the Mid- Atlantic Chapter of the Tourettes Syndrome Association, and Executive Director of the Maryland Center for Assault Prevention. She is currently leading an Engineering Better Readers Program initiative in several states. Patty is an alumnus of Marietta College. She is impressed by the many programs, camps, and member activities offered by PVAS, and she would like to make a constructive difference in this very special and incredibly beautiful environment for our children and generations to come.

 Don Campbell, At-large Board Member

Don is retired from the National Park Service. While Superintendent of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, he oversaw three decades of restoration, development and preservation at the park.  He is the recipient of the Stephen T. Mather award from the National Parks and Conservation Association for outstanding stewardship and defense of the National Parks.  Born in Napa, California, he joined the National Park Service in San Francisco as a park planner working on development of park and wilderness proposals in the west and southwest. After a move to the Seattle office, he worked extensively in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska on new park area studies for legislation.  He shared in a Presidential Design Award for the planning of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.  Don earned a bachelor degree in Landscape Architecture from Utah State University and a master of landscape architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. During his extensive career, Don has fostered partnerships that support protection of resources through stewardship and environmental educational programs.  He is concerned about loss of wildlife habitat.

Laura Davis, At-large Board Member

Laura Davis is a partner at the Skinner Law Firm in Charles Town, WV, where she focuses primarily on personal injury and insurance bad faith litigation.  Laura is on the Board of Governors of the West Virginia Association for Justice as well as the Education Committee for the organization. She grew up in Gainesville, Florida and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Florida. Laura graduated from WVU College of Law in 1998, after which she moved to the Eastern Panhandle.  Laura is married to Paul, whose dental practice is located in the Train Station in Shepherdstown.  Laura enjoys cooking, traveling, yoga, and hiking with Paul, their dogs, and friends, and bird-watching.  In 2015, Laura took PVAS's course, Birding 101, which was an amazing learning experience for her.  Since then, she has enjoyed bird walks organized by PVAS as well as outings with friends on her own. Laura is grateful for the work that PVAS does in our community and she hopes that she can contribute in some way to its continued success. 

Clark Dixon, At-large Board Member

Clark A. Dixon, Jr. is retired from the National Park Service (NPS) with 34 years of supervisory and management experience as Supervisory Park Ranger, Nature Center Director, Park Manager (superintendent), and Regional Program Manager.  As a Park Manager and Superintendent he oversaw four National Parks during his career.  Since retirement in 2003, Clark has taken up other pursuits including substitute teaching in Jefferson County WV schools.  Clark has served over 45 years (youth and adult) in leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America and has served other youth organizations in varied adult leadership positions.

Amy Evrard, At-large Board Member

Amy Evrard is associate professor of anthropology at Gettysburg College, with research interests in women's rights in the Middle East/North Africa region and agriculture in the United States. She is developing a second career as a freelance writer focusing on the topics of nature, agriculture, and rural history. She has been active as a volunteer with PVAS for the past three years and certified as a master naturalist in 2015. Although she loves all aspects of the natural world, birds and birding are her passion. 

Mina Goodrich, At-large Board Member   

Mina retired in 1999 after a long career in health care with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, both in Martinsburg and Washington, D.C. A native of Shepherdstown, she has been a member of PVAS since its early days. She previously served two terms as Secretary of PVAS. Mina has also been active on the boards of the Friends of the Shepherdstown Library, the Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society and the Shepherdstown Community Club. She also volunteers regularly at the Shepherdstown Library. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Shepherd University and an M.B.A. from Frostburg State University in Maryland.

Tanner Haid, At-large Board Member

Tanner resides in Harper’s Ferry and is a recent Shepherd University graduate who majored in Environmental Studies.  Tanner is employed by the Cacapon Institute as their Urban Forestry Coordinator.  Tanner’s background also includes two field seasons with the USGS Aquatic Ecology Lab, employment as Land Steward at CraftWorks at Cool Spring, and six years experience as a whitewater river guide.

Joe Hankins, At-large Board Member

Director of The Conservation Fund’s (TCF) Freshwater Institute in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and a TCF Vice President, Joe Hankins brings a biologist’s eye and an entrepreneur’s passion to key conservation issues of food security and water availability. Joe joined the Fund in 1992 to develop aquaculture, sustainable rural economic development and technology outreach in Appalachia. Today he leads an internationally recognized research and consulting program focused on water reuse technology in food production.  In addition to his work at the Freshwater Institute, Joe serves as an Officer of the Natural Capital Investment Fund. He is active in local and regional work-groups focused on the strategic importance of water, community water infrastructure planning, and life cycle assessment.  He holds a B.S. in General Science from Purdue University  and a Masters in Environmental Biology from Hood College. He is married to Virginia (Ginger) Hankins, the Special Education Coordinator at Washington High School. They moved to Jefferson County in 1993 and to their current home on Rockymarsh Run in 1998.  

Susan Jones, At-large Board Member

Susan retired after a 29-year career with Lockheed Martin where she worked as a Test Architect on programs upgrading the air traffic control system for the FAA. Susan now lives in Berkeley Springs where she built her retirement home in 2007. Since retiring in 2010, Susan has completed the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs. She currently serves as Secretary for the Morgan County Master Gardeners, Secretary for the Warm Springs Watershed Association, and At-Large Board member for the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association. Susan received her BA and MSS from Ole Miss in History and Political Science and a MA from University of Southern California in International Relations. Her interests include birding, gardening, traveling, and being involved with water quality issues within Morgan County. Susan has been a member of PVAS since the early days and was a board member in the early 1990s.

Joseluis “Louie” Ocaranza, At-large Member

Louie graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology and Evolution. While a student, he was very active with The Wildlife Society (TWS) serving as a Chapter Representative for TWS at UCSB and as an executive board member for TWS Western Section his junior year, and then later the President of TWS at UCSB. Louie recently moved from California in 2015 but before moving to the east coast, he worked as a Habitat Restoration Specialist and as an Outreach Specialist with the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) in Santa Barbara, California. Louie now works in Shepherdstown, West Virginia for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the Division of Education and Outreach at the National Conservation Training Center. He is a Youth Programs Biologist and he works with diverse youth on a national scale, and focuses on building future conservation leaders through engagement, education, and employment through various Service programs and partnerships.

Rod Snyder, At-large Member

Rod serves as president of Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, a nonprofit focused on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of commodity crop production in the United States. Prior to this role, Rod held positions as Public Policy Director for the National Corn Growers Association and Government Affairs Leader for CropLife America. He is particularly recognized for his work at the intersection of agricultural and environmental issues. In 2016, Rod was a candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates in the 67th district and remains active with numerous community groups in the Eastern Panhandle. He resides on his family’s farm in Shenandoah Junction, West Virginia.

Steve Paradis, At-large Board Member

Steve Paradis has been a resident of Bolivar since moving to the eastern panhandle nearly ten years ago to work for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harpers Ferry where he was responsible for managing the internal workings of the organization as chief operating officer. An alumnus of M.I.T. and Stanford University, Steve has extensive experience in operations and manufacturing. He returned to the for-profit sector in 2014 as a business consultant, focusing on financing and organizational management of early stage ventures in energy and water. Steve was introduced to PVAS and its extensive offering of adult programs by his life partner, Lisa, an enthusiastic birder who was inspired Birding 101. He looks forward to bringing a business acumen and a love for nature and the outdoors to the board.

Board Member Emeritus

Jean Neely

Retired after a career in the U.S. Navy, Jean and her late husband moved to Shepherdstown in 1979.  She was the founding president of PVAS in 1982 and has remained active in the chapter, holding a variety of offices.  She is an avid birder, and has travelled to many areas of the western hemisphere in pursuit of her hobby.  Jean is concerned about the alarming decline of many species of birds, and supports programs such as habitat preservation and pollution abatement aimed at protecting those birds we have left.  She has been an emeritus member of the board since 2006.  She received the Spirit of the Panhandle Award from the Eastern WV Community Foundation in 2005, and was named a Woman of Distinction in 2013 by the Girl Scouts.

           © 2016 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Yankauer Nature Preserve (Berkeley County)
Eidolon Nature Preserve (Morgan County)
Stauffer's Marsh (Berkeley County)
Cool Spring Nature Preserve (Jefferson County)

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director //   304-676-3397

Kimberly Baldwin, Program Director //

Katelyn "KC" Walters, Conservation and Land Manager // 304-283-7319

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
// 703-303-1026

Amy Moore, Cool Spring Preserve Manager and Naturalist // 240-818-4714
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