by Dottie Head, Director of Communications
Georgia Audubon announced five new members elected by members to the Board of Directors at their annual meeting on December 4. Jennifer Johnson McEwen, Marlena Reed, Jim Renner, Amy Beth Sparks, and Ayanna Williams were elected for three-year terms, beginning January 1, 2023. In addition, Joshua Gassman, Gus Kaufman, Paige Martin, Jon Philipsborn, and LaTresse Snead were elected to the Board of Directors for a second three-year term.
Jennifer Johnson McEwen Jennifer is a lifelong birder, with a passion for everything related to birds. When she’s not out enjoying nature, she is helping lead communications at Emory University. Jennifer’s career spans 25 years as a communicator with experience in broadcast news, agency, media, higher education, healthcare, and nonprofit sectors. Jennifer has spent the last 15 years directing medical and scientific communications, public affairs, and media relations for Emory’s Woodruff Health Sciences Center. Jennifer has a BA from the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism.
Marlena Reed is an award-winning marketing communications professional with agency-side and client-side experience. She currently serves as Senior Director of Strategic Communications at the Arthritis Foundation. Marlena has managed public relations, marketing and social media initiatives for organizations in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Marlena holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication from Arizona State University.
Jim Renner is a geologist and environmental planner with 35 years of experience in natural resource management. He is currently Manager of Environmental Stewardship for the Minerals Operations of Chemours, a leading chemical manufacturer. In this role, Jim is responsible for advancing Chemours’ corporate responsibility commitments within the Georgia and Florida mining operations by engaging with stakeholders, sponsoring independent research on the environmental effects of mining, and supporting partnerships for regionally significant conservation. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in geology from the University of Georgia.
As a lifelong animal and nature lover, Amy Beth Sparks has always been passionate about animals and nature. Her interest in sustainability led to her current role as Director of Communications within the Public Affairs, Communications, and Sustainability function at The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, Amy Beth has created communications strategies, crafted messaging, and supported many sustainability projects. In addition to a BA in Literature from Georgia State University, Amy Beth also holds a master’s degree in teaching English to middle- and high-school students.
Ayanna Williams is a tested leader in place-based environmentally focused nonprofits. She currently serves as the Director of Community and Environmental Resilience at the National Recreation and Park Association focusing on facilitating conversations between park and recreation professionals and community partners to amplify equitable solutions to address historic environmental injustices. Throughout her career Ayanna has cultivated a broad perspective and deep understanding of environmental resilience through local parks. Ayanna holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan with a concentration in community organizing and social systems.
“We are excited to welcome Jennifer, Marlena, Jim, Amy, and Ayanna to the Georgia Audubon Board of Directors,” says Paige Martin, board chair. “These individuals bring a wealth of talents and experiences to the Board that will help Georgia Audubon fulfill its mission of building places where birds and people thrive.”
Additional Georgia Audubon board members include Joshua Andrews, Robert Cooper, Marc Goncher, Laurene Hamilton, Mary Anne Lanier, Susie Maclin, Ellen Miller, Scott Porter, Esther Stokes, and Amanda Woomer.
For more information on Georgia Audubon or to read the full biographical sketches of our new board members, visit our website.
About Georgia Audubon: Georgia Audubon is building places where birds and people thrive. We create bird-friendly communities through conservation, education, and community engagement.
Birds Georgia is building places where birds and people thrive.