Staff & Board
Karl Brummert, Executive Director
Karl has over twenty years of experience in non-profit management, program development, and fundraising. He began his career as the Environmental Programs Coordinator at The New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx where he worked with inner city teens, created an intern program, and managed a variety of public programs. He then was the Education Director at the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center on Long Island. While at the Sanctuary, he worked with live birds of prey and banded birds at a MAPS bird banding station. From New York, he moved to Seattle, where he worked for a season at Mount Rainier National Park creating ecology programs for school groups, developing and field testing a geology curriculum for teachers, and leading old growth forest and alpine ecology interpretive hikes for all ages. Next, he was a documentary film production coordinator in Los Angeles, which included work on the Disneynature film, Wings of Life. While in L.A., he also volunteered on projects for the protection of California condors and songbird banding in Zuma Canyon in Malibu. Karl is a member of the Nonprofit and Business Partnership at the South Metro Denver Chamber and a board member of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival. He is a Colorado native, and an avid hiker, mountain biker, snowboarder, cross-country skier, snowshoer, cook, gardener, and birder/naturalist. He also climbs a new 14er every now and then, and it is a fairly well-known fact he loves snow. Karl has been to 43 states – just seven more to go!! – as well as British Columbia, Nova Scotia/New Brunswick, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad, New Zealand, Iceland, Ecuador, and Galapagos.
Rhonda Shank, Office Manager
Rhonda has been the “Director of First Impressions” for over 17 years at Denver Audubon. She manages all office operations, including database management, bookkeeping, program registration, assisting with special events, and customer service. If you’ve called the Denver Audubon offices, you’ve likely heard her friendly voice on the other end of the line. She hails from the beautiful Amish country in Pennsylvania. She enjoys cooking, gardening, genealogy, and searching for unique finds at local thrift stores and estate sales. Although Rhonda has been an outdoor enthusiast all of her life, she has gained a new appreciation for birds and other wildlife since she began working at Denver Audubon. She currently lives with Charles, two cats, and two dogs.
Emily B. Hertz, School Programs Coordinator
Emily moved to Colorado from Seattle where she graduated from the University of Washington with a Master’s of Education. In addition, she received a certification in Environment, Education and Community from IslandWood, a graduate environmental education program on Bainbridge Island, WA. Previously, she worked as a resource management and conservation project coordinator for the Tucson Bureau of Land Management/Student Conservation Association. She was also involved with the Tucson Audubon Society, where she took naturalist classes and created interactive education booths for their annual Ironwood Festival. Emily enjoys rock climbing, photography, trail running, camping, gardening, eating chips & salsa, and hiking with her fluffy tuxedo cat Murphy and her husband Steven.
Kate Hogan, Community Outreach Coordinator
Kate is a native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her love for the ocean took her to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. She studied abroad at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia where she went searching for the elusive cassowary (which she unfortunately did not find), but she did encounter the not-so-elusive kookaburras, wallabies, and possums throughout campus. Upon her return, Kate interned with the beautiful marine mammals and birds at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Washington. “You haven’t lived until you’ve bleached an ENTIRE puffin exhibit and shoveled polar bear poop!” She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science/Biology in 2005 and ironically could not find a job near the ocean, but the Denver Zoo hired her for a seasonal position with their Summer Safari camp. She was then hired as an educator for the Downtown Aquarium in 2006, a family programs specialist with the Denver Zoo in 2007, and as the education and group sales coordinator at the Downtown Aquarium in 2010. In 2012, she graduated from Regis University with a Master’s in Nonprofit Business Management, and although she will miss the sharks and mermaids dearly, Kate was so excited to once again be joining a nonprofit like Denver Audubon that values environmental education and strives to teach the community about the beauty of Colorado wildlife. She currently lives in Parker with her husband Bryan, daughter Caitlyn, and son Luke.
Suzy Hiskey, Naturalist Educator
Suzy is a dedicated educator and biologist, passionate about wildlife and conservation both personally and at work. She grew up in Missouri and has lived in Colorado since 1995. She worked as an elementary school educator with Denver Public Schools and Colorado Academy before transitioning to nature education. In 2010, she became the School Programs Coordinator for the Audubon Society of Greater Denver. She left Denver Audubon in 2012 to complete a degree in Biology with an emphasis in ecology and conservation at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Additionally, she has nine years of experience developing and teaching summer camp programs focusing on animals, wildlife, and nature. Suzy is an active volunteer in conservation and research projects. While working on her Biology degree, she lead a research team in studying arthropod biodiversity on a green roof and participated in other campus field research projects. Suzy enjoys contributing to citizen science projects such as the Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network and Cornell NestWatch. She is excited to return to Denver Audubon as the Naturalist Educator.
Andy Carstens, Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Andy moved from Chicago to Denver in 2017 to be near the mountains and to have more time in nature. Before relocating to Denver, he worked in and managed an environmental group at an engineering company, where he focused on air and water quality issues. Early on, his engineering career took him overseas for several years, living in Egypt, Turkey, and Spain. This international experience opened his eyes to different cultures and perspectives, and he and his partner continue to cultivate a shared love for travel to anywhere they’ve never been. For the last year, Andy wrote and edited for a consulting firm, mostly covering environmental topics. He’s also pursuing a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University. It was a nature writing school assignment that first brought him to Denver Audubon, where he inadvertently landed in a birding insights class that enlightened him on many levels, including teaching him that a “bufflehead” is not a synonym for a dullard. Andy enjoys many things, but road cycling, hiking, skiing, reading, and writing are high on the list as are eating and drinking with friends.
You can reach all of the staff at 303-973-9530
Board of Directors
Wendy Woods, President Financial Planner, Nexus Financial Services, Inc.
Arlene Raskin, 1st Vice President Retired High School Science Teacher
Ann Bonnell, 2nd Vice President Retired Biology Teacher
Kristin Salamack, Secretary Associate, ICF International
Clint Priest, Treasurer Assistant Vice President, Senior Business Relationship Manager at Wells Fargo
Shelley Conger Broker Associate, Realtor, Live Urban Real Estate
Alexandra Hall Patent Attorney, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Carl Norbeck Former Denver Audubon Executive Director
Leslie O’Connor Managing Partner & Petroleum Consultant, MHA Petroleum Consultants LLC
Michele Ostrander President and CEO, Freedom Service Dogs of America
Diane RaPue CEO and Founder, Trinity Business Finance LLCIf you would like to contact our Board or Committee members, please call our office at 303-973-9530.
Committee & Project Chairs
- Audubon Nature Center/Community Outreach: Kate Hogan
- Colorado Bluebird Project: Kevin Corwin & Tracy Rackauskas
- Conservation: Polly Reetz
- Development & Finance: Barbara Hall & Karl Brummert
- Field Trips & Travel: Mary Geder & Sheridan Samano
- Lois Webster Fund: Margot Wynkoop
- Membership: vacant
- School Programs: Emily B. Hertz
- Spring Benefit: Shelley Conger & Barbara Hall
- Website: Dick Anderson, George Mayfield