”The Friends“ advocate for and promote an appreciation of the natural history, environment, and wildlife habitat of the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, as well as the singular Everglades ecosystem as a whole.
The Board’s Mission
Meet the BoardFriends of Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Michelle Hendricks was born and raised in Sioux City, Iowa. She and her husband Jim have been married for 44 years, have three grown children, and two granddaughters.
Michelle retired in 2016 after serving almost 20 years as the director of student health services for three universities. She served for 30 years in the Air Force Reserve, retiring in 2010 at the rank of Colonel.
Michelle's hobbies include gardening (a Florida Master Gardener), sewing, and choral singing. She and Jim travel extensively and enjoy sports and theater. They have lived in South Florida since 2014 and love it.
Michelle contributes to the Friends in her crucial role as Chair of the Membership Committee, in addition to serving as President.
Josh Weller was raised in northern New Jersey and discovered his love of the ocean and wetlands on family vacations to the beach towns of Cape Cod. As an adult, he lived for many years on the New England coast in Portsmouth, NH and Boston, MA, before relocating to West Palm Beach.
Josh is is a marketing executive/director with expertise in financial services, wealth management, and sustainable investing. He is active in environmental and sustainability circles in Palm Beach County, and is an ardent advocate for clean water and oceans, Everglades restoration, and wildlife conservation.
A graduate of Princeton, Josh is chair of the Marketing committee and a member of the Membership and Finance committees.
Allyse Carter, CPA, born and raised in West Palm Beach, is a Certified Public Accountant with PWC. She is a graduate of Florida State University and holds a Master’s in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. A CPA since 2013, she was Chairperson of the Palm Beach Chapter of the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA) in 2020.
Allyse enjoys helping people, and is happy to have been able to help individuals, small businesses, and non-profits reach their financial goals through her tax and accounting advice, which she also contributes to the Friends board of directors.
A few of her hobbies include going to the beach and pursuing standup comedy (that's right, the rare breed of CPA comic).
Steve Kaufman is a Florida native. He grew up in Miami and moved to Palm Beach County in 2003. Steve is currently the Secretary of the Board and also serves on the Finance Committee.
Since 2012, Steve has served as Executive Director of Temple Beth El of Boca Raton. Temple Beth El was the first temple in the area and is now the largest in the state of Florida. Steve has enjoyed a diverse career including working as General Counsel for a commercial construction company, Vice President of Planning for one the nation’s largest homebuilders and as a Project Manager for a multi-national energy development company.
Steve is passionate about environmental conservation and loves being in nature. He is a frequent visitor to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge on his mountain bike and his kayak.
Steve has an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and holds two graduate degrees from Boston University. Steve enjoys hiking, cycling, kayaking, playing soccer and spending time in the western North Carolina mountains. Steve and his wife Ivy live in West Boca Raton. They have two fabulous adult children and two rescue dogs.
Cathy Patterson was born and raised in Western New York State and spent her youth hiking through the woods with her siblings and dogs. It was there that she learned the importance of appreciating and protecting the beauty of the natural Earth.
Being part of a military family, she relocated to Vicenza, Italy for two years, then on to Lawton, OK, Boynton Beach, Colorado Springs and then back to Boynton where she and her husband raised two daughters. Although not born in Florida, her mother's roots in South Florida extend back three generations. During her youth and throughout adulthood, she and her family enjoyed camping, hiking and boating. Cathy's love of the Refuge developed during the early 70's and she has watched it develop into the gem it is today.
Cathy and her husband Jim owned Natural Forest Patio in Boynton for 38 years where they sold new outdoor furniture in addition to doing repairs and refinishing prior to retiring. She has recently taught typing and Rosetta Stone to speakers of other languages at the Women's Circle in Boynton for several years.
Cathy is a wealth of knowledge about the Friends and the Refuge and is the primary facilitator for Friends volunteers. She is past president of the Friends, chair of the Everglades Days Committee, and manager of the Nature Store in the Visitor Center.
Steve Schwartz has been a volunteer at the Visitor Center information desk and the Nature Store since 2014. He is formerly of Canton, Ohio, and a resident of Delray Beach since 2010.
Steve enjoyed a career as an attorney with a background in Broadcast Journalism prior to retiring. Today, he is an avid photographer, jazz enthusiast, a fan of vintage comedies, and a calm voice of reason on the Friends board. He counts photographing wildlife at The Refuge among his favorite activities, having been awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2017 Photography Contest.
Steve and his wife Marci have two sons, Jeff and Brad, who reside in Canton, OH. He is a past vice president of the Friends, was instrumental in directing a rewrite of our bylaws in 2021, and is a member of the Marketing Committee.
Susan Rowe is a retired registered nurse who enjoyed a career in health care and education while being an employee organizer and labor advocate in Massachusetts and Maine for 30 years.
Sue earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Maine and Master's in Labor Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
She is a long-time environmental advocate and member of Audubon Society and the Lakes Environmental Association in Maine.
Sue's hobbies include trail walking, genealogy, and knitting for non-profits. She and her husband of more than 20 years, Carl Guignard, are volunteers at The Refuge. She previously served as Secretary on the Friends board and is currently a key member of the Refuge Speaker's Bureau.
Ron Seifer is a semi-retired psychologist who practiced full-time in Brevard County. His volunteer activities at the Refuge include serving on the Everglades Days Committee, keeping trails and embankments free of invasive plants, leading tours on the Cypress Swamp boardwalk, and writing a regular column about the Refuge that is often published by several local newspapers, including the Sun Sentinel.
After a long indoor career, in which his outdoor experiences were mostly limited to family vacations, raising cats, and pulling weeds in the yard, Ron is pleased that his outdoor work with Refuge biologists and volunteers is enhancing the growth of our native plants and wildlife, as well as visitors' enjoyment!
Ron was born in upstate New York in the Catskills and raised on a chicken farm where he naturally developed a love of the outdoors. He holds degrees from Queens College, Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maine. He is a former President of the board.
Hannah Campbell is an environmental education professional specializing in marine science and conservation education and leadership. She is the Director of Education at Loggerhead Marinelife Center (LMC), the sea turtle research, rehabilitation and conservation organization in Juno Beach, FL. Annually, LMC’s education team serves over 72,000 students with a focus on traditionally under-served communities. Her team strives to empower individuals with knowledge, tools and resources to take responsible action for marine and coastal environments.
Hannah also serves as the Southeast Regional Director for the Florida Marine Science Educators Association (FMSEA). She is also a facilitator and trainer for the Aquatic Species Collection Workshop, a 3-year certification for educators issued by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and assists with the coordination of the annual FMSEA conference. She is a lead instructor on the University of Florida's/IFAS Florida Master Naturalist Program's Palm Beach County teaching team and has been an invited instructor for the Audubon Society of the Everglades' Conservation Stewardship course since 2016.
Hannah is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University's (FAU) Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and a candidate at the FAU Graduate College, pursuing a M.Ed in Adult and Community Education Leadership. She is a member of the Leadership Palm Beach County Class of 2020. She is the 2017 Emerald Award honoree by the Girl Scouts of Southeast Florida and was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society in 2020.
Hannah serves as Education Chair for the Friends. In her free time, she enjoys hiking through natural Florida, SCUBA diving, and discovering pet-friendly activities with her rescued pup, Layla.
Brad Bousquet currently serves as Chair of the Board’s Grants and Advocacy Committees. In recent years, he has worked with a number of international NGO’s on issues at the intersection of land governance and climate change policy, with a focus on deforestation abatement initiatives and sustainable finance. Prior to this, he had spent more than twenty-years working in the global finance sector.
A Yale College graduate, Brad is currently completing a thesis for a UNITAR/Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) M.A. degree in Conflict, Peace & Security. His thesis is focused on Indigenous land rights and collective titling initiatives in the context of IP tenure security and the attendant intra-state conflict risks within the tropics. He is also part of the University of Edinburgh’s M.Sc. Programme in Carbon Management, as well as the Yale School of the Environment’s Tropical Forest Landscapes (TFL) Program.
Brad has spent over a decade splitting his time between NYC and Delray Beach, where he enjoys shore fishing and frequent camping trips to the Middle Keys. He is committed to Florida conservation, with a particular focus on carbon sequestration, biodiversity, and ecosystem services.
Paul Walansky is a Florida native who resides in Boynton Beach. A graduate of Florida Atlantic University, Paul is a professional engineer at Arcadis, an international engineering company. He is a Senior Project Manager with experience in the design and construction management of various coastal and water resource design projects.
Paul’s engineering background includes inspection and condition assessment of marinas and water control structures, cost estimating, flood studies, pump station design, bridge scour analysis, economic analysis, port feasibility studies, port reconstruction, fishing pier design, retaining wall design, wetland restoration, reservoirs, stormwater treatment areas, flow equalization basins, public recreation area design and specifications.
An avid fisherman, Paul is the Tournament Director for the Everglades Bassmasters of South Florida. He is responsible for proposing tournament locations, obtaining permits, enforcing rules, coordinating weigh-ins, and club statistics. He is also an active volunteer with Reel Fishing Charities, an organization that inspires disadvantaged youth, children with special needs, and elementary aged students through the sport of fishing and environmental education.
Daniel DeLisi works as a private sector land use planner and environmental policy consultant/lobbyist. His environmental policy clients include local governments throughout south and southwest Florida, primarily engaged in water quality improvement projects and Everglades restoration. In 2011 he was appointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve on the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board and was later appointed Chief of Staff, where he oversaw all internal agency functions, State policy, external affairs, and real estate matters.
Dan has taught as an adjunct faculty member in urban planning at Florida Gulf Coast and Nova Southeastern Universities and has been an invited presenter on land use, development and water policy issues at numerous conferences throughout the United States. Dan received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Brandeis University and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dan is an avid beer brewer, scuba diver and runs an occasional half marathon. He enjoys hosting events for friends and colleagues in his National Historic Registry home in West Palm Beach that he shares with his wife of 25 years, and two children, when they are home on vacation.
Paul Ryan is a management consultant focused on customer experience, process improvement, and market development. He is also a corporate trainer, small business owner, and author working on his next book about humor in the workplace.
Paul has previously served as fundraising chair, publicity chair, and board member for two Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and as classroom volunteer for three Junior Achievement chapters. He currently serves on the graduate advisory board at Keiser University, and is a mentor of business students at his alma mater. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree, is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, and a Project Management Professional.
Originally from the Washington, DC area, Paul resides in Delray Beach. He and his daughter, Isabella, enjoy exploring nature together, including hiking. His other pursuits are water and racquet sports, DIY home projects, photography, and being a car enthusiast.