Audubon of the Western Everglades is the oldest “grassroots” conservation organization in Southwest Florida, established in 1961.
Our Mission: Protecting Southwest Florida’s Natural Resources and Wildlife through Advocacy and Education.
We accomplish our Mission by focusing on:
Environmentally responsible land use
Protection and recovery of imperiled wildlife and their habitats
Clean water for people and wildlife
Planning for climate change and sea level rise
Board of Directors
Eileen Arsenault, President
Eileen joined the AWE Board in 1983. She holds a degree in Anthropology from Louisiana State University and worked for several years in the Cultural Resources Division of Coastal Environments, Inc., in Baton Rouge. After moving to Naples in 1982, she became the manager of a wholesale dealer of antiquarian maps and prints. For the past almost 30 years, she has been managing the Arsenault Studio and Banyan Arts Gallery, both in Naples. Eileen has played a leadership role as a board member of various nonprofit organizations, including Collier County Historical and Archaeological Preservation Board Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust, Environmental Coalition of Southwest Florida and Young Audiences of Southwest Florida.
Byron Grimes, Treasurer
Byron was born in Louisville, KY and has lived in Richmond, VA, Warwick, RI, Annapolis, MD, and now resides in Naples, FL. He is married to his lovely wife Janet, and he has four children — two girls and two boys. Byron graduated from Centre College in Danville, KY, where he majored in Business Administration. Following graduation, he served as an officer in the US Army. He has over thirty-five years experience as an investment professional and currently works for Northern Trust Company, where he is a Senior Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager, overseeing high net worth accounts. Byron is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
While living in Rhode Island, he was on the board of the Rhode Island Audubon Society. Byron serves as Treasurer of Audubon of the Western Everglades.
Alan Keller, Director
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Alan’s family has lived full- or part-time in Naples since 1946. He has a Doctorate in Human Development from University of Chicago. While serving in several capacities with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Population Fund, he assisted 35 developing countries in conducting studies of the relationships between population growth, economic development, health, and environment and helped those same countries to establish maternal/child health and contraceptive services. He was based in Mexico for 14 years and in Zimbabwe for 5 years, where he led a multinational technical team serving 16 southern African countries. Alan is Past President and current Conservation Chair of Audubon of the Western Everglades and a Board member of Audubon Florida.
Sharda Spahr, Director
Originally from England, Sharda has been a Naples resident for over 46 years and is a graduate of Naples High School and Rollins College. She presently owns and operates the Old Naples Surf Shop on Third Street South in Naples.
She has a strong non-for-profit commitment that includes environmental causes; being extremely active in the Friends of Rookery Bay, Naples Equestrian Challenge, NCH Auxiliary, and various leadership roles with her childrens’ schools. Currently Sharda is Vice President of the Moorings Bay Citizens Advisory committee and serves on the board of the Third Street South Merchant’s Association.
She has two grown children and a two year-old grandson. Her husband Steve is Regional Vice President and Manager of Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC in Naples.
Sharda currently serves as a Director and Membership Chair Audubon of the Western Everglades.
Kathleen Swingley, Director
Kathy Swingley has lived in Naples for 33 years. Thirty-two of those years she has worked in the Collier County Public School system as a Career and Technical Education teacher and is currently the Director of the Teaching Academy at Naples High School. Kathy is happily married to her husband Rod, and both are proud parents of 2 sons and 2 grandchildren. Always an outdoor enthusiast, Kathy enjoys camping, kayaking, hiking, biking, traveling, and most all outdoor activities. She prides herself on being an outdoor adventurist. Kathy is a member of the 2014 Leadership Collier class and has volunteered for many organizations over the years, making positive changes in the community. At this time, she serves as a member of the Community Service Advisory Board for the City of Naples, is a volunteer boat captain for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, is an American Heart Association CPR and First Aid Instructor, and most recently has been appointed to the AWE Board, serving as its Education Chair.
Mimi Wolok, Executive Director
Joining the AWE team in March 2018, Mimi Wolok is both excited and relieved to be back in conservation full time. She holds a degree in wildlife ecology from the University of Florida and a law degree from University of New Mexico with a specialization in natural resources law. Both before and after law school, she was a field biologist around the country and internationally. She has used both degrees over the years, first as a staff attorney with the Center for Wildlife Law in New Mexico and later as the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s first staff attorney. After opening her Naples law practice in 2002, she continued representing environmental organizations but focused mainly on civil litigation and corporate law. Mimi has held various leadership positions, including as a Trustee of the CREW Land & Water Trust and an appointment to the Conservation Collier Advisory Committee and Conservation 20/20 Management Committee. Mimi enjoys outdoor adventures like kayaking and wilderness camping, as well as organic gardening. Mimi has one grown son in college.
Brad Cornell, Policy Director
Brad Cornell currently is Policy Director for both Audubon of the Western Everglades and Audubon Florida, a joint position he has held since Summer 2005, and for the regional organization since 2001. He works on land use, wetlands, coastal habitats, and Western Everglades restoration issues to protect and recover imperiled species, especially the Florida Panther, nesting shorebirds, Corkscrew’s Wood Storks, and Marco Island’s Burrowing Owls. He has degrees from Oberlin College and the University of Texas at Austin and played trombone for the Naples Philharmonic for ten years prior to joining Audubon. Brad and his wife Martha have two native Floridian children, one in graduate school and one in high school.
Pete Quasius, Advocacy Director
Pete Quasius has been an environmental policy advocate in Florida for more than two decades. After a career in the U.S. Foreign Service and fishing the world, Pete retired to Bonita Beach and immersed himself in environmental activities and local political affairs. He became a licensed U.S Coast Guard Captain, worked for Everglades Angler Outfitters and established Time’s Fly’N Charters as a fishing guide. He became active in environmental and professional organizations concerned with water issues. Pete sits on the board of the Snook and Gamefish Foundation since 2009 and was elected Vice-Chair in 2013. He has served as a member of the South Florida Water Management District’s Water Resources Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee for Babcock Ranch Preserve and as Program Coordinator for Business People United for Political Action. He is a board member of the Southwest Florida Watershed Council, Audubon of Southwest Florida, and Eco-Voice. Pete advocates for protection and recovery efforts in the Greater Everglades including Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee Basin and Florida coastal waters. He resides in Fort Myers along the Orange River with his wife Maria.
Lori Beall, Membership Services Director
Lori Beall has been with AWE for 12 years as the Membership Director. It is a great fit since she has a passion for the environment and the animals that occupy our unique landscape. Lori grew up in Connecticut and attended the University of Hartford as a Computer Science Major. She worked at CIGNA Healthcare and managed private County Clubs while in Connecticut. She worked in the marine industry for 3 years in the Caribbean and New England then moved to Southern California, where she was an Area Sales Manager for CompUSA for 6 years. Lori and her husband Gregg moved to Naples in 2000 and have two teenage children.